There's nothing like a glass of juice on a hot day! It's refreshing, cooling, and darn delicious at the same time. Here at Basmati, we're all about making fresh, natural juices. Do you know why? It’s hard to believe that juice bottling companies would make a product that's dangerous. The process of making juice should be fairly simple:
- Pick fruit
- Prepare fruit for juicing (peel, core, remove seeds, slice, etc.)
- Crush / squeeze / press fruit
- Bottle juice
It should be as simple as that. Unfortunately, it is not to be. Have you ever noticed how store-bought juice has a richer, sweeter flavor than the juice you make in your own juicer or blender? Why do you think it is so?
The Dangers of Store-Bought Juice
When the juice is produced, it isn't used immediately to fill bottles to be shipped off to the supermarkets.
Instead, it is stored in huge holding tanks, and the oxygen is extracted from the juice.
This is done in order to store the juice for much longer, but it has the downside of making the juice a fairly flavorless liquid.
Now, to get the flavorless liquid stored in these holding tanks to taste anything like the juice it once was, the bottling companies have to add "flavor packs" into the juice. Where do these flavor packs come from? I’ll give you a hint: you might spritz yourself in it before a night out in order to spiff up your scent.
"Flavor packs" are made by the same companies that produce fragrances for perfumes. These companies are staffed by chemists who examine the flavors of the original juice and try to reproduce it using a mix of artificial chemicals. These are the very same unnatural and unhealthy flavor packs used to make "orange drink" or orange soda.
The packs are usually high in a chemical called ethyl butyrate, which is found in the fragrance that comes from a freshly squeezed orange. This chemical is used in North American-sold orange juice, while orange juice sold elsewhere - South or Central America, for example - is made with a different combination of chemicals, giving it a different flavor.
To make it worse, you don't even know that these flavor packs are in the juice. Because they are usually made with orange essence or orange oil, the bottler doesn’t have to disclose the information. They just need to say "Made from Oranges," and legally they are off the hook.
To top it off, there is often sugar added into your juices. Juice "concentrate" is usually the concentrated form of the sugars that give the juices their flavor, but with none of the fiber to balance out the sugar content of the fruits. It means you are getting ALL sugar and nothing to stop that sugar from being digested far too quickly by your body.
Why You Should Make Your Own Juice at Home
When you make your own juice, you are using raw, fresh ingredients.
You run those fruits and veggies through your juicer, producing a drink that has ALL the antioxidants and enzymes found naturally in those foods.
You can add fiber into your juice to counteract the high sugar content of fruits, or mix vegetables in with the fruits to ensure a balanced drink. A quick way of adding extra fiber to your juice is by blending it with oats or just adding oats on top of it. Now you have added crunch to soothe your cravings too.
Let’s not forget about the environment! When you buy readymade juice, you end up throwing away a lot of plastic or paper containers. In making your own juice, there is no waste. You’re just reusing glass or plastic containers you have at home.
But best of all, when you make your own juices, you are avoiding the arduous process of juice manufacturing that takes all the "natural" out of the juices most supermarkets sell as "natural fruit juice." You can control what you put in and the taste is all up to you: make your own combinations and become a juicing chef of natural taste and texture.