The Surprisingly Simple Secret to a Better Make-Ahead Smoothie Is Sitting in Your Cabinet
Ready-to-drink smoothies at your fingertips—no batch blending required—thanks to this one thing you already own.
Google “make-ahead smoothie” and you’ll find plenty of tips and tricks for whipping them up. There’s the pre-freeze method: you first freeze a bunch of pre-portioned stuff in a bag, then pull it out, add liquid, and pray your blender’s blade can tackle it all. Then there’s the post-freeze method: you blend first then transfer your smoothie into a plastic bag or other freezer-safe container and freeze. But then you have to remember to transfer the concoction from the freezer to the fridge the night before to thaw—otherwise surrender to the idea of a breakfast popsicle. (Which, now that I think of it, I’m not entirely against.)
But there's a better, easier make-ahead smoothie method in town—and you can forget your smoothie packs altogether. You can forget the smoothie pops.
The secret? Mason jars. All you have to do is whip up a big batch of smoothie (some inspiration here), pack it up in mason jars and stick it in the fridge. Though mason jars get a lot of play these days as drinking glasses and vases, their main function is to keep food fresh by creating an airtight seal. In fact, any resealable container works just fine—in fact, my favorites are only about 50 cents each! In one of these vessels, your smoothie will last—and stay fresh and delicious—for three days in the fridge. When you want to drink it, simply give the container a shake or a stir and you’re good to go. No chiseling ingredients apart to get them in the blender, and no burned-out motors or busted blades.
Now, there is one tiny additional tip to an even better make-ahead smoothie. Emulsifiers—anything that helps bind the ingredients together when blended—are the difference between easy grab-and-go smoothies and weirdly separated fruit juice. And, in my opinion, it’s what makes a drink a smoothie and not a juice (because it’s smooth and creamy—get it?).
So what works as an emulsifier? Some of my favorites include banana, an obvious and smart choice, and yogurt. Frozen peaches are often overlooked but they too create luscious texture. Coconut milk will add tropical vibes and is an excellent non-dairy alternative to yogurt. If you do use regular cow dairy, avoid combining it with anything too acidic i.e. pineapple or orange juice as this could cause the mixture to curdle.
Want more genius smoothie ideas? Check out some more of our best breakfast smoothies here.