Most of us have little time and lots of things to do. Which is why knowing the ins and outs of storing juice for maximum freshness is going to make or break our juicing journey.
Sure, it’d be lovely to have ample time to juice a fresh glass whenever you want it but let’s face it – who has the time?
Not I. Most likely, not you. And so, here we are, about to tackle the most important piece of the puzzle when juicing on the go: properly storing juice for maximum freshness. Let’s get started.
Storing Juice for Maximum Freshness: 3 Simple Steps
Wondering how to store fresh juice…and keep it fresh?
To be honest with you – if you want to consume the freshest, most nutrient-rich juice, you ideally want to drink your fresh juice within 20 minutes of juicing.
But most of us have busy schedules and it is quite nice to be able to take fresh juice on the go, whether to the office, the gym, or wherever else your happy feet take you.
So storing juice is the next best option. Here’s exactly how to extend the life – and nutrient value – of your juice by storing it properly.
Step #1. Use the Right Juicer
We’re talking about storing juice so why does the juicer matter?
Well, because how long fresh juice lasts depends on the type of juicer that you’re using. Centrifugal juicers operate at high speeds, introducing heat and oxidation into the juicing process, which compromises the freshness of the juice.
Juices made with centrifugal juicers can be stored, but it’s honestly not recommended if you want to take advantage of the nutrients before serious oxidative damage occurs. Within a day, juices made with centrifugal juicers will start tasting a little different from when they were immediately juiced, even when stored following all the juice storing tips listed below. Drink as soon as possible or store, but only up to 24 hours.
On the other hand, slow juicers like masticating or triturating juicers work at very slow speeds with little-to-no heat, which means less oxidation in the juicing process. As a result, juices made with slow juicers have a higher shelf life and can retain their nutritional potency for up to 48 hours. To be honest, I’ve stored juices made with slow juicers for 3 to 4 days with very little difference in taste. So if you plan to juice in bulk and store the juice – a slow juicer is the most recommended.
Last but not least, there are juices made with press juicers – these are top of the line juicing machines that tend to cost over $1,000 per machine. They’re usually overkill for the typical juicer but they do yield hands down the best juice quality. That means the juices extracted from a press juicer should be fine in the fridge for at least 72 hours.
Step #2. Fill Up the Best Juicing Bottles
It’d be great if we could just re-use water or milk bottles to store fresh juice, but thin plastic containers allow rapid oxidation, which means less nutrient value and overall taste. Nobody needs that.
Which is why the best containers for juicing are glass. Here are our top 2 picks. You really can’t go wrong with either of them.
These jars are super sturdy with tight-fitting caps.
- Made of glass with stainless steel lids
- Set of 6 bottles (18oz)
If you’re on the market for a bigger size, these are ideal. These are sturdy and even more affordable.
- Made of glass with plastic lids
- Set of 12 bottles (16oz)
Step #3. Store Well
As soon as you juice, immediately pour the juice into the glass canning jars above, making sure you leave very little airspace at the top. Try to aim for about 1 mm of airspace.
When you go to seal the jar, some of the juice will probably squirt out, which is good since it minimizes the airspace in the jar. Just rinse the sides of the jar.
When you’re ready to take it with you, opt for a “freezer tote” to keep your juices cool.
I like this brand of cooler totes – they’re really affordable and their bags store enough juice to keep me satisfied throughout the course of a whole day.
As you already know by now, the storage times for juices vary but in general, you want to consume the juice as soon as possible.
Also, once you open the stored juice jar, drink the contents all at once to avoid the oxidative damage that will happen from the airspace above the remaining juice. For this reason, even if it’s slightly more cumbersome, you should avoid storing juice in larger jars as they make it difficult to drink all of the contents as soon as you’ve opened them.
Storing Juice Freshly Begins with Produce
Okay, you already know all the nitty gritty of storing juice – but before you leave, let’s take a quick moment to discuss one rarely discussed aspect: your juicing ingredients.
Yes, the actual fruits, vegetables and herbs that you’re juicing. Because the truth is that the produce you use ultimately affects the freshness of your juice.
Starting with the freshest fruits and veggies will go a long way toward making sure that the fresh juice that’s extracted will retain more nutrients for a longer time.
Do I Need Organic Produce?
Organic produce is generally better for juicing, especially since you can leave all the nutrition-rich peels on. But it’s especially important if you’re planning to store your juice. Organic produce starts out with higher levels of nutrient content and since storing juice minimizes some of the nutrition in juices, it just makes sense to start out with more.
