The juicer has become one of my favorite kitchen appliances. Left to my own devices, I’ll survive on chicken nuggets and peanut butter like a stubborn toddler, so extra nutrients are critical. And the taste is a bonus! At first, I tossed the pulp in the compost bin, but I wanted to figure out what to do with juicer pulp to get closer to zero-waste juicing.
I keep reusable containers handy to collect the pulp until I’ve saved enough to use. When I’m getting out the produce I plan to use, I also get out the various jars and bags in which I store the pulp. Fruits each get their own glass jar – orange peels in one, apple pulp on it’s own, etc. The veggie pulp goes into a gallon size reusable bag (stored in the freezer) until I’m ready to use it.
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And for what it’s worth, I use this specific Koios Masticating Juicer, and have been very happy with it.
What to do with vegetable juicer pulp?
The best thing? Make stock! You can reuse the pulp from many veggies to make vegetable or chicken stock. Juicing carrots, celery, and greens produces pulp that makes a rich stock that will improve your soups and other recipes immensely.
Keep a gallon size resealable bag in the freezer, and continue to add pulp until it’s full. While carrots, celery and greens make up the most of my freezer bag, parsley also makes a good addition. I also occasionally throw in some of my beets and ginger, but too much of either of those will overpower the whole batch. It’s best to add those very sparingly, if at all.
Once you have a full bag, dump that into a large pot, add 1-2 roughly chopped onions (unless you’re juicing onions), and a couple bay leaves. Cover the veggies with water and give it all a stir. Over medium-high heat, slowly bring the water to a simmer. Once the water around the edge of the pot starts to bubble, dial the heat back to medium-low, and let the veggies simmer for about an hour.
This is pretty foolproof. The measurements aren’t exact, but using less water will result in a more concentrated flavor. Also, throwing in chicken bones (from a roasted chicken, or leftovers from any bone-in chicken parts, for example) will make chicken stock.
You can also make stock in slow cookers and Instant Pots. If you have an Instant Pot, you know the internet loves itself some IP hacks. They’re yours for the Googling.
Once the stock has finished cooking, strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, cover, and refrigerate for up to a week. It will also freeze well for much longer. I like freeze two-cup portions in glass jars (just let it cool before transferring to glass, and leave some room at the top for expansion).
Admittedly, the straining is the hardest part for me. If you have both a fine mesh strainer (or a regular colander will do for this), and cheesecloth, the easiest way to get the maximum amount of bits out on the first try is to line a large bowl with the cheesecloth, making sure to leave plenty hanging over the side. Put the strainer or colander over (or in) the bowl, and dump the stock through the strainer and into the bowl. Remove the colander and pick up the cheesecloth edges. The stock will strain a second time through the cheese cloth, and you can then funnel the stock from the large bowl into storage containers.
Compost the cooked veggie remnants as well as the cheesecloth (as long as it’s made from all-natural fibers). Skip the composter if you’ve added meat, though.
What to do with Orange Peels After Juicing?
I juice a lot of oranges, and always have a couple jars of orange peels on the counter. Here’s how you can re-use them.
Use orange peels and vinegar to make a cleaning spray
Once you have a jar of orange peels (two medium – large orange peels should be enough for a 16 oz jar), fill the jar with vinegar and put in a dark cupboard for two weeks. After that time, remove the orange peels and toss them in the compost pile. (The vinegar will add acidity to your compost, but you don’t want to overdo acid in compost.)
Interested in making Orange Peel Vinegar? Check out the complete recipe.
In a spray bottle, mix a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water. If you’re new to cleaning with vinegar, always test an inconspicuous spot before going ham. I use this cleaning spray on sinks, my stovetop, and microwave. It’s great for wiping out the insides of your refrigerator and garbage can, as well.
I also use it every so often for my bathtub, shower, and tile walls. However, I do this sparingly as vinegar will degrade unsealed grout. Because I don’t remember when the grout was last sealed, and I sure don’t feel like doing it anytime soon, I don’t use vinegar on the tile regularly.
Make Orange Zest
If you bake and cook regularly, you may run into recipes calling for small amounts of orange zest every so often. This is one of those ingredients that is especially annoying if you need to buy an entire piece of fruit for one teaspoon of zest.
But, when you’re juicing oranges, zest a decent amount of orange peels and store it in the freezer for up to three months. You’ll feel like a proper chef having this random ingredient on hand. One note, this works best if you’re working with organic oranges. Conventionally grown citrus are often coated with a wax for preservation. If you are using conventional oranges, be sure to give them a good wash before using.
DIY Vitamin C Powder
This one is pretty exciting, because Vitamin C Powder can be used in so many ways. It’s easy to make, and keeps for a long time when stored in an airtight container.
Basically, you dry out your orange peels, and pulse into powder in a food processor or blender.
More specifically, cut your orange peels into small pieces in order to dry quickly. If you have a food dehydrator, dry per the machine’s instructions. You can also use your oven on a very low setting. I dried these peels in about 3 hours at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if you go this route, check them every 30 minutes or so. I’ve had batches that have dried up much faster in the past.
