How Long Does Juice Last?

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You finally did it!

Yesterday, you bought the juicer you’ve been eyeing for months. This morning, you’ve decided to make yourself a fresh cup of juice.

But, you hesitate.

You know you only have a few minutes each morning to make juice before running off to work.

Should you just make enough for today?

Or, should you make enough juice to last each morning the rest of the week?

Contemplating your predicament, you realize you don’t know if the juice will stay good the rest of the week or not.

How long does juice last, exactly?

That’s a good question!

This article will cover different types of fresh juice (both fruit and vegetable) and their storage, helping you to understand how long it is ok to keep fresh juice on hand.

It would be a pity to go to all the work of making a big batch of the drink, only to find out it all spoiled before you could finish it!

What does make juice spoil?

First, you need to understand what makes juice spoil in the first place.

Your big enemy in juice freshness is oxidation.

What exactly does oxidation refer to?

You’ve seen it before. Remember the last time you cut an apple open and didn’t eat all the pieces right away? What happened to the apple? As time carried on, the apple slowly turned brown on the outside. It’s still edible but doesn’t taste quite as good, and some of the nutrients have fled.

Oxidation happens when plant matter is put in contact with oxygen.

a gif about oxidation of an apple timelapThe same thing that happens with the apple happens with juice. If the juice is made, then is sitting out with all the oxygen in the air, the juice won’t last long.

Are there ways to slow the oxidation process?

Absolutely!

Read on to understand better how to preserve juice properly.

How to preserve juice properly

First, consider how you store the juice.

Is storing juice in plastic ok?

You can…but the quality juice you’re wanting will be lacking.

A glass is a much better juicing storage container. Make it easy on yourself and select a fresh juice glass container– whether it is a mason jar or a glass cup, it doesn’t matter as long as it is glass.

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Also, make sure you consider what you’re putting on top of the glass container to seal it.

Juice lasts longer if it is in a dark environment.

Plastic wrap is good at sealing containers, but its see-through characteristic isn’t ideal for storing juice. The best way to seal a glass container of juice is to seal it first with plastic wrap, then top that with foil.

It’s even better if you can wrap the whole glass in foil. The less light that gets into the glass, the better.

Avoid extra room for oxygen in the container

Once you’re ready to put the juice in the glass, does it matter how much juice goes in?

Actually, yes!

Think about it, the fuller the glass is, the less extra room there will be for air (with oxygen!) to fit in the glass with the juice.

In fact, the best way to store juice is to fill the glass up so high that a bit of the juice actually spills over.

Once this happens, wipe down the messy sides of the glass, seal the top, and stick that juice in the fridge.

If it’s so full that it spills over, there is barely any room at all for additional oxygen in the container.

Once you’ve drunk some of the juice, can you put it back in the fridge in the same container?

I wouldn’t advise it.

Consider what we just talked about. If you drink some of the juice and put it back in the fridge in the same glass, you just freed up all that extra space for oxygen to come in and spoil your juice.

If you want to drink just a bit of the stored juice, it’s better to put it into smaller glass containers when you’re done drinking. That way, you can fill up the new containers to the top, preserving your juice until you’re ready to drink the rest of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhGX–Sfb2M

How Long Does Juice Last?

Ok, so you know how to store your fresh juice in the fridge.

Now…

How long is it ok to keep it in those glass containers in the fridge?

There’s no use going to the trouble of storing it properly if you keep it too long and it goes bad!

How long juice lasts actually depends on a bit on what kind of juice it is.

Different types of juices made with different fruits or vegetables can last for different amounts of time.

Specifically, let’s consider how long apple juice, orange juice, and a variety of juiced vegetables last.

How long does apple juice last?

One of the most well-liked morning beverages, apple juice is a popular drink to make.

Unfortunately, apple juice doesn’t last as long as some other juices. Remember how apples brown quickly after they are cut? Apple juice, similarly, will go bad soon after being made.

In order to slow down the spoiling process, one way to preserve apple juice is to squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice in it.

However, this will only slow down the oxidation process, not stop it.

The longest I would feel comfortable keeping fresh apple juice in the fridge is two days.

How long does orange juice last?

Good news!

Orange juice can last a bit longer than apple juice because of the citrus in the juice.

I would feel comfortable keeping fresh orange juice in my fridge for three days.

How long do juiced vegetables last?

Fresh vegetable juice can last up to three days.

If you want to keep it fresh all three days, I would suggest either including tomatoes or a bit of lime or lemon juice.

Just like in fruit juices, the acidity from those fruits can help keep that vegetable juice from going bad quite as quickly.

