Juicing helps you to have a healthy lifestyle. It is a great way to squeeze out more micronutrients from fruits and vegetables to be absorbed by your body. Certain studies also claim that juicing helps in detoxification, making you less susceptible to sickness!
Further, juicing fruits and vegetables can be a good diet for people who are always on the go yet want to maintain a healthy body.
The juice can be prepared a night before and ready to be consumed tomorrow. The problem is, fresh juice is best consumed 20 minutes after juicing. So how do we store them to be drink later?
Tips to Store Freshly Made Juice for Later
If you have to prepare your juices days before and will drink later, it is best to read these tips on storing juice without compromising its nutrients:
1. Keep juice at a maximum of 48-72 shelf life
You might have prepared a juice week, but there are times that it might not be followed due to a strict work schedule or you are running late. Juicing is commonly done by morning or before going to work. And truth be told, it will take up some of your time in preparing.
Now, if you have foreseen in your schedule that juicing won’t be viable in the morning, you need to do it the night before. Fortunately, there is a way to preserve your juice.
The first tip is to keep your juice for a max shelf life of 48-72 hours to keep its nutrients. Anytime beyond that may now lose the freshness of the juice.
2. Choose what food to juice
It is important what food to juice if you are considering to consume it later. Fruits and vegetable have different qualities like what temperature can they be stored to preserve their nutrients and their acidity levels.
If you are planning to drink the juice in a later day, make sure you know which organic produce can withstand cold or freezing temperatures. Produces as strawberries and bananas can withstand freezing temperatures and best retain the nutrients at the low temperature.
Acidity levels must also be considered. Consider juicing low pH foods like lemon, apples, cauliflower, or cucumber. The more acidic the food, the more it helps in reducing the rate of browning enzymes.
Fresh food usually turns brown due to the plant’s reaction to trauma. This is a natural occurrence, but we need to stave off to keep our juice fresh. Once browning occurs, the juice might lose some nutrients.
3. Use a slow juicer
Each juicer has its own RPM or Rotations Per Minute sets. You need to consider a low RPM juicer when you need to store your juice longer.
The idea is that low RPM juicers generate less heat compared to higher RPM juicers. Low RPM Juicers are Champion juicers or slow juicers while High RPM Juicers are centrifugal juicers.
In storing juice, there must be low heat involved in the juicing process. When the high temperature is involved, this will increase the browning process, or worse, the decomposition process. This is because the heat generated from a high RPM juicer accelerates the oxidation process. We need to avoid oxidation since it will remove flavor and the nutrients of the produce.
You could also opt to use a press instead. A press is another type of juicer that extracts the juice from the produce by squeezing the food between two surfaces.
Serious juicers usually have a slow juicer or cold press juicer for a good reason. They do not involve any high-speed movement or rotation, causing almost no heat to be generated. This way will surely extend the life of your juice since oxidation will probably occur later!
4. Filter to remove the pulp
Basically, juice means no pulp, but sometimes when you are using a traditional juicer or centrifugal juicer, you will find some pulp still carried.
Nothing bad with the pulp in the juice, but in storing your juice, you need to make some adjustments. Removing the pulp from the juice helps in prolonging the life of your juice. The pulp will still contain trace elements of the browning enzyme, causing your juice to brown faster.
To remove the pulp, you can use a fine strainer. Pour your juice to your storage or container while straining.
5. Add some natural preservatives
You can also add some natural preservatives to extend the life of your juice. There are certain preservatives in the market, but most used honey and citric acid.
Honey is known to be an additive to help prolong freshness. It also helps by delaying quality-loss, microbial development, and pigment changes. A study proved that 10% of honey dilution will extend the freshness of fruits and vegetable. It is also a natural product, hence adding it to your juice is guilt-free.
Citric acid can also be an option. This can be easily extracted from limes and lemons. Adding citric acid decreases the pH level of the produce. This will help in lowering the pH level of your juice, hence decreasing the rate of activation of the browning enzymes.
This will also help mitigate the oxidation process allowing the food not to spoil immediately. Citric acid is a great alternative to honey, especially if you do not prefer the sweetness of honey.
6. Vacuum sealed and airtight containers
In storing your juice, consider using vacuum sealed containers. If not available, the easiest step is to fill the container with juice to the lid. Make sure that the cap of your container has a flat bottom so no excess air will be stored once closed.
Best bet would still be vacuum sealed containers. This will ensure that no air will come in, eliminating that problem in a non-vacuum container. Mason jars can also be used.
Though there are also plastic containers that can be used but make sure you use the non-toxic materials. Just make sure that the jars or containers are airtight containers.
7. Use dark or opaque containers
Light can still affect your juice. Photo-degradation is the process where food spoils faster due to being exposed to light. The light carries certain wavelengths of energy, like ultraviolet, that has varying effects towards objects.
When it comes to juice, it will degrade the physical and chemical composition rapidly like causing discoloration, loss of nutrients, and loss of flavor.
It is a better choice to store your juice inside an opaque or dark container. It will bounce the light off, making the food inside the container not affected by light.
Consider buying dark or opaque bottles or containers. Glass bottles or containers such as glass bottles are good options, but you can also use food-safe plastic containers.
After transferring your juice to the container, it is time to be stored in the fridge. Refrigerating your juice subjects it to lower temperature. This helps by slowing the molecular movements of your juice, retaining its freshness, slowing down decomposition, and storing its nutrients. This allows the juice to be stored longer!
But keep in mind, depending on the RPM of the juicer you used, it will still have a period of time where the juice will go bad.
If you used a high RPM juicer, you can store juice and drink it within the day. If you used a low RPM juicer, it can last until 48 hours, while juice from a press can max out until 72 hours.
The juice can last if the steps were followed accordingly. Research must also be done to which food should be considered to juice. What food to juice will definitely be a huge factor but that would not be enough if you missed even one step from the process given.