Preparing Produce for Juice

Preparing Produce for Cold-Pressed Juice

Preparing Produce for Juice

Should I peel, de-seed or remove? I get these types of questions a lot and have found that when prepping produce for juicing, the way you prep certain items will depend on functionality and your personal preferences. Here are some of my tips to help guide you:

General Tips:

  1. Always wash produce thoroughly and use a produce or antimicrobial wash – when serving a raw, unpasteurized juice, you want to make sure the product is as clean as possible.
  2. If the peel doesn’t affect the flavor or color of the juice – don’t peel it! There is a large concentration of beneficial nutrients in the outer layer of many fruits and vegetables.
  3. If the seeds are the size of a cherry pit or larger, remove them – pits and large seeds can lend a slightly bitter flavor to juice, as well as wear down or even damage blades.
  4. For large items (pineapples and larger), I prefer to cut into quarters – this will make it easier to process the produce at a more consistent rate.
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Preparing Fresh Fruit and Vegetables for Juice

Apples: You can keep whole and unpeeled.

Beets: Remove the top ends and clean the bottoms thoroughly. If they are small in size, I remove the bottom skinny part as well.

Berries: These small, fleshy fruits have a soft texture and do not contain a lot of liquid. I recommend using a blender to blend into a puree, then add it to the juice. To use more as a color and flavor infusion – lightly process, then press with your other recipe ingredients.

Carrots: I like to remove the top ends of the carrots due to the fact that it’s tough to remove all the dirt.

Cucumbers: Clean with antimicrobial wash to remove any wax. For light colored, non-green juices, I peel the cucumbers – otherwise I leave the skin on.

Leafy Vegetables: In general, do not remove the stems – they typically contain a lot of flavor and juice. Coming from the farm, leafy greens usually have the most dirt on the leaves and need to be thoroughly washed.

Lemons & Limes: For stronger flavored or full bodied juices, I like to grind these with the peel on – this is a preference where some might disagree – but when juiced whole, I find the peel not as bitter than it is with oranges and grapefruits.

Mangos & Papayas: These are a little pricey in most locations and do not contain a lot of juice – I recommend to blend in a blender and then add to the juice.

Melons: You can either peel or keep the rind on watermelon, if it is not that sweet, I would definitely peel. I like to de-seed honeydew and cantaloupe, as you get a slightly bitter flavor when you grind or process the seeds.

Nuts: In general, remove shells – however, keep or order with the skins on if possible, nuts such as almonds contain a lot of flavor in the brown skin.

Oranges & Grapefruits: I prefer to peel these items and then grind & press due to the bitter flavor in the peel.

Pineapples: Remove the green crown and cut into quarters, but leave the skin on.

Passion Fruit: In most areas these are a bit pricey, I like to add this to finished juice by scooping out the seeds and mixing them into the juice.

Have questions on specific produce? Or have tips you would like to share? Let us know by commenting below.

Infographic for Easy Reference on How to Prepare Produce for Juice

 

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About The Author

Ari Sexner is a classically trained chef who has worked at some of the finest dining restaurants in America, and eventually made his way into cold-pressed juice, developing the first USDA Certified Organic juice program on the Las Vegas strip for Bellagio Hotel. He currently works as a full time consultant, guiding new cold-pressed juice companies through kitchen planning, operations, recipe creation, food costing, sourcing ingredients, HACCP and SSOP programs, USDA Organic Certification, and more.

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