Juicing has become a popular way to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet. With a juicer, you can extract all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from produce while leaving behind the fiber. This allows you to consume a concentrated dose of the good stuff from fruits and veggies.
While juicing can be a healthy habit, there are some fruit combinations that you should avoid. Certain fruits contain enzymes that can react with each other and result in an unpleasant tasting or even toxic juice. Knowing what not to mix will help you create healthy, delicious juices to enjoy.
In general, citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes have high acidity. If you mix the juice from these fruits with lower acid juices, it can cause the juice to taste bitter or sour.
|Higher Acidity Citrus Fruits||Lower Acidity Fruits to Avoid Mixing|
The higher acidity from the citrus can curdle the proteins and pectin in the lower acid fruits. This leads to a bitter, unpleasant taste. If you want to include citrus in your juice blends, pair them with other higher acid fruits like pineapple, kiwifruit, passionfruit or berries.
Melons like honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon have very mild flavors. When mixed with potent or strong tasting produce like kale, beets or pomegranate, melon juice can get overpowered. The result is a juice with a muddled, unappealing flavor.
|Mild Tasting Melons||Strong Flavored Fruits and Veggies to Avoid|
For the best tasting melon juices, blend with other melons or mild produce like cucumber, pear or apple. The flavors will complement each other instead of competing.
Pineapple and Kiwi
Although pineapple and kiwi taste great together, their enzymes can react when juiced. Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain, while kiwi has actinidin. Together, these enzymes can produce a protein coagulating effect.
This can result in a gritty, frothy texture in your juice. The juice may also appear to be curdled. While not dangerous, it leads to an unpalatable drinking experience.
If you want to include both pineapple and kiwi in a juice, it’s best to space them out. Drink a pineapple juice in the morning and a kiwi juice later in the day to avoid enzyme issues.
Apple and Carrot
Apple and carrot juices are both packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals. But when juiced together, their flavors tend to clash. Carrot juice has an earthy, vegetal taste. Apple juice is light and sweet.
Blending apple and carrot typically results in a muddled, unpleasant flavor. The juices also tend to separate quickly, with the carrot juice sinking and the apple juice floating.
If you want to include apple and carrot in the same juice, use only a small amount of each. Add other produce like lemon, ginger or orange to help bridge the flavors.
Fruits with Stalks, Seeds or Pits
You’ll get the best juice by removing stalks, stems, seeds and pits from produce before juicing. Strawberry tops, raspberry stems, and the white pithy part of citrus peel contain plant compounds that can add a bitter taste.
Cherry or plum pits contain cyanide, which is toxic. Peach, apricot and mango pits also contain compounds that can be dangerous in large quantities.
Make sure to fully prep your fruits and vegetables to remove any parts that shouldn’t be juiced before tossing them into your machine.
|Fruits with Parts to Remove Before Juicing||Parts to Discard|
|Stone fruits like cherries, plums, peaches||Pits|
Mango and Spinach
Mango and spinach make a nutrient-packed juice combination. Mango delivers vitamins A and C, while spinach provides iron, magnesium and antioxidants.
However, the texture of mango and spinach juice is less than ideal. Mango pulp can make the juice slimy, while spinach leaves create a gritty, fibrous texture.
For the best results, use just a bit of each. Balance out the mango and spinach with a base of cucumber or apple juice to dilute the texture issues. Straining the juice can also help minimize the grittiness.
It’s best to avoid juicing bananas altogether. Bananas contain very little liquid or juice. Their high starch content can clog up your juicer.
The small amount of banana juice extracted is often very sugar with a gluey, thick texture. It’s unlikely to be a juice you’ll want to drink. Bananas and plantains are better blended than juiced.
Like bananas, avocados have a thick, creamy texture that does not juice well. Their high fat content can coat the parts of your juicer machine and be difficult to clean up.
Skip juicing avocados. Instead, blend them into smoothies or use as a topping for salads and other dishes to enjoy their nutritional benefits.
With a wide variety of fruits and vegetables available, the possibilities are endless when it comes to juicing combinations. By avoiding mixing produce with incompatible textures or enzymes, you can create flavorful, nutritious juice blends to enjoy.
When trying out new juice recipes, mix and match small amounts of ingredients to test the results. Fruits and vegetables that don’t work well together when juiced may complement each other nicely when blended in a smoothie.
Drink your juices as soon as possible after making for the best flavor and nutritional content. With some trial and error, you can find wonderful juice combinations that you’ll want to make again and again.