Warning: don’t juice these fruits and vegetables!
Even with the abundant variety of fruits and vegetables that are always gung-ho, there are in fact a handful of fruits and vegetables that just shouldn’t be juiced, and there are some which just don’t do well being juiced.
Some fruits and vegetables will simply tear up certain types of juicers (especially centrifugal juicers). Others will go through centrifugal juicers, but produce no juice!
Meanwhile, other fruits and vegetables can tear up your insides.
And then are some items, which are easy to juice but really shouldn’t be eaten raw.
Especially when you’re just starting out, learning these pointers “the hard way” can be really discouraging, and even cause you to want to quit trying — but, don’t despair! Avoid these few traps and you’ll more quickly enjoy the benefits juicing has to offer!
No Juice to Juice:
Avocados, Bananas, and Figs
This may seem very obvious but some still ask whether it’s possible. Uhm: no not really. They’re both very fiber rich and one (avocado) is very fatty. Not much juice to them. Don’t clog up your juicer. Stick them into smoothies by blending them instead. As for Figs, just eat them and enjoy.
Not Safe To Juice:
- Did you know apple seeds contain arsenic? While it’s just a trace amount, it’s enough that you should maybe pause on just cutting up the whole apple or tossing the whole fruit into the juicer out of convenience. Apple seeds just really shouldn’t be juiced.
- Some folks caution against citrus rinds: like oranges and grapefruit, because the natural oils in the peels can be indigestible and hard one the stomach. It’s not going to cause you severe injury if you juice the peel, but if you find you’re sensitive to it, maybe consider keeping it out. Lemons and limes, however, seem to be fine.
- Rhubarb is really only best to eat once it’s cooked. Rhubarb is known to contain oxalic acid. And while it does not have enough to be toxic, be aware that oxalic acid has been shown to bind with calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium, and potassium in the intestine and interfere with your body’s absorption of these minerals.
If you have kidney stones, or have suffered them in the past rhubarb is a major no (and so is spinach).
Never eat rhubarb leaves! They have a high oxalic acid content. And, avoid all rhubarb that has been damaged by severe cold or frostbite for the same reason (below freezing, the high oxalic content in the leaves migrates to the stalks).
Lastly, its fiber is really hard on the juicer.
- Beet greens have similar oxalate concerns to rhubarbs.
In fact most hearty greens do best steamed (kale, collards, spinach, chard), both for the nutritional value and our ability to digest them.
Or are they?
Carrot Greens –some say carrot tops are not edible, that they are toxic and potentially deadly and should not be eaten, let alone juiced. But this is not true of carrot greens themselves. Some say that the mix-up comes from the fact that the modern carrot was cultivated from Queen Anne’s lace (and Queen Anne’s whose taproot of is edible – it was often believe to be a natural contraceptive) closely resembles poison hemlock, a wild weed that can cause muscle and respiratory failure if eaten… (remember Socrates? This is how he died). But today, carrot tops are sold as vegetable stock in European Farmer’s Markets. They taste like a bitter version of parsley with a slight lemon-citrus quality.
- Winter Squash is very difficult to juice. And the best way to get all the wonderful nutrients is to lightly steam it and then make it into a smoothie or soup .
- Totally Safe But Probably Too Much of A Hassel to Juice (Oh, and They Tear Up Your Blender)
- Mangoes can be juiced if you catch them at the right time — when they’re green. Which are still tasty, but definitely not as delicious as when they’re fully ripe. That said, ripe mangos make incredible tasting smoothies.
- Papayas “can” be juiced if you have a strong press-juicer. Otherwise, leave them to the blender.
- Watermelon rind can be tossed into your juicer because it increases your total yield and delivers important chlorophyll. Additionally, watermelon seeds can be crushed and added to your juice, offering up magnesium and zinc. However, they are hard on centrifugal juicers.
Note: Because this blog is not about health benefits, I’ve skipped the links to sources. Please let me know if you want them added in the future.