Cold-pressed sounds pretty straightforward, right?
Someone or something applies pressure (hence “pressed”) without heat and/or in a cold temperature format. At first glance, that definition seems to make sense. But, we still have questions! What does this pressure do exactly? Why is it cold and not hot? And why are we expected to inherently understand all of these intricacies? Shame on the juice bars and health food stores for not properly educating us consumers. HMPH.
Thank goodness we are here to explain.
Our first guess at what cold-pressed means was sort of close… But we didn’t catch that it’s a hydraulic (meaning liquid) press that uses thousands of pounds of pressure (!) to extract the maximum amount of liquid from fresh fruits and vegetables. (Thank you Cold-Pressed Juice: Hipster Hype or Health Hero? – Food Insight for your help.) Those poor little berries under those thousand pounds of pressure. Sad!
Luckily, it’s not as terrible as it sounds. Since there’s no added heat, more nutrients are saved! Phew. Normally, juicing processes involve high heat, which helps these juices last longer on the shelves than the cold-pressed options (i.e. fresher) you see at the farmer’s market and Whole Foods.
But is this magical elixir technically better than non cold-pressed options? Pros and cons people: While cold-pressed juice is technically more nutrient-rich, the process presses out the pulp, which normally contains a lot of fiber, so it doesn’t fill us up the same way solid food does. And as we all know, some juices will have as much sugar or carbohydrates as some of your other eats, so you know, meditate on that.
Moral of the story: Cold-pressed juice is an accent to our many other lovely meals during the day. It’s a fun way to level up minerals and nutrients but it’s not, like a genie in a bottle.