When you make any juice or smoothie, the recipe guidelines will usually tell you to use up the drink right away or to only store for 24 hours. The aim is to create just enough to make one or two drinks throughout the day.
This is a good guideline, as it will prevent you over-consuming your fruits and vegetables. However, it’s not practical or useful financially. You need to find ways to bulk make your smoothies and juices. It’s time to make your drinks last into the week, creating an efficient way to make your smoothies and then grab your drinks on the go.
Here are nine tips of prolonging the shelf life of your juice and smoothie bags.
Store in a Vacuum Sealed Bag or Tin
It’s the air that affects the shelf life of your fruits and vegetables. If you can keep air out of your drink, it will last longer. The quickest and easiest way to do that is by vacuum sealing. This is extremely easy with a bag, but that’s not the most efficient way for drinking, right?
If you’re going to store in a vacuum seal tub or mug, try to opt for a tin one. And then store that in the fridge. The metal will get cold, and that coldness spreads inside the tin, so your smoothie or juice stays much colder than it would do in just a bag.
When carrying your smoothies around, the vacuum seal will help to prevent spillages. You end up with the perfect container to move your smoothie around. However, the vacuum seal will be broken when you open it. You’ll have 24 hours to drink your smoothie from that point.
Fill to the Very Top of Your Container
Whether you’re using a vacuum seal container or not, make sure you fill to the very top. You want to get to the point where anymore and you will get an overspill.
Remember it’s the air that causes a problem. By filling up to the very top, you eliminate air getting into your container. This prevents oxidization and you end up with a fresher taste to your drink. However you store.
Once you start drinking, you won’t want to make it last for a few days. You can transfer to a mug that is suitable for drinking straight out of.
If you don’t have enough for your usual container or mug, consider moving down a size. You may find you get one portion of smoothie in two containers that you can then pour into your mug when you’re ready to use it. It’s worth this little extra hassle when you get to prolong the life of your smoothie bags and tubs.
Keep your container in the fridge until you’re ready for it. Even without the air, the heat will cause problems for the crispy taste of the fruit.
Add a Little Lemon to Your Smoothie
You don’t need a lot of lemons. There’s no need to taste it among the rest of your fruits and vegetables. If you already have lemon as an ingredient, you don’t need to add any more.
Just a few drops of lemon help to keep the rest of the fruits and vegetables fresh. The citric acid in the lemons prevents the oxidization process. In fact, this is also a good tip to help keep chopped apples fresh! Just rub them with a little lemon juice to help prevent the air getting to them!
Vitamin C also helps to play a part in the anti-oxidization. Vitamin C helps to protect the body from oxidative stress, so works on the fruit and vegetables too! You also get a little extra vitamin C in your body to support your immune system and protect your cells from the aging process and free radicals.
Store It in the Freezer
Put your smoothie in a zip lock back and store it in the freezer. This is one of your best options, especially if you want your smoothie to last throughout the summer. You can make enough to last the whole week or fortnight.
Allow the smoothie to defrost overnight in the fridge, so it’s ready for you the next morning. Alternatively, you can allow it to defrost on the side while you get a shower and drink it with a few bits of the ice when you’re on the way to work. You’ll get an iced smoothie, perfect for the summer heat.
You can store a smoothie in the freezer for up to six months. It’s an excellent way to plan for the summer and get ready for the heat. The longer you store it, the less fresh it will taste when you defrost it.
Don’t leave out in the heat for too long before drinking. It’s tempting to defrost on the side to make it quicker, but it will overheat and taste moldy the next morning. Defrosting overnight in the fridge is your best option.
Opt for BPA-Free Plastic
When using any tub, make sure it’s BPA-free. If you’re in the EU, you’ll find that everything is BPA-free, as BPA use has been illegalised. However, it is still popular in North American plastic and tubs. Most baby products make a note of stating they are BPA-free because parents are looking out for this more and more now.
BPA is a toxin used in plastic. Research shows that it can seep into food and drinks, whether the food is just placed in it temporarily or for a prolonged period. Even if you plan to drink your smoothie right away, you want to look out for BPA-free mugs. It’s not just plastic either. BPA can be found in tins and metal tubs, so watch out for this toxic resin.
There are links to damage to the brain health, unborn babies, and blood pressure changes. But you don’t just want to skip it because of the health links. There are some suggestions that BPA can affect the length of the food lifespan. It can cause particles to break down and make it harder to make food last longer.