Once dry, pulse the peels in a food processor or blender until you have a fine powder.
Vitamin C powder can be used as a food or beauty booster. Add a tablespoon or two to a smoothie, and make a face mask (Wellness Mama’s recipe is my favorite!) for the ultimate sustainable self care one-two punch. You can even make your own Vitamin C serum.
What to Do With Juicer Pulp from Apples?
Here’s a great DIY: make homemade apple cider vinegar. ACV is a nutritional powerhouse, as well as a frequent ingredient in homemade concoctions like salad dressing. Having your own on hand takes a few weeks of patience, but it’s pretty hands-off.
Fill a quart canning jar (that’s a 32-ouncer), about 3/4 full of apple pulp. You can also roughly chop up the core and add it, if you typically remove them before juicing. This takes roughly 4 – 6 large apples, in my experience. (I keep the jar in the fridge until it’s full, but try to get it there within a couple days.)
You can do this with or without sugar, but know that sugar speeds up the whole process. If you’d like sugar-free instructions, check out the steps from The Farmer’s Almanac. Otherwise, once you have your jar three-quarters full, you’ll need to cover the apples with a sugar water mixture until they’re completely submerged. If you’re using a quart jar, I find that mixing three and a half cups of water and three and a half tablespoons of sugar is enough to fully submerge the apples.
Cover the jar with a coffee filter, cheese cloth, or any porous material. Store the jar in a dark place for two weeks. At this time, your vinegar will be foamy – this is fermentation in action! Strain the vinegar into a new clean jar, cover with the same material, and place it back into the dark space for another four weeks. If there’s a nasty filmy thing on top, that’s great! That’s the “mother,” which can be used to start future ACV batches.
In order to stop the fermentation process, cap the jar with a regular lid, and refrigerate your homemade vinegar for up to a year. You can use this in recipes and skin care tinctures.
Still looking for ways to keep your juicer pulp out of the trash? Learn more about my experience with indoor composting here!
What To Do With Juicer Pulp from Cucumbers?
Make tzatziki! This cucumber-dill dip goes great with veggies and crackers, and it’s just as easy to chop up cucumber pulp as it is to chop up a cucumber. Try it out with this recipe from Food and Wine and have a snack with your juice!
If you’d rather use your pulp for some relaxation time, you may know the cucumber is ever-present in DIY skin masks and spa days.
Those cucumbers purportedly act to make dark under-eye circles disappear and calm puffy eyes. Cucumber pulp will do the same. Just place a bit of pulp under your eyes, take a 10 minutes power nap, and rinse when done!
Finally, wash your green juice down with some cucumber water. Fill a fruit infusing water bottle (like this one) with pulp for refreshing cucumber water.
More Juicer Pulp Recipes
Once you’ve worked your way through all of these tips, there are plenty of other ways to use that pulp. Here are a few of the best-looking recipes that will have you running to your juicer.
- Vegan (Juice Pulp) Meatballs from Crowded Kitchen. Yes, please.
- Green Juice Pulp Crackers from Clean Eating Kitchen. Maybe you could dip these in that pulp Tzatziki?
- Easy Juice Pulp Minestrone from Mindful Momma. You had me at easy.
Other Juice Pulp Questions
Is it healthy to eat the pulp from juicing?
Yes! It’s the fibrous part of the fruits and vegetables you’re juicing. Even if you’re saving most of your pulp for some of these recipes, it’s a great idea to mix a small scoop (or larger, depending on your pulpy juice tolerance) back into your drink for an added nutritional boost.
Can you put pulp back through the juicer?
Well, you can. However, you really shouldn’t need to if your juicer is up to snuff. If you’re in the market for a new one, the juicer I use is this Koios Masticating Juicer, and I’ve been very happy with it. The pulp comes out dry, so I’ve never had to wonder if I should be doing another round. I also imagine sending the pulp through your juicer may end up being messier than it’s worth. All that being said, if you have a juicer that you think is short changing you on juice – give it a try.
Can you compost juice pulp?
Yes! If you juice something that you just can’t reuse in a different way, the compost bin would love those leftovers. Keep in mind that pulp is considered a green material, so be sure to balance that out with a handful of dead leaves (or something else brown).
We’re huge fans of composting around here for the lift it gives our plants. If you’re a plant person, too, be sure to check out Grow Plant Yourself for tons of info on houseplants and gardening!
Interested in composting? Check out these Judgement-Free Green posts to learn all about it:
- Can I Compost THAT?!: How to Beef Up Your Compost Pile Easily
- Bokashi Composting: Why I’m Hooked on Fermented Food Waste
- One, Two, and Three Bin Compost Plans For the Best Backyard Garden
Tell Us What You Think!
Do you have a favorite juice recipe or way to use your pulp? Share the zero-waste wealth and let us know in the comments!