Question of the Week: Can I make juice the night before?

by Gena on February 4, 2010

juice Hey guys!

Checking in with a VERY quick question of the week. A few nights ago, I said a few words about my weekend prep routine. I mentioned that I do a lot of juicing on weekends, so some of you asked, “is it OK to juice over the night before you intend to drink?”

Let me clarify: when I said that I spend a lot of time juicing over the weekend, I meant that I spend more time juicing relative to the week, when I’ll often purchase juice on the way to the office at a juice bar (an expense I don’t love, but given that I don’t drink alcohol or coffee, one that I’ve managed to justify). But no, it’s not smart to juice the night before, at least not if you use a conventional home juicer. The enzymes in the juice won’t stay active for more than thirty minutes or so.

If you have a Norwalk juicer, juice will keep at cool temperatures for 1-3 days. Otherwise, if you want to preserve your juice, freeze it in a mason jar or other glass container as soon as you make it. (Avoid exposing fresh juice to direct sunlight for more than a moment, too.) This is a great tip to keep in mind when you travel! I often put frozen mason jars of juice in my suitcase and check my luggage. For any flight that’s relatively quick, this is perfect: the moment I land, I can reclaim my bag and chug my juice. Yum.

Of course, juice isn’t just about enzymes; it’s also about taste. So if you’re juicing simply because you like the taste, it’s fine to juice the night before — once in a while. But you’ll be missing out on lots of pure nutrition if you do that frequently.

I wish it were possible to make juice well in advance! But remember: the freshness of vegetable juice is what makes it so awesome and so great for you. Well worth the effort, if you ask me!

xo

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg February 4, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Very informative post (as usual)!! Thanks Gena!

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Ameena February 4, 2010 at 9:21 pm

I always wondered this too because it is a bit time consuming to try to make juice every morning…thanks for the explanation!

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Jenn N February 4, 2010 at 11:24 pm

I juice a crapload of greens once a week and freeze them in ice cube trays to pop into smoothies. Maybe I lose a few enzymes, but cleaning that juicer is a bitch. :)

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Toure' November 16, 2012 at 11:57 am

hahahaha!!! I literally laughed out loud when reading this because it’s so true!!!

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Anissa Robinson November 19, 2012 at 10:10 pm

I too laughed too… I am new to fresh veggie/fruit juicing and found out that the cleaning is just that!!! lol

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Jackie January 18, 2014 at 1:05 pm

I found the best thing to do for cleanup is to put a baggie, the ones that you get your veggies in at the store into the waste basket, then when finished pull out and voila no heavy cleanup !!

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Gena January 19, 2014 at 9:15 pm

Nice tip. Thank you Jackie!

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) February 5, 2010 at 12:18 am

Sigh. This is why I dont juice. I do it for the enzymes and health bennies first, taste secondary. Of course I still get some benefit in advance, it’s not like Im drinking battery acid or something if I juice 12 hrs ahead of time, but you’re right, not ideal. And then that pesky juicer cleanup. You’ve heard my moanin and groanin on this one before so I’ll spare you but thx for the info :)

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Samantha M. February 5, 2010 at 12:40 am

Hey,
Just wondering if you know of any online stores (that have a good rep.) where I can buy raw food(cacao powder, lucuma and maca).

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The voracious Vegan February 5, 2010 at 1:00 am

It’s funny that I read this just as I’m about to head into the kitchen to make a batch of green juice. I end up making green juice several times a day, because I know it won’t sit well in the fridge. I make it for me at breakfast, for my dad at lunch, and for Cody, when he comes home from work in the evening. It means a lot of time at my juicer but it is worth it! Thanks, Gena!

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Katie February 5, 2010 at 4:42 am

Thanks for answering my question, Gena! :) I love to make carrot juice to put in my chia puddings and banana soft-serve (it makes everything taste like carrot cake!).

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christie @ honoring health February 5, 2010 at 5:14 am

I started juicing a few weeks ago and have slowly but surely gotten out of the habit due to the amount of time it takes. I don’t have access to a juice bar, sadly. How long can you keep the fresh juice in the freezer?

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Gena February 5, 2010 at 8:07 am

Christie,

I’m not sure — I usually drink within a week!

gena

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Julia February 5, 2010 at 5:38 am

Gena,
Do you think it would be okay to put frozen juice in my luggage if my trip is 5 hours long?

