Do you leave the peel on oranges when juicing?

Oranges are one of the most popular fruits for juicing due to their sweet taste and abundance of nutrients. When juicing oranges, many people wonder if you should leave the peel on or take it off before juicing. There are pros and cons to leaving the orange peel on during juicing.

Pros of Leaving Orange Peel on When Juicing

Here are some of the benefits of leaving the orange peel on when juicing:

  • More nutrients – Orange peel contains higher concentrations of some nutrients than the fruit inside. This includes vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Leaving the peel on adds these nutrients to your juice.
  • More fiber – The peel contains a lot of fiber, which is beneficial for digestion and heart health. The extra fiber can help make the juice more filling.
  • Phytochemicals – Compounds in the peel called phytochemicals may have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and cholesterol-lowering properties.
  • Stronger flavor – Some people enjoy the slightly bitter taste and aroma of orange peel in their juice. It gives the juice a more intense, fresh orange flavor.

Cons of Leaving Orange Peel on When Juicing

There are also some downsides to leaving the peel on oranges during juicing:

  • Bitter taste – The peel contains volatile oils that can give the juice a bitter aftertaste, especially if using lower quality oranges.
  • Texture – Small bits of peel can give the juice a unpleasant fibrous or gritty texture.
  • Heavy pesticide residue – Orange peel has the highest concentration of pesticides on the fruit. Organic is ideal if leaving peel on.
  • Difficult to digest – The tough peel takes longer to break down in the body than the inner fruit.

Best Practices for Juicing Oranges with Peel

If you want to leave the orange peel on for juicing, here are some tips for best results:

  • Wash thoroughly – Scrub the outside of the oranges well to remove dirt, bacteria, and surface pesticides.
  • Use organic – Choose certified organic oranges when possible to minimize pesticide exposure from the peel.
  • Remove outermost layer – Peel off just the colored outer layer of the rind, leaving the white pith which has more nutrients.
  • Add other fruits/veggies – Combine with sweeter juices like apple or carrot to balance the bitter note.
  • Strain well – Use a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove excess fiber after juicing.
  • Start with small amounts – Add just bits of peel at first until the flavor grows on you.

Nutrition Difference Between Orange Peel and Fruit

Here is a comparison of the nutrition content of orange peel versus the fruit inside:

Nutrient Orange Peel Orange Fruit
Vitamin C 136% DV 70% DV
Calcium 6% DV 3% DV
Potassium 8% DV 7% DV
Fiber 7.8g 2.3g
Sugars 1.8g 12.4g

As you can see, the peel contains significantly more vitamin C, calcium, and fiber compared to the fruit inside. It does contain less natural sugars than the interior fruit.

Juicing Methods with Orange Peel

Here are some common methods for juicing oranges with the peel on:

  • Citrus juicer – A manual hand squeezer or electric citrus juicer is ideal for oranges. The spinning cone extracts juice from the fruit and pulp while leaving behind the peel.
  • Centrifugal juicer – This fast spinning juicer can juice oranges peel and all, but some peel may get shredded into the juice.
  • Masticating juicer – The auger action can effectively crush and squeeze juice from the oranges along with the peel.
  • Blending – Adding orange wedges to a high power blender like a Vitamix can make orange juice peel and all.

The juicing method you use determines how much of the peel’s fiber and nutrients end up in your final juice. Centrifugal and masticating juicers let you adjust peel amounts.

Potential Side Effects of Orange Peel in Juice

Drinking orange juice with peel may cause some unintended effects to be aware of:

  • Digestive issues – Excess fiber from the peel can cause gas, bloating, and abdominal pain in some people.
  • Canker sores – The acidity and abrasiveness of orange peel has been linked to canker sores in the mouth.
  • Medication interactions – Compounds in the peel can sometimes interfere with prescription medications. Talk to your doctor.
  • Pesticide exposure – Unwashed conventional peels may contain higher amounts of harmful pesticide residues.

Start with a small amount of peel in your orange juice and discontinue use if any negative side effects develop. Consult your doctor if you have concerns.

What Experts Recommend for Orange Peel Juicing

Most health experts advise the following when it comes to juicing oranges with the peel:

  • Wash the oranges thoroughly first
  • Use certified organic oranges when possible
  • Start with just a little peel, and add more to taste
  • Remove the outer colored peel, leaving the white pith
  • Pair with sweeter juices to balance the flavor
  • Strain the juice through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth
  • Listen to your body, and stop drinking it if any irritation develops

Following these tips can help you enjoy the nutritional benefits of orange peel in juice while minimizing any potential drawbacks.

Conclusion

While orange peel does contain more nutrients than the fruit inside, there are benefits and downsides to leaving it on when juicing oranges. Small amounts of organic peel can add fiber, phytochemicals, and bold flavor. But too much may cause digestion issues, canker sores, medication interactions, and pesticide exposure if using conventional oranges.

Experts recommend washing the oranges well, using organic when possible, starting with minimal amounts of peel, pairing with sweeter juices, and straining the final juice. Overall, adding some peeled orange peel to your juicing can provide a nutritional boost, as long as you do so carefully and listen to your body’s response.

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