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What are the best foods to put in a juicer?

Juicing has become an increasingly popular way to get more nutrients into your diet. With a juicer, you can extract the juice from fruits and vegetables, leaving behind the fiber. This allows you to consume a concentrated dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. But not all foods are created equal when it comes to juicing. Some produce contains more nutrients and makes tastier juice than others. Keep reading to learn about the top foods to use in your juicer.

Fruits high in water content

Fruits with a high water content are great for juicing because they produce a lot of juice. The water also helps dilute and balance out the sweetness and acidity of other ingredients you may add. Some of the best high-water fruits to juice include:

  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Pineapple

Watermelon is especially juicy and mild in flavor. It’s a great base for green veggie juices to cut through some of the bitter tastes. Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, and lemons add a punch of vitamin C. Tomatoes are technically a fruit and make nutritious additions to both fruit- and veggie-based juices.

Leafy greens

Leafy greens are some of the healthiest ingredients to use in juices. Greens like spinach, kale, chard, collards, and lettuce are loaded with nutrients including:

  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium

However, greens are also very bitter and strong-tasting on their own. It’s best to combine leafy greens with sweeter, milder produce like apples, carrots, and cucumbers to make the juice more palatable. Some of the best greens for juicing include:

Green Benefits
Spinach High in vitamin K, vitamin A, iron, and antioxidants
Kale Excellent source of vitamins A, K, C, calcium, and potassium
Chard Loaded with vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, iron, and antioxidants
Romaine lettuce Rich in vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, and manganese

Root vegetables

Root veggies like carrots, beets, and ginger also make great additions to juices. They tend to be lower in sugar than fruits and are filled with nutrients including:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Antioxidants

Some of the top root vegetables to use for juicing are:

Root Vegetable Benefits
Carrots Excellent source of vitamin A; also provide vitamin K, potassium, and antioxidants
Beets High in folate, manganese, and antioxidants that support detoxification
Ginger Contains anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols
Turmeric Loaded with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds


Apples deserve their own special mention when it comes to juicing. They are arguably the best fruit to use as a base for nearly any juice recipe. Here’s why apples are so good for juicing:

  • Sweet, mild flavor that balances out strong or bitter tastes
  • High juice yield thanks to their high water content
  • Rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and soluble fiber
  • Contain pectin, which helps juice stay fresh longer

Granny Smith and Gala apples are two popular varieties for juicing, but you can experiment with just about any type. Just be sure to wash apples thoroughly since their skin will not be removed before juicing.

Herbs and spices

Don’t be afraid to add some herbs and spices to juices for extra flavor and health benefits. Options like mint, basil, parsley, cinnamon, and ginger can enhance the taste profile of juices. Many fresh herbs contain antioxidants and compounds that may help fight inflammation and benefit digestion. A few sprigs of your favorite herbs go a long way in juices.

Other fruits

In addition to apples, high-water fruits, and citrus, you can juice just about any other fruits as well. Some other tasty options include:

  • Pears
  • Mangoes
  • Pineapple
  • Berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
  • Cherries
  • Peaches
  • Kiwis
  • Pomegranates

Try mixing and matching a combination of fruits to create different flavor profiles. Fruits add plenty of vitamins, antioxidants, and plant compounds like polyphenols and carotenoids to juices.

Vegetable juice combo ideas

When making vegetable juices, it helps to use at least one sweeter, juicy veggie along with the leafy greens to make the juice more drinkable. Here are some tasty veggie juice combinations to try:

  • Carrot + celery + beet + ginger
  • Cucumber + kale + lemon + apple
  • Tomato + carrot + bell pepper + parsley
  • Beet + spinach + orange
  • Cabbage + apple + ginger

Fruit juice combo ideas

You have lots of flexibility when mixing various fruits to create refreshing juices. Consider juice recipes like:

  • Apple + carrot + ginger
  • Pineapple + orange + strawberry
  • Pear + kale + lemon
  • Watermelon + strawberry + mint
  • Apple + beet + blueberry
  • Mango + peach + pineapple

There are endless possible combinations to suit your tastes and nutrition goals. Rotate different fruit and veggie juices to get a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Foods to use sparingly

While most fruits and veggies can be juiced, some should only be used in moderation or avoided for juicing:

  • Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, corn, peas, and winter squash are high in starch that can lead to spikes in blood sugar. They also don’t add a lot of nutrients.
  • Seeds and pits: Ingredients like raspberries and cherries contain seeds that most juicers cannot properly extract. Use seedless forms when possible.
  • Alcoholic beverages: While you can juice items like grapes or apples and make wine or cider, they lack nutrients and contain empty calories.

For leafy greens like kale, collards, and chard, remove the fibrous stems and ribs before juicing or your machine may jam. You want to stick to juicing the nutrient-dense leaves.

Should you peel produce before juicing?

