Seasonal Fruit Plus Juicing Adds Up To Healthy and Frugal Living

By ERIN TURNER

I am a huge advocate for eating seasonally for three reasons:

  • It is a more natural and sustainable way of life.
  • It is frugal.
  • The produce is at its peak flavor and quality.

Eating produce in season makes “frugal cents”!  Buy fruits and veggies in season when prices are low, stock up and find ways of preserving them.  That is what our family tries to do with all our produce.  We freeze, dry and can most of our produce.  But this last week we have been doing another method of preservation with the seasonal produce.

We have been juicing it!  Oh sure, juicing seems to be the big trend in natural and clean eating circles these days.  But it’s not a new thing…people have been juicing for a very long time.

Can you guess what fruit is in season right now?  Yup, citrus fruit.  All the oranges, lemons, grapefruits and limes are at low prices right now and they are full of flavor and juicy. Santa may have brought you some oranges in your stocking…that’s an old tradition.

photo 1

My grandmother’s glass juicer is easy, simple and does the best job of juicing those juicy, sweet citrusfruits.

This week at Albertson’s you can buy Clementines for $3.88/3lbs or Minneola Tangelos for .99/lb and large Navel Oranges for .99/lb.  Stock up and then juice up!

I do have a fancy juicer and love using it for things like sweet potatoes, kale, beets, carrots and other fruits and veggies but when it comes to citrus, I go old-school.  I have my grandmother’s hand juicer, made of glass, which she would hand squeeze orange juice almost every morning for her family. It’s easy, simple and does the best job of juicing those juicy, sweet citrus fruits.  A lot of people have these funny looking kitchen gadgets in their house but they usually go unused.  Pull ‘em out folks.  If you don’t have one, run to your nearest store and you’ll find one in the kitchen tool section.

One large Navel orange will usually produce about ½ cup of juice.  Obviously this will depend on each individual fruit but that’s an average you can expect.  You can also expect less juice out of the clementines and tangelos.

With cold and flu season looming over us, good nutrition is critical and citrus fruit provides many necessary and important vitamins and minerals to maintain good health. By juicing fresh citrus fruit, you are retaining all of those germ-killing vitamins and minerals.  When we drink of fresh juice, we can literally hear our bodies thanking us.

I also have to say that a ½ cup serving is a concentrated amount, so while you may be thinking that isn’t even close to an amount that you normally drink, I think you will find that a ½-3/4 cup of fresh squeezed juice is plenty.  Another frugal aspect of juicing your own fruit.

Now, I’ve been focusing on oranges but this method applies to lemons and limes as well.  I have purchased bottled lemon juice and am always so disappointed at its lack of zing.  (Important note: if you do any canning, you will want to use bottled lemon juice vs. fresh because the bottled has a consistent pH which is critical in your canning recipes.)   We use lemon and lime juices in our cooking, in our hot teas and also in our homemade Cold and Flu Tonic, so having fresh juice is crucial.

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My husband Jon enjoying fresh squeezed orangejuice.

Many people contend that fresh squeezed juice is time consuming.  But we haven’t found that to be true at all.  If you compare it to the time it takes to defrost a frozen can of orange juice concentrate, wrestle with getting the lid off and then mixing it with water and stirring, I think you’ll find a very small time differential.  It really only takes a few twists of fruit to have a glass of juice ready to enjoy.

My family loves fresh squeezed juice.  When they see oranges piled up on the counter, they know they are in for a treat.   As a mom, I feel good about serving fresh juice…I know it is pure and has all the vitamins and nutrients to help my boys grow strong and healthy.

So, have I convinced you to run out and stock up on the seasons lowest priced fruit and juice away?  I hope so!  If not for the health benefits then at least for the frugal benefits!  Hurry up before the season changes!

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 Erin’s got tons of tips for saving money, couponing, sticking to a budget, and living sustainably in her blog archive.

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Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.

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