Old-fashioned hand-squeezed orange juice/Photo byGin Lee
Old-fashioned hand-squeezed orange juice
To a lot of you, it may sound a little silly, but yes, I am really going back to using my grandmother's old-fashioned hand juicer to make delicious, thick, and pulpy old-fashioned orange juice. I do not add any type of sweetener to this juice because there's just no need for it. Not when you use really sweet oranges to start with.
So what's the sweetest orange to use to make naturally sweet homemade orange juice? My answer is probably always going to be navel oranges. Plus, they're the biggest-sized oranges that will give you the most juice. One navel orange will make about 1/4 cup of delicious juice.
Four nice-sized navel oranges will make about one cup of freshly squeezed juice. So, if you're interested in making a quart (4 cups) of fresh squeezed orange juice, you'll need about sixteen navel oranges.
Of course, there are various types of oranges that range in size. I'm using navel oranges as my guide here today, and I will be juicing enough oranges to make approximately two quarts of freshly squeezed orange juice. So, I will be juicing thirty-two oranges by hand today.
There are four quarts in a gallon. So, if you're interested in juicing enough oranges to yield one gallon of juice, you'll need about sixty-four navel oranges.
For whatever amount of oranges you have on hand, the first thing you'll need to do is wash each one in clean, running water and scrub the outer peel if needed. Then slice each orange in half. Take all the seeds out of the cut fruit. I like preparing the oranges in this manner all at once before I begin juicing them.
Next, place one cut half of an orange over the top of your juicer. Then press the fruit down firmly and squeeze the fruit while you turn it clockwise. Keep doing this until all the juice has been squeezed out. Pour the freshly squeezed juice into a jar or pitcher when needed. Keep repeating these steps until all the halves have been juiced.
Save the peelings to dehydrate so that you'll have them to use in other recipes.
If you prefer using an electric juicer, blender, or food processor, you can. Just peel all of the oranges first and separate the segments. Pick out all the seeds, then add the pieces of fruit to your preferred machine and blend until the oranges are juiced to your satisfaction. You may need to add about 1/4 cup of cold water to your machine along with the orange segments.
I don't add any sweetener or water to my freshly squeezed orange juice. You can add both if you prefer your juice to be thinner and sweeter.
I also do not strain my juice, but you can if you dislike having pulp in yours.