Can you make smoothies ahead of time? YES. And if you don’t, it will either drive you nuts or you will be tempted to abandon your good smoothie intentions.
A series of posts on smoothies
This is the fifth in a series of posts on Smoothies. Here is the full list you can click on:
Fitting smoothies into your schedule
So, can you make smoothies ahead of time?
Absolutely. And it is the key to fitting the actual consumption of smoothies into your schedule.
While making an individual smoothie is quite easy, it is also quite a lot of work. And it takes some. And it takes some planning.
Think of all the steps it takes to make a smoothie. Let’s just start to go through it in outline:
- First, you get up in the morning and decide “I’ll make a smoothie!”
- Second, you have to decide what kind of smoothie you want to make.
- Third, you wonder if you have the right ingredients on hand.
By this time you may have given yourself a headache and decide to give up on the project. But let’s say that you still have it together and keep going.
- Fourth, you pick out the liquid you are going to use and put it in the blender, perhaps with some ice.
- Fifth, you add the greens or fruits you are going to use.
- Sixth, you may add some kind of taste enhancement, like honey or a spice
- Seventh, you fire up the blender.
- Eighth, you pour and enjoy your smoothie
- Ninth, you wash up the blender (or more likely leave this until you get home).
See what we mean. Most of this has been a pain in the butt. So, can you make smoothies ahead of time? The answer is: you better had – just to keep your sanity
Easy to fit into the eating routine
Fitting smoothie making into your schedule is just as important as learning how to make them.
Many people struggle to fit healthy eating into their routine, especially if they are dieting. They start out with all the best intentions in the world. But it only takes being faced with the chore of cooking after a long day at work to become frustrated by the whole project.
And, if you are traveling and all you can get for lunch is a processed sandwich, you are faced with breaking your healthy diet.
But smoothies are effective as a diet aid because they’re easier to fit into a normal routine than regular meal prep – but only with advance planning and action.
But we need to avoid the smoothie hassle
Smoothies may be easy to fit into the eating schedule, but they are not perfectly easy. And they can seem like a lot of work, what with:
- sourcing all the fruits and vegetables
- keeping the ingredients in stock in your kitchen
- figuring out the right proportions of ingredients
- preparing them for the smoothie maker
- cleaning the smoothie maker up afterward
So let’s set ourselves up to win. We need to make sure it’s easier to stick with our smoothie plan than it is to cheat on it and skip our smoothie.
This is why fitting smoothies into your schedule is so important.
The right equipment
To start with, you must have the right smoothie equipment. First off, the blender needs to be powerful. You need to be confident that no matter what you throw into it, it will not jamb. This is especially necessary when you are using nuts and fibrous vegetables. And you want the smoothie maker to be fast and not make a mess.
Plus the blender must be easy to wash and clean. Some older models out there are inconvenient to wash and clean, thanks to the arrangement of their blades. These are often awkward to reach. And then they rotate when you try to grip them.
Fortunately, newer model blenders have been designed with this in mind. They come with blades that are easy to remove. And some have blades that do not come into direct contact with the pulp, so they stay cleaner. Plus you can remove the top and go.
Please scroll down for our blender recommendations.
Prep and pick
The first order of business is to decide exactly what smoothie we would like to have for a full week. Is it going to be a weight loss smoothie, a muscle-building smoothie, etc?
Prepare and refrigerate
We are going to prepare 7 smoothies at the start of the week (say Sunday), and then store them in bottles or mason jars in the fridge to be consumed during the rest of the week. So every morning you just pick one and go.
Prepare and freeze
For longer-term consumption and for variety, we can prepare a selection of different smoothies and store them in the freezer. We use freezer-friendly wide mouth, Mason jars for this. You can scroll down or these.
And, to avoid breakage, we remember to:
- Let the liquid cool to room temperature (if we have used heated ingredients
- Leave 1 to 2 inches of space at the top of the jar for the liquid to expand a bit as it freezes.
Following the advice of Tim Ferris, author of the 4-Hour Chef, the idea is to do all of our prep work in advance. So when it comes time to get into action all we need to do is pick up the prepared ingredients and go to work to make your smoothies in bulk.
