I got this question from an Instagram follower the other day. She had someone send her a link online (not sure what the website even was) and was told that her smoothies are not healthy after she freezes them. THIS is what is wrong with the internet and a lot of "wellness" culture. It is frustrating as a dietitian to see fear instilled in the general public about solutions to their problems with nutrition. A lot of those solutions having to do with time, convenience and budgeting concerns.
So will my smoothie lose it's benefits when I freeze it?
The short answer- yes, there will be some minimal nutritional value lost. However, this loss is negligible. There are also a lot of nutrients are not lost in the freezing process as well. Also- freezing will keep your prepped smoothies for longer and actually preserve a lot of nutrients better than if you were to store the smoothie in the fridge!
Vitamin C is one of the primary nutrients noted that we lose in the freezing process. Vitamin C deficiency is rare and we can get this nutrient in a lot of other food sources as well: red bell peppers, juice, strawberries, broccoli and more! It is not a nutrient I am usually concerned about my clients getting unless they have a comorbidity that may impact this- because they likely already are getting it!
Fiber, protein, fats and many other vitamins and minerals remain intact through the freezing process. In fact, there was a study that found no significant difference between the nutrient composition of fresh vs frozen produce.
Pros of Freezing Your Smoothie
Saving time! Let's face it- pulling your blender out every morning is a hassle. Pre-making and storing your smoothie is a convenient strategy so you can grab-and-go in the morning. We are all too busy in the morning and should preserve our energy for other must-dos.
Saving money: frozen fruits and veggies are often a lot cheaper than fresh. I LOVE using frozen fruits and veggies for my smoothies because they give it a thick texture and I do not have to water it down with ice.
Less mess: making 1 big batch of smoothies a week instead of one every day will save you time by not cleaning the blender- we all know how much of a pain cleaning the blender is. No cutting veggies, measuring flaxseed or washing fruits either. Make it a one-stop-shop!
Makes consistency easier: the healthiest behaviors are the health-promoting behaviors that you will do consistently. If prepping your smoothies will allow you to stay consistent- this is a no brainer!
How to Freeze Smoothies:
My favorite method to do this is to blend a big batch and then pour into freezer safe containers (I use mason jars a lot of the time for this!). You want your smoothies to be frozen solid before thawing. When you want a smoothie, pull the mason jar out of the freezer and place in the fridge the night before. Let it thaw overnight and it will be good to go in the morning! You may need to shake or stir before having for optimal consistency. Freeze for 2-3 months.