Table of Contents
As a kiddo, I’d been taught that the bright colours in our fruits and veggies are a sign of high quality nutrition. And as it turns out, Havard Medical School agrees. Those deep, rich hues in your produce indicate the presence of phytochemicals and phytonutrients. These substances are known to help reduce heart disease and cancer rates. That’s why as a juicer fanatic, it’s pained me every time those bright, vibrant juicing pulp leftovers went to waste.
With rising food prices, if there’s one thing we should all be big on, it’s making sure we’re getting the maximum value and nourishment for our buck. With this in mind, I decided to dig into the topic of juicer leftovers with gusto. As I did, I quickly realized that fruit and vegetable pulp have a lot of nutritional benefits left to unlock. We just need to give them the chance.
The pulp leftover from juicing fruits and vegetables is not only high in fibre, it still contains nutrients and minerals. Using juicing pulp in other food recipes is the best way to capture the pulp’s health benefits. However you can also use it as compost. The residual macronutrients in juice pulp makes them an excellent fertilizer.
Wondering what are the best recipes to take advantage of your pulp? Or which fruit or veggie pulp is the best? Or how to turn your pulp into compost that’s so darn effective it could be called black gold. We’ve got you covered – let’s geek out and find out!
How is juicing pulp good for you?
Before we get into the pulp, let’s talk about the juice. Depending on the juicer you use, up to 90% of the dietary fibres present in your fruits and vegetables end up in the leftover pulp.
There are some juicing advocates that will say this is great. That removing the fibres allows you to absorb the nutrients into your body that much faster. However there has been no scientific evidence to support the benefit of this claim. In fact, faster absorbing carbs make it harder for diabetics to control their blood sugar levels.
Juicing pulp is rich in insoluble fibre, but also contains soluble fibre. Both fibres are beneficial in promoting good gut health, regulating blood sugar, and leaving you feeling full. Fruit pulp is also high in antioxidants, as antioxidants are more bound to insoluble fibres, compared to vegetables.
That’s why when it comes to juicing I use the pulp of fruits and vegetables each for different purposes. Fruit pulp is a valuable source of vitamins and antioxidants that are still trapped in the fibres. But I find vegetable pulp is more effective at leaving you feeling full, and also helping with digestion and elimination.
Can you put pulp back through the juicer?
In a moment, we’re going to take a look at the different options you have for making use of your pulp. But I’d first like to speak to one simple method you can use to try maximizing your juicing extraction. And that is re-juicing pulp.
Some centrifugal juicers are not as effective as masticating juicers in extracting the juice and nutrient content of your fruits and vegetables on the first pass. A general rule of thumb: if the pulp is wet, then it’s probably worth running through the juicer again.
The reason centrifugal juicers tend to be less effective than masticators at extracting juice is because of their design. Centrifugal juicers rely on a high blade speed in order to quickly get the job done, and are generally less expensive and more convenient to use. Masticators on the other hand, use a slow spinning auger to chop and squeeze their ingredients more effectively, but also takes a longer time to juice.
Some higher-end centrifugal juicers do have variable speed settings which close the performance gap with masticating juicers. So if your juicer has a slower speed setting, consider using it to extract a bit more liquid the next time you juice.
Juicing pulp uses
#1 - Add it to your meals
Let me share one of my favourite food tips for repurposing pulp. Juice only one type of produce at a time, and store the pulp separately from one another. Why? Let’s say you decided to add pulp to make a nutritious homemade apple sauce. My money is on you preferring the taste of 100% apple pulp, compared to a mixed pulp that might include kale and cilantro!
When it comes to storing, I recommend freezing your pulp by produce-type in large ziplock bags. Stashing a variety of fruits and veggie pulp this way allows you to always be prepared for those last minute recipes. And pulp defrosts pretty quickly, which comes in handy. Just don’t forget to label your freezer bags!
Below is a hand-picked selection of Editors-choice recipes for you to try. We encourage you to experiment with different fruit and veggie pulps with these recipes, so get creative! But if you’re only interested in juicing produce that packs the best nutritional punch, look no further.
Veggie Burger Patties
– 2 cups of juicing pulp such as carrots, celery, beets, and spinach
– 1 egg
– ½ tsp garlic powder
– ½ tsp smoked paprika
– ½ cup black beans
– 1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
Yield: Makes 4 patties
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, except the tbsp of oil. Use a potato masher and mix everything well to combine.
Form into patties.
Warm oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add patties and fry until the centre is hot (~4min each side). Serve them on buns along with your favourite fixings.
Homemade Juice Pulp Muffins
– 1 cup of juicing pulp such as carrots, apples, pineapple, and orange
– 1 ½ cups of whole wheat flour
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– ¼ tsp nutmeg
– ¼ tsp ground ginger
– ½ tsp salt
– 2 tbsp unsalted butter (softened)
– ½ cup honey
– 1 egg
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
Yield: Makes 12 muffins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees °F. Apply a coating of non-stick cooking spray to a 12-cup muffin pan.
