Fresh juice is meant to be consumed fresh, in other words, immediately after it is freshly prepared. Storing fresh juice not only risks the loss of living enzymes and vitamins, it can also result in oxidation of the juice. Home-made juice is preferred over juice concentrate simply because it s natural, healthier and contains no artificial coloring or preservatives. Since we are after the natural goodness of juices, we should reap its full nutritional benefits by consuming it fresh. If you want to maximize the benefits of drinking juice, you should consume it within 20 minutes after it is freshly made.
Nonetheless, most of us lead a hectic lifestyle these days and might not have time to be juicing and cleaning the juicer few times a day. Hence, it makes sense to juice extra to stock up for convenience. The nutrition in fresh juice diminishes as time passes. However, if you store the juice properly in the refrigerator, you can extend its shelf life up to 48 hours.
What does it mean to store home-made juice ‘properly’? The single most important consideration in juice storage is the container’s material. Glass containers should always be used for fresh juice storage. It is fine to use clear glass although some health gurus advise using dark colored glass containers. It is said that amber, blue, green and other dark colored glass containers are better in shielding UV rays, thus able to preserve the juice nutrients better. Since your juice containers will be stored in the refrigerator, away from direct sunlight, it is perfectly alright even if clear glass container is used.
In storing fresh juice, how you fill the glass container with juice plays a part too in keeping its freshness. The guideline here is to always fill the juice to the top of the container. Leave no space between the juice and the top of the container as this will result in oxidation. Oxygen will be present as long as there is empty space in between. Ensure that the glass container is tightly closed before storing the juice in the refrigerator.
What if you don’t have a glass container at home? Can ceramic containers be used for juice storage instead? The answer is yes; high grade ceramic containers are the next alternative to glass containers. One thing to note though, is ceramic container’s inability to be truly air-tight.
Plastic containers are popular with most ladies, using them to store anything from snacks to food. However, storing fresh juice in plastic containers is highly discouraged. As a matter of fact, you should not even use plastic containers for keeping edible stuff. Plastic contain harmful substances such as bisphenols. Exposure to heat and sunlight causes these harmful chemicals to be released. Normal wear and tear or oxidation breakdown can also result in the release of these harmful substances. Studies have shown that such toxins can cause cancer, hormonal imbalances, abnormalities and other health issues. For the sake of your health, avoid plastic containers at all cost.
One final note on fresh juice storage. Maintaining the freshness of homemade juice starts at the point of juicing and not when it is already juiced. During the juicing process, exposure to high heat subjects the juice to oxidation and its shelf-life is compromised. A masticating juicer will help to minimize oxidation as its slower speed generates less heat, thus keeping the nutrients intact. With the advancement of technology, some centrifugal juicers these days are also capable of generating lower heat. It is recommended to read the specifications and reviews before you purchase a juicer.
Air-tight glass containers are easily available nowadays; this makes storing garden cup fresh juice much easier. However, it is still best to consume fresh juice immediately after it is made. In this way, you will get to reap maximum benefit from your glass of healthy fresh juice.