Learn how to meal prep smoothies and 3 different methods you can choose from. Plus, tips and tricks for making the BEST smoothies and recipes to get started.
As you know I am ALL about efficiency around here whether that is in meal prepping or with workouts.
So naturally, I make smoothies as efficiently as possible too.
Trust me, I love a good smoothie, but to be honest…I DREAD making them.
Taking out the blender, gathering and preparing the ingredients — it tends to take AT LEAST 5 minutes…
And that is 5 minutes I could be doing something else.
So, just like I meal prep most of my food, I also meal prep my smoothies.
Smoothie prep is incredibly simple — and if I don’t have smoothies meal prepped, I most likely won’t be having one.
So each week I prepare my smoothies for the week in about 5 minutes, and save over a half hour total through out the week.
I call that a WIN.
Now when it comes to make-ahead smoothies there are a few different options you can choose from. I’ll share each way and give you some tips for each method, and some pros and cons for each as well.
Invest in Good Blender
First of all, before we even get started I want to mention that if you are SERIOUS about smoothies, the best advice I can give is to invest in a good blender — especially if you will be using ingredients that are fibrous, like kale or collard greens.
I have had the same Vitamix for almost 5 years and they are honestly my absolute favorite. YES, they are expensive, BUT they create the smoothest consistency especially for green smoothies.
They aren’t the only options out there, however.
Ninja Blenders are also great, and a little bit less expensive. I can’t vouch for the durability or longevity, but from what clients and friends say about them is that they are an amazing choice as well.
Lastly, I’ll mention the NutriBullet. We have had these in the past and while they are great, they don’t seem to last as long, and they definitely don’t blend up the fibrous stuff quite like the Vitamix. But they are a powerful little blender if you won’t be making smoothies from super hearty veggies.
3 Ways You Can Meal Prep Smoothies
Ok, now on to the methods you can use to make smoothies ahead of time.
There are 3 great options and each one is quite different and works well for different situations or individuals.
If you are new to prepping smoothies I recommend trying each one and seeing which one works best for you and your routine.
This is my absolute favorite way to prepare smoothies for the week. It’s so simple and in my opinion creates the best consistency for prepped smoothies.
All you do is grab your solid smoothie ingredients and put them in a ziplock bag (I like these reusable stasher bags) or even a mason jar.
You can either place the smoothie pack in the fridge or the freezer. Once you want your smoothie, you just pull out a pack, put everything in the blender, add your liquids and blend.
And violá — a fresh smoothie in under a minute!
Smoothie pack tips:
You can either keep these in the refrigerator or in the freezer. If you keep them in the fridge you’ll want to make sure you eat them within a few days. If you keep them in the freezer they can last up to 3 months.
To really save time, you can use already frozen fruit or veggies and cut ingredients. Simply fill up your packs, and pop them right back into the freezer.
If you’ll be freezing your packs, I suggest flash freezing all of your ingredients on a baking sheet for about 30 minutes first, this will prevent your ingredients from turning into one giant ice cube.
Smoothie freezer packs are just so convenient AND they taste so fresh, because they are made fresh.
Here’s my absolute favorite DIY Green Smoothie Packs recipe with a few more tips for meal prepping smoothie packs.
Ice Cube Trays
These are a simple way to meal prep smoothies too. All you have to do is make a smoothie, pour it in an ice cube tray, and freeze it.
They are great for a few different reasons. First you can mix and match smoothies for fun different flavors. Or you can change up the amount of smoothie that you want. Maybe you only want a small smoothie for a quick snack instead of a full-sized smoothie.
After you have your frozen smoothie cubes, when you’re craving a smoothie you just pop out the cubes from the container, and let then thaw in the refrigerator for an hour, or on the counter for about 20 minutes. Give them a shake and drink it up.
If you’re short on time you could even blend up the frozen cubes quickly with a few pulses in your blender.
Smoothie Prep in Mason Jars
This method is great to really save time — I will say however the consistency isn’t quite the same as when you make a smoothie fresh. So keep that in mind.
All you have to do is make a huge double or even triple batch of whatever smoothie you’d like.
Then fill a mason jar (I recommend either an 8 ounce jar or a wide mouth pint jar) or any freezer-safe container. Cover it with the lid loosely and place it in the refrigerator (if you’ll be drinking it within 2-3 hours) or place it in the freezer.
Once you would like to have your smoothie, if it has been refrigerated, just shake it up, and you’re good to go. If you froze it allow it to thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature for a few hours, shake and enjoy.
How to Add Extra Nutrition to Your Smoothies
My favorite way to add in nutrients and smoothies boosters is to create what I like to call Smoothie Power Pack.
It’s essentially a bunch of dry ingredients that I put into a small mason jar and add into my smoothies when I blend them up.
As I said I like making freezer smoothie packs, but I prefer to keep the dry powder ingredients separate, so this is the perfect solution. I just pull out a “Power Pack” when I make a smoothie and dump it in the blender.
Options to add in extra nutrients:
- Healthy Fats – like peanut butter, almond butter, or any kind of nut butter, avocado, coconut milk, or flax seed or chia seeds which also contain fiber as well as healthy omega fats
- Veggies – we almost always think of the same things for veggies in smoothies like greens such as kale and spinach, but you can also use other like zucchini, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower to add in some amazing nutrients and fiber
- Adaptogens – some great ones to get started with are maca powder which may help balance energy levels, licorice root which may help improve digestive function and respiratory function, Ashwagandha to help balance cortisol (stress hormone) levels, or Holy Basil which may reduces inflammation and lower stress
- Protein options – this is a MUST to help you keep blood-sugar levels in check which is so important for losing and maintaining weight) you can choose good quality protein powder (my favorite is Vital Proteins), collagen peptides, marine collagen, greek yogurt, or even silken tofu as a vegetarian option
- Antioxidants – load up your smoothies with berries like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or spirulina
- Spices and flavor boosters – I’m always a huge fan of cinnamon, but you can add in so many different things. Ginger adds a nice zing to smoothies, or cacao powder is a decadent option. Matcha green tea powder may even be a delicious option too!
- Different liquids – I LOVE adding coconut water into my smoothies for a little electrolyte boost, but you can add non-dairy milks, nut or hemp milks, or even iced or chilled coffee or a shot of espresso for a little caffeine boost
How Long Can You Keep Smoothies in the Freezer or Fridge?
If you stock your freezer with your meal prep smoothies or smoothie packs, you can store them for up to 3 months.
For smoothie packs kept in the refrigerator, it’s best to use them within 5-7 days.
And for smoothies made ahead of time in mason jars, you should consume them within 3 hours, unless frozen.
What’s the Easiest Way to Meal Prep Smoothies for a Week?
This totally depends on what works for YOU. Again, try out a few different ways and find a routine and method that works with your lifestyle. Just because it works for someone else doesn’t mean it is right for you.
With a little patience and practice you’ll find the perfect way to prepare your smoothies each week and save a TON of time — and probably even money, too!
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