How to Prepare Smoothies for Large Gatherings

Making smoothies for large groups can be quite a challenge. To set yourself up for success, you will need to ensure that you are able to provide each guest with a smoothie anywhere from 8 to 12 oz in size. Each serving should consist of a cup of liquid, 3 cups of fruit or vegetables, ½ cup of thickener, and a couple of teaspoons of sweetener if needed.

How to Make Smoothies for A Large Group of People

When it comes to smoothies for large groups, you will need the right equipment, ingredients, and preparation to be able to serve your guests with ease. In order to do so, you will need an accurate headcount of how many people are in the group.

As we will go over making smoothies for large groups, you may be wondering what counts as large. For a better idea, take a look below.

Small-Group (20 People or Less)

A small gathering of people can be anywhere from two individuals hanging out to roughly 20 people. As far as events go, this would be considered a small gathering. One you may very well be able to accommodate in your own home, such as a birthday party or holiday family/friend dinners.

Medium Group (20-50 People)

Essentially, a medium gathering of people is typically one that requires a small event space to accommodate the guest count rather than your household.

Large Group (51 or More People)

Large gatherings of people can be anywhere from 51 people or more. You would likely need to rent a bigger venue. With such a large headcount, preparing smoothies can present a challenge when it comes to making enough of them and keeping the cost of ingredients on the low side.

How Much Per Serving

Once you have a headcount, you will want to purchase enough ingredients to ensure everyone gets a decent smoothie serving. In general, each smoothie serving consists of approximately:

  • 1 Cup of Liquid – This is the liquid base of the smoothie, and it can be milk, water, juice, etc.
  • 3 Cups of Fruit or Vegetables
  • 2 Teaspoons Sweetener – Such as honey or maple syrup.
  •  ½ Cup Thickener – Smoothie thickeners can range from yogurt, bananas, avocado, peanut butter, ice, frozen fruits, or coconut milk.

Be sure to buy enough of each type of ingredient by multiplying the above according to the headcount. Be sure to add a little extra to accommodate for people going for seconds!

Note: Keep in mind these are just basic elements of a smoothie. You may want to spruce things up by adding leafy greens, nuts, protein powder, and more.

Serving Cups

Another small tip about the serving, I usually prefer to buy in advance some small eco-friendly cups, it will make the serving portions smaller, and make your life a lot easier!

Limiting Ingredients Makes Your Life Easier

Costs are less of an issue when serving smaller groups. You may be more willing to choose more expensive ingredients for smaller groups. With large groups of people, you will likely want to aim for an inexpensive and short ingredient list. Serving fifty-plus people is already expensive enough. 

Besides keeping the smoothies simple, you can further save money by using:

  • Frozen Fruit – It is much cheaper than fresh fruit, with plenty of options to choose from. It can also act as a thickening agent and keep your smoothie colder for longer without the addition of ice.
  • Using Versatile Fruits – One such fruit is bananas. It can be paired with a wide variety of ingredients to offer guests multiple flavors. (Examples – strawberry banana smoothie, mixed berry smoothie, strawberry mango smoothie, chocolate peanut butter smoothie, and much more!)

By not having a complex smoothie that requires a lot of ingredients, you can speed up preparation time and make it much more manageable when serving fresh smoothies.

Make Sure You Have the Right Tools

A bullet blender may do the trick for a single serving, but with large groups, you will want to use larger blenders. Some blenders even come with multiple blades inside to speed up the blending process (example: Ninja BL660 Professional 1100W – which is my favorite).

If you are making the smoothies fresh, you will want to utilize more than one blender to accommodate on-demand requests. Especially if you are offering a variety of smoothie flavors.

Measuring cups will be a must-have, as well as tablespoons and teaspoons when prepping. You will also want enough smoothie serving cups to be able to serve guests.

If you are offering a single type of smoothie, it’s better not to wash it between the blends, because it has exactly the same ingredients every time, and it will not affect the taste.

Prepping Smoothies – Pre-measure

With large blenders like the Ninja mentioned above, you can get 72 ounces of smoothie in just one blender. This will make roughly 6 to 9 servings depending on if you are serving 8 to 12 oz cups.

Pre-measuring your ingredients for your blender size and packaging it before a large gathering will save you time and prevent a line from building up.

in addition, doing some taste tests, and testing the serving portions a day before the event, is a great idea. It will help you to overcome any potential surprise during the event

Making Smoothies Beforehand?

You can also make smoothies in advance. If on-the-spot fresh isn’t a priority, you can make smoothies and store them in the freezer in advance. They will taste just as yummy as if you made the smoothies at the time of the gathering. It’s important to pull them from the freezer a few hours before the event.

One final note when preparing smoothies in advance, don’t store fully made smoothies in the refrigerator for even one night! Smoothies tend to separate when stored in a refrigerator, with the fruit seemingly chunky.