Something about freshly squeezed orange juice beats the flavor of store-bought fruit juices. It may take a little more effort, but refreshing enjoyment at the end will be worth it.
Fresh orange juice is sweet and tasty and not to mention packed with vitamins. Keep reading to find the benefits of orange juice, the different varieties of orange juice and how to make orange juice.
How To Make Orange Juice
There are different ways to make homemade orange juice.
a) Using A Juicer
When using a juicer, something to keep in mind is that you can either keep the peel or not. Keeping the peel can result in a bitter juice; however, this depends on your personal preference. If you decide to keep the peel, it's important to know that the peel contains many nutrients, which can come in handy, especially if you drink orange juice for health benefits.
Once you’ve decided to keep the peel or not, prepare the oranges and chop them into smaller pieces to fit your juicer chute.
Feed a few pieces at a time into your juicer, and before you know it, you’ll have your fresh orange juice.
b) Squeezing by Hand
All you need is a citrus juicer, oranges, and you can have your freshly squeezed orange juice in a few minutes.
The first thing you'll want to do is soften your oranges. You can do this by tightly squeezing or rolling the oranges with the palm of your hand across the counter to soften them.
Next, you'll cut the oranges into halves and remove any seeds ( if any).
Place one half of the orange on the hand juicer/ citrus juicer, press down, and squeeze down while rotating back and forth to get as much juice out. Repeat this with the rest of the orange halves.
If you enjoy your orange juice with pulp, you can choose to add the extra pulp that's collected at the bottom of the citrus juicer. If you prefer pulp-free juice, you can use a strainer to separate any pulp that may have made its way into the orange juice.
c) Using a Blender
First, peel the oranges and cut them into 1-inch cubes. At this point, you can choose to remove the seeds (if any) or choose to use a strainer later.
Next, pour them into your blender jar and process continuously till the oranges are pureed. You can add some water to your blender jar to help them blend. ( Around 1/4 cup should be more than enough) Be careful while adding the water as you don't want your orange juice to be too watered down.
The mixture you're looking for is a pulpy consistency. If you enjoy pulp-filled orange juice, pour yourself a glass and drink it as it is. The only thing you'll have to do is pick out the seeds (if any). If you don't like pulp, you can use a sieve to remove the pulp.
Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice Recipe
(This orange juice recipe is from the Complete Juice Book by Suzannah Olivier and Joanna Farrow)
- 90g caster sugar
- 6 large oranges
- still or sparkling mineral water
i) Put the sugar in a small, heavy pan with 100ml of water. Heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 3 minutes until the mixture is syrupy. Remove from the heat.
ii) Peel the skins from three of the oranges and chop the flesh into pieces small enough to through a juicer funnel. Chop the remaining oranges with skins into similar size pieces
iii) Push the orange pieces through the juicer, then mix the sugar syrup. Pour into a bottle or jug (pitcher) and store in the refrigerator. To serve, dilute the homemade orange juice to taste with still or sparkling mineral water. You can add ice cubes for that extra refreshing effect.
The Benefits of Orange Juice
Oranges come packed with many health benefits. One of them is that it provides a ton of Vitamin C. A medium cup of orange juice is almost equivalent to your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C. Orange juice also contains other vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A calcium, folate, and iron.
Vitamin C is an essential immunity booster. It also aids with gum health, wound healing, and bone formation. Orange juice also contains minerals like Potassium which help decrease the risk of heart disease, strokes, and bone loss. It also aids in the regulation of blood pressure and can help reduce the risk of kidney stones.
Folate, also known as Vitamin B, is essential for pregnant women and helps reduces the risk of birth defects. Orange juice is one of the best natural sources. Orange juice is high in antioxidants which are great for fighting harmful radicals and protecting the body against chronic conditions and inflammation.
Varieties of Oranges
Oranges come in different varieties, and some are more indigenous to certain areas.
a) Navel Oranges:
Navel Oranges are the most common, and you’ll often come across them at the grocery store. They are a little on the large size with thick skin but are not as juicy as the rest.
b) Blood Oranges
These are some of the juiciest oranges in the citrus family. The flesh is dark red in color, and so is the juice. Mixing in a measure of blood orange juice to your cocktails will give them that beautiful rosy color, and its sweetness can be balanced with an acidic ingredient like lemon juice.
Tangerines are smaller and sweeter than most oranges. Their skin is thinner, making it easier to peel. Satsumas are a type of tangerine that is sometimes referred to as mandarins.
Clementines also referred to as cuties, are small and seedless. They are easy to peel and great for kid’s snacks.
e) Mandarin Orange
The Mandarin Orange belongs to the same citrus family as the tangerine and clementine. They are smaller, sweeter, and easier to peel than regular oranges.
Valencias have thick skins and are very juicy. They have seeds, so this something to watch out for while juicing.
How To Store Orange Juice At Home
Once you've made your fresh squeezed orange juice, it's always best to consume it immediately. This is to get the most out of the nutrients. However, if you do end up having leftovers, it's best to store them in an airtight glass container in the fridge for a maximum of 3 days.