How To Make and Freeze Your Own Fresh Fruit Juice

Why Make Your Own?

If you're like us, we love fruit juice -- all kinds. There's always some in the refrigerator.

But lately it's gotten so incredibly expensive. And honestly? Apple juice -- which isn't particularly costly -- just doesn't seem to taste very good.

Why not make your own? You'll know exactly what's in it (no preservatives, no chemicals, no additives or coloring) and it's great if you prefer organic and natural.

And it's so much cheaper than buying it at the store! When so many fruits are coming into season, we start making and preserving fruit juice to enjoy in the coming months.

It's easy -- here's how to do it.

First you prepare your fruits

Wash the fruit (apples, plums, pears, peaches -- just about any fruit you love!) then prepare it to go into a large pot.

(By the way, orange juice doesn't seem to freeze very well. FYI. However, I have had good luck with lemon and lime juice. All you do is squeeze your lemon/limes for juice, put into ice-cube trays, freeze, then put the cubes into a freezer bag.)

Preparation: for apples -- just cut into a couple of pieces, no need to remove seeds or stems

for pears -- cut each one into several pieces, no need to remove seeds or stems

for plums -- cut in half -- don't worry about removing the stone that's inside

for pineapples -- cut away the rough outside, then slice it into slices. No need to remove the inner core part.

The Recipe

Put your chopped fruit (it's okay if they are large chunks) into a large stock pot and add about a cup of water. Bring it slowly to a boil -- s-l-o-w-l-y is the key. This will increase the amount of juice that is extruded from the fruit.

Bring it to a boil and boil for about 5 minutes. Then turn off the heat.

(NOTE: Bringing the juice to a boil stops the actions of certain enzymes that would change the color and taste of your fruit juice while it is in the freezer. This "cooking" step is really important, unless you plan to drink your juice within a few weeks.)

After it has cooled to room temperature (sometimes I start working on it while it's still warm) pour the juice and fruit through a strainer into a pan (I use a large stainless steel pan that is wide and holds a lot of juice.)

Sometimes I put this mixture through the strainer several times. It depends on how clear I want my juice. For example, I put apple juice through a couple of times, but only put my pear juice through once. It's up to you.

A great tool to own is a cone-shaped strainer. They come with a wooden "dowel" that you use to press the fruit against the sides to get the maximum amount of juice into your pan.

The flesh of the fruit that's left behind makes incredibly delicious jams and preserves. If you choose to make them, you will need to remove the stone from the plums, the seeds and core from the apples or pears.

How To Freeze Your Juice

Get quart freezer bags (not sandwich bags) and write the date and type of juice on the white marker on the front of the bag. Be specific! If you're putting up Santa Rosa plum juice, then write that on the bag.

A week ago I made apple juice from Gravenstein apples, and from Rome apples. I made them separately, so that I could have the juice separated. The Gravenstein juice is a pale pink color, while the Rome is sort of a golden color. The taste, as you might imagine, is incredible!

Use a funnel to put three cups of juice into each bag. Lay it carefully on the counter, squeeze out the air in the bag, then press the seal closed.

IMPORTANT: once the bag is sealed, place it into a second freezer bag.

I wish I'd known to double bag the first time I made juice. I didn't know there were tiny holes in one of the bags, and I had a mess in my freezer where it leaked. Double bagging prevents this from happening.

Lay your bags flat in the freezer. This is really important. Once they freeze, you'll have packages that are easy to stack. If you just toss them willy-nilly into the freezer you'll have strangely-shaped bags that take up much more room than is necessary.

Directions continue after the ebay information below.

How To Serve Your Juice

Depending on the type of juice, you may need to dilute it with water after you defrost it.

For example, plum juice becomes quite thick, and I mix one part plum juice with one part water. If this seems like too much water, then use less and taste it.

With apple juice, I use a three to one ratio of apple juice to water. For example, to three cups of apple juice I'll add one cup of water. Experiment! Try adding less if you wish, and tasting it till it tastes the way you like it.

I also add a bit of sugar to my plum juice, but add no sweetener to the apple juice. Let your tongue be your guide till you get the taste to your liking.

Here's another great way to serve fruit juice: rather than using water, use club soda. It makes the fruit effervescent -- and with plum or apple or pear (or peach!) it's incredibly delicious.

Enjoy!

