"When life gives you lemons…"
Have a windfall of fruit or a large harvest? Maybe you had a hail storm this summer that scarred up your harvest. Or many of your fruits just look 'ugly' and no one can bring themselves to eat them - but technically the fruit is still good.
Perhaps you have already made all the preserves, baked goods, and dried snacks possible, and eaten yourself silly of fresh fruit and still have more to use up before it expires!
Just Juice It!
Technically anything can be juiced! Defined as the liquid obtained from a fruit or vegetable, some fruits just have a lot more actual juice in them! While those other less juicy fruits are amazing for lending their pulpy insides to flavoring other beverages, they are thick and not easy to drink on their own. There’s nothing wrong with a thick nectar or a unique tropical punch, but there’s nothing quite as hydrating and refreshing as a tall glass of freshly squeezed and easy-to-drink fruit juice!
While there are loads of other ways to preserve and use your harvest, one way to utilize a large amount of the fruits of your labor is to turn it into juice, nectar, fruit vinegar, mulled wine and cider. Not to mention all the tasty hard ciders and wine too!
Juicing your harvest turns it into liquid goodness! Packed with nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. And it’s an easy way for kids to get their daily servings of fruit. Homegrown fruit beverages made fresh will always taste better fresh and than anything that’s been bottled and on a shelf for who knows how long!
Filled with soluble fiber that supports good bacteria growth and digestive health, fresh juice has been shown to regulate blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, and slow the transit of food through the digestive system, among many other incredible benefits! While it’s healthier to eat the entire fruit, the health benefits of juice-based beverages that still contain a lot of the fruit's pulp include - containing less sugar, increasing your soluble fiber intake (without all the chewing), and won't spike blood sugar quite as badly.
Plus, homemade juice has none of the chemicals, corn syrup or added sugars, fillers, additives, or artificial coloring that store-bought juices contain.
Once juiced, you can then make delicious syrup, create clear jelly or preserves, and use them in your favorite recipes! It also comes with the possibility of fermenting a portion of your harvest for some home-brewed wine, cider, and IPAs!
Is your mouth watering yet? Get ready because here are some of the best Fruit Trees for homemade juice and wine!
These Fruit Trees make the tastiest and healthiest beverages and are the easiest to turn into a wide variety of delicious beverages (both the kid-friendly kind and adult style) that you and your family will love!
Apples are a well-known juicing fruit including fermented hard cider and non-alcoholic and unfiltered cider! You can even make apple cider vinegar from these versatile fruits! Just be sure to leave out the seeds which contain cyanide.
Reduce diabetes, and constipation, help treat anemia, aid heart and liver health, hydrate, and is good for the skin! Kid-friendly Apple juice is also great to make jelly, wonderful to cook poultry and pork in, reduce into a thick sugar-free sweetener, and bulk up other juice without overshadowing their flavors.
Ripe Stonefruit bruises easily and quickly turn, rarely good for long-term keeping. So they must be eaten, dried, or preserved fast. Rich in iron, lycopene, and beta-carotene; juicing your stonefruit is great means of using up a surplus of this highly perishable harvest!
Make your own Apricot, Peach, or Nectarine juice and nectar, or if you choose to make wine, you will enjoy syrupy delicious, sweet-tart summery fermented beverages to sip around the barbecue and firepit.
Tart Cherries are the best for making an incredibly healthy beverage! Packed with loads of anti-inflammatory components, and helps with sleep and joint pain. Cherry juice is packed full of potassium, B and C vitamins, manganese, copper, magnesium, and vitamin K.
Sweet Cherries can be made into incredible beverages too but are not touted with quite as many of the same benefits - not to say they aren’t healthy! Cherry fruit makes great desserts and preserves too. You can of course also make fantastic sweet-tart wine from this fruit! Cherry wine is a wonderful red that’s sweet-tart and slightly acidic in flavor.
These are the iconic fruit trees for juicing and fermented beverages! Citrus Tree juices are well known for creating wonderful dessert wines and cocktail additions. The sky’s the limit for these pulpy fruits! You are sure to know all about summer-time treats like Lemonade and Limeade, Orange juice in the morning, or a healthy glass of Grapefruit juice! Don’t forget to try making your own Lemoncello from Genoa or Santa Teresa Lemons!
You can even juice Mangos! These large fruits can be made into a tropical nectar that’s sweet and tangy! Just place your peeled and chopped fruit in a blender with some ice and water (or other juice!) and whiz up until smooth and creamy. High in fiber and vitamins, it’s considered cleansing and great for digestion! You’ll love the fruity wine you can make from this exotic fruit!
