This Is Why Grandma Always Used Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate to Make Her OJ

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There was a reason for that ice-cold can!

If there was an official cold beverage for breakfast, it would be orange juice. That punch of citrus in the morning can be energizing, plus it delivers some health benefits along the way.

While pouring a glass from a carton will certainly suffice, there has always been something fun about plunking frozen orange juice concentrate into a pitcher and stirring with water. And as it turns out, there’s actually a reason that grandma continued to use the frozen concentrate for years.

When Did Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate Get So Popular?

In the 1930s, producers in Florida and California both found a way to ship already-made, frozen orange juice across the country. But when they discovered the juice was spoiling in transit, it was back to the drawing board.

Frozen orange juice concentrate was introduced in 1945 when USDA scientists revealed a method to remove the liquid from fresh orange juice, creating a concentrate. It was perfect to ship to soldiers during World War II so they could get their vitamin C. Once the producers realized how well the new method worked, Minute Maid Orange Juice was marketed to households due to its simple prep. It could be made in minutes!

For grandmas that grew up or became homemakers during WWII, or even for those who were simply raised with frugal values, it just made sense. The marketing surrounding the juice concentrate focused on how simple it was to reconcentrate the juice, but it also came down to what made sense from a money-saving standpoint. The frozen juice concentrate was much cheaper than purchasing ready-to-drink orange juice, and the concentrate lasted longer tucked away in the freezer.

Can I Still Get It in Stores?

You may not be able to find as many brands or options for orange juice concentrate in the frozen aisle, but it’s still out there. Walmart sells the original Minute Maid concentrate, along with its Great Value brand. Kroger offers their own store brand as well.

Once you find a can, mix it up and get sipping! OJ is delicious on its own, but it’s also the perfect base for drinks such as orange dream mimosas, a refreshing orange juice spritz or perhaps a Jamba Juice-inspired smoothie to start the day.

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Molly Allen
Molly Allen is a previous bakery owner and former event planner. Now, a freelance writer and editor focused on food and beverage, lifestyle, travel and parties, she brings her years of experience and industry knowledge to readers across a variety of platforms.