How long will a smoothie keep in the fridge?

A smoothie can typically last 3-5 days when properly stored in the refrigerator. The shelf life depends on several factors like the ingredients used, storage method, and personal preferences regarding taste and texture.

Quick Answers

Here are some quick answers to common questions about smoothie shelf life:

  • Most smoothies will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge when stored in an airtight container.
  • Ingredients like fruits and leafy greens will cause smoothies to spoil faster than ingredients like yogurt and nuts.
  • Keep smoothies towards the back of the fridge, not on the door where the temperature fluctuates.
  • Don’t leave smoothies at room temperature for more than a couple hours before refrigerating.
  • Check for signs of spoilage like changes in color, texture, and smell before drinking a stored smoothie.
  • Adding chia seeds, flax seeds, yogurt, or nut butters can help extend the fridge life by a day or two.

How Long Do Smoothies Last in the Fridge?

The typical shelf life of a smoothie stored in the refrigerator is 3-5 days. However, that time frame can vary based on several factors:

Ingredients Used

Ingredients play a major role in determining smoothie shelf life. Fruits and leafy greens contain more water and will cause smoothies to spoil faster than ingredients like yogurt, nut butters, and seeds. Here are some ingredient guidelines:

  • Fruits: Fresh fruits like berries, bananas, mangoes and pineapple will last 2-4 days in a smoothie. Canned fruits and frozen fruits can last a bit longer.
  • Veggies: Leafy greens like spinach and kale will last 2-3 days. Heartier veggies like carrots may last a bit longer.
  • Yogurt: Dairy products like Greek yogurt and kefir can extend smoothie shelf life up to 5 days.
  • Nut butters: Ingredients like almond butter and peanut butter can keep smoothies fresher for 4-5 days.
  • Seeds: Chia seeds and flaxseeds act as natural thickeners to help slow spoilage.

For maximum freshness, build smoothies around yogurt, nut butters and seeds. Limit fruits and leafy greens or consume those smoothies sooner.

Storage Method

How you store a smoothie after blending also affects its shelf life. Some tips for proper storage:

  • Store smoothies in an airtight container like a mason jar or reusable bottle with a tight lid. This prevents oxygen exposure which causes spoilage.
  • Fill the storage container all the way to the top to minimize oxygen inside.
  • Place smoothies towards the back of the fridge where the temperature is most consistent.
  • Don’t store on the refrigerator door where the temperature fluctuations can shorten shelf life.
  • If making smoothies in advance, let them cool down to fridge temperature before sealing and storing.

Proper storage methods can extend the shelf life of a smoothie by a day or two.

Blending Technique

How thoroughly the ingredients are blended can also play a small role. Smoothies with a thicker, spoonable texture tend to keep a little longer than thinner, drinkable smoothies. The reasoning is that thicker smoothies limit separation and oxidation.

If aiming to store smoothies, blend until the texture is thicker and will stick to a spoon. You can always thin it with milk or water when ready to drink.

Personal Taste Preferences

How long you keep a smoothie also comes down to personal taste. Some people notice changes in texture, color and flavor before a smoothie is technically expired. If you are sensitive to smoothies that aren’t freshly made, you’ll want to consume them on the sooner side before the quality seems to decline.

On the other hand, some people don’t mind smoothies that have been stored and prefer making big batches to last throughout the week. If you don’t notice quality dropping until a smoothie is 4-5 days old, then you can comfortably store them that long.

Signs a Smoothie Has Spoiled

To determine if a refrigerated smoothie is still safe to drink, check for these signs of spoilage:

  • Change in texture: Smoothies will thicken over time. Noticeable separation of liquids and solids is also a red flag.
  • Change in color: Fading of bright colors or browning is common as oxidation occurs.
  • Change in smell: Fermented odors indicate spoilage.
  • Mold growth: Fuzzy mold spots mean the smoothie should be discarded.
  • Off tastes: Loss of vibrant flavors or acidic, bitter tastes.

Trust your senses – if a refrigerated smoothie smells or tastes off, it’s better to be safe and make a fresh batch.

