Vegetables are a healthy source of vitamins and minerals essential to a healthy diet. If you are not a fan of veggies, don’t assume that juicing is not for you. In fact, juicing promotes an intermingling of flavors that enhances the taste of vegetables. This flavor begins to dissipate quickly after juicing, so drink the vegetable juice while it’s fresh. Unlike store-bought, homemade juice does not have a long shelf life -- even in the refrigerator.
One important rule of thumb to follow when it comes to juicing is to make only as much juice as you can consume in one sitting. The best time to drink your freshly made vegetable juice is as soon as you make it, so making more than you need is less than ideal. The University of Massachusetts suggests drinking homemade vegetable juice within five to 10 minutes of juicing for maximum benefits.
If you're unable to finish your latest batch of homemade vegetable juice, avoid leaving it out on the counter. Instead, pour the vegetable juice into a glass jelly jar -- filling the jar to the brim if possible to reduce excess air that may promote bacterial growth. Slide the top over the mouth of the jar, tightly screw on the lid and pop it in the refrigerator. According to the Champion Juicer instruction manual, freshly made vegetable juice will keep for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
Unlike vegetable juice purchased in the grocery store, homemade vegetable juice is not pasteurized. This make sit a potential breeding ground for bacteria. The pasteurizing process sterilizes the juice by heating it to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria. According to the North Carolina University Cooperative Extension, bacteria on the outside of freshly squeezed vegetables can enter the juice during the juicing process. Drinking juice that contains these bacteria can put you at an increased risk of foodborne illness.
Wash your vegetables thoroughly before juicing, and wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after handling the vegetables. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there is no need to use soaps or detergents on vegetables -- rinsing with clear water from the tap will do. Scrub the skin of vegetables clean with a vegetable scrub brush and dry them with a clean cloth. Use clean vegetables immediately, or store them in the refrigerator for no more than 24 hours to discourage bacterial growth.
- University of Massachusetts, Hematology Oncology Division: Nutrition and Exercise Advice
- The Champion Juicer: Recipes and Operating Instructions
- North Carolina University Cooperative Extension: Fruit and Vegetable Food Safety
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Raw Produce: Selecting and Serving it Safely
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