How Long Does Smoothie Last Unrefrigerated (An Experiment)

We’ve all been there, right? You’ve just made an amazing smoothie but left it on the counter for a bit too long…

I conducted an experiment where I recorded myself creating different fan-favorite smoothies and documented what happened to those smoothies after 2 and 4 hours!

Watch the video below or read the written report after the video!

Key Takeaways:

  • Dairy-Based Smoothies Should Not Be Consumed In The Winter / Spring After 2 Hours If Left Unrefrigerated
  • Dairy-Based Smoothies Should Not Be Consumed After 1.5 Hours In The Summer If Left Unrefrigerated.
  • Smoothies Made Without Dairy Or Other Ingredients That Could Become Harmful If Left At Room Temp Should Be Consumed After 2 Hours For The Best Taste.
  • Smoothies Made Without Risky Ingredients Are Safer After 4 Hours, But The Taste Is Impacted And Changed Significantly. 

The Types Of Smoothies I Tested

two smoothies just blended and poured into glass cup  

I tested a banana smoothie with dairy and a green smoothie, made with no dairy and it was vegan-friendly.

Once the smoothies were blended, I left them on the counter and tasted them after 2 hours, then again after another 2 hours (well, I only tasted the green smoothie after 4 hours).

If you want the recipes for these two smoothies, check them out below:

  1. Keto Green Smoothie
  2. Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

The Taste And Consistency After 2 Hours On The Counter

two smoothies 2 Hours On The Counter

Just a quick note that this test was done in April, which means the weather wasn’t hot outside, or too cold.

On the day of the experiment, it was raining.

Here is the report after 2 hours:

  • The Banana Smoothie: After 2 hours, the texture of the smoothie remained unchanged. The taste was pleasant, but a bit warmer. Still a very tasty smoothie.
  • The Green Smoothie: After 2 hours, the green smoothie’s texture was also left unchanged. The taste was still pleasant and enjoyable, albeit the smoothie was a bit warmer. 

The Taste And Consistency After 4 Hours On The Counter

two smoothies that have been left for 4 Hours On The Counter

I didn’t taste the banana smoothie with dairy after the 4-hour mark, because it was too unsafe.

According to USDairy, milk should not be consumed if left out on the counter for more than 2 hours.

  1. The Banana Smoothie: Visual appearance remained pretty much the same, although you could see that some kind of crust was starting to format on top.
  2. The Green Smoothie: The visual appearance of the smoothie was left pretty much unchanged, however, it appeared slightly darker. The taste however, was impacted massively. The smoothie tasted “old” and grassy. If you have ever eaten an old avocado or spinach, it tasted almost rotten. Not pleasant at all.

Did My Tummy Get Upset For Drinking a Smoothie With Dairy After 2 Hours on The Counter?

Just as a quick note, obviously, I had a sip of the dairy smoothie which was sat on the counter for 2 hours.

Luckily, the next day I felt fine and had no diarrhea or tummy ache. 

I realized that the reason for this was that I used a frozen banana in the recipe.

This means the smoothie will take a lot longer to warm up and for bacteria to grow.

Had I used a fresh banana, perhaps I would have gotten food poisoning from drinking the smoothie after 2 hours.

Final Notes:

I would like to highlight that I only tested 2 different types of smoothies, using specific recipes.

The result could have been very different if I tested a blueberry or a chocolate smoothie for example. 

I also used frozen bananas in the dairy smoothie, which basically means the smoothie would have taken longer to warm up and for bacteria to form.

Overall, I do not recommend that you consume smoothies that are left on the counter unrefrigerated after 2 hours.

Ella Waterworth
Ella Waterworth

Founder & Recipe Developer at Smoothies N Cookies

Ella Waterworth is the founder of Smoothies N Cookies and she is a professional smoothie recipe creator. She gained extensive knowledge of creating smoothies by working for Smoothie King for several years.

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