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How to Make Apple Juice: From Branch to Blender

You just spent a gorgeous day picking apples at the orchard. You've eaten some – and others have gone into sweet treats like pies, muffins, and cobblers – but you still have quite a few apples left! Juicing apples is a great way to take those extra apples and turn them into a sweet and delicious drink.

You may be wondering - How is apple juice made? And juicing a bunch of apples may seem like a daunting task. In this guide, we've broken it down to the basics: this is why you should make homemade apple juice, the tools you’ll need, and how to do it step by step.

What's so Good About Homemade Apple Juice?

Benefits like minerals and vitamins aside, apple juice is delicious and refreshing! There is simply no substitute for apple juice, and the homemade version is by far the best. Drinking apple juice is an excellent way to hydrate; just make sure your daily water intake is greater, even if it's unfiltered apple juice. This is because juiced apples are high in calories and low in fiber. 

Now, do you find yourself asking, "Is apple juice good for you?" Rest assured, you can enjoy that golden glass of apple goodness guilt-free as long as you do it in conjunction with a healthy diet of fresh vegetables and fruits. Apples are healthy, and as with everything else, moderation is key. 

Apples That Make the Best Pure Apple Juice

Some will swear by Red Delicious as the reigning apple for making the sweetest and best apple juice. Others will claim that Fuji, Golden Delicious, or even Gala will give Red Delicious a run for its money as the best apples for juicing.

Before you choose your apples, decide which route you want your tastebuds to travel. You don't have to stick to the sweet varieties; there are also tart apples to try, such as Granny Smith (for a green apple juice), Pink Lady, and Empire. These apples provide a sharp and refreshing jolt to your senses while satisfying your thirst.

You could also consider balancing your flavor profile by blending different varieties of apples. Make your homemade juice with a blend of Golden Delicious and Granny Smith. This perfect mix gives you a delectable flavor right in between tart and sweet. 

Experiment with the different apple tastes by blending various apple varieties. Whether you choose strictly sweet, tart, or balanced, you'll soon find your favorite flavor. 

How To Make Juice?

You may be surprised at how quickly you'll learn how to make apple juice, or you could even try your hand at apple cider. (Yes, they are actually quite different! Find out more about apple cider vs. apple juice here.)

Once you have your workstation set up and are in your apple juicing groove, the process is pretty simple. Whether you decide to let your juicer or press do the work or go the manual route, one thing to consider is the quantity of juice you wish to make. 

If you're wondering how many apples in a cup of juice, keep in mind that roughly three medium apples make one cup of juice!

Get That Blender Ready!

Here’s everything you need to prepare to make your own tasty apple juice at home.

Get your apples ready - For the freshest apple juicing options, visit an orchard or local apple farm during the fall. And if your apple craving sets in and it's not fall, don't despair. Even if you visit those same orchards or farms well after apple season has ended, you'll still find bushels of apples you can use for juice. You may even get lucky and take home some discounted fall stock!

The tools you need - The most important tool you'll need in your homemade apple juice extracting arsenal is, of course, a juicer, press, or blender. With so many types available, you'll easily find the right version for the right price.

How apple juice is made will depend on the tools you have to make it and the apple juice ingredients you'll use. An apple slicer will make your life a lot easier! This handy kitchen gadget makes fast work of cutting apples into more manageable pieces for juicing.

What to watch out for - One thing you'll notice is that your first batch of juice will quickly turn from a light golden or hay color to a caramel brown color. Don't panic! This is not because you did something wrong or don't know how to make apple juice. It is because the apples are oxidizing. If you want a lighter juice, add a bit of lemon juice to your freshly juiced apples.

How to Make Homemade Apple Juice with a Juicer or Press

To make apple juice, you will need:

  • Apples (sweet, tart, blended, or a combination of all three)
  • A juicer or an apple press
  • An apple peeler and corer
  • Cutting board
  • A cheesecloth or nut milk bag (used as a filter)
  • The juice of a lemon to prevent oxidation

Ingredients:

10 lbs of apples (about 13 cups of apple pieces or 40 medium apples)

1 tbsp of lemon juice (this prevents browning)

Directions:

  1. Make sure you wash your apples thoroughly. 
  2. Peel, then core the apples so that you will avoid having seeds in your juice. 
  3. Slice the apples into pieces that fit in your juicer. Your juicer probably has specific instructions. 
  4. Make sure you follow all of these steps carefully before you make apple juice. 

Tips and Tricks:

Having a bit of pulp in your juice is not only okay, but it's also healthier as it adds fiber and plant compounds. However, most juicers separate the juice from the pulp. If you’d rather have a smooth juice, just pour your freshly juiced apple juice into a container and use the pulp in other apple-inspired recipes!

And if you end up with a bit of foam on top of your juice? It is perfectly fine to drink but can be skimmed off with a spoon if you prefer a clearer look to your juice. You can also strain your juice through the cheesecloth, filtering out the remaining pulp.

By stirring in lemon juice, you will prevent any browning of the juice, but make sure you store your juice in your refrigerator to prevent it from spoiling. Juice can last anywhere from 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. This recipe makes about 8 servings of juice.

How to Make Apple Juice Without a Juicer or Press

What you'll need to make your homemade apple juice:

  • Apples (sweet, tart, blended, or a combination of all three)
  • A mesh strainer (fine)
  • An apple peeler and corer
  • A potato masher
  • A large cooking pot
  • A blender
  • Cutting board
  • A cheesecloth or nut milk bag (used as a filter)
  • The juice of a lemon to prevent oxidation

Ingredients:

10 lbs of apples (about 13 cups of apple pieces or 40 medium apples)

1 tbsp lemon juice (this prevents browning)

Directions:

  1. Wash, peel, and core your apples. This prevents discoloration and bitterness in the juice. 
  2. Discard the skin and cores. 
  3. Pour water into a large pot to cover just the bottom, then add your apples and begin to heat on a medium covered with a lid. 
  4. Cook your apples until they can be poked with a fork and are soft. Puree the apples in a blender or mash them with the potato masher. 
  5. Strain your apple puree into a bowl through a strainer and begin to press down until you see the juice start to drain into the bowl. One press may not be enough, so make sure you keep pressing until you drain most of the liquid from the puree.
  6. Once your juice is strained and you have only the pulp left in the strainer, keep the pulp for any apple baked goods and pour your newly pressed juice into a container. Add your lemon juice to the apple juice and keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.

If you wish to have a more unfiltered version of this recipe, simply add your soft apple pieces to a blender or a food processor and blend everything until you reach the desired juice-like consistency. 

It’s Time to Juice!

From simple recipes to the different apples to use and the equipment needed such as blenders and presses, making apple juice will be as easy as making apple pie. 

Whether you use the tools or go for it the old-fashioned way, you can make apple juice at home and enjoy all the benefits and fresh flavor! Is apple juice healthy? Yes, as long as you don't skip on your water intake. 

So, go ahead and enjoy that delicious glass of fresh homemade apple juice!

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