Fruit juices are healthy if they are (1) organic; (2) not heat treated; (3) stored in a frozen state; and (4) frozen in good plastic or glass containers (be sure to leave space for freezing expansion in both glass and plastic).
First, some science:
If you heat-treat (pasteurization) foods, you destroy enzymes. Heat-treated about 103 degrees Fahrenheit degrades the enzymes present in the food. Healthful food means keeping the enzymes intact. There are over 3,000 enzymes that the body uses. To heat most enzymes causes degrading of the chemicals to the point of deactivation. Enzymes are catalysis that cause other reactions and are not usually used up in the reaction.
To make good cranberry juice that is stable and healthy, try this method:Materials:
· Fresh or frozen organic cranberries;
· Clean empty “good” plastic gallon jugs;
· An apple press or a juicer that does not use heat;
Procedure:· Buy the organic cranberries (go on line to cranberry sites). The closer to the grower and harvest time, the better. 12 gallons of berries will make 1 gallon of juice concentrate.
· Freeze the berries. After 3 to 4 days in the freezer, pull out and thaw berries (about 24 hours more or less). By freezing the berries, you can choose to juice them at your convenience, plus it helps stabelize the enzymes. My experience is that this also creates more juice, and makes the juice sweeter.
· Take the thawed organic cranberries and either place them in a clean apple press or a juicer.
· If using an apple press, first put a mesh bag in the press and then add the cranberries. Press the berries and catch the juice. Put the pressed juice into gallon jugs (leave about 2 to 3 inches of space for expansion) and freeze. Doing this will give you more juice and keep the juice stable. The pressed remains are frozen in zip lock bags to later be used in baking, cereals, yogurt, ice cream, smoothies, garnish in salads, pies etc.
· If you use a electric juicer collect the fiber for food additives as above. Refreeze the juice and fiber as above. If you freeze the juice and fiber, the shelf life is between 6 months to a year.
The juice is a concentrate. It can be rather strong, so most people cut the concentrate with other juices or water. You can sweeten it to your personal taste by adding a sweetener of choice, or by mixing the concentrate with an already-sweet juice (such as apple juice). Both the pressed berries (cranraisins) and the juicer fiber is great for food additives. Most “dried” cranberry raisins are floated in a high sugar solution and lightly coated with oil as they want to stick. Some organic growers/processors are using organic apple juice concentrate to “dry” the raisins. If you keep the raisins frozen, they will last 6 months to a year (we have found).
Also, cranberry juice is one of the best natural treatments for urinary tract infections. A small shot of straight cranberry concentrate will go a long way to clearing things up!