Many people wonder if it’s necessary to peel fruits and veggies before juicing them. Here are some general tips on peeling produce:

  • Leave peels on thick-skinned fruits like oranges, grapefruits, pineapples, mangoes, etc. The outer peel contains beneficial compounds.
  • Soft, thin-peeled fruits like apples, pears, and peaches should be peeled since their skin is too fibrous to juice.
  • Leafy green vegetables and root vegetables can be juiced unpeeled.
  • Wash all produce thoroughly before juicing, including those with peels.

One exception is ginger – many people prefer peeling ginger before juicing because the skin can be quite fibrous.

Should seeds be removed from produce before juicing?

As mentioned earlier, some fruits with large seeds or hard pits like cherries, mangoes, nectarines, and peaches should have their pits removed before juicing. Avocados should also be de-pitted.

For fruits and veggies with small edible seeds like tomatoes, kiwis, and berries, it’s not necessary to de-seed them. Raspberries and blackberries, however, may need seeds strained out after juicing.

Citrus fruits can be juiced with or without seeds. Some people argue the seeds add a bitter taste, while others feel they provide health benefits. It’s a matter of personal preference.

How much produce do you need?

Wondering how much fresh produce you’ll need to make a decent amount of juice? In general, plan on about:

  • 2 pounds of produce for a 16 oz serving of juice
  • 3 pounds of produce for a 24 oz serving of juice
  • 5 pounds of produce for a 48 oz batch of juice

The exact yield can vary based on the water content of the ingredients. Fruits and veggies with higher water content will produce more juice.

We recommend drinking juice immediately after making it to get the most nutrients. If juicing in bulk, store leftover juice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours.

Best practices for juicing

Follow these tips to get the most out of your juicing habits:

  • Rotate your produce: Don’t juice the same fruits and veggies every day. Mix it up to get a variety of nutrients.
  • Drink juice on an empty stomach: Have your juice 30+ minutes before eating solid foods so your body can fully absorb the nutrients.
  • Combine with veggies: Fruit juices taste great, but try to balance them out by mixing in leafy greens and crunchy veggies.
  • Drink in moderation: Limit juice to no more than one 12 oz serving per day as part of a healthy diet.
  • Make it fresh: Juice only what you’ll drink right away rather than making big batches that sit.

Choose organic when possible

Organic produce is always best for juicing whenever possible. Organic fruits and vegetables are grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers that can accumulate in and on conventionally grown produce. Going organic avoids these toxins and chemicals.

According to the Environmental Working Group, these are some of the most important fruits and veggies to buy organic due to high pesticide residues when conventionally grown:

  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Potatoes

So splurge on organic for the Dirty Dozen, and save money buying conventional varieties of lower-pesticide produce like avocados, pineapple, mangos, asparagus, and kiwi.

Juicing Tips

Here are some additional tips and tricks for getting the most out of your juicing machine:

  • Roll citrus fruits on the counter before juicing to maximize the juice yield.
  • Juice softer fruits and vegetables first, then harder items like carrots and beets.
  • Alternate between harder and softer produce if juicing a batch of mixed ingredients.
  • Crush ginger, garlic, etc before juicing to better extract their juices.
  • Store leftover pulp in an airtight container in the fridge up to 72 hours for use in other recipes.
  • Rinse all produce thoroughly before juicing, including peel-on fruits and vegetables.
  • Aim to drink your juice within 30 minutes of making it for maximum nutrition.
  • Clean your juicer parts promptly after using to prevent drying and buildup.

Choose the right juicer

Investing in a quality juicer is key if you plan to juice frequently. Here are some things to consider when selecting a juicer:

  • Juicing method: Centrifugal or masticating/cold press
  • Speed: Faster speeds extract juice more quickly but can oxidize ingredients
  • Feed chute: Larger openings fit whole produce with less prep
  • Power: More wattage handles harder ingredients better
  • Noise level: Look for quieter motors if juicing early/late
  • Ease of cleaning: Removable, dishwasher-safe parts save time
  • Yield: Some extract more juice and drier pulp
  • Budget: Prices range from under $100 to over $400

For frequent juicing, a masticating or cold press juicer may be the best investment. They operate at slower speeds to minimize oxidation. Vertical cold press juicers are especially convenient and space-saving.

Juicing Precautions

While juicing can be a healthy habit for many people, there are some important safety precautions to keep in mind:

  • Children should not operate a juicer without adult supervision.
  • Cut produce into smaller pieces to fit feed chute to prevent jamming.
  • Never put hands into the juicer while it is still running.
  • Unplug the juicer before cleaning or assembling parts.
  • Don’t over-juice fruits high in sugar if concerned about blood sugar spikes.
  • Be aware juices do not provide important fiber benefits.
  • Introduce new ingredients slowly to test tolerance, especially if you have food sensitivities.

It’s also a smart idea to alternate between juicing days and eating whole fruits/veggies. While juicing can add more produce to your diet, fiber is an important nutrient. Moderation and variety are key.


Juicing is a fun way to get in more vegetables and pack a concentrated dose of nutrients into your diet. Stick to fruits