Suggestions for a natural preservative/stabilizer for smoothies?
August 4, 2008 3:53 AM   Subscribe

Suggestions for a natural preservative/stabilizer for smoothies?

I'm recently started weight-training again, and I'm making a lot of fresh-fruit smoothies. Its becoming problemattic though; I live in a shared house and I'm waking everyone up in the morning with the sound of the blender, and there's some waste as I tend to make more than I need to drink.

I'm wondering whether there's a natural stabilizer I could add to the smoothies so I could prepare a batch to keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days without them separating.

Any suggestions?
posted by refactored to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Anytime I've made more smoothie than I can drink, I just store the rest in the fridge and then if it has separated out later, I just take a whisk and beat it a few times to incorporate everything back together.
posted by stefnet at 4:55 AM on August 4, 2008

OP can you post your recipe so we can see what's in there besides the fruit? That'll help with suggestions.
posted by nax at 5:42 AM on August 4, 2008

I'm not sure you want them this stabalized, but ground psyllium husks will do this. Sometimes they get so thick that I have to add some fruit juice or water to make them drinkable again, though.
posted by weezetr at 5:53 AM on August 4, 2008

Its usually just fruit (frozen berries, fresh stawberries, banana), milk, whey-powder, and ice. I often throw in a little peanut butter too, and sometimes skip the milk & whey. Depends what day it is and whether its a post-workout shake or a breakfast shake. Still, if I try and do one in the evening and throw it in the fridge for breakfast, its nicely layered in the morning and I end up making a racket while doing a fresh one.

I don't think whisking would be beneficial - I'd prefer to just jump out of bed, exercise, shower, and grab the smoothy from the fridge on the way to the car. Should give me an extra 30mins in bed!
posted by refactored at 7:04 AM on August 4, 2008

What if you store the smoothie in a cup you can shake (a to-go coffee cup? a cocktail shaker?). That will be almost silent, and you can shake it on your way to the car.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:09 AM on August 4, 2008

I figured there was ice. Okay. One of the things that is separating is the water (i.e. the ice). If you're storing them in the fridge, skip the ice. The only thing the ice is doing for your smoothie is making it cold, and if you drink it right away, adding bulk. In the fridge, the ice will just melt anyway, and the fridge is keeping it cold, so you don't need the ice. If you like the bulk, use a big spoonful of sour cream or plain yogurt instead (if you don't like the sour taste, try vanilla yogurt, although that will also add sugar. You can cut the sourness a little by adding honey or maple syrup). In fact, even if you're drinking them right away, you don't need the ice if you are using frozen berries, because they are serving the same purpose as the ice.

I make my smoothies using an immersible blender, which is easier, less clean up and also quieter. America's Test Kitchen has this to say about immersible blenders.
posted by nax at 7:19 AM on August 4, 2008

Maybe a thickener like xanthan gum?
posted by lemoncello at 7:21 AM on August 4, 2008

I sometimes add psyllium husk to my shakes. You gotta be careful about storing it though, it really thickens stuff up well when left to sit even at cold temperatures. You could experiment with pretty small amounts (< 1 tablespoon/ shake) and see if that holds the texture you want in the fridge.
posted by Science! at 7:56 AM on August 4, 2008

Storing as in storing the made shake, not the dried husk powder. That stuff is fine to keep at room temp.
posted by Science! at 7:57 AM on August 4, 2008

i don't think you can restore a smoothie to its original texture by shaking in a shaker alone.
you can get a travel blender, stock it up with fruit in the evening and blend it in the car the next morning. most of these blenders are not going to crush ice, but you can keep the fruit in the fridge overnight to cool them.
posted by ye#ara at 10:40 AM on August 4, 2008

Nthing nixing the ice.
posted by Deathalicious at 11:01 AM on August 4, 2008

I have this issue too. I like to drink smoothies in the morning, but it's sort of a production to make it and then clean it up every morning. (Lazy? Very possibly) A frind swears by feezing hers. She makes a big batch on Sunday and freezes them separately. She takes one out of the freezer when she gets up, and by the time she's ready for it, it's thawed enough to sip, but still has the smoothie consistency. I haven't tried this myself, though.
posted by lunasol at 11:06 AM on August 4, 2008

Freezing might be a good idea. And I'll be sure to skip the ice and try a little yoghurt.

I was also thinking maybe, for a little protein boost, to try a spoon of dehydrated egg. Might help thicken things up without effecting the taste too much.
posted by refactored at 12:04 PM on August 4, 2008

Vitamin C is a common food preservative.
posted by oneirodynia at 5:57 PM on August 4, 2008

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