It’s time to ditch grocery store juices that contain preservatives and added sugar. Fresh juice isn’t pasteurized to help it stay on the shelf longer. It is better than anything you can buy from the store. Fresh juice is bursting with nutrients ready to energize your day.
When it comes to juicing, one of the common questions is “How long does fresh juice last“? In a perfect world, we would always drink our fresh juices right away. Ideally, you should consume your homemade juices within 20 minutes, from both a nutrition and flavor standpoint. However, in our busy lives, we often don’t have the time to make fresh juice daily.
The good news is that you can store your juice for up to 72 hours. How long your fresh juice lasts depends on a few factors. I will show you a few simple tricks to help your juice last longer. Let’s first uncover the main factors affecting the shelf life of your fresh juices.
Slice an apple, and before you can even get your snack on, it starts browning. Apples, and other fruits and vegetables, brown when the flesh comes in contact with oxygen. That’s called oxidation.
It also happens with juices, but it’s even worse. When you buy a fresh apple, you can leave it in your fruit bowl for several weeks. Leave your fresh juice in the fridge for longer than a few days, and you will create a monster.
Juicing breaks down the produce much like the first stage of digestion. It breaks the cell walls of the fruits and vegetables and exposes them to air. Once the inside oxidizes, enzymes and other nutrients deteriorate. Oxidation slowly destroys the nutritional value of your fresh juices. The longer they oxidize, the less nutritional value they have.
What Type of Juicer Are You Using?
How long your fresh juice lasts also depends on the type of juicer you are using.
The most common juicers are centrifugal and masticating juicers. Masticating juicers are also known as cold press juicers or slow juicers. Both juicers contribute to oxidation, but the masticating juicers are better in preserving the nutrients.
Slow juicers are usually higher-end juicers. It’s difficult to find a decent one that costs less than $200. Good centrifugal models range in price from $50 to $250. Learn more: How much is a Juicer?
Masticating juicers squeeze the juice out of the fruits and veggies slowly. There isn’t a lot of friction and heat created. Centrifugal juicers contain fast-spinning blades which break apart the fruits and vegetables. They produce much friction and incorporate more air in the juice.
The more it’s exposed to air the quicker it will oxidize. By using a masticating juicer, you will slow down oxidation, and your juice will keep its nutritional value for longer.
Some say you should consume the juice produced with a centrifugal juicer immediately or it will lose its nutrients. In my own experience, this isn’t true. My first juicer was a centrifugal juicer. I have created many juices 24 hours in advance and always had amazing results.
If you want to store your juices for longer, you might want to consider getting a masticating juicer. This juice will last up to 3 days. Always keep all of your fresh juices in the refrigerator.
So the long answer to “How long does fresh juice last” is up to 72 hours.
How Can You Slow the Oxidation Process?
There a few simple tricks to help your juice last longer.
➀ Adding Lemons or Limes
Have you ever made guacamole for a party? You likely added a little lemon or lime to keep it looking fresh. The same is true of juice. Lemons have long been used as an all-natural preservative.
Lemon juice not only reduces the oxidation process, but it will also add a great flavor to almost every juice. I can’t tell you how many times I have used lemons to fix a juice recipe. Just add half a lemon to make your juice last longer and brighten the flavor. Learn more: How to Make Green Juice Taste Better.
➁ Use Airtight Glass Containers
Don’t store your juice in plastic containers. It will speed up the oxidation process of your juices. I recommend glass containers to keep your juice fresh. Please make sure that your container is very well sealed and fill it up to the top. So it doesn’t have any extra air in it.
➂ Buy Organic
There is no doubt about it, organic is better. Organic foods contain more nutrients and fewer pesticides and preservatives. In the absence of pesticides, plants produce more phytochemicals. Which means you get more of the good stuff, more vitamins, and antioxidants.
If you buy organic fruits, it’s often possible to leave the peels on. That is where most of its nutritional value lies. Lemon peel contains double the amount of vitamin C than a wedge of lemon without it. Overall organic produce at farmers’ markets is often cheaper than the same items at grocery stores.
If you’re on a budget, choose from the clean 15 List. These fruits and vegetables are the least contaminated:
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Peas
➃ Freeze Your Juices
Another thing you can do is to freeze your juices immediately. Drink within seven days of freezing. I sometimes make juice ice cubes. I fill an ice cube tray with the excess juice and freeze it. It’s a nutritional boost in smoothies or fresh juices.
My personal preference is to drink the juice right after I made it. That is when the juice is alive, bursting with vitamins, enzymes, and phytonutrients. If you want to store fresh juice for up to 72 hours, make sure you store it in airtight glass containers in your fridge. Always fill it up to the top, so it doesn’t have any extra air in it.