Ever wondered how to juice without a juicer? You’re not alone!
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have enough counter space, dread the clean-up, or you’re just becoming curious about juicing – you don’t need a juicer. You don’t have to have an expensive machine to make a healthy, refreshing beverage at home.
The first juicing machine was invented in the 1930s, but it’s not like people only ate whole fruit up to that point. You can pulverize fruit and strain the juice, cook juice concentrate on the stovetop, or squeeze citrus fruit for a glass of that sweet nectar. Making juice out of fruit and veggies is as old as humanity itself, and you too can use one of these methods that stood the test of time. Here’s how.
How to Prepare Your Fruits and Veggies for Juicing
Fresh-squeezed juice is refreshing and super healthy, but it’s not as simple as dropping whole apples into a juicer to make the magic happen. You need to prepare your produce for juicing, whether you do it in a juicer or by hand. No worries, though – it’s quick and easy.
Note – the instructions below apply to all produce except for citrus fruit.
A Thorough Wash
First things first – wash your fruits and veggies thoroughly.
It doesn’t matter if you buy organic or not, or if you get your produce at a farm, a local shop, or a supermarket. Even if you picked the fruit from the tree yourself, it’s necessary to wash it before eating. The label says the item is washed? Wash it anyway – better safe than sorry!
Make sure your hands are clean before handling food.
Most of the time, it’s enough to hold your fruits and vegetables under a stream of running water for approximately 30 seconds. Gently rub the parts with visible dirt like soil.
Alternatively, you can soak produce in water with a bit of baking soda for 3-5 minutes. Baking soda helps get rid of traces of pesticides. Then, rinse well.
Remove Peel and Seeds
Next up, it’s time to remove any leaves, peel, and seeds.
Carefully take the leaves off of fruit like strawberries, since it may make the juice taste bitter. There’s no need to remove the edible peel off apples (even the seeds can stay) since manual juicing methods require straining anyway. Remove the pits from stone fruit like cherries and peaches.
The last bit of preparation you need to do is slicing. You don’t need to cut small fruit like strawberries or cherries, but you definitely need to chop apples, pears, carrots, and other large produce into smaller chunks.
Cut a medium apple into 8 pieces. Four pieces per peach will do. Long veggies like celery and cucumber can be cut up into 3-inch sticks. Go smaller for carrots.
What can you use instead of a juicer?
If you want to consistently get high-quality juice at home, a masticating juicer is your best bet. But if your kitchen space is limited, you’re only curious about juicing, or you simply want to make your own morning glass of OJ for a change, investing in a juicer may not make sense. In cases like that, you can rely on tested and tried, traditional ways to make juice without a juicer: blending, squeezing, and cooking.
On the bright side, you won’t be bothered with juicer cleaning, since every other method leaves less mess.
1. Make Juice in a Blender
Blenders are so versatile. From puree to smoothies and of course juice, with a little know-how – a blender can do it all. Although, we must remember that a blender will not keep as much nutrients as a juicer, especially when it comes to juicing greens.
You can blend pretty much anything: leafy greens like kale, celery, roots like carrots and ginger, cucumbers, and pretty much any fruit out there – from pineapples to blueberries.
All you need is:
- Washed and sliced produce
- Fine mesh strainer / Cheesecloth / Nut milk bag
- Large bowl – ideally one that fits your strainer
How to Make Juice in a Blender
- First things first, you need to blend your ingredients well. Chop up your produce and put it into the blender, together with ¼ cup (approximately 60 ml) of cold water to help get the process started.
- Once you have an evenly blended puree, it’s time to strain it. Put a fine-mesh strainer on your bowl and pour or drain your juice through a cheesecloth (for extra filtered juice, combine the two). The strainer method may require you to stir the puree with a spoon to release the juice, and the cheesecloth method requires squeezing the juice by hand out of the cloth and into the bowl.
- Serve the juice immediately. You may store it in the fridge for up to 3 days, but it won’t taste as refreshing later on. Add a bit of lemon juice to help your blended juice last a bit longer.
Grating – An Alternative to Blending
If you want to make a glass of juice without a blender (but don’t want to cook or squeeze either), you can use a grater to pulverize fruit. It takes more elbow grease but the fresh juice is worth the hassle.
Grating works well apples, pears, carrots, cucumbers, ginger, and even tomatoes. However, leafy greens, extra fibrous fruits like pineapples, or small items like berries are nearly impossible to grate.
All you need to do is grate the produce, and then filter the juice using a mesh strainer, a nut milk bag, or a cheesecloth (just like you would after blending).
2. Squeeze Juice Out of a Citrus
Citruses are an incredible source of juice. They’re so easy to squeeze that they make by far the most popular homemade juice.
Whether you have lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits, pomelos, or anything in between, juicing will be easy peasy.
In terms of preparation, all you need to do is cut the fruit in half.
However, before you start cutting, try this simple trick. Put the citrus on your countertop, press it with your hand, and start rolling it firmly back and forth. This will loosen up the juice on the inside, helping you yield more juice, no matter what kind of citrus you have.
There are four ways to squeeze any citrus:
3. Cook Juice on the Stovetop
Use fruit like apples or pears, stone fruit like apricots, cherries, nectarines, or mango, or small, soft fruit like strawberries or berries like blueberries or currants.
Here’s how to cook juice concentrate:
- Put your fruit in a pot and cover it with water.
- Bring the water to a boil on medium heat. If working with harder fruit like apples, leave the pot covered and simmer for 30 minutes. If you’re using softer fruit, feel free to leave the pot uncovered – as boiling water evaporates, you’ll get juice concentrate.
- With occasional stirring, let the fruit boil until it becomes a mushy pulp.
- Let it cool and then strain the juice with a strainer or a cheesecloth.
If you let the juice cook uncovered, you’ll get a strong-tasting juice concentrate. You can add water, sugar, or honey to the mix, or you can dilute the concentrate with sparkling water to get tasty soda!
Refrigerate the juice for up to one week. Keeping the juice in an airtight container will help it stay fresh longer.
No Juicer? No Problem.
These days, it’s not easy to find treats that are both delicious and healthy. Luckily, you can make amazing, preservative-free juice out of hand-picked quality ingredients at home – without ever purchasing expensive juicing equipment.
Over here at The Home Dweller, we love discovering efficient and practical ways to do things around the home. If you tried one of these juicing methods out or you know someone who might enjoy them, feel free to share this article on social media! Now go and enjoy a fresh glass of homemade juice