What’s the Best Way To Store Juice To Keep It Fresh & Tasty?
Fresh-squeezed juice should be consumed right away for the best results. The longer you store your juice, the more nutrient loss will ensue, and it will begin to spoil from exposure to oxygen. If you want all the healthy, immunity-boosting nutrition fresh juice provides, consider only juicing enough for one glass at a time. Of course, this isn’t possible for everyone. Juicing can require a lot of time, and we’re busy people with stacked schedules. If storing juice is your only option for getting your daily dose, it’s important to follow some easy steps to prolong your juice’s shelf life. Check out the tips below for the best juice storage solutions.
The first question you’re probably asking is: how long can you store juice? This isn’t an exact science, because it depends largely on what kind of produce you’re using, what kind of juicer you have, and in what kind of conditions you’ll be storing it. For instance, you’ll get longer shelf life from juice processed in a cold press juicer than you will with a centrifugal juicer. The centrifugal model’s harsh extraction process means faster oxidation and quicker nutrient degradation. If you’re using a centrifugal juicer, you won’t want to store the juice for more than 24 hours in the refrigerator. With a cold press or slow-masticating juicer, you can usually stretch this to about 72 hours in the refrigerator. Without refrigeration, you should consume your juice within four hours of extraction to avoid spoilage. You can read more about the lifespan of juice here.
In general, storing food in plastic isn’t a great idea. Depending on the acidity of the food, it can leach into the plastic. The chemicals in the plastic, such as cancer-causing BPA, can also leach into your food. This applies to juice as well. For best results, always store your juice in a glass container. A wide-mouth Mason jar is a great storage solution, or you can purchase a set of juicing jars to create a set of single-serve bottles. We recommend Pratico Kitchen 18oz Leak-Proof Glass Bottles for best results.
When it comes to storage, oxidation is the enemy. It’s the process by which oxygen exposure creates the natural decomposition of cells. Once you extract the juice from a fruit’s or vegetable’s flesh, the process of oxidation begins. You can, however, slow this process with a few simple steps. One easy approach is adding lemon juice before you store your juice. Lemons (and other citrus fruits) contain citric acid, a natural antioxidant, which fights the oxidation process. Another easy strategy is to fill your container to the brim before storing it. This reduces the amount of oxygen trapped in the container when you seal it. You can also store your juice in a vacuum-sealed glass container. The vacuum seal will pull out harmful oxygen to extend your juice’s shelf life. We recommend the SANS XL 32oz. Smoothie and Shake Preserver and Vacuum Sealed Glass Carafe. This model boasts a three- to seven-day shelf life for your juice, though it’s still best to consume your stored juice as soon as possible.
Keep It Cold
The number one solution for expanding your juice’s shelf life is keeping it cold. Always store your juice in the refrigerator to avoid harmful bacterial growth and slow fermentation. You can also toss your juice in the freezer to get even more life from it, but keep in mind that the freezing process does reduce the active nutritional components of fresh juice and will diminish the quality.
Your best bet with juicing is to consume your fresh juice immediately. But if this isn’t a viable option for you, be sure to choose a well-sealed glass container, add citrus juice or use a vacuum sealer to reduce oxidation, and always store your juice in the refrigerator. If you’re unsure whether your juice is still consumable, taste it. You’ll know immediately if your juice tastes “rotten” or fermented. In either case, it’s time to discard your juice and start again. But don’t be afraid to practice the storage options above. Getting some shelf life from your juice is a great way to get your daily dose of essential vitamins and minerals.
Header image credit: CC0 Public Domain, Max Pixel