If you can’t buy all organic, we highly recommend at least buying these Dirty Dozen fruits and veggies from the organic section.
That being said, if you’re juicing very frequently, organic produce can really add up. The next best option is to simply get your hands on the freshest, highest quality produce you can get.
How Do I Keep My Produce Fresh?
Most of us don’t have the time to run to the grocery store every day to pick up fresh produce. The majority of us end up buying a bulk-load of fresh produce and then store it all in the fridge, juicing little-by-little, day-by-day and hoping that the produce stays fresh long enough to juice it.
If you’re in this boat, you might want to consider investing in a keep-it-fresh container, especially for your more wilt-able veggies.
Even if you do have the time to run to the grocery store every day, it’s a real time saver if you can buy, wash, prepare and store all your produce in one go. It’s just nice to be able to reach in the fridge, pull out some colorful produce and get right to juicing without worrying about the cleaning and preparation.
If you’re planning to be juicing on a regular basis – and using all the produce that regular juicing demands – plan to invest in some containers that’ll help your produce last longer and stay fresher.
They’ll save you money in the long term, since you won’t be tossing pre-maturely moldy produce.
How to Store Leafy Greens
If you’re into green juices, you already know the importance of keeping those very wilt-able leafy greens crisp and fresh. My personal favorite for doing this is Progressive International’s Lettuce Keepers. These are the absolute best I’ve found in produce storage – I use these for all my veggies and they do a great job of keeping everything fresh and crisp.
The containers keep fruits, veggies (even delicate greens like lettuce and microgreens) fresh for up to 2 weeks and it doubles as a colander so you can even use it when washing your veggies, then simply store it once you’re done.
The longest I’ve left greens in one of these was around 16 days and they were still springy and perfectly fresh. Even the arugula, whose thin, delicate tend to lead to pre-mature mold problems.
I also like the fact that these containers come with an adjustable vent and a storing guide printed on the container, which tells you exactly which veggies need what kind of ventilation for the perfect amount of air circulation and moisture.
You can get one on Amazon.
Also great are the container sets made by Kinetic Go Green.
You can get a whole 6-piece set on Amazon. These have micro-particles of antimicrobial silver embedded into the container which protect the containers from mold, fungus, and other microorganisms that made produce go bad.
These containers are great, especially for storage since they allow lots of stacking action, but they do have a few drawbacks compared to Progressive International’s containers (above). The produce does stay fresh for roughly similar times, but I personally prefer the Lettuce Keeper container above for storing leafy greens.
Also, the silicone seal on the lids do help keep the containers air-tight but can grow moldy after awhile, which is pretty gross, so you have to give those vigorous scrubbings and dry them well – a problem you don’t have with the Lettuce Keeper containers.
How to Store Berries
For more finicky produce – like berries, which are notorious for their quick molding habits – Progressive International also has Berry Keepers that come with stack-able trays so you can layer your berries to prevent bruising.
Tip: To prevent mold forming on your berries, give them a wash with a mixture of 30-70 vinegar and water. The acetic acid found in vinegar does a great job of killing bacteria as well as eliminating mold spores that might be lurking in the fruit.
Then, drain the berries and place them in a Berry Keeper container – you won’t even taste the vinegar and the vinegar residue on the berries acts as a great mold-prevention. Your berries should keep for at least 1 week in the fridge – mold and bruise free!
More Tips on Storing Fresh Produce
- Most fresh veggies need to be stored in the fridge. The exceptions are: garlic, onions, potatoes, shallots, sweet potatoes, and winter squash.
- I recommend taking your veggies (except leafy greens) out of the fridge and leaving them at room temperature if you’re going to be juicing them in the next few hours since cold is supposed to make digestion more difficult and that sort of defeats one of the purposes of juicing.
- Don’t store your fruits and veggies together since fruits tend to give off high levels of ethylene as they ripen, which can prematurely ripen and spoil your veggies.
- If you’re not using fresh storage containers to store your veggies, punch some holes into the veggie bag to ensure ventilation and air flow and pack them loosely. The more closed they are, the quicker they will rot.
- Do not wash soft herbs before storing – only wash them when right before juicing.
- Bananas ripen super quickly. And I am just one person and cannot eat a whole batch of bananas in a day or two. Since you can’t juice bananas anyway, feel free to peel them and store them in the fridge to pop into your smoothies as needed.
And now you know all the ins and outs of storing juice so that your stored juice is the freshest it can be. Enjoy!