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Comments 62 comments

Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 4 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Stacia,

To make lemonade from frozen lemon juice, you'll need to add water and sugar. The amounts (of water and sugar) depend on the acidity of your lemons. Keep adding the two until it tastes great. You'll get the hang of it.

Good luck!

Buster


Stacia 4 years ago

I juiced some lemons, brought it up to just a boil and then let it cool. It tastes bitter. Not good for drinking....any suggestions...please. We wanted to juice and freeze for summer lemonade. Thank you!


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 4 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Damien,

Pineapple juice freezes beautifully, and will work great in frozen cubes for smoothies!

Best regards,

Buster


Damian's 4 years ago

I know this article is over a year old but I had a question. I want to freeze pineapple juice after preparing as mentioned above. However, I wanted to put it in ice cube trays so I could use it in smoothies.nis there anything I should do different as far as storing it in the freezer?


lizy selasi 4 years ago

wow trust me i never knew that fruits are boiled.we tried making fruit juice on our own and it was a great disaster,thanks a lot for the info i am so grateful.at least i can make my own fruit juice.


weseppers profile image

weseppers 5 years ago

Great information here. I've learned more.


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Saima,

Fresh fruit juice is incredibly healthy. My best wishes for improvement in your health every day.

Warmest regards,

Buster


saima 5 years ago

very nice and very useful information.I hope it will help me a lot to regain my strength and health lost due to stomach problems.


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Samantha,

So sorry for the delay in responding. I've been out of the country and unable to check my hubpages.

I wish I could answer your question -- some apples create a lot of juice; others, as I know you know, produce very little.

Experiment... and remember that you can add filtered water if you discover that your juice doesn't *quite* create a full gallon.

:-)

Best regards,

Buster


Samantha 5 years ago

How many apples does it generally take to make a gallon of apple juice?


amazingpeartree 5 years ago

Hi, i've 28 qts of pears canned, made 4 small jars of jelly & still hav twice as many left. wish i knew about using the skins for the jelly,i used to peel 'em for the jelly, but recently i've left them on to save time. (i feed the pigs & horses the skins & the chickens the seeds)i wondered about doing a wine with the pears but with all the info & collective comments on this site, i'm trying the juice.(i dont really drink wine to be making 5 gal. of it anyway). i've even done a pear pie before. * i use about 1 teaspoon lemon juice - 1 gal water to prevent the discoloration until they're jarred

About Canning Fruit Juice

my grma gave me some canned grape juice-i'm not sure how she made it but there were about 15 grapes in the bottom of each qt jar & i believe she added sugar to it. to can the pears in the very light syrup i used approx 2 1/2 C. sugar for 11cups water- so i would think it would be less than the syrup to make the juice. i suppose it depends somewhat on the degree of natural sugar the fruit has & your desired taste.

i'm going to try both frozen & canned- i think i might throw in a few blackberries that i froze earlier this yr.- we have a lot of livestock meat in our freezers so there's not a lot of room for juice

thank you so much for your comment page-hope some of my info helps others, as theirs has helped me.


ezerubavy 5 years ago

Hi, yes thanks that's good. My husband just brought me some juice now - made from an apple called Sunset - he had peeled and removed cores - there was much less scum , which from an aesthetic point of view is nicer but no difference to the taste, so bearing in mind that I now know I am not drinking anything unpleasant I'll carry on as before.

All the best

Ezerubavy.


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Ezerubavy,

That "scum" is apple pulp, which tends to discolor rather quickly, though this doesn't affect the quality of the juice. It's fine when you're drinking it fresh, so long as the appearance doesn't bother you.

Regarding freezing: I strain my apple juice before I freeze it, because (to my taste buds) the pulp becomes grainy and unpleasant to drink once I defrost it.

Anyhow, I hope this helps!

All the best,

Buster


Ezerubavy 5 years ago

I have recently bought a juicer and notice that after juicing apples there is a significant amount of thick scum floating on the top of the juice. What is this caused by? I am drinking it and it does not seem to impair the taste but it doesn't look so good.


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Pete,

Juice your apples, then put the liquid in a big pot and bring it to a boil. Skim it occasionally (you'll probably notice a "scum" that collects at the surface) then let it come to room temperature and put into freezer bags.

Some people wash milk bottles thoroughly with boiling water, then put their apple juice in and freeze. That's a good idea I suppose if you have a LOT of apple juice.

:-)

Good luck!

Buster


Pete 5 years ago

I have a plethora of apples and a large juicer, once I have the juice how do I boil that to stop enzymatic process?


