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Apple Juice – How to make the most delicious homemade apple juice without an apple juicer and without any added sugar. Simple and easy Instant Pot recipe.
For the longest time, I really thought I needed an apple juicer or an apple press for juicing apples. I’m not sure why I thought that because after learning how to make my own apple juice, I realize how easy it really is.
And while I used my Instant Pot, you can totally make this homemade apple juice on your stove. The cook time just may be a little longer.
There is no added sugar in this apple juice either. The only ingredients you need are apples and water. Of course, you want a sweeter tasting apple, but we’ll talk about the types of apples you can use.
You can make apple juice, apple jelly, and applesauce all at the same time. For now, let’s focus on homemade juice.
I JUST WANT THE RECIPE! TAKE ME TO THE RECIPE FOR APPLE JUICE!
If you’d rather skip all of my cooking tips, important cooking info for this recipe, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to the delicious apple juice recipe – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card.
WHERE CAN I FIND THE BEST APPLES FOR JUICING?
Fall is a great time to find the best apples for juicing, but you can use any apples you find, whether you’re shopping at an orchard, a farmer’s market, or the store.
However, in the fall, you can usually buy seconds at just about any orchard (and sometimes at the farmer’s market). Meaning you can buy a HUGE box of apples for a lot less than normal cost, which is going to save you a ton of money.
Now I will say… It takes a LOT of apples to get very little juice, jelly, apple butter, or applesauce. But in my opinion, it’s totally worth it.
WHAT KIND OF APPLES SHOULD I USE TO MAKE APPLE JUICE?
There are certain types of apples that are sweeter and certain types of apples that have a more tangy, sour taste.
In the case of homemade apple juice, you probably want to use a sweeter apple, so you don’t have to add any sugar.
I used Gala apples for this recipe because they were available as seconds at our local orchard. Gala have a very sweet taste.
The best apples for juicing include:
- Yellow Delicious or Golden Delicious
- and Pink Lady
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN APPLE JUICE AND APPLE CIDER?
There are a few differences between apple juice vs apple cider.
Apple juice is going to be a thinner, more transparent liquid without any pulp left behind.
Apple cider is a thicker, more opaque juice, and it may have pulp and chunks of apple left behind.
And in terms of commercial apple cider vs apple juice, apple juice is pasteurized and has a longer shelf life than apple cider.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MAKING YOUR OWN APPLE JUICE?
Remember the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” Apples have a ton of nutritional value and are a great addition to our diet.
While you’d probably get a LOT more benefit out of the whole apple, apple juice is a good source of vitamin C and potassium. It’s also a great source of antioxidants.
And since you are able to cook most of the apple, including the core and peeling, when making juice, you may have added fiber and other nutrients that a whole apple provides.
Not to mention, homemade apple juice tastes so much better than store bought. It’s so fresh and crisp and light.
TIPS FOR HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE APPLE JUICE:
For this recipe, you’ll need about 5 pounds of apples, a little bit of water, and an Instant Pot (a pot on the stove will work too, just with a longer cooking time).
- Wash the apples.
- Using a paring knife, remove any bad spots.
- Core the apples, either peeling them or leaving the peeling intact; you’ll throw the peeling in the pot too, even if you peel the apples.
- Cut the apples into chunks.
- Remove the stem and the blossom ends of the apple cores, and throw the cores into your Instant Pot, along with the apple chunks and peelings.
- Add enough water to cover about half of the apples. In our case, we used about 5 pounds of apples and 5 cups of water.
- Close your Instant Pot, and set it to Pressure Cook on Normal for 6 minutes.
- Let the valve naturally release after cooking.
- After cooking, you’ll just need to strain the juice from your apples. You can do this with a mesh strainer and/or a flour sack towel or cheesecloth.
- Try not to squeeze the ingredients too much, so you don’t get a lot of pulp in your juice. Instead let the juice drip into a container for an hour or so.
You can strain the leftovers in a food mill to make applesauce. And you can either drink the juice or make homemade apple jelly with a little bit of it.
WHAT ABOUT ARSENIC/CYANIDE IN THE APPLE SEEDS?
Studies have shown that you’d have to eat a whole lotta seeds to have any risk of poisoning. And in this case, we’re not eating the seeds, we’re simply cooking them in the mixture to get the added benefits of the natural pectin in the apple core.
I’m just going to leave you with this article from Pick Your Own: Cyanide, Arsenic, and Other Toxins in Fruit: Facts, Myths, and Old Wive’s Tales. Blender Mom also has a really informative post about how Apple Seeds Are Safe. If you’re still not sure, Here’s How Many Apple Cores It Would Take to Poison You.
Again, for this recipe, we’re simply cooking the seeds and cores, then straining them out.
CAN I FREEZE HOMEMADE APPLE JUICE?
Yes, you can. In fact, you can freeze or can apple juice, whichever you prefer. We usually don’t keep it around long enough to do either/or; but if you make enough, yes, you can freeze it.
If you choose to can it, Ball has wonderful Canning Guides to guide you through the process.
IF YOU LOVE THIS APPLE JUICE RECIPE, TRY SOME OF OUR OTHER APPLE FAVORITES:
Apple Jelly without Pectin (coming soon)
Cinnamon Applesauce (coming soon)
Spiced Apple Cider (coming soon)
And learn how to use your Instant Pot with our Instant Pot Quick Start Guide, filled with practical tips, Instant Pot recipes, accessory ideas, and more!
KITCHEN TOOLS YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE INSTANT POT APPLE JUICE:
Apple Corer/Peeler/Slicer – This actually makes the process of chopping up the apples a lot quicker.
Paring Knife – for trimming off any bad spots or slicing the apples.
Food Mill – if you want to make applesauce from the leftovers.
APPLE JUICE RECIPE
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Homemade Apple Juice without an Apple Juicer
How to make the most delicious homemade apple juice without an apple juicer and without any added sugar. Simple and easy Instant Pot recipe.
- 5 pounds apples
- 5 cups water
Wash the apples.*
Remove any bad spots from the apples.
Core the apples and cut them up into chunks, either peeling them or leaving the peeling intact. Throw the chunks and peelings into your Instant Pot.
Remove the stem and the blossom ends of the apple cores, and throw the cores into the pot.
Add enough water to cover about half of the apples. In this case, we used about 5 pounds of apples and 5 cups of water.
Close your Instant Pot, and set it to Pressure Cook on Normal for 6 minutes.
Allow the valve to naturally release after cooking.
Let the juice drip into a container for an hour or so.***
Once you have all the juice you can possibly get, pour the juice into a pitcher or cups for drinking.
For what to do with leftovers, see the Recipe Notes.****
* We used Gala apples for our juice, but you can use any kind of apples. The best apples for juicing are Gala, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Rome, and Pink Lady.
**When straining the juice from your apples, try not to squeeze the ingredients too much, so you don't get a lot of pulp in your juice. Instead let the juice drip into a container for an hour or so.
***We hung our flour sack towel from a cabinet door handle (make sure it's strong enough to support the weight) and let it drip into a small bucket.