Smoothies on the run
August 14, 2006 8:54 AM   Subscribe

Blending smoothies takes time and makes a mess. Is it possible to blend a big batch of smoothies, and keep it in a decent condition for days?

I like to make smoothies of frozen banana, frozen berries, and a little apple juice. I'd be willing to add in some yogurt. Because it's a hassle to make smoothies, I would like to make a big batch, and throw it in the fridge/freezer (?) so that I can grab it when I want it, rather than having to blend up another batch and wash the blender equipment again.

Is this even doable, or do all smoothies collapse into liquid'y goo? Are there ingredients/techniques I can use to do this?
posted by Amizu to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
They would freeze solid if you put them in the freezer. Likewise, they would melt if you put them in the refrigerator.
posted by reverendX at 9:09 AM on August 14, 2006

Actually, if you have the right blender (I have an old-style Osterizer), you can screw a large mason jar directly onto the blender base, and just drink out of the mason jar when you're done. The threading is identical. I've been doing this for years.
posted by adamrice at 9:16 AM on August 14, 2006

How is it a hassle?

I'm assuming you buy your fruit fresh and put it into pre-smooth size batches ino the freezer, right?

How does it make a mess?

Maybe you don't need to premake smoothies (which won't work, as reverendX states), but instead get a better blender. The Vitamix pretty much cleans iteself in about 30 seconds. In fact, it's so efficient at cleaning itself that you don't have to take it apart like a regular blender. Just put in some soap and water, turn it on for 25 seconds, pour out the water, rinse.

Also, with a more powerful blender you pretty much won't need the apple juice (which, depending on your brand, may be full of preservatives and other nonsense you wouldn't add to the smoothie yourself unless you had to).
posted by dobbs at 9:19 AM on August 14, 2006

One summer I decided to replace my morning coffee with smoothies. I used to mix up a batch in the beginning of the week, then poor it into individual plastic cups, cover them with plastic wrap and freeze. I'd take a cup out of the freezer a few minutes before I left for work each morning and leave it on the counter to let it break up a bit. By the time I took it in the car with me all I had to do was squish the sides of the cup, stir it with my straw and it was great. Not perfect consistency, but more than passable.
posted by jrossi4r at 9:32 AM on August 14, 2006

Just this weekend, I blended some frozen fruit --- bananas, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple --- and portioned the resulting puree in small containers. Each of these, tossed into the blender carafe with some orange juice and yogurt, blends up into one or two servings.

Ah, having re-read your question, I see what you're saying. Not a direct answer to your question, but I do have a clean-up shortcut: after pouring our the smoothie and rinsing the blender carafe, I squirt in a drop of soap and some hot water, then put it back on the blender and whirrrrrr for a few moments. This makes my blender considerably easier to clean --- just a jet of hot water and a once-over with the brush. YBMV. (Your blender may vary.)
posted by Elsa at 9:38 AM on August 14, 2006

Get an immersion blender. With a 12-16oz pint glass (i.e. something wide enough to put the blender in, though it's not terribly huge) it's as simple as putting your ingredients in and then sticking the blender stick in for 30 seconds or so. You pop the end of it off the handle and rinse, and you're clean. I make more of a mess stepping out of the shower.
posted by kcm at 9:52 AM on August 14, 2006

Response by poster: How is it a hassle?

I have to get out the fruit (which I have cut up and frozen in individual size packets), put it in the blender, blend, then wash all the blender parts. It's not a huge hassle, it's a little hassle, but it's enough of a hassle that I don't tend to make smoothies when I'm in a rush. I'd like to be able to come back from work, grab my smoothie, and head to the gym on time to make my class feeling energized but not full.

How does it make a mess? My blender - which is an excellent blender (so I would rather not replace it) but time consuming to clean - needs to be cleaned each time. I'm looking for a solution.

The immersion blender seems like a good idea. Maybe combing jrossi4r and kcm's methods will work. But if anyone else as found another solution, please share!
posted by Amizu at 10:11 AM on August 14, 2006

Don't use fruit with seeds (mainly berries). This makes the blender so much more annoying to clean. Bananas seem to have a passable amount of seeds.

I have a pretty decent but aging bar blender, so I can't do the wash in blender trick either.
posted by shownomercy at 10:41 AM on August 14, 2006

I second the immersion blender. I've been using mine for that purpose for years and it works great. i just toss the stick and the cup in the dishwasher when i'm finished and no more mess.
posted by casconed at 11:27 AM on August 14, 2006

How about putting the smoothie stuff into an ice-cream maker and making smoothie sorbet? That would keep and be edible, yes? Cold, but maybe that could be a good thing.
posted by amtho at 1:52 PM on August 14, 2006

I make frozen smoothies for the nephews. Freeze the concoction in microwave-safe cups. Then you can take one out of the freezer and microwave it for however long it takes in your machine. You need to experiment with half power vs. full power, etc. The only inconvenient part is that I need to take the cup out once halfway through defrosting and stir the contents -- but it's much easier than making a smoothie from scratch.
posted by wryly at 2:03 PM on August 14, 2006

Another unrelated tip: instead of apple juice (most brands of which are made with grape juice), use frozen seedless grapes. Delicious, nutricious...
posted by dobbs at 4:38 PM on August 14, 2006

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