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi monthofspring,

I made plum jam about a month ago by using the skins and juice I had left over. You'll need 4 cups of plum skins and juice, 2 cups of white sugar, and Low Sugar (or) No Sugar fruit pectin. (Yes, by the way, you add the sugar even if you use the "No Sugar" fruit pectin.)

Into a large pot, put your plum juice/skins and the pectin and bring to a rapid boil. The skins will disintegrate into the juice.

Pour in the 2 cups sugar and bring the mixture back to a full, rapid boil (one that you can't stir down.)

Pour into sterilized half-pint jars, put on sterilized lids, then the screw top. Let them come to room temperature on your kitchen counter. You'll hear a "pop" as the jars seal.

When you use the skins, it makes for a sweet-tart jam that I think you'll really love!

Thanks for writing -- and good luck!

Buster

Put the juice


monthofspring 5 years ago

Hi Buster, thanks for this--great ideas! I've just followed your recipe for plum juice (I'm waiting for the pots to cool down now). You mentioned that the remains make lovely jam. Do you have a jam recipe that would work with only the remaining plum bits?

Cheers!


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 5 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi PearsRule,

Sure, here are a few ideas:

* Put 4 cups juice into a pot with half a cup of sugar, and boil it till it reduces to a syrup. This usually takes about 20 minutes or so, and you'll have (slightly less) than 2 cups of syrup. Use it on pancakes, french toast or on biscuits. It will keep in the refrigerator for about 10 days.

* If you know how to make jelly or jam, pear juice makes a fantastic jelly or jam.

* When baking a ham, pour pear juice over the ham approximately 40 minutes before it's done. I usually pour about 1/3 cup on the ham; then another 1/3 cup about 10 minutes later, then the last 1/3 cup about 10 minutes before I take the ham out of the oven.

* Mix 1/3 cup of the pulp with one stick softened butter, form into a log and wrap in foil. Chill in refrigerator. This makes a delicious spread for biscuits or toast.

Hope this helps!

Buster


PearsRule 5 years ago

I just finished canning vanilla pears using split vanilla beans but ended up with alot of nicely flavored juice with pulp left over. I am freezing it per your instructions above but, do you have any other suggestions of what I might make from the juice besides just drinking it as is?


Linda 6 years ago

We made several gallon of apple juice this weekend with our granddauters using an old cidar press. Juice is just great. Thanks for the information on the best way to freeze the juice. I would have skipped the boiling step and I would have not put the juice in a second bag. Thanks so much.


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Stew,

I'm in the kitchen right now putting up white grape juice in the freezer. You're going to enjoy having your own fresh fruit juice.

Thanks for taking the time to write -- good luck!

Buster


stew 6 years ago

Thanks everyone. I Have a glut of apples this year and purchased a juicer to use up the "not so good looking" ones. Googled to find out how to preserve the juice. I feel like an expert now. See if I can put it into practice.


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Taylorp,

I love all these details -- thanks so much. Once a person starts putting seasonal fruit (veggies, too) into the freezer, you rely on having them each year.

As you describe, they're great for quick healthy snacks, for enjoying that "in season" taste when it's Not The Season, and for cooking.

Thanks for telling us your story.

All the best,

Buster


taylorp 6 years ago

I freeze everything I can get my hands on. Live in the tropics so citrus and other fruits are seasonal. Last year had over 1000 oranges which I squeezed, put in empty water bottles and froze. Taste was still good. Same for my mandarins. Had over 3000 lemons and did same things. Great when I want lemonade. When I have a surplus of cucumbers I peel, chop and put in plastic bags. When I want juice I defrost, mix with some water, lemon juice and bit of sugar, put all in blender and then strain. Same with my mangoes. When I want to make a mango crumble, pudding or juice I just defrost and go ahead. I have never heated ( boiled) any of my juices because fresh is usually consumed within a couple of days but think from now on I shall take the above advice and try the 5 min boil. I even freeze my bananas after peeling and mashing. I measure enough into a plastic bag to make banana bread and just defrost when I am ready.


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Elsie,

I don't think cucumber juice can be frozen... but as I mentioned to Ericka (my comment above) I may try out some vegetable juice possibilities for freezing and see what happens.

I think the best way to preserve cucumbers is to make pickles! Use my zucchini pickle recipe, but substitute cucumbers. And yes, you'll follow the directions exactly.

Here's the link: http://hubpages.com/food/How-to-Make-Crisp-Zucchin...