Use a Masticating Juicer when Juicing
If you’re going to juice rather than blend, opt for a masticating juicer. This is the one that helps to keep some of the pulp. It doesn’t allow as much air into the juice, keeping the oxidization process to a minimum.
When you remove the air from the juice, you reduce the chances of the fruit and vegetables going off. You still want to follow the above tips to keep more air out of your storage containers and bags.
If you have the choice, opt for smoothies over juice. You will instantly keep out most of the oxidative process because of the extra pulp. Smoothies also tend to be healthier. The fiber from the pulp will help to make you feel fuller and prevent the natural sugars metabolizing in the blood stream.
Bulk Make at Once
When making juices and smoothies for later, bulk make as much as you can at once. Using up the fruits and vegetables right away will help to limit the amount of air that gets to them. If you do them a little at a time, you could end up with chopped up fruits and vegetables on the side that degrade with the air. Just look at your apples—that’s the easiest fruit to see the degrading process happen.
If you’re not going to make a lot in a short space of time, put whole fruits and vegetables back away. Anything that you’ve cut wrap up with plastic wrap or foil tightly to make it harder for the air to get to them.
Depending on the size of your blender, you’ll need to juice or smooth in batches. Pour the batches directly into your tubs and store them in the fridge or freezer immediately. Then move onto your next batches of juices and smoothies.
Storing your smoothies and juices for later will mean the nutrients and enzymes degrade. It doesn’t matter how many fruits and vegetables you put in or how you store them. They won’t be as nutritious, but they will still be delicious. Consider this when it comes to bulk making your smoothies and juices.
Store the Chopped Fruits and Vegetables
Rather than store your liquidized fruits and vegetables, store the chopped up ingredients. You can put them in one tub together or in separate tubs depending on size. Store them in the freezer to limit the amount of oxygen that gets to your fruits and vegetables.
It’s best to do this at the start of the week. On a morning, you can pull out the portions and tip them straight into your blender or juicer.
Storing like this will help to keep some of the nutrients in your ingredients. You’ll also have a colder drink without the need for ice since you’re blending and juicing from frozen. You can also eliminate some need for water or milk, as you’ll store a little extra water in your ingredients.
The easiest way to store is to put the portion of fruits and vegetables for one smoothie or juice in bags. You can just pull out one bag, tip it all into the blender, and use.
If you’re using root vegetables, store these in your fridge instead of the freezer. You can use a little lemon juice on all the chopped up ingredients to help eliminate some of the oxidization.
Store in Ice Cube Trays
Pour the excess smoothies into an ice cube tray and freeze as you would normal ice. They will last like this for a few weeks. The downside is there is some oxidization potentially happening, so you can lose some of the nutrients.
You can empty 8-10 ice cubes into a glass the next time you want a smoothie. The ice cubes will melt much quicker than a whole bag of smoothie would, meaning you get access to your drink much sooner. You can put the cubes into a glass before your shower, and they’ll be ready for you at the end!
An ingenious way to turn your smoothie drinks into a healthy snack is to pour the leftovers into an ice lolly tray and add the lolly pop sticks. You can then eat frozen and enjoy.
Don’t Store for Too Long
As mentioned, the smoothies and juices will last for up to six months when in zip lock bags or vacuum seal tubs. If you’re storing in ice cubes, the shelf life is longer. Once chopped up and blended, the fruits and vegetables start to lose their nutrients. They break down relatively quickly, making a smoothie no longer as valuable to your health.
You want to drink your smoothie or juice as soon as possible. Fresh is better, but you can gain benefits from a smoothie that has been in the fridge for up to 24 hours. After that, you will start to lose out on some of the benefits—at least the limit of the benefits.
If you need to bulk make, do it for up to a week or two. After that, you’ll want to consider making new smoothies fresh to make the most of the ingredients.
It doesn’t matter what you do to the fruits and vegetables. The enzymes and nutrients naturally break down. Even vacuum sealed tubs won’t prevent this from happening.
As with normal smoothies and juices, stored smoothies are better for your health than juices. You will get more fiber, which helps to eliminate the natural sugars metabolizing in the blood stream. You’ll also find you feel fuller when you drink smoothies rather than juices, due to the fiber. Thismeans you are less likely to over-consume fruits and vegetables in one sitting. Yes, you can get too much of a good thing.
Now you know how to bulk make your smoothies and make them last longer. Take advantage and enjoy your green smoothies on a daily basis.