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Gena February 5, 2010 at 8:09 am

Hey Julia,

I think it should be OK! Most luggage compartments are kept really cold.

Gena

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Julia February 5, 2010 at 1:34 pm

thanks so much! I’ll be sure to pack frozen juice when I leave on
Wednesday!

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The Mind Relaxer February 5, 2010 at 6:45 am

Hmm, I drink juice usually after exercise.. I want it fresh so I usually prepare it right after my workout.

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Lauren February 5, 2010 at 7:27 am

Hmm.. what a familiar discussion! ;) Thanks for thing, inquiring minds wanted to know (glad you told us your thoughts at Candle too).

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Kitchen Monki Dan February 5, 2010 at 7:55 am

yeah, I learned the hard way about the keep time of juice… made some one day and drank it the following day. Tasted somewhat suspect and didn’t feel too good after… lesson learned :)

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Andrea of Care to Eat February 5, 2010 at 10:54 am

Gena – I would assume this goes for smoothies too? I’ve had a couple readers ask me that before, but never knew for sure. Thanks :)

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Sylvia February 5, 2010 at 11:53 am

But why do vegetables keep fresh in the fridge for a few days and keep all nutrients, but not in veggies in juiced form?

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Diana (Soap & Chocolate) February 5, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Good advice! And also worth pointing out (for people who are too lazy to do it in the morning) that the more you do it (aka practice) the quicker the process becomes. Especially if you wash and prep the fruit & veg the night before. I’ve got it down to a well-oiled process. This morning I made my juice and washed the juicer in 7 minutes flat. It can be done.

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RedAvocado February 6, 2010 at 9:54 am

But if you believe that the enzymes won’t stay active for more than thirty minutes in a juice, then they also would not stay active in any prepped (if cut) food. No?

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Christine (The Raw Project) February 5, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Great post and answers a lot of questions for me. I have to be at work so early that I haven’t mastered juicing and cleaning the juicer before rushing out the door yet, so I’ve only been juicing on evenings and weekends.

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Bianca- Vegan Crunk February 5, 2010 at 3:17 pm

When I was juicing everyday on my cleanse, I found the washing-the-juicer task to be a huge pain in the mornings before work. I kept wishing there was a way to juice in advance. I like the freezing idea…I wish I could afford to make green juice everyday. Sigh.

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Cindy February 5, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Very interesting, I never thought of freezing it, and I already freeze a lot of stuff. It’s nice for when you don’t have time to juice.

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Kat February 5, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Is the Norwalk a masticating juicer? Do masticating juicers keep the enzymes in the juice for longer? Thanks!

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Sarah February 6, 2010 at 10:41 am

Great tip with the mason jars/freezing! I’m always looking for ways to keep healthy when I travel, it can be really difficult, especially when you’re staying somewhere without a kitchen.

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Jess February 6, 2010 at 9:15 pm

I’m confused. If the enzymes in juice only stay active for 30 minutes, how does juice feasting work? Don’t most people just make a day’s worth of juice in the morning during a juice feast, or is the best way to just make your juice fresh every “meal”?

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Jess February 6, 2010 at 9:18 pm

I suppose one could just make a day’s worth of juice in the morning and put it in the freezer, as you mentioned.

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rachey February 11, 2010 at 10:56 pm

i’ve tried freezing liquids in mason jars before, and the jars always (always always) crack. lid off, lid on, no difference. i don’t know what the trick is but for my money the ice cube tray trick is probably the best option listed.

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Lucy October 3, 2012 at 5:39 pm

You’re filling the jar too full! You have to leave at least an inch at the top for expansion, maybe more. I hope you’ll try it again with less in the jar. Open ice cube trays pick up all sorts of off flavors. I have never had a glass jar crack in the freezer and they’re all I use.

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Lydia W February 21, 2010 at 7:33 pm

“Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like, and let the food fight it out inside.” Mark Twain

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Colleen September 22, 2011 at 3:49 pm

If I take several frozen juices (in mason jars) on a 2 hr trip, would it be ok to refreeze them once I get to my destination? They would probably thaw out some. So just wondering if it’s bad to refreeze.