Good luck!

Buster


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Ericka,

Keep in mind that you're bringing the juice to the boiling point, and only keeping it there for a few minutes. Don't boil it for a long time!

As to nutrients that are lost... I really don't know. The boiling process is to help with preserving the flavor, and so it'll last longer in your freezer. It also helps to retain an appetizing color while in the freezer.

My guess is that there are few nutrients lost in this process.

I've never tried making vegetable juice for the freezer -- we use the juicer and drink it fresh. But now that you mention it... I may try out a few things to see how they work. If I can figure out how to freeze veggie juice in a home-kitchen, I'll definitely write an article about it, okay?

If you'll click the "Follow Buster Bucks" link above (it's located in a colored box beneath the picture of the dog) then you'll get an email when I post a new article. I don't write a lot, so don't worry about getting a lot of notices from me.

:-)

All the best,

Buster


Elsie 6 years ago

I have been given an abundance of cucumbers and wondered if cucumber juice can be preserved in some way so it can be used during the winter - frozen? canned? does it keep its flavour? do you need to add salt or anything else to keep it nice tasting later?


Ericka 6 years ago

Hi Buster I have been juicing my fruits and vegetables. Now that I have come across your hub I am curious to try the boil method.

My question to you is how much nutrients is destroyed using this process? This may sound silly but what about vegetable juice? Have you tried to make vegetable juice?


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Rorynater,

Put your fruit through the juicer first, then boil the result.

Good luck!

Buster


Rorynater 6 years ago

Howdy Buster. Great information.

Quick question: If you were going to use a juicer on your fruit, would you boil the fruit first (as you described above) and then put through the juicer, or would you juice the fruit and boil the resulting juice?

Rory


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Jeau,

Bringing the juice to a boil is necessary (in my opinion) and is described in the recipe.

Thanks for bringing that response (about not heating the juice) to my attention. I've deleted it so I hope the confusion is eliminated.

Good luck Jeau --

Buster


Jeau 6 years ago

Hi Buster Bucks...thanks for all the info! I am confused about pear juice. Ten months ago you said it doesn't need to be cooked before freezing, but 8 days ago you said it DOES need to be cooked. So...what should I do?


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Steve,

I don't cover the pot so I'll know when the boiling begins. I don't want to boil the juice for more than about 5 minutes or so.

Good luck with your fruit juice!

Buster


Steve 6 years ago

Buster,

When the fruit is boiled, should it be covered?


Adam 6 years ago

Hi, im adam from sweden. Found ur hub when searching on google. Great tips you have. Thanks


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Doug,

A juicer can make the process easier, that's for sure. However, you'll still need to heat the juice. See my post/comment above for the explanation.

Good luck!

Buster


Doug  6 years ago

Could a person use a juicer and then simply freeze the made Juice?


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Charles,

You're confusing two different concepts. I'll try to explain.

Commercial juice has been heated to an extremely high temperature, and kept at a high temperature for a long while. This helps with storage, preservation, and shelf life. It decreases the flavor, and removes vitamins. It's the reason I like to make my own fruit juice.

The brief boiling that I mention in my article is designed to stop the action of enzymes that cause vegetables (and juices) to lose color and flavor while in the freezer. Trust me on this -- if you don't bring your juice to a boil, you'll end up with juice that is surprisingly flavorless after only a month or so. The key is to boil it for only about 5 minutes, then remove from heat.

This will guarantee delicious juice for you -- even months after you've put it up in your freezer. This brief boiling also insures that the juice maintains its color, rather than fading.

I hope this clarifies this... your misconception is very common.

Thanks for writing --

Buster


Charles Roberts 6 years ago

I make my own fruit juice because the commercial juice has been heated distroying the enzymes. If I freeze it will the juice remain the same as when I make it?


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Jerry,

Bringing the juice to a high temperature stops the actions of enzymes that can discolor and alter the flavor of your juice.

I encourage you to follow the directions as written, to make sure your juice stays fresh and delicious until you drink it!

Good luck!

Buster


Jerry 6 years ago

We are juicing pears from our pear tree. We would like to freeze fresh without cooking the juice but because they discolor in a short period of time should we add lemon juice or ascorbic acid

and how much per 12 oz cup?


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Bonnie,

Fruit juice is good for at least 6 months in the freezer.

Thanks for writing --

Buster


Bonnie 6 years ago

How long can plum and grape juice be stored in the freezer?