Can you freeze fresh juice?

But, what do you do if you want to keep juice longer than the suggested two to three days?

Is there any way to make it last longer?

Actually, there is!

You can freeze the juice for months!

It should be noted, some of the nutrients will die while it is being frozen.

However, it will stay much better frozen for months than it would if it were in the fridge for months (that would be nasty!).

A freezer is a great option if you get lots of fresh fruit or vegetables. You want to use them to make juice before they go bad.

What are the best ways to freeze juice?

One of my favorite ways to freeze citrus juice is in ice cube trays. This way, once they’re frozen, I can transfer all the juice ice cubes into a freezer bag and store it in the freezer.

Then, whenever I feel like have a bit of lemon or some other citrus juice in my water, I can take out a few of the cubes and stick it right into my glass of water!

When freezing the citrus juice in ice cubes like this, I also like to freeze a little slice of the fruit with the juice in each cube.

This can be especially pretty if you decide to use large ice cubes.

One idea is to make punch or some other sort of drink for a large get together with friends.

Right before everyone arrives, put a bunch of the citrus ice cubes in the bowl of punch (or bowl of another drink).

It will look pretty with the floating, frozen fruit. And, it will add a bit of citrus flavor to the rest of the drink.

If you’re short on time or money, you can even just do this with a bowl of water.

It’ll still look fancy since the ice cubes add a pretty look to the drink, even if in reality it is just ice water with a bit of citrus juice.

I also like to freeze juice by putting it in a freezer bag and laying it flat in the freezer.

Once the juice is frozen, I can stand it up or keep it laying down (whatever fits the best) and stack other juice bags against it. If you freeze it flat like this, it’s much easier to fit several bags of juice in the freezer altogether.

One last way I like to freeze juice is something my mom taught me.

When I was little, my mom would put juice into popsicle molds and freeze them. Then, on hot summer days, she would pull them out and give them to us when my sisters and I came back inside from playing outside.

To us, it was a special, delicious treat.

To her, it was a quick and easy way to get fresh fruits and veggies into her daughters.

If you want to put in the time, you can even get fancy with this and do different layers of juice.

You can fill the mold a third of the way with one type of juice, freeze it, then fill it another third with another type of juice, freeze it again, then top it off with one more type of juice and freeze it for the last time.

It honestly doesn’t take too much time since most of the time making the popsicle is just having them freeze, which of course the freezer will do for you!

Juice storage is dependent on the type of juicer you have

One final thing that must be mentioned while we are talking about juice storage is the type of juicer you have.

If you buy a centrifugal juicer, your juice simply won’t last as long as the normal two to three days in the fridge.

This is because centrifugal juicers make juice with a fast-spinning metal blade. The blade is so fast that it tends to make the juice a bit frothy. That froth is full of air, and of course, that includes oxygen. Juices made in this manner will not last as long because they have so much oxygen put directly into them right from the start.

You have a masticating juicer, your juice should last for the amount of time we’ve spoken about

If on the other hand, you have a masticating juicer, your juice should last for the amount of time we’ve spoken about. Masticating juicers “chew” the fruit and vegetables instead of chopping them quickly with a spinning blade. The chewing motion the juicer uses hardly puts any oxygen into the juice and makes it much more possible for you to keep your juice in the fridge longer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8_He-EYzmQ

Conclusion

In the end, if you want the very best tasting juice with the most nutrients possible, it’s best to drink the juice right after you make it.

As you consider the question of “how long does juice last?” you have to realize that although we can answer the question with a certain period of time, the longer you let the juice sit during that time period, the fewer nutrients and flavor will remain in the juice.

If you keep finding yourself accidentally making too much juice to drink, and don’t want to bother with freezing it, invite some people over to help you drink it all!

Or, you can even stick the extra juice in a mason jar, tie it with a pretty ribbon, and bring it to a friend as a thoughtful gift.

Another option if you have too much juice is to make the juice into something else.

For example, if you have too much citrus juice, you could make curd. The curd is a delicious type of custard you’ve likely eaten or at least seen before. Lemon meringue pie, for example, is filled with lemon curd.

You could make the curd for yourself, or again, it’s another idea for a present! It’s easy to make a big batch of it, throw it in a mason jar, and tie it with another pretty ribbon for another friend.

Regardless, there are options of what to do with your juice. Whether you want to drink it right away, properly store it in the fridge for a few days, freeze it for a few months or give it away in some form to a friend, you have plenty of options.

Think through the produce you have, and what you want to make, then decide which of the options is best for you for today.

And, enjoy that juice!

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