Does Adding Yogurt, Seeds or Nut Butters Extend Smoothie Shelf Life?

Yes, adding yogurt, chia seeds, flax seeds or nut butters can extend the shelf life of smoothies by 1-2 days. Here’s why these ingredients help smoothies keep longer:

  • Yogurt – The probiotics help inhibit mold growth. The thick texture also slows separation.
  • Chia seeds – Absorb liquid to create a gel, preventing separation. Antioxidants fight spoilage.
  • Flax seeds – Similarly thicken smoothies and add nutrition.
  • Nut butters – Oils act as natural preservatives while the texture improves stability.

For best results, include a couple tablespoons of one of these pantry staples when blending smoothies you want to store.

Tips to Make Smoothies Last Longer

Here are some additional tips to extend the shelf life of homemade smoothies:

  • Start with frozen ingredients like frozen fruit and frozen leafy greens. Freezing halts the spoilage process.
  • Replace some fruit with canned fruit. The canning process allows it to keep longer than fresh.
  • Use pasteurized egg whites instead of raw eggs. They are safer for stored smoothies.
  • Swap dairy milk for nut milks. Plant-based milks have a longer shelf life.
  • Add a squirt of lemon juice. The acidity deters bacterial growth.
  • Blend in a little honey or maple syrup. Natural sugars act as preservatives.
  • Skip tropical fruits like pineapple and mango which deteriorate faster.

Implementing some of these tweaks when preparing smoothies to store can add a day or two to the refrigerator life.

How Long Can Smoothies Sit Out at Room Temperature?

It’s best to refrigerate smoothies as soon as possible after blending. Leaving smoothies at room temperature allows bacteria to multiply quickly.

As a general guideline, smoothies should not sit out at room temperature for more than:

  • 1-2 hours in hot summer weather (over 90°F)
  • 2-3 hours in warm conditions (70-90°F)
  • A maximum of 4 hours in cooler temperatures (under 70°F)

Once a smoothie has sat out for longer than the recommended time, it’s unsafe to drink. Discard the smoothie even if you try refrigerating it afterwards.

Can You Freeze Smoothies to Make Them Last Longer?

Absolutely! Freezing is an excellent way to extend the shelf life of smoothies by several weeks or more. Here are some smoothie freezing tips:

  • Blend smoothies as normal, then let cool in the fridge before freezing. Never freeze a freshly made hot smoothie.
  • Use freezer-safe containers or reusable ice cube trays. Leave at least 1/2 inch of headspace to allow for expansion as the smoothie freezes.
  • Avoid glass containers which could crack. Stick to plastic, stainless steel or silicone.
  • Wrap cubes or containers in plastic wrap then foil to prevent freezer burn.
  • Add extra chia, flax or yogurt to prevent too much separation as smoothies thaw.
  • Label smoothies with the date and contents before freezing.
  • Thaw overnight in the fridge or let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before drinking.

With proper freezing techniques, smoothies can keep for up to 3-4 months in the freezer before quality declines. Freeze a big batch to enjoy healthful, homemade smoothies for months.

Should You Use Ice Cubes to Preserve Smoothies?

Using ice cubes in place of some of the liquid when blending smoothies is another preservation method. The main advantages of using ice cubes include:

  • Ice cools a smoothie quickly so you can get it into the fridge faster after blending.
  • Adding ice limits the amount of fresh fruits and veggies, which speeds spoiling.
  • The frozen cubes help thicken and add stability to improve shelf life.
  • Ice dilutes a smoothie slightly which can mask some bitterness as it sits.

A potential downside is that ice cubes water down smoothie flavor. You may need to balance added sweeteners and seasonings to compensate. But overall, using ice is helpful for smoothies you want to store and drink later.

Should You Keep Smoothie Ingredients Separate When Storing?

Storing smoothie ingredients separately in the fridge is an alternative strategy. This allows you to mix and match fresh fruits, veggies, and liquids each morning for homemade smoothies with a just-blended taste.

