Almost everyone loves fruit, but unless the fruit is simple to grab-and-go, many of us forego digging into some of the more yummy and healthful of fruits. We’re all busy these days, and simple fruits, such as apples and bananas, along with easier prepackaged foods, tend to be common snack choices, rather than fruits like pineapple and mango. And when it comes to using fruits for juicing, it can get a little tricky.
Juicing is a wonderful way to change the way your family consumes fruits and vegetables. Incorporating a beautiful variety of tastes and playing with different combinations of fruits for juicing may entice you to introduce (or at least increase) the variety of fruits your entire family consumes. But you should know, that not all fruit can be just tossed into the juicer as is. There are components of some fruit (seeds, leaves, peel) that are not healthy to consume.
How to Prepare Fruits for Juicing
Try some of these easy-to-find fruit selections, with the tips for how to prepare them. A little bit of planning and preparation will make your first juicing adventures fun, delicious, and healthful.
Berries are so easy! Just rinse, inspect for things that don’t belong there, and enjoy them promptly.
Blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries – no special prep is needed — just rinse and juice as soon as possible; they are somewhat fragile (rinsing in a vinegar bath as soon as you bring them home will extend life)
Strawberries – remove the green leaves and stems, then rinse (strawberries will also benefit from a vinegar bath)
Fruits with Seeds
Most seeds won’t hurt a thing, but on occasion, bad things may be lurking inside.
Apples – remove the cores and seeds (apple seeds have cyanide)
Fruits with Pits
Why risk breaking your juice machine on a stone or a hard seed?
Apricots – the pit has to go, slice the fruit in half and pick out the pit
Cherries – remove cherry pits with a small paring knife or straw; discard stems, too
Peaches – like apricots, cut these in half to remove the pit
Plums – same an peaches
Mango – peel, then slice away flesh parallel to the flat pit
The soft white pith just beneath citrus peel is good for you; try to preserve as much of it as you can.
Oranges and grapefruits – peels contain oils that are indigestible and should not be juiced; cut them up and remove the seeds.
Tangerines and clementines — peels can be juiced
Lemons and limes — peels can be juiced but can also be on the bitter side; adjust according to how much bitterness you can handle.
Certain plant leaves contain toxic substances, so stick to the stalks alone.
Rhubarb — juice the stalks only
To Peel or Not
Hard, inedible skins or skins that are coated with wax should be peeled. Anything that is not organic should be peeled whenever possible.
Cantaloupe – the webbed skin should be peeled, but try to save as much rind as possible
Papaya — often coated with wax and needs to be peeled
Kiwi fruit — skins are edible if they are organic but can be bitter
Pineapple — slice into wedges and peel the skin away
Watermelon – remove the skin but juice the rind and the seeds
Banana peels – while bananas contain little water and cannot be juiced, their skins contain rich nutrients that can be released through juicing, just be sure they are organic
Always wash your produce well, even if the bag says it’s been pre-washed. Most all fruits (and veggies, too) get a vinegar bath in a solution of 10 parts water to 1 part vinegar at my house. I simply fun a sink full of water, add vinegar and start dipping. Rinse the vinegar bath, dry, and then store. Use a vegetable brush to scrub the surfaces and remove surface dirt, unseen bacteria, and pesticide residue. Remember to always remove the skin from non-organic fruit before juicing because of the pesticides that cannot be easily washed off.
Join me againg tomorrow when we will take a look at some special considerations when preparing vegetables for juicing.
Recipe of the Day
If you’re in the mood for a power-packed fruit juice, try my cherry apple juice. It’s a great way start your day or to top of a day where you’ve had all the green juice you can stand, and it’s chock-full of vitamins A and C.
- 2 medium apples
- 2 pears
- 1 cup cherries
- Wash all produce well
- Core the apples and remove the cherry pits and stems
- Add all ingredients through juicer and enjoy (I recommend Breville)
Yield: 16 oz