Refreshing and lightly sweet, Pear juice is a wonderful clear drink that helps get Vitamin C and hydration into the pickiest kids! Pear juice or nectar mixes into other juices without taking over their flavors, or is amazing in jelly and adds syrupy sweetness without added sugar.
The wine from Pears can be made alone or mixed with other fruit juices, making both a dry or sweet beverage, and is a very easy wine for beginners to make.
Once you get through that leathery rind, the jewel-like seeds inside Pomegranates are just begging to be made into delicious and vitamin-packed juices! Scoop out the seeds and run them through a juicer, or go old-school and squish them through a lemon press or through a mesh strainer.
There are too many nutritional benefits from this fruit to list, but all are imparted into the clear pink juice that the arils contain. The red wine made from Pomegranates is a festive beverage and is usually spiced for the holidays.
You can also juice Persimmons! Enjoy a thick, bright orange juice that is loaded with immune-system and metabolism boosters like beta-carotene, phytonutrients, vitamin C, and manganese. Persimmon juice may be effective in reducing heart disease due to its high soluble fiber content. Persimmon Wine has a melon and pear flavor that’s delicate and sweet.
Plum juice is known for helping with anxiety, and digestion, reducing blood sugar, lowering inflammation and high blood pressure, reducing risks of stroke and heart disease, and improving bone health because of its antioxidants and soluble fiber!
Sweet Plum wine is a popular drink in Japan. Usually, Plum wine is a dessert wine that’s syrupy and sweet and served chilled.
Papayas contain antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and E, and may reduce the risk of heart disease. The tropical creamy fruit creates a lovely orange-hued juice when blended. You can even make wine and drinks from these exotic fruits!
Tropical trees to include if your climate allows are Guava Trees, Barbados Cherry and Jabuticaba. Mix the juice from these exotic fruits with others for punch, add a kick of flavor to your favorite recipes, or make wine full of tropical flavors with any of these juicy gems!
Wash and prep your fruit by removing bad spots and bruises that break the skin. Remove any seeds and peel away thicker skins. Cut into manageable pieces and use as soon as possible, freezing the fruit if you aren’t going to be able to use it immediately.
Strain (if desired) through a chinois, or press it through a strainer, or go old-school and squish the fruit through a lemon press or through a mesh strainer, or even wring it out in cheesecloth.
After straining, be sure to bottle your juice in a sterile airtight container and refrigerate it straight away. Usually, straight juice without preservatives or sugar lasts a few days in the fridge. Many add lemon juice or other citrus juice to stop any oxidation and browning that may occur after juicing. This oxidation also means you are losing nutrients with time.
Smaller batches can be frozen and used as needed. If you have a pressure canner, you can preserve your juices for longer-term storage and make them shelf-stable. Just keep it in a cool, dark location. Always remember to label and date your juice.
If you are serving fresh juice to babies and children, it is highly recommended to pasteurize your juice by heating it to about 158°F (70°C). This kills bacteria and possible microorganisms that may be present - especially if you use any fruit that has fallen onto the ground.
Pasteurizing the juice also helps prolong shelf life and prevents unwanted clarification.
Because most juice is naturally acidic, it readily inhibits the growth of yeast, bacteria and yeast when treated and stored properly.
Not everyone likes pulp in their orange juice and fewer yet would like to try to drink seeds that get stuck in your teeth. Therefore, most juice is strained to make it easier to go down and more kid-friendly. So it goes without saying that the aftermath of making juice or wine from your harvest is all the pulp and peels that are left over.
Here are a few ideas to eliminate food waste and use every ounce of your harvest!
Juice up your diet and expand your family's sustainability! Make your own wine, hard cider, and fruit-flavored beer! You'll want to check out some of our quality Hops plants for some home-brewed fruity IPAs!
You will, of course, want to include some fruiting bushes and fruiting plants in your orchard to ensure you're getting as many nutrients and antioxidants from a wide range of sources as possible! Include Elderberry bushes, Blackberry and Raspberry bushes, Goji Berries, Aronia berry bushes, Passionfruit Vines, Strawberries, Watermelon, Grapevines, Pineapple plants, Dragon fruit plants, and any of our other fruiting edible landscaping plants! Broaden your family's food access and sustainability.
For how to grow these and many more delicious fruiting trees, shrubs, and more - head over to Nature Hills.com and check out everything available for you to deliciously add liquid flavor and nutrition to your diet today!