Skip to Content

Should I soak kale before juicing?

Juicing fresh fruits and vegetables is an increasingly popular way to get more nutrients into your diet. Kale is a nutrient-dense leafy green that can be a great addition to fresh juices. Some people prefer to soak kale before juicing it, but is this necessary? Here is a look at the potential benefits and drawbacks of soaking kale before juicing.

The Case for Soaking

There are a couple reasons why someone may want to soak kale before throwing it into the juicer:

  • To soften the leaves – Kale contains tough cell walls that can be difficult for some juicers to break down. Soaking kale for 15-30 minutes before juicing can help soften the leaves, resulting in higher juice yields.
  • To remove dirt or debris – Kale leaves can trap dirt and debris in their curly leaves. Soaking kale helps rinse away any grit, resulting in a smoother, cleaner juice.
  • To moderate nutrient content – Kale contains high levels of nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Soaking kale may help moderate the nutrient content, preventing your juice from being overly concentrated with vitamins.

Overall, soaking kale makes the leaves easier to juice and can help remove dirt and adjust nutrient levels. For these reasons, many people feel that soaking kale before juicing is beneficial.

The Case Against Soaking

On the other hand, there are some potential drawbacks to soaking kale before juicing:

  • Nutrient loss – Soaking kale causes some water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C and B vitamins to leach out into the water. This can result in lower nutrient levels in the final juice.
  • Dilution of flavors – Soaking kale causes it to absorb a lot of water, which can dilute the flavor of the final juice.
  • Increased prep time – Having to soak kale adds an extra step to the juicing process, increasing the overall prep time.

Many people feel that the easiest way to juice kale is to add it straight to the juicer without pre-soaking. This avoids any nutrient loss and doesn’t dilute the flavor. The juicer should be powerful enough to break down the kale leaves easily.

Tips for Juicing Kale

Here are some tips for getting the most out of juicing kale, whether you choose to soak it first or not:

  • Use a high-power juicer – Kale requires a juicer with some muscle to break down its cell walls. A centrifugal juicer or masticating juicer works best.
  • Roll leaves into balls – Roll kale leaves tightly into balls before putting them into the juicer spout. This prevents them from getting stuck.
  • Alternate with fruit – Alternate kale with pieces of apple, lemon, or celery to help push the kale through the juicer.
  • Drink immediately – Drink kale juice right away to get the most nutrients. Kale juice oxidizes quickly.
  • Add ginger – Adding a 1 inch knob of ginger can help cut the bitter taste of kale juice.

Nutrition Facts for Kale Juice

Kale is jam-packed with nutrition. Here is the nutrition profile of an 8 ounce glass of raw kale juice made from 2 cups of chopped kale leaves:

Nutrient Amount % Daily Value
Calories 68 3%
Protein 3g 6%
Carbs 14g 5%
Fiber 2g 8%
Vitamin A 547% DV 547%
Vitamin C 134% DV 134%
Vitamin K 685% DV 685%
Manganese 26% DV 26%

As you can see, kale juice is a nutrient powerhouse. Just one 8 ounce serving provides huge doses of vitamins A, C, and K. It’s also a great source of manganese.

Health Benefits of Juicing Kale

Drinking kale juice regularly can provide a range of health benefits:

  • Boosts immunity – The vitamin C and beta carotene in kale juice supports immune function.
  • Supports bone health – The calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K in kale helps build and maintain strong bones.
  • Protects vision – Lutein and zeaxanthin in kale can help reduce risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Benefits skin – Vitamin A and vitamin C support skin health and collagen formation.
  • Aids digestion – The fiber content in kale juice promotes regularity and healthy digestion.

Potential Downsides of Juicing Kale

While juicing kale can provide a mega dose of nutrients, there are a couple potential downsides to consider:

  • Lower fiber content – Juicing kale removes most of the plant fiber, which provides bulk and aids digestion.
  • High oxalate content – Kale contains oxalate compounds that can contribute to kidney stone formation in some people prone to the condition.
  • Thyroid effects – Kale contains goitrogens that may interfere with thyroid function for people with existing thyroid issues.

Overall these effects only tend to be a concern when drinking very large amounts of kale juice over extended periods. But it’s still something to keep in mind and discuss with your doctor if you have thyroid problems or kidney stones.

Should You Soak Kale Before Juicing?

After looking at the potential pros and cons, whether or not you should soak kale before juicing depends on your goals:

  • For highest nutrient content – Skip soaking to retain all water-soluble vitamins.
  • For smoother, cleaner juice – Soak for 15-30 minutes to remove dirt and soften leaves.
  • For easier juicing – Soak tought kale leaves if your juicer has difficulty breaking them down.
  • For maximum convenience – Add kale straight to the juicer to save time and steps.

In most cases, soaking kale is an optional extra step. Modern juicers are designed to break down kale leaves efficiently without needing to soak them first. However, if you find unsoaked kale clogs up your juicer, then take the extra few minutes to soak leaves beforehand.

Try This Soaked Kale Juice Recipe

If you want to give soaking kale a try, here is a refreshing soaked kale juice recipe to get you started:


  • 2 cups chopped kale leaves
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • 1 inch knob ginger
  • 2 green apples
  • 3 celery stalks
  • Ice cubes


  1. Rinse kale leaves and soak in water for 20 minutes. Drain and rinse.
  2. Run kale, lemon, ginger, apples, and celery through a juicer. Stir to combine.
  3. Pour into a glass filled with ice and enjoy!

This crisp, refreshing juice takes advantage of soaking to soften the kale leaves. The ginger, lemon, and apple help mask the strong flavor of kale. It’s a great way to get a mega dose of nutrition into your day.


While soaking kale before juicing does have some benefits, it also causes some drawbacks. Most modern juicers can break down tough kale leaves without needing to soak them first. However, if you find your juicer struggles with unsoaked kale, go ahead and let the leaves soak for 15-30 minutes to soften them up.

Kale makes an excellent addition to fresh juices. Whether you soak it first or now, kale juice provides a concentrated nutritional boost in an easy-to-drink package. Drink your kale juice promptly to get the most benefit from all those healthy vitamins and minerals.