How to Prevent Smoothies from Turning Brown?

Smoothies are very easy to prepare and are completely nourishing when healthy ingredients are used. The regular smoothie drinker usually faces the problem of the smoothies going brown while saving it for later use. It seems no longer palatable or healthy due to its color. 

Here are some tips to prevent smoothies from turning brown.

You can prevent the smoothies from turning brown by storing them in the freezer in airtight containers. You can also delay the browning by adding some lemon juice to the smoothies.
Another practical method is to keep the ingredients ready in jars or Ziploc bags until it is time to blend them. Berries blended in the smoothies tend to brown the smoothies faster. You can either avoid berries or add them separately later.

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There’re tons of excellent Ziploc bags that you can purchase online, here’s one great and cheap option:

But smoothies are to be made and consumed fresh. Why would anyone make it beforehand?

Well, you are mistaken!
Here are some very valid reasons why we may need to make smoothies beforehand:

  1. There are times when you have work at hand and it helps to have it made beforehand so that you do not waste time trying to make it during work hours.
  2. Sometimes you may need to take the smoothie to the gym and keep it for after the workout when you really need that energy. Maybe you want to take it to work and have it there later.
  3. Some would like the smoothies made and kept beforehand so that when hunger pangs strike, they have a healthy go-to meal at hand. Otherwise, it is easy to succumb to the temptation of eating junk food to quell intense hunger.

NOTE: If you don’t want to make smoothies beforehand, check out my article about morning smoothies.

Things Needed to Prepare Smoothie in Advance

  • Choose healthy and fresh ingredients – This is the first step as making a healthy smoothie is way better than going the other way and going close to having ingredients as fresh as possible that are packed with nutrients. This would not get any better. So, you need to select the combinations of vegetables and fruits which is appealing to you and blend a smoothie out of it.
  • Mason jars or popsicle molds– When you need to store smoothies for later use, then you definitely need to freeze them. You can choose the option of mason jars and freeze the smoothie in those jars. In this way, you can use the smoothie whenever you need it. At times, try having a smoothie in popsicle molds. It is a refreshing change to have a smoothie popsicle once in a while. Another option is using containers. You can freeze the cut fruits or smoothie in it, as another to opt for, in case a mason jar or popsicle mold is unavailable.

Why is it Happening?

Certain fruits like bananas, strawberries, and apples have more sugar than others. The brown color that you see is the result of a chemical reaction between the fruit’s natural sugars and oxygen in the air, which produces an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase, or PPO for short. It’s this enzyme that causes those smoothies to turn brown.

Why does my smoothie turn green?

If you make your smoothies with leafy greens, then the chlorophyll in them can turn them green. The best way to avoid this is by adding a teaspoon of lemon juice before blending everything together. It will help break down those proteins which are causing that color change.

Why does my smoothie turn gray?

Smoothies can turn brown for many reasons.

The most common reason is oxidation due to exposure to oxygen, such as when the smoothie has been sitting out on a countertop or in a fridge too long and air hits it. Oxygen reacts with some of the natural color-giving ingredients like chlorophyll, and the result is browning.

Molecules in some smoothies are more susceptible to oxidation, such as bananas and strawberries. So if you want to prevent your smoothie from turning brown make sure not only time but also ingredients will be taken into account when making it.

How to Prevent smoothies from Turning Brown?

  • Keep ingredients ready for the smoothieThe ingredients for a smoothie can be kept in one mason jar and frozen. This can be done for various smoothies at a time by keeping the respective ingredients for that respective smoothie in a jar followed by cut vegetables or cut fruits for another smoothie in another jar and so on. In case, jars are not available then go for Ziploc bags for each smoothie or container. Do make sure the jar and the containers are air-tight. So, when you prefer to have a smoothie, you can take that mason jar and just blend the ingredients.
  • Another way is making a smoothie ahead and storing it in the manner suggested above and freezing it. In that manner, you can have already made a smoothie and just have it without scrambling to blend one which is as easy as possible. So blend the frozen ingredients whenever you want and freeze them. Have the smoothie as and when required. This, in a way, reduces your work and gives you time to relax.
  • Ensure the containers are air-tight when freezing – This is important as you need the ingredients or the prepared smoothie to stay longer. Also, make sure you fill the jar or container up to the top so that no air gets trapped. Trapping of air can deteriorate the nutrition of the smoothie or ingredients stored and oxidizes the smoothie or ingredients which causes the smoothie or ingredients to go brown. So, choose an air-tight pack or container or a mason jar and fill it to the top and close it tightly along with sealing it. Then once you ensure there is air trapped on the top, freeze it.

