Fresh squeezed orange juice is such a refreshing drink to make in the cold Winter months. Citrus is in season so grab a bag of your favorite oranges let's go!
If you've never made this treat before, you'll be surprised by how easy it is to make with 0 sugar added or fancy gadgets. All you'll need is a dozen oranges, a knife and your hands.
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Orange juice made from scratch has a special place in my heart because of how I grew up drinking it.
I first tried this juice made fresh in Morocco, after walking through a marketplace for hours. It was the perfect thirst quenching drink that changed my perspective of freshly squeezed juice completely.
It's made with one ingredient, no sugar and yet it's such a satisfyingly sweet treat.
It's one of my favorite aspects of Moroccan food and culture; such simple ingredients can create such magical flavor. If you like this classic Moroccan drink, you'll love this Moroccan mint tea.
What's the Big Deal with Homemade Juice?
I remember juice being a 'big deal' ever since I was a kid.
It's nearly impossible to block out our society's collective obsession with Jamba Juice back in 2010 and that weird period of our lives when everyone was drinking celery juice for breakfast.
Whether you're drinking juice because it's healthy or because it's a trend, the reality is that fresh squeezed juice is always better than store bought. The freshness in flavor is unmatched.
The same is the case for fresh squeezed orange juice.
Drinking a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice on a hot summer day is something you need to experience. I truly believe it to be one of those simple pleasures in life we all deserve.
The beauty of making your own orange juice at home is that the ingredient list is incredibly simple; all you need is a dozen oranges and you'll have enough juice to share with a friend.
When it comes to picking your variety of orange, I recommend trusting your gut. I've experimented with Navel oranges, Blood oranges, Cara Cara, and Valencia and had great success with all.
Some varieties of oranges will result in sweeter juice while others will have a more tart result. Pick your favorite variety and get started!
Orange Juice in Marrakech
In Marrakech, you will find vendors selling this juice all throughout the marketplace (also known as the Medina). Their carts heaping with pyramids of oranges stacked high, with pitchers of fresh juice and their warm voices calling out to offer you a glass.
Growing up, my dad would take us to his hometown and we would spend hours walking through the Medina. He grew up in this globally known market, playing soccer in the corridors, walking to school with his friends and saving up for a glass of cold orange juice.
How to Make it
Like most juice recipes, there are a few different ways you can achieve the final result. I like to minimize my kitchen gadgets as much as possible, so I'm sharing a method that requires no fancy gadgets first:
With your Hands: this is my go-to method because I don't have to get any tools dirty and it's super simple. Start by rinsing your oranges well, then slice them in half and start squeezing into a glass. Keep going until you've made enough for a full glass! If you need a little help, this tool can make things a lot easier.
With a Blender: a blender is a great option if you don't feel like using your hands but also don't feel like investing in an official juicing tool. Start by peeling your oranges with a perry knife, then chop into fourths before tossing into your blender. Blend until consistent in texture and then pour through a mesh strainer or nut milk bag to separate all solids from the juice.
With a Juicer: if you've got a juicer that you already know how to operate, this recipe is as simple as giving your oranges a good wash and a rough chop and throwing them in your juicer, peel and all! The machine should do the work of separating the solids from the liquids and result in an awesome cup of juice.
The Moroccan Way: many street vendors in Morocco will use a manual press tool that works beautifully when juicing all citrus fruits.
It's a great addition to your kitchen if you find yourself juicing oranges, lemons or any kind of citrus on a regular basis. Plus it's just fun to use!
How to Use Your Orange Juice
Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy this fresh squeezed treat:
- sauces - fresh OJ makes an amazing addition to sauces as a natural sweetener
- smoothies - try a splash of this juice in your next smoothie instead of a store bought juice or dairy alternative
- drink it straight - you know what to do here!
Pulp vs No Pulp
The great debate of pulp vs no pulp in our orange juice has been going on as long as I can remember. I honestly don't have a preference and enjoy orange juice in all forms.
If you have strong feelings about having no pulp, consider running your juice through a mesh strainer several times. This will help remove as many solids as possible.
Helpful Juicing Tools
You can make your orange juicing tools as simple or complex as you'd like, but here are some of my favorites:
- handheld citrus squeezer
- blender and nut milk bag (can be used to make all kinds of juice)
- juicer (can be used to make all kinds of juice)
- traditional citrus squeezer
Unlike storebought orange juice, freshly squeezed has no preservatives. This means it won't keep for as long as a carton you buy at the store.
That said, this fresh squeezed orange juice should keep in an airtight jar in your fridge for 2 days. You could also freeze it in ice cube trays and enjoy for as long as 2 months after preparation.
In my experience, this juice is so good there are almost never leftovers.