Celery juice has become an increasingly popular health drink in recent years. Many people start their day with a glass of fresh celery juice, touting its nutritional benefits. But what if you make too much and have leftover celery juice – is it still safe to consume after a few days in the fridge?
How Long Does Celery Juice Last Refrigerated?
The shelf life of celery juice depends on how it is stored. In general, celery juice will last:
- Room temperature: Up to 8 hours
- Refrigerator: 3-5 days
- Freezer: 4-6 months
Properly stored celery juice retains its nutrients best if kept refrigerated and consumed within 3-5 days of preparation. The shelf life can vary slightly based on factors like preparation and storage method.
Signs Celery Juice Has Gone Bad
Over time, celery juice will start to degrade, making it less palatable or safe to drink. Here are some signs your celery juice has gone bad:
- Change in color: Fresh celery juice is a vivid green. It will start to turn brown, yellow or grey as it spoils.
- Change in texture: Spoiled celery juice will become slimy or develop a jelly-like consistency.
- Mold growth
- Unpleasant odors: Rotting celery juice smells sour or unpleasant.
- Off tastes: Rancid, bitter, or unpleasant flavors are a sign the juice has spoiled.
Trust your senses – if celery juice smells, looks or tastes off, err on the side of caution and throw it out. When refrigerated, most people find celery juice retains good flavor and texture for 3-4 days.
Nutrient Retention in Old Celery Juice
Over time, celery juice will start to lose some of its nutrient content, even when refrigerated. Here’s how the nutrients hold up:
- Vitamin C: Degrades quickly. 50% is lost within a day. Drink juice soon after making it.
- Folate: Sensitive to light and air. Store juice in an opaque container.
- Vitamin K: Holds up well for 5-7 days refrigerated.
- Antioxidants: Most remain stable for up to 5 days if refrigerated.
While celery juice keeps a decent amount of nutrients for a few days, it’s always best to drink it fresh. If you won’t finish it within 2 days, consider freezing leftover juice in ice cube trays for longer storage.
Safety Tips for Old Celery Juice
To determine if your 3-day old celery juice is still safe to drink, check:
- The juice was prepared properly with clean equipment.
- It has been refrigerated at 40°F or below the entire time.
- There are no signs of spoilage like changes in sight, smell or texture.
Provided these criteria are met, celery juice stored in a clean, sealed container in the fridge should remain safely drinkable for 3-5 days. However, some people may be more sensitive to Potential risks increase beyond this time frame. Use good judgment, and if in doubt, throw it out.
Taste and Quality of Old Juice
While 3-day old celery juice stored properly may still be safe, its flavor and quality declines with time. Many notice the taste and potency decreases after just a day or two. Common changes include:
- Diminished flavor and aroma
- Reduced vitamin and antioxidant content
- Textural changes from separation or spoilage
- Duller green color
So while 3-day old celery juice won’t make you sick, it may lose some nutritional quality. For the best experience, try to drink your juice within 24 hours.
Extending the Life of Celery Juice
Simple steps to extend the shelf life of celery juice include:
- Store in air-tight container in the fridge.
- Minimize air exposure by filling container to the top.
- Drink within 3 days for best quality.
- Freeze for longer storage.
Sanitation is also important – wash celery thoroughly, and clean juicer parts before each use.
With proper handling and refrigeration, most people find celery juice keeps well for 2-3 days. But for the freshest taste and nutrients, try to enjoy it as soon as possible.
What About Freezing Celery Juice?
Freezing is an effective way to extend the shelf life of celery juice by several months. To freeze:
- Pour juice into ice cube trays or muffin tins.
- Freeze solid overnight.
- Pop out frozen cubes and transfer to freezer bags.
- Thaw cubes and enjoy juice as needed.
Well-frozen celery juice will last 4-6 months in the freezer before quality starts to decline. Defrost only what you will use within 2-3 days.
Can You Refreeze Thawed Celery Juice?
Once thawed, celery juice is best consumed within 2-3 days. It is not recommended to refreeze thawed celery juice, as this increases the risk of bacterial growth.
Only refreeze juice if:
- It still contains ice crystals and has been thawed in fridge.
- It will be used soon after re-freezing.
For best quality and safety, try to just thaw the amount needed. If you do refreeze, use within 24 hours after re-freezing.
How to Make Celery Juice Last Longer
Tips for making celery juice last longer include:
- Use fresh, crisp celery stalks.
- Cut stalks to fit juicer feed for efficient juicing.
- Juice immediately before drinking.
- Store juice in airtight glass jar, filled to the top.
- Refrigerate juice right away.
- Drink within 24-48 hours for best freshness.
Sanitation is also key – thoroughly wash celery and clean equipment before juicing for longer shelf life.
Signs Your Celery Juice Has Fermented
If left too long, celery juice may start to ferment, making it unpalatable. Signs of fermentation include:
- Carbonation – bubbles or fizzing
- Alcoholic smell
- Vinegar-like smell or taste
- Mold growth
- Gas or bloating when consumed
Fermented celery juice is still safe to consume if mold free. But it is unappetizing. The fermentation process also destroys nutrients.
To avoid fermentation, refrigerate juice promptly and drink within 2-3 days.
Benefits of Drinking Celery Juice Fresh
For the maximum health benefits, it’s best to drink celery juice as fresh as possible. Benefits include:
- Higher vitamin and antioxidant levels
- More potent enzymes and anti-inflammatory compounds
- Superior taste and texture
- Prevents oxidation that depletes nutrients
- Low risk of bacterial overgrowth
While celery juice keeps its key nutrients for 2-3 days, fresh is always best. Aim to drink juice within 24 hours, and no more than 3 days after making it.
Potential Downsides of Old Celery Juice
Possible downsides of drinking celery juice past its prime include:
- Diminished nutrient levels
- Unpleasant taste and aroma
- Gastrointestinal upset from bacteria
- Decreased therapeutic properties
- Mold exposure (if visibly moldy)
The risks are low if juice is handled properly. But for maximum nutrition and flavor, try to drink celery juice soon as possible after making it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions about celery juice shelf life:
How long does celery juice last in the fridge?
Properly stored, celery juice will last 3-5 days refrigerated before quality starts to decline. Drink within this time for the best flavor and nutrition.
Can I drink 4-day old celery juice?
It’s not recommended to drink celery juice older than 3-5 days, even when refrigerated. The older it gets, the more the taste, texture and nutritional value deteriorates.
Does celery juice go bad?
Yes, celery juice will eventually spoil and go bad, especially if left at room temperature. Refrigeration extends the shelf life to 3-5 days before it starts to go bad.
Can you freeze celery juice?
Yes, freezing is an effective way to preserve celery juice for 4-6 months. Portion juice into ice cubes or muffin tins before freezing. Thaw cubes as needed.
Should you add lemon to celery juice?
Adding a squeeze of lemon can help preserve celery juice by inhibiting microbial growth. Lemon also balances the flavor. But it’s not required – proper refrigeration will preserve juice.
The Bottom Line
Drinking celery juice that’s 3 days old is likely safe if it’s been handled and stored properly in the refrigerator. However, you may notice diminished flavor, nutrients and quality once it’s more than 24 hours old. For the best experience, try to drink fresh juice within a day of making it.
If you have leftover celery juice, freeze it in ice cubes for longer storage. And as always, use proper judgment – if the juice has an off smell or appearance, it’s better to be safe than sorry and discard it.
|Shelf Life of Celery Juice