This is the perfect way of fitting smoothies into your schedule.
Some people find it helpful to freeze the fruits themselves before dropping them into the blender. This is a great way to go because you can buy fruit in bulk up-front, and not worry about ripening.
You can also make your life easier by ordering your fruits and vegetables online. This can save time and (maybe) money.
Another great way to save money and also get really fresh ingredients is to go to a farmers market if you have one nearby. And since this is all going to go in a blender, you don’t have to worry about how the fruit or vegetable items look.
Smoothie packs – freezing the raw ingredients in advance
There is one school of thought that recommends freezing the individual raw ingredients for each smoothie in advance, all packed into individual freezer bags or “smoothie packs.”
But in our opinion, this involves unnecessary extra time and double handling. It also wastes those disposable zip lock bags.
On top of that, you are making a new smoothie every day. And this means cleaning the blender every day, instead of once per week.
In terms of the use of freezer space, freezing “smoothie packs” may or may not be a wash compared to freezing the smoothies themselves.
With “smoothie packs” you are freezing air. And the packs are in irregular shapes. On the other hand, when freezing the smoothies themselves you are also freezing liquid in addition to the other ingredients, albeit in regular-shaped Mason jars.
Most efficient method
For us, by far the most efficient way to go is to do the prep and blending in bulk and in advance. And then we refrigerate or freeze the individual smoothies in batches, and in the Mason jar containers we are going to drink them from.
If you go the frozen route, you just need to remember to move a frozen smoothie from the freezer to the fridge the previous day to let it thaw overnight for use in the morning.
But isn’t this so much easier than making it from scratch every day? And it sure answers the question: can you make smoothies ahead of time? You not only can but should.
More ways to make smoothies easier to prepare
You can save time and effort by using pure fruit juice, or using purees and canned fruits. These are good for fruit like pineapples, peaches, and cranberries because these are hard to prepare and require a lot of peeling and deseeding.
When you use a canned fruit, you have it ready to go in a form that is soft and easy to blend! It is also preserved against getting overripe
BUT beware of the extra sugar in canned fruit. Nonetheless, canned fruit is better than no fruit.
Store-bought smoothies are also a way to go. But you need to beware of pricing and the additives that may be in the smoothie.
The costs of store-bought smoothies can mount up fast. But, in the end, it’s no more expensive than a store-bought coffee and much better for you.
You can’t make a good smoothie without the right equipment. So here are some things to have on hand. Make sure you have sharp knives for cutting, a good cutting board and the following.
Blenders for smoothies
The blender is at the center of the smoothie universe.
We like the Nutribullet Pro as having the best individual overall value for money out there. But it is not really big enough for making smoothies in bulk, which is what we recommend here. Click on the red Nutribullet Pro link below.
The Vitamix is the Top of the line premium choice but, in our opinion, there is no need to spend so much. Click on the red Vitamix link below.
Our best overall choice is the Ninja BL770. Click on the red Ninja BL770 link below.
Mason Jars for smoothies
As explained elsewhere, we don’t like the “smoothie pack” prep. technique. We know it’s popular but, for us, it’s just inefficient.
We much prefer to make smoothies in bulk (at least a week’s supply) and freeze them in individual wide-mouth, “ready-to-drink” Mason jars.
Remember to leave an inch or so at the top to allow for expansion of the liquid as it freezes.
We like the jars that have holes for straws. And you can travel with them too.
Click on the red link below.
Spatula for smoothies
You must have a long, flexible spatula to make sure you scrape all of the good stuff out of the blender.
Click on the red link below.
Reusable Smoothie straws
You don’t want to be throwing all those used straws away. Click on the red link below for the reusable kind.
Smoothies for weight loss
Many of us (maybe even most of us) started out with smoothies as a way to lose weight. So, while we are not advocates of crash or fad diets, here is a great fast start introduction to smoothies and losing weight.
in the 21-Day Smoothie Diet by Drew Sgoutas, Drew returns you to a regular diet that includes smoothies, after the 21-Day period.
Click on the red underlined link below. The program is digitally delivered. And it has a 60-day money-back guarantee. So there is no risk to you.
And, just below the link, you can see what Amanda has to say about it.