How to Meal Prep Smoothies

When you're in a time crunch, meal prep smoothies are a lifesaver. Learn how to make these no-fuss drinks in advance!

Life can get hectic. We all have those weeks when the only way to make it through the day is with a drink in hand. (No…not that kind of drink!) I’m talking about cool, quick, refreshing smoothie recipes. Smoothies are an easy way to pack in a speedy and nutritious breakfast before you take on the day. And when you really want to put your morning routine into hyperdrive, a little prep work can make this easy meal even easier.

Can You Make Smoothies Ahead of Time?

Yes! Making smoothies the night before is super simple and saves you a little time in the morning. If you want to go the extra mile and meal prep breakfast for the whole week, you’ll only need to set aside about 30 minutes. Before you begin, stock up on fruit, juice, milk and yogurt.

How to Make Meal Prep Smoothies

Step 1: Buy freezer bags or Mason jars

Set aside time on a Sunday afternoon to make individual smoothie packs. To get started, grab a pack of sandwich-sized resealable plastic bags that are freezer-safe, or Mason jars with screw-on lids if you’d prefer to go the reusable route.

Editor’s Tip: I like to label each with the type of fruit and date. This keeps the freezer organized and, more importantly, keeps me from playing the guessing game with food expiration dates.

Step 2: Add fresh produce

Next, load in your favorite fruits and vegetables. Berries, bananas and stone fruit are very freezer-friendly and taste great in smoothies, but don’t be afraid to experiment with greens like spinach, too. (Here’s a complete list of summer produce you can freeze.)

We like to measure one cup of each fruit and place it in the freezer bag. Of course, you can buy already-frozen fruit and use that in your individual bags, too.

Step 3: Freeze

Place each carefully labeled bag in the freezer and give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve got meal prep smoothies ready for the entire week!

Step 4: Add liquid and blend

When ready to enjoy your smoothie, just grab a fruity freezer pack and dump it in the blender. Add a cup or so of your favorite juice, yogurt or milk (or a combination of all of the above), and blend. You could also consider ingredients that add protein to smoothies, such as oats, protein powder or your favorite nut butter. Finally, pour your finished smoothie into a travel mug or Mason jar—and go!

Editor’s Tip: Control the consistency of your smoothie with the amount of liquid you add. Extra juice or milk will give your drink a straw-friendly consistency, while less will make your smoothie more spoonable.

5 Make-Ahead Smoothie Recipes

Need some recipe ideas? Try one of these tasty smoothie blends.

Banana Mixed Berry Smoothie

Place in a make-ahead freezer bag:

  • 1 medium ripe banana, peeled, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup strawberries
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 1/4 cup blackberries

Add to the blender to prepare:

  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt

Blueberry Banana Smoothie

Place in a make-ahead freezer bag:

  • 1 cup blueberries

Add to the blender to prepare:

  • 1 medium ripe banana, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup cherry juice blend
  • 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup crushed ice
  • A dash of ground cinnamon

Mango-Ginger Smoothies

Place in a make-ahead freezer bag:

  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen mango chunks

Add to the blender to prepare:

  • 1-1/2 cups cold water
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, peeled and halved
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh gingerroot

Ginger-Kale Smoothies

Add to the blender to prepare:

  • 1-1/4 cups orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups torn fresh kale
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh gingerroot
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric or 1/4-inch piece fresh turmeric, peeled and finely chopped
  • A dash of cayenne pepper

Blend, and then freeze the entire green smoothie in a freezer-safe jar. Just know that the vibrant green color of the smoothie may darken a bit, due to the kale and apples in this healthy drink.

Can You Freeze Blended Smoothies?

If you want to spend even less time making breakfast, you can blend and freeze all of the smoothies on your meal prep day, turning them into a convenient, fully-prepped freezer breakfast. Simply thaw the smoothie overnight in the fridge the night before you plan to eat it. Most make-ahead smoothies can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Editor’s Tip: Be sure to leave room at the top of the glass to give the smoothie a little room to expand in the freezer.

More Make-Ahead Smoothie Ideas

Laura Denby
Laura is a New York-based freelance food writer with a degree in Culinary Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education and a degree in Journalism from Penn State. Her work has appeared in Taste of Home, Chowhound, the Culture Trip and Patch.