Juicing has become a popular way for people to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables. By extracting the liquid from produce, you can easily consume a concentrated dose of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. However, one downside of juicing is that it removes the fiber content from whole fruits and veggies. Fiber is an important nutrient that can promote digestive health, stabilize blood sugar levels, and support weight management. This article will discuss strategies for getting adequate fiber while enjoying fresh juices.
Add Pulp Back into Juice
One simple way to add fiber back into your juices is by mixing some of the pulp back in after straining. The pulp contains most of the fiber since juicers separate out the liquid part. Be sure to use a slow juicer rather than a centrifugal one, as this preserves more fiber in the pulp. Start by straining the juice to remove any large chunks. Then mix about 1-2 tablespoons of pulp per cup of juice before drinking. The pulp adds back some bite and thickens up the texture.
Juice Pulp Vegetables and Fruits
Certain fruits and vegetables contain a higher percentage of fiber in their peels and skins. Juicing these types of produce with the skins on will preserve more of the fiber content. Some examples of high-fiber fruits and veggies to juice pulp include:
Wash the produce well before juicing. You may need to cut larger fruits like apples into chunks to fit through the juicer chute. Aim to include the peels and skins from at least 2-3 different types of high-fiber produce in each juice. The leftover pulp will have a thicker, more fibrous texture.
Add Chia or Flax Seeds
Stirring in chia seeds or flaxseeds is an easy way to pack extra fiber into your juices. These tiny seeds are nutritional powerhouses loaded with fiber. Just 1-2 tablespoons of chia or flax provides 5-10 grams of fiber per serving. Simply measure out the desired amount and stir into your strained juice until well combined. You can also sprinkle the seeds over the finished juice. Let the juice mixture sit for 5-10 minutes so the seeds can thicken up the liquid. The seeds will plump up and add a nice texture.
Supplement with Psyllium Husks
Psyllium husks are another great fiber supplement to add to juices. They are composed of the husks of the Plantago ovata plant’s seeds. Just half a tablespoon of psyllium husks contains nearly 5 grams of soluble fiber with minimal net carbs. Make sure to always mix psyllium husks into at least 8 ounces of liquid. Otherwise they can thicken up too much and be difficult to drink. Stir in the husks and let sit briefly before consuming. Start with a small amount at first to see how your body tolerates them.
Blend in Avocado or Coconut Meat
Adding a quarter or half of an avocado can add creaminess and fiber to your juices. The same goes for coconut meat scooped fresh from the shell. Avocados offer around 9 grams of fiber per half fruit, while coconut meat contains 5 grams of fiber per cup. Blend them up with your strained juice and ice in a blender to thicken the consistency. The healthy fats in avocado and coconut also help to keep you feeling full.
Include Some Greens in Smoothies
Rather than only drinking straight vegetable and fruit juices, get creative and make some green smoothies. Simply blend up leafy greens like spinach, kale, or swiss chard with your favorite juice combinations. You can also add yogurt, milk, nut butter, or protein powder to make a balanced meal replacement. Greens provide up to 5 grams of fiber per cooked cup. Adding them to smoothies is an easy way to increase your total fiber intake.
Make a Fiber-Rich Chia Pudding
One delicious way to get fiber from juice pulp is to save it for making chia pudding. Combine 1/4 cup chia seeds with 2 cups juice pulp in a mason jar or bowl. If needed, add extra juice or milk to achieve a pudding-like consistency after stirring. Allow the chia pudding to soak in the fridge overnight to thicken up. Top with your choice of berries, nuts, coconut, or granola for added crunch. The juice pulp provides a nutrient boost while the chia seeds pack in 8 grams of fiber per ounce.
Mix Juices with High Fiber Drinks
You can also increase the fiber content of your juices by mixing them with other high fiber beverages. For example, blend together vegetable juice with 1/3 to 1/2 cup of bran cereal plus milk for a fiber-rich breakfast drink. Or combine fruit juices with black coffee and a tablespoon of psyllium husks for a energizing morning beverage. There are lots of creative ways to incorporate extra high fiber ingredients into juices and smoothies.
Make Juice Cocktails with Herbs
Transform your juices into refreshing high fiber cocktails by adding fresh herbs and spices. Herbs like mint, basil, cilantro, and parsley contain a modest amount of fiber. Muddle up some fresh herbs in juice and serve over ice for aflavorful beverage that’s lower in sugar than traditional cocktails. You can also spike juices with some ginger, cayenne, turmeric, cinnamon, or cardamom to add an extra kick of fiber and superfood compounds.
Don’t Forget High Fiber Whole Fruits and Veggies
While juicing can help increase your produce intake, it’s important not to rely solely on juices for your fruit and vegetable nutrition. Make sure to still consume plenty of whole, high fiber produce like apples, pears, berries, citrus, carrots, and celery sticks for snacking. Eating the whole fruits and veggies ensures you get all the fiber naturally present. Aim for at least 2-3 servings of high fiber produce each day in addition to juicing.
Use Juice Pulp for Baking
Put all that nutritious juice pulp to use in your baking recipes. The pulp can be added to muffins, breads, energy bars, and cookies to cut down on flour and boost the fiber content. For example, try adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup dried juice pulp to your next batch of oatmeal cookies or zucchini bread. You can also hydrate the pulp and use it to replace some of the oil or applesauce in baking recipes. Get creative with using juice pulp to cut calories and increase fiber!
Juicing can provide a wealth of vitamins and antioxidants from produce. But removing the fiber found in whole fruits and vegetables remains a downside. Fortunately, there are many ways to add fiber back into your juices. Strain the pulp and reincorporate some back into the juice. Focus on juicing high-fiber produce like carrots and apples with skins on. Sprinkle juices with chia or flaxseeds. Blend greens into smoothies, or make fiber-rich chia puddings. With a little creativity, you can enjoy all the benefits of juicing while still getting adequate fiber in your diet.
|Fiber Source||Amount of Fiber|
|Apple pulp||5g per cup|
|Carrot pulp||3g per cup|
|Chia seeds||10g per 2 tablespoons|
|Flaxseeds||8g per 2 tablespoons|
|Psyllium husks||5g per 1/2 tablespoon|
|Spinach||4g per cooked cup|
|Kale||5g per cooked cup|
|Avocado||9g per half|
|Coconut meat||5g per cup|