Ways to store smoothie ingredients separately include:

  • Wash and prep fruits/veggies, then store chopped pieces in reusable containers.
  • Portion out nuts, seeds, nut butters, yogurt and milk into single-serve cups.
  • Make large batches of “smoothie packs” with your desired combo of ingredients layered in a mason jar.
  • Freeze fruits, leafy greens and bananas on a sheet pan, then transfer to bags.

Assembling smoothies from prepped ingredients eliminates the guess-work each morning. But this strategy does require more prep work up front. Overall, storing fully blended smoothies is simpler – but separate ingredients can maximize freshness.

Common Mistakes that Shorten Smoothie Shelf Life

Here are some common mistakes that can lead to shorter smoothie shelf life:

  • Not washing produce thoroughly – bacteria shortens shelf life.
  • Using damaged or overripe produce that’s more perishable.
  • Allowing smoothies to sit at room temperature too long before refrigerating.
  • Storing in the refrigerator door where the temperature isn’t stable.
  • Not leaving enough headspace in storage containers, causing overflow.
  • Using low-acid ingredients like melon that spoil more quickly.
  • Adding lots of ice which waters down smoothies as they deteriorate.

Being mindful when prepping, storing, and freezing smoothies can help your homemade creations stay fresher for longer.

Shelf Life of Store-Bought Smoothies

Pre-made smoothies purchased from grocery stores, cafes and smoothie shops also have a limited shelf life. Here’s how long store-bought smoothies typically last:

  • Bottled smoothies: 5-7 days
  • Freshly made to-go: 1-2 days

The shorter shelf life of fresh smoothies is due to ingredients like raw fruits, greens and eggs. Bottled smoothies often use pasteurized fruits and egg whites so they keep longer – but check best by dates.

For maximum freshness, consume any pre-made smoothies within 5 days of purchase. Discard bottles or cups that are past the expiry date printed on the label.

Does Acai Bowl Size Affect How Long it Stays Fresh?

The size and thickness of an acai bowl can impact how long it stays fresh compared to a smoothie. Here’s how an acai bowl’s size affects its fridge life:

  • Small bowls – Last 2-3 days. Quickly eaten so less time to deteriorate.
  • Regular bowls – Last 3-4 days. Balance freshness and leftovers.
  • Extra-large bowls – Last 4-5 days. More surface area can speed spoilage.
  • Thick texture – Lasts a bit longer. Slower separation of liquids.

For maximum freshness, stick to smaller-sized acai bowls around 12-16 oz. A thicker texture also slows down spoilage. Eat within 3-4 days for the best quality.

Should You Add Liquid or Frozen Fruits to Extend Acai Bowl Life?

To make acai bowls last longer in the fridge, follow these tips:

  • Limit fresh liquid ingredients like juice, milk or yogurt. They separate faster.
  • Use more frozen fruits and veggies. Freezing stops ripening.
  • Top with items like granola, seeds and nut butters vs. fresh cut fruit.
  • Avoid unfrozen berries which get mushy fast.
  • Stir or shake bowls before eating to reblend separating layers.

Keeping acai bowls thicker with less liquid ingredients and more frozen fruits/toppings allows them to stay fresh up to 5 days.

How Long Do Smoothie Meal Prep Kits Last?

Pre-portioned smoothie kits that are stored in the freezer can last a very long time – up to 4-6 months! The steps of preparing smoothie prep kits include:

  1. Wash and chop fruits and veggies.
  2. Portion ingredients like yogurt, greens, and supplements into compartmentalized containers.
  3. Combine fruits and liquids, leaving separation between ingredients.
  4. Freeze the smoothie kits laid flat so they stay thick.
  5. Pop out a frozen kit each morning to blend.

The key is keeping ingredients semi-separate and fully freezing kits. This prevents too much watery separation. Thawing and blending kits as needed results in fresh, homemade smoothies anytime.


When properly stored, a homemade smoothie can last 3-5 days refrigerated. Optimal smoothie shelf life relies on factors like ingredient selection, storage method, and blending technique. Adding yogurt, nut butter or chia/flax seeds can extend fridge life by a day or two. Freezing smoothies or smoothie kits gives you weeks or months of shelf life. Follow proper handling and storage, and you’ll be able to enjoy fresh, healthy smoothies without waste.

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