Can I juice oranges with the skin on?

Oranges are a delicious and nutritious fruit that can be enjoyed in many ways. One popular method is juicing oranges to make fresh squeezed orange juice. But when it comes to juicing oranges, many people wonder if you can juice an orange with the skin on or if it needs to be peeled first.

Pros and Cons of Juicing Oranges with Skin On

There are some pros and cons to consider when deciding whether or not to juice oranges with the peel still on.

Pros:

  • More fiber – Orange peel contains soluble and insoluble fiber which can help promote digestive health.
  • More nutrients – The peel contains flavonoids, vitamin C, calcium, and other antioxidants and nutrients.
  • Adds flavor – The outer orange peel can impart a pleasant bitterness and orange aroma to juice.
  • Less prep work – You don’t have to take the time to peel the oranges before juicing them.

Cons:

  • Bitter taste – Orange peel contains flavonoids that can cause bitterness in the juice.
  • Textured juice – Small bits of peel can end up in the juice giving it a pulpy, textured consistency.
  • Clogs juicer – The tough peel can sometimes clog up juicer parts like the mesh filter basket.
  • Pesticide residue – Orange peel may contain higher pesticide residues compared to the fruit inside.

Can All Juicers Handle Orange Peel?

If you want to juice oranges without peeling them first, it’s important to consider whether your juicer can handle intact peels. Here are some tips on juicer types and orange peel:

Juicer Type Good for Orange Peel?
Centrifugal juicers No – The high speeds and metal grates/strainers are not well-suited for orange peel.
Masticating juicers Yes – The augers are powerful enough to crush peels and handle the pulp well.
Citrus presses Yes – Designed specifically for citrus fruits and their peels.
Twin gear juicers Yes – The twin gears can fully grind up orange peels without issue.

Masticating, citrus press, and twin gear juicers are your best options if you want the versatility of juicing oranges with or without the peel.

Best Practices for Juicing Oranges with Peel

If you want to go ahead and juice oranges without peeling, here are some tips to get the best results:

  • Wash thoroughly – Make sure to wash the outside of the oranges well to remove dirt, chemicals, and surface microbes.
  • Remove any stickers – Peel off produce stickers or other adhesives that may be on the oranges.
  • Cut in half – Slice the oranges in half through the center before juicing to improve results.
  • Add other produce – Consider combining with carrots, apples, lemons, or ginger to help mask bitterness.
  • Strain after – Pour the juice through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove excess pulp.
  • Enjoy immediately – Drink the juice right after making it for the best flavor.

Adding some simple preparation steps can really improve both the safety and flavor of orange juice made with the peel on.

Nutrition Differences Between Peel and Fruit

Orange peels and the inner fruit flesh do have some nutritional differences. Here is a comparison of the main nutrients in orange peel vs. orange juice without peel:

Nutrient Orange Peel Orange Juice (No Peel)
Vitamin C 52.7 mg per 100g 45.5 mg per 100g
Calcium 161 mg per 100g 8.4 mg per 100g
Potassium 166 mg per 100g 193 mg per 100g
Fiber 10.6 g per 100g 0.5 g per 100g

As you can see, orange peel contains significantly more fiber and calcium compared to the juice alone. The peel is also a bit higher in vitamin C. Juicing oranges with the peel provides more of these key nutrients.

Potential Downsides to Orange Peel

While orange peel does contain some beneficial nutrients and plant compounds, there are some potential downsides to consider as well:

  • Pesticide residue – Orange peel may contain higher levels of pesticides compared to the inner fruit. Organic is best if not peeling.
  • Fungicides – Post-harvest fungicides applied to the peel could end up in juice unless washed well.
  • digest – The tough peel takes more work for the gut to break down and could cause GI issues for some.
  • Bitter taste – The flavonoids in the peel can create a bitter taste that not everyone enjoys.

Washing the oranges thoroughly and balancing out the potential bitterness with other produce can help reduce some of these downsides when juicing with peel.

Should You Juice Oranges with Peels?

Here is a summary of the key considerations when deciding whether or not to juice oranges with the peel on:

Reasons to Keep Peel on

  • Higher fiber, calcium, antioxidants
  • Adds orange flavor
  • Saves prep time peeling
  • Maximizes use of the whole fruit

Reasons to Remove Peel

  • Avoids bitter taste
  • Prevents clogged juicer parts
  • Easier to digest
  • Lower pesticide residues

In the end, it’s a personal choice whether you want to juice oranges peel and all, or take the time to peel them first. If you have a good quality masticating or citrus juicer, leaving the peel on can provide more nutrition and flavor.

Conclusion

Juicing oranges without peeling them first is certainly an option. The peel contains beneficial fiber, calcium, vitamin C and other nutrients. However, the peel can add bitterness, clog juicers, and contain pesticides if not organic. The best juicers for oranges with peel are masticating and citrus presses. Thoroughly washing oranges beforehand and straining after can help minimize any downsides. While nutritious, orange peel may be harder for some people to digest. Overall, juicing oranges with or without the peel both have their pros and cons.

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