Juicing has become an increasingly popular way to get more nutrients from fruits and vegetables. Using a juicer allows you to extract the liquid containing vitamins, minerals and other beneficial plant compounds while leaving behind the fiber. Some people enjoy making fruit and vegetable juices as a tasty and convenient way to increase their produce intake.
When it comes to juicing apples, a common question is whether you can put a whole apple into a juicer. The short answer is yes, you can juice a whole apple if you have the right kind of juicer. However, there are some things to consider when deciding whether to juice whole apples or cut them first.
In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of juicing whole apples versus chopped apples. We’ll also provide tips for getting the most out of your apples, no matter which juicing method you choose.
Can All Juicers Handle Whole Apples?
Not all juicers can effectively juice whole apples. The two main types of juicers are:
Centrifugal juicers grind up produce using sharp blades at high speeds. They separate the juice from the pulp via centrifugal force.
Most centrifugal juicers cannot handle whole apples very well. Their feed chutes are too small to accommodate a whole apple, so you’d have to cut it into small pieces first. Even if you manage to wedge a whole apple in, it likely won’t juice efficiently.
Centrifugal models with large feed chutes may be able to process whole small or medium apples. However, large apples would still need to be chopped up.
Masticating or “cold press” juicers crush and press produce to extract the juice. They operate at slower speeds and have augers that can grip and grind whole produce.
Most masticating juicers are perfectly capable of juicing whole apples. Their feed chutes are wide enough and their augers are strong enough to effectively break down and press out the juice from a whole apple.
So if you want the convenience of putting full apples into your juicer, a masticating model is the way to go.
Pros of Juicing Whole Apples
Here are some of the benefits of putting whole apples into a masticating juicer:
Saves prep time
Not having to chop apples makes juicing quicker and easier. Simply rinse the apple and pop it straight into the juicer. You’ll save time not having to find a cutting board and knife to chop the apple into chunks small enough for your machine.
Exposing apple flesh to air causes oxidation, which can destroy nutrients and produce that brownish tinge. Juicing a whole apple right away minimizes oxidation, helping preserve nutrients and color. The apple core and skin also contain beneficial antioxidants.
Allows juicing large apples
Some juicers can’t accommodate apple pieces bigger than 2 inches square. Juicing whole apples lets you still use oversized fruits.
Being able to juice apples whole is great for busy mornings or times when you want fresh juice fast. You don’t have to find a knife or cutting board or spend time chopping.
Higher juice yields
Masticating juicers are generally more efficient than centrifugal models. And juicing whole apples may increase yields further compared to chopped pieces. The auger is better able to crush and press out juice from a whole apple.
Cons of Juicing Whole Apples
However, there are also some downsides to consider:
Works only with certain juicers
As mentioned earlier, most centrifugal juicers cannot effectively handle whole apples. Masticating juicers are required to juice apples whole.
Smaller produce may be bypassed
If juicing whole apples along with smaller produce like carrots or ginger, the smaller pieces may bypass the auger and fail to get properly juiced.
Requires produce monitoring
With whole apples, you need to pay more attention while juicing. Make sure apples are feeding in properly and not getting jammed. Some twisting or guiding of whole apples may be needed.
Increased risk of juicer jams
The auger may have more difficulty gripping and processing a whole apple, increasing chances of produce getting stuck. This could lead to pulp buildup and juicer jams.
More prep needed for high volumes
If making large batches of apple juice, prep and juicing time can be reduced by chopping apples into quarters or halves first.
Core may get into juice
Some bits of apple core may end up in your juice if juicing whole apples. While apple seeds contain the cyanide compound amygdalin, the small amount from juicing is not harmful. However, some may not like having core pieces in their juice.
Less juice from very large apples
Extremely large apples may not get fully pressed in some masticating juicers. You may need to cut larger apples in half to get good extraction.
Tips for Juicing Whole Apples
Here are some tips for getting the best results when juicing whole apples:
– Choose medium-sized apples – very small or large apples are not ideal.
– Wash apples thoroughly before juicing.
– Remove any stickers, wax or foam nets from the apple skin.
– Guide or twist the apple gently while feeding it into the juicer chute.
– Alternate whole apples with pieces of ginger, lemons or other produce to help move the apples along.
– Make sure to remove and discard the fibrous apple pulp from the juicer between juicing batches.
– Consider pairing whole apple juicing with cutting some apples in half or quarters to get a mix of whole and chopped pieces.
– Be prepared to stop the juicer periodically to clear jams, if needed.
Tips for Juicing Chopped Apples
If you choose to chop your apples before juicing, keep these tips in mind:
– Always core apples before chopping to remove seeds and tough core fibers.
– Chop apples into 1-2 inch chunks for centrifugal juicers. Masticating types can handle slightly bigger pieces.
– Toss apple chunks with lemon juice to prevent browning.
– Use a chute tamper to push apple chunks into the juicer for best extraction.
– Mix apple chunks with softer produce like kale or celery. The liquid from the softer produce helps flush the apple bits through.
– Don’t overload the juicer with too many apple chunks at once. Let each batch fully process through before adding more.
Which Juicing Method Is Better?
So should you juice whole apples or pre-cut them? Here’s a comparison:
|Whole Apples||Chopped Apples|
|Prep time||Very quick||Requires coring and chopping|
|Juice yields||May be higher||Somewhat lower|
|Juicer suitability||Only masticating juicers||All juicers|
|Pulp in juice||Some core bits||Only flesh pulp|
|Nutrient preservation||Better||Some oxidation|
As the table shows, there are pros and cons to both methods. Juicing whole apples is quicker and may yield more juice, but does require a masticating juicer and careful monitoring. Chopping apples gives more reliable juicing and works in any type of juicer but takes more prep work.
The best approach may be to use a mix of whole apple juicing along with some pre-chopped chunks, to get both convenience as well as optimal extraction. Just be sure to alternate apple pieces with softer items like citrus fruits or leafy greens.
Juicing whole apples is certainly possible with the right kind of equipment. Masticating juicers can typically process whole medium-sized apples with minimal prep required. This allows you to enjoy fresh apple juice fast and conveniently.
However, to prevent jams you’ll need to pay close attention while feeding whole apples into the juicer. Pre-chopping some of your apples can make the juicing process more efficient and reliable.
If you have a centrifugal juicer, you’ll need to core and chop apples before juicing. But all juicer types can handle pre-cut apple pieces with proper preparation.
The optimal approach may be to use a combination of whole and chopped apples. That way you can gain the speed and simplicity of juicing whole apples along with the reliability of pre-cut chunks. With some experimentation, you’ll find the right apple juicing method for your needs and juicer model.