Cold pressed juice has received lots of press lately. Refrigerated sections of the produce area have been designated for a whole slough of it, your health nut friend has been slamming it back every time you see her and now there are even bars designated for it?! You may be wondering what is cold pressed juice exactly and why all the hype? Does it really live up to its standards?
I’m so thrilled you asked. First, let’s examine juice as a whole so you can understand the difference between various methods, how to cold press juice, then we will dive into the benefits.
There are several different ways that juice is produced and sold. The most common being pasteurized juices that are sold in the dry grocery aisles of supermarkets all over the world. Another method for juicing is by way of a centrifugal juicer (or a single auger), which produces fresh, tasty juice to be drank immediately. The third method uses a cold pressed juicer. This method produces better quality juice than the aforementioned methods and can be found in your grocery’s refrigerated sections.
Pasteurized juices, like bottled orange juice and apple juice, are heated to a certain temperature for a certain amount of time to kill potentially harmful bacteria. This is done, in part, in order to extend the shelf life of the juice. Unfortunately, during the process, a number of nutrients and minerals are also lost, as well as an unfortunate amount of flavor!
Raw juicing is definitely a better option than heat-pasteurized juices. However, even during this process of extracting juice from produce, a high speed blade bursts through the skin and flesh of the produce, thus causing a rise in temperature that reduces nutritional content as well as flavor. The spread of air throughout the fruit/vegetable also enables microbes and oxygen to actually decrease the shelf life of the juice, resulting in it needing to be consumed almost immediately before it begins to become a frothy mess.
Now, what are cold pressed juices all about? How are they different from the above two methods? Cold pressed juice rises above other methods because it does not undergo a process that could damage it or decrease the nutrient content. Cold pressed juices can be bottled and saved for weeks rather than days (up to 30 days), without the use of nasty preservatives. Even more, cold pressed juice actually retains the fresh taste for the duration of its shelf life!
What is a cold press juicer (a.k.a. masticating juicers) and how does it work? This type of juicer uses a hydraulic press that first crushes then presses the fruit and vegetables with thousands of pounds of pressure, thus producing the highest yield of juice. Because this kind of juicer doesn’t use additional heat, it is able to efficiently extract the juice from fruits and vegetables while retaining as much of the vitamins, minerals and enzymes as possible. This is great news.
(An added bonus of this type of juicer is that you can actually process nuts with it too, in order to make your own cashew or almond milks! Centrifugal juicers cannot boast of this feature.)
So, what is cold pressed juice good for? Although cold pressed juice in its raw form only has a shelf life of three to four days before it begins to spoil, most cold pressed juices that you find in stores have undergone a safe method of pasteurization, known as high pressure processing (HPP). In this method, bottles of juice are submerged under water with a high pressure that destroys pathogens and increases the shelf life to up to 30 or 45 days! This allows the wonderful taste of fresh produce for a much longer shelf life!
You may already know that produce is a great source of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, like flavonoids. You may also know that fruits and vegetables help to reduce your risk for diseases and chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, but did you know that it also plays a role in aiding with weight management?
The nutritional benefits can vary, depending on what foods you put into your processor. For example, spinach is one of the most popular greens to use in conjunction with juicing because it has been proven to help to restore energy, protect against cancer, improve quality of blood and aid with digestion. It also is chocked full of vitamins A and K.
As you can see, the benefits of cold pressed juicing definitely outweigh other methods of juicing as far as both nutritional content and taste go, as well as shelf life (without the use of preservatives)! Whether you decide to invest in a cold press juicer yourself, or you choose to go the avenue of buying bottled juice from stores (just watch the sugar content!), you will be opening your eyes (and taste buds) to a wonderful world of good health and flavor!