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Kerry March 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm

So, for a 15 day juice fast, should I make and freeze if I’m unable to juice and drink due to work, kids, busy schedule, etc.? Also, I guess I would just let it thaw at room temp, right? Thanks!

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Tiphanyrenee October 7, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I read thru a bit of the replies and all, so if I plan to drink one for breakfast and one at lunch, but I can’t exactly take my juicer to work and I don’t have a lunch break to go home and make a fresh juice, I can make my breakfast and my lunch one in the morning, drink my breakfast, and then when I get to work in 15-20 minutes put my lunch one in the freezer for 3 hours and when I drink, it will still have most of the nutrients left?

Is there a powdered form of vitamins/nutrients that could be added to the lunch one just to be sure I am actually drinking nutrients and not empty fruit/veggie flavored juice at lunch?

I am new to all this and looking into it and researching and all. I am in the process of buying a new juicer in the next week to help with my overall health and to aid in my much needed weight loss endeavor. I am a diabetic and have slight hypertension and trying to eat raw fruits and veggies (salads) is tough, so hoping the mixing/juicing will help me to eat more of what I need.

Thanks a head of time for any responses.

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Josh February 15, 2013 at 2:37 pm

If somebody would invent a juicer that automatically vacuum seals your juice for refrigeration, they would be a millionaire…

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Gena February 23, 2013 at 8:12 am

Word.

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Tara March 6, 2013 at 5:53 am

Juicer clean-up solution!

I put a plastic bag, like a Walmart bag into the compartment where the pulp
goes. When finished just take the filled bag out and toss unless you’re using for
something else.

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seven April 2, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Can the mason jars just b refrigerated? Also do air tight plastic containers work? How bad is it to make it ahead and drink it through out the days like three days worth at a time? Can I put in greek yogurt,almond milk and or bananas?

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Gena April 4, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Seven, you can use airtight containers. For three days, the juice will not hold its color or taste, so I don’t recommend it. You can also add almond milk or banana, but then keep in mind it’s more smoothie than juice :)

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seven April 2, 2013 at 6:59 pm

I also use plastic bags I get fruits and veggies in to catch all pulp and disgard….works great!

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flowers April 24, 2013 at 12:51 am

How long can i keep fresh squeezed fruit and vegetables juices in the freezer
( I placed the juices in ice cube trays and then placed in airtight freezer bags)??

I found the vegetables juices to taste quite odd after freezing- any reccomendations?

What about homemade Ice pops- how long can i keep these in the freezer before the taste goes bad?

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flowers April 24, 2013 at 12:53 am

any suggestions as to how long I can keep homemade smoothies in the freezer?

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eileen May 3, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Try making smoothies (in a blender) for before work and juicing for after work. Smoothies have a lot of nutrition, just not as dense as juicing. It’s better than nothing. I make all veggie and fruit smoothies (don’t make the kind with yogurts, whey, etc.) … still pretty healthy.

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Kim June 30, 2013 at 9:20 am

I have been juicing according to the Gerson Therapy so it is vital to have juice every hour. The program states the carrot-apple juice can be kept in a thermos(removing the air @ top) for up to 4 hours, after which it should not be consumed. I have recently tried using individual BPA-free breast milk baggies that hold 8 oz (what each serving is to be) with air totally expressed. I have not attempted to freeze in them since it is against the Gerson directions, however, I do work and if freezing retains most of the vitamins and enzymes, I could also have juice hourly at work after my thermos is empty. Also I wondered if it were even better to keep all in individual baggies (placed in a bag to prevent light exposure and kept in fridge) rather than the progressive air exposure as I drink each “dose” from my thermos. I would love you very experienced thoughts on this.

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Annette VanDeKreeke September 2, 2013 at 8:01 am

So, I work third shift and want to take juice for my two 15-minute breaks. Am I just out of luck, or is there a way to maintain at least some of the nutrients?

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Gena September 3, 2013 at 6:22 am

Hmmm — let’s see how I can help you here! How much time in between when you leave the house and your first break?

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Annette VanDeKreeke September 3, 2013 at 6:43 am

I work from 10pm to 6am and typically leave the house around 9:15. My first break is usually around midnight and second one around 3am. I noticed last night that my juice was pretty good yet at my first break, but by the second one, I couldn’t even finish it – blah!

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