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Mary,

My experience is with freezing fruit juice. I like freezing because it maintains color and that fresh taste.

I wish I could help you with canning fruit juice, but I'm not able to. Regardless, thanks for writing.

Buster


Mary 6 years ago

Should I do anything different to can this?


cjmo75 profile image

cjmo75 6 years ago from Tempe, Arizona

Fantastic Hub! This is a really healthy and delicious product. Great information.


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Thanks, Kevin! I really appreciate the information.

Buster


Kevin 6 years ago

Dear Buster,

I came across this information after I read the post from John. I hope this helps.

Kevin

http://flavoralchemy.squarespace.com/journal/a-bit...


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi John,

I've tried to find the answer to your question, without success. If anyone reading this knows why OJ tastes bitter after freezing, I'd love to hear from them.

Buster


John  6 years ago

Why does my orange juice taste bitter after I freeze it?


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Joyce,

Sure, watermelon can taste great... if you start with a great watermelon. These are difficult to find where I live. However, you can add sugar and a bit of lemon juice and sometimes that will liven up the taste of frozen melon juice if it wasn't great to begin with.

Enjoy your "popsicle"!

Buster


Joyce 6 years ago

I was thinking of trying to make a watermelon juice and freeze it very long in the freezer. After I take it out, it would be kind of like a popsicle. Yum!


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi TJ,

The amount of juice depends on the juiciness of the fruit. I know that must seem obvious, but...

... I would encourage you to make juice, and if you discover it's more than you have space for in the freezer, then stop making juice and save the fruit to eat out-of-hand.

Good luck!

Buster


tj 6 years ago

hi!

I was thinking of making some pear juice but I don't have a lot of space to be freezing stuff so I was wondering how much fruit you used and how much juice it made. I would like to just make enough for one fresh batch and wasn't sure how much fruit I needed. Please let me know :)

-tj


Dana 7 years ago

Does juice have to be cooked before freezing? Can you put it throug a juicer, then freeze? New at all this. Inheriting peach and apple trees with new place and am trying to think of quick easy ways of using fruit crops.


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 8 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Penny,

The quality and type of fruit makes a huge difference in the taste of the juice, that's for sure. Personally, I like the juice made from harder apples like Fuji, Rome and Gravenstein.

The best part of making and freezing your own fruit juice, of course, is that you get to experiment and discover for yourself which ones you like best.

Thanks so much for commenting, Penny!

Buster


Penny 8 years ago

Hi

Year after year I make my own apple juice and discovered the difference between the flavours of the juice depends on the firmness of the apple itself. ex: cortland, Richelieu(the best, scab resistant) and Paula Red are great for eating apples or making pies but the Lobo apples, always big apples and having a softer peel, (my observation) make excellent juice. They have a sweetness that makes this juice my favourite.


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 8 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi there,

I've never tried to freeze orange juice myself. However, I've heard lots of people who froze their own OJ and thought it tasted (and looked) terrible.

I *think* that large producers do something (pasteurize?freeze-dry?) that makes the freezing possible -- which may explain why you can freeze store-bought OJ (if you catch it on sale) and it isn't too bad.

If any of my readers have more info, we'd really love to hear from you.

Thanks so much for commenting, Elrets -- I really appreciate it.

Buster


elrets 8 years ago

I froze last year's crop in airtight plastic bottles. Imagine how I felt when upon defrosting the orange juice it tasted terrible. The pulp separates from the juice and when it is mixed there is a definite sour-bitter taste as to make it undrinkable. Any suggestion?


Buster Bucks profile image

Buster Bucks 8 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Hi Zana,

There was a study at the University of Florida that showed boiling didn't decrease the vitamin content of orange juice, pineapple juice, apple juice, and a few others. Tasters noticed a change in flavor for orange juice -- but no change (per the study) was noticed for the other juices.

Drinking juice that's freshly squeezed is always delicious, and really good for you. My article addresses the problem we all face -- the lack of fresh (and superb) fruit juice year-round, so how to preserve it to last much longer? How can we keep that goodness (and save some money, too)?

Thanks for commenting -- I really appreciate it.


Zana 8 years ago

Thank you for the useful information.

I am wondering wether the nutritional value of the fruits are altered from boiling.

Please answer if you know.

Thank you,

Z

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    Buster Bucks241 Followers
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    Buster began cooking as a wee pup by watching his mother fix the kibble. He was hooked. He loves preparing -- and writing about -- food.



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