For example – my favorite container is the Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Container

  • Addition of lemon juice –  adding lemon juice to the prepared smoothie or the ingredients can help prevent it from browning. As we already know, lemon juice is vitamin C which is an added benefit. When adding lemon juice, make sure the ingredients are coated in it, and in the case of smoothie, just stir it well till it is properly mixed, and then store. This keeps your smoothie well and good. The flavoring of the lemon juice gives a great citrusy taste which will not make you feel monotonous drinking the smoothie or get bored with it.
  • Don’t add berries in the smoothie until it’s time to drink – There may be browning of berry smoothies if kept for long. So you can avoid the berries or keep them ready for later. In the latter case, get your berries for that particular smoothie and freeze them in a freezer bag. You can use it whenever you want to consume the smoothie. Just add the berries from the bag, blend, and drink.

Do note that after taking your required berries for a smoothie, keep the freezer bag containing the remaining berries in the freezer for later use or use whenever you want.

How to Prevent Banana Smoothies from Turning Brown?

Banana smoothies are rich in natural sugars and iron so they likely turn brown more quickly than other fruits.

One way to prevent this is by adding a teaspoon of lemon juice before blending everything together. The acidity will help break down those proteins which are causing that color change.

You also can use the methods mentioned above which will definitely work!

What to Do if your Smoothie Turned Brown Overnight?

If your smoothie turned brown overnight, it could be because you combined the fruits with milk which will produce an enzyme that causes reactions. It also might mean you added ice to a blender and let it sit for too long before blending.

To fix this problem just add more of whatever ingredients are left over so that everything is blended together well enough to not have any ice chunks or brown pieces.

Will Banana Smoothie Keep Overnight?

If you follow the tips in this blog post, most likely not.

– The milk might curdle and ruin your smoothie – so it’s better to use water instead of milk if you want to keep the smoothie overnight.

– The bananas will go brown with time, which is natural as they are being exposed to oxygen in the air but if you want a good color when you drink it next, add some lemon juice before blending everything together and store in an airtight container.

How long can you keep a banana smoothie in the fridge?

This is a huge question. A lot of variables go into it and the answer will be different for every person. For instance, does your yogurt have any live cultures in it? If so, then you can keep that smoothie up to one day in the fridge before bacteria starts multiplying and you should throw it out.

If you have a pureed banana in your smoothie, it will last about one day in the fridge because of enzymes that start to break down proteins when exposed to oxygen. If you want to keep your bananas fresher for longer than this, then freeze them and they’ll retain their color as well as be much more resistant to browning.

Will Avocado Smoothie Turn Brown?

The color of the smoothie will turn brown if you add any fruit that contains natural pigments or vegetables with a high beta-carotene content. The only way to prevent this is by adding more fruits and veggies in order to dilute it, but then your smoothie won’t be as tasty.

Avocado smoothie is a healthy drink. People are always worried about the color of their smoothie, but most people don’t know how to keep it from turning brown.

Will avocado smoothie turn brown? A smoothie is made from water, fruit, and other ingredients. When the natural sugars in a fresh, ripe avocado are blended, chemical reactions can occur that turn it brown faster than a banana or apple juice would.

Things to Note

  • If the smoothie turns brown – Do take care not to drink a smoothie that has gone brown. Drinking a smoothie that has turned brown is not healthy so please do avoid drinking it.
  • If the smoothie is tasteless – What if the stored and frozen smoothie is tasteless or is distasteful? Then please do not drink that smoothie and spoil your appetite. Make a new one.
  • There is the browning of ingredients – There can be circumstances when there is the browning of stored ingredients for the smoothie. It can be when the container or jar is not air-tight. It can also occur if the lemon juice has not coated properly when we mixed the ingredients in a hurry. So do take time and care while doing it to do ensure it is completely covered and the jar is airtight.
  • Freeze and do not refrigerate – Always when making a smoothie in advance, make sure you freeze and do not refrigerate. This applies to ingredients of the smoothie too, if stored separately.
  • Keep an extra batch – Extra batch should be kept for present use and then keep the rest for later use.

Additional Tips for A Tasty Smoothie

  • Add ingredients in a balanced manner – Just thinking of the goodness of that particular ingredient especially greens and adding too much of it can make your smoothie bitter or boring which can discourage you from having more. So, add greens adequately which means not more and not less – only what is needed. Then add any citrus juice to give it that tangy taste. Then add other suitable ingredients that go along with balancing the flavors. In this way, you are able to drink a tasty and healthy smoothie with the right balance of nutrients.
  • Try adding non-dairy milk to your smoothie – This gives a different yet tasty balance to your smoothie which you can drink without hesitation. Plant-based milk from nuts (almonds or cashews) soy or oats are excellent substitutes for milk and do not give that bloated feeling at the end.
  • Use frozen ingredients – To get that thick smoothie that looks like ice cream use frozen ingredients. It gives the thick and creamy feel of ice cream.
  • Add spices and flavors – You can go for freshly grated ginger or cinnamon powder or any other to get that flavor in your smoothie.

Make smoothies a regular part of your diet. Don’t let smoothie browning force you to give up your resolve of making healthy choices. Carry your smoothies, prepare them early and consume them when you want. Just follow the tips above for a happy smoothie time, anytime!