In a bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt).
Add the butter, honey, egg, vanilla, and applesauce to the bowl, being careful not to over mix.
Gently fold the juicer pulp into the mix until just combined, and divide batter evenly in the muffin pan.
Bake for 20 min or until a toothpick inserted in a muffin comes out clean.
– 1 ½ cups of juicing pulp such as carrots, apple, ginger, and Swiss chard
– 1 onion
– 4 garlic cloves
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 can of chopped tomatoes (26oz)
– 2 32oz boxes of organic chicken or vegetable broth
– 3 cups cooked kidney beans
– 1 tsp Italian seasoning
– 3 cups of orzo or pasta rings
Yield: Makes 4 servings
Add olive oil to pan on medium-high heat. Dice onion and garlic and toss in pan. Sauté until onion is translucent.
Add juicer pulp and cook for 5 minutes.
Add chopped tomatoes, chicken broth and Italian seasoning. Bring everything to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes.
Add cooked kidney beans and pasta. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes, then add salt and pepper to taste.
Juicy Pulp Pancakes
– ½ cup of sweet, fruity juicing pulp such as apple, carrot, orange or pineapple
– 1 cup flour
– 3 tsp baking powder
– Couple pinches of salt
– 2-3 tsp sugar
– 4 tsp cinnamon
– 2 tsp nutmeg
– 2 tsp cardamon
– 1 cup of milk (or substitute with almond milk)
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– 2 tbsp coconut oil or melted butter
– Optional garnish: berries, chocolate chips, sliced banana
Yield: Makes 2 servings
In a bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and spices).
Add the milk, juicer pulp, vanilla and oil to the bowl and mix well.
On low heat, cook in a pan or griddle until both sides are golden brown and batter is cooked through.
Add your garnish of choice and enjoy!
#2 - Use it for compost
One of the most rewarding things someone can do with their leftover juicing pulp is to compost it. There’s something beautifully poetic about returning the remains of the plants that have just nourished you back to the earth to nurture future generations of plants.
There are actually a couple ways you can go about doing this: top-dressing your garden soil or using a compost bin. While both methods provide valuable nutrition to enrich your garden soil, they also have different benefits.
Top-dressing is done by spreading a layer of your juicing pulp leftovers on top of the soil in your garden. Compared to compost, it’s much more readily available to apply to your garden, and acts as a slower-release fertilizer. We recommend covering the juicing pulp with a layer of top soil to avoid attracting bugs and other pests.
Compost requires a little more planning ahead, but the end result is a potent and nutritious cocktail that your plants will love your for. To get started, add your leftover juicing pulp to your compost bin (or area) along with other organic matter such as brown leaves, grass clippings, and wood chips. In a couple months, once your scraps have decomposed, mix it with a bit of soil, and apply to your garden.
#3 - Make dog treats
Before we get to the recipe, a few words of caution: certain fruits and vegetables are toxic to dogs, so be careful not to include these in your treats. This includes grapes, avocados, onions, garlic, rhubarb, and any seeds or pips. The American Kennel Club has a more comprehensive list, which can be found here.
Tip: Although not necessarily toxic, avoid using citrus fruit pulp. Dogs tend to dislike the taste.
Juice Pulp Dog Biscuits
– 2 cups of juicing pulp such as carrots, kale, cucumber, apples (remove seeds), lettuce and spinach
– ⅓ cup natural peanut butter
– ¼ cup flaxseed meal
– 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
Pre-heat oven to 275 °F.
Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Add the rolled oats last, and in small batches to achieve an even consistency.
Shape batter into treat shapes of your choice. Place on baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes.
#4 - Brew a delicious tea
This works best with fruit pulp (as opposed to veggies), is simple to make, and also a great way to extract those phytonutrients from your juicing leftovers.
To start, dehydrate your fruit pulp. If you don’t have a dehydrator, no sweat. You can get the same results by baking your pulp in the oven. Simply spread your fruit pulp out on a baking sheet and bake on low heat. Once pulp feels dry and crumbles to the touch, you’re good to go.
To brew your tea, add 1-2 tsp of your dehydrated pulp to boiling water, along with ½ tsp vanilla extract and ½ tsp of ground cinnamon. Add milk and sugar to taste.
#5 - Thickening agent for smoothies and juices
We’ve dedicated an entire post to covering how you can make deliciously thick and creamy smoothies. That said, adding pulp back into juice or smoothies is currently our go-to method for the added health benefits.
In addition to the creamier texture and flavour boost it provides, adding fruit and vegetable fibres keeps us feeling full for longer. This makes it an excellent option for low-carb smoothie recipes, when it’s sometimes harder to feel satiated.