Cold press juicers, also known as slow juicers or masticating juicers, have become increasingly popular in recent years as people look for ways to get more nutrients from their fruits and vegetables. Unlike centrifugal juicers which spin at very high speeds to extract juice, cold press juicers use a slower, grinding method that doesn’t generate heat and friction that can destroy beneficial enzymes and antioxidants. This makes them ideal for juicing leafy greens, wheatgrass, and soft fruits.
However, not all ingredients are well-suited for cold press juicers. Some items are too hard or fibrous and can jam or dull the auger, while others simply don’t contain enough juice to warrant processing through a cold press. Knowing what not to put in a cold press juicer will save you time, frustration, and possible damage to your machine.
Fruits and Vegetables to Avoid
Certain types of produce have a very low juice yield and high fiber content that can quickly clog up a cold press juicer. Here are some specific fruits and vegetables you’ll want to avoid:
While nutritious, avocados contain minimal juice and very dense flesh. Their thick texture simply won’t break down well in a cold press juicer. You’re better off blending avocado into smoothies or slicing it to add to other juices.
Bananas have a starchy, pulpy texture that will gum up the works of a cold press juicer. Like avocado, bananas are better saved for smoothies. Even very ripe bananas won’t yield much juice.
Whole coconuts and coconut flesh should not go into a cold press juicer. The hard shell can damage the auger and the meat is too fibrous to effectively extract juice. However, coconut water is fine to juice.
Dates and Figs
The thick, sticky flesh of dates and figs will clump together and clog a cold press juicer. They also don’t contain enough fluid or pulp to yield juice. Chop and soak them first before adding to smoothies instead.
While mangoes can technically be juiced in a cold press juicer, their naturally pulpy texture means you’ll end up with more of a puree. You’ll get more juice by sticking to oranges, apples, pears, etc.
Pineapple flesh is too fibrous for most cold press juicers to break down. The core is especially difficult. Pineapple juice is best extracted using a centrifugal juicer or simply purchasing pre-made pineapple juice.
|Fruit or Vegetable||Why Not to Juice in Cold Press|
|Avocados||Low juice yield, dense and thick flesh|
|Bananas||Starchy, pulpy texture gums up juicer|
|Coconut||Hard shell damages auger, meat is too fibrous|
|Dates and Figs||Thick, sticky flesh clogs juicer|
|Mangoes||Pulpy texture yields puree, not juice|
|Pineapple||Too fibrous for most cold press juicers|
Leafy greens like kale, spinach, swiss chard, parsley, and wheatgrass are often touted as being perfect ingredients for cold press juicers. However, there are a couple things to keep in mind when juicing large amounts of greens:
Tough Greens Can Jam the Auger
Very fibrous leaves like kale stalks can get wrapped around and trapped in the auger, causing it to seize up. Always tear or chop greens into smaller pieces before feeding into the juicer.
Soft Greens Can Also Clog
On the other end of the spectrum, lettuces and herbs like parsley contain so much water that large handfuls can create a dense sludge that coats and clogs the juicing screen. Alternate soft greens with harder produce like carrots or apples.
Only Juice Wheatgrass in Small Amounts
Due to its fine texture, wheatgrass is best juiced in very small quantities along with other ingredients. Too much at once can gum up the machine.
|Leafy Green||Juicing Tips|
|Kale, Chard||Chop or tear into smaller pieces first|
|Lettuce, Herbs||Alternate with harder items like carrots|
|Wheatgrass||Only juice small amounts at a time|
Other Foods and Ingredients to Avoid
In addition to fruits, veggies, and greens, there are a few other types of ingredients you’ll want to keep out of your cold press juicer:
Nuts, seeds, pits
While nut milks and butters can be made in some cold press juicers, in general nuts, seeds and pits should be avoided. Their hardness and density can dull or damage the auger.
Only juice fruits and vegetables at room temperature. Adding frozen ingredients to a cold press juicer can crack or bend the auger. Allow frozen produce to fully thaw first.
Meat and fish
Cold press juicers are not intended for juicing animal products. Meat and fish can contaminate the juicer, making it unsuitable for future vegetable juicing.
Dairy tends to clog up the juicing screens. Hard cheese can also damage the auger. Leave milk, yogurt, cheese and butter out of your cold press juices.
Pasta, bread, rice
Grains and grain products like bread and pasta are too dry and starchy to extract juice from. They lack the moisture content needed to properly feed through a cold press juicer.
Like grains, most beans and legumes are too dry to effectively juice in a cold press machine. Their starchiness can also gum up the works. Leave them out for best results.
|Ingredient||Why Not to Juice|
|Nuts, seeds, pits||Can damage auger due to hardness|
|Frozen produce||Can crack or bend auger|
|Meat, fish||Contaminates machine|
|Dairy||Clogs juicing screens|
|Grains, bread, pasta||Too dry, starchy|
|Beans, legumes||Too dry, starchy|
Best Practices for Cold Press Juicers
Now that you know what not to put in a cold press juicer, here are some general tips for safe, successful juicing:
Stick to juice recipes specifically for cold press juicers
Follow recipes designed for your particular make and model to ensure best results.
Cut produce into smaller pieces
Cut fruits, veggies, and greens into 1-2 inch chunks before feeding into the juicer. This prevents jamming.
Alternate soft and hard produce
Prevent pulp buildup by alternating wet greens with harder items like carrots or apples.
Don’t overstuff the chute
Only put in as much produce as will comfortably fit in the chute without cramming and choking the machine.
Let the juicer rest between ingredients
Give the motor a brief rest between different types of produce to keep it from overheating.
Rinse parts after each use
Thoroughly rinse and scrub all parts immediately after juicing to remove residual pulp.
Disassemble and clean fully 1-2 times per week
Take apart all parts and clean the housing, auger, and screen to keep the juicer fresh.
Following these juicing tips will help prevent many common issues like jamming, clogging, and overflowing. Be patient, avoid problem foods, and clean regularly for best juicing experiences.
Cold press juicers unlock more nutrients from fruits and veggies compared to traditional juicers. However, their lower speeds and grinding method mean they can’t handle some types of produce. Avoiding fibrous, dry, and dense ingredients will ensure the auger runs smoothly and the juicer parts remain clear of messy pulp buildup.
Stick to standard juicing recipes made for your particular cold press model. Cut ingredients into small, manageable pieces before feeding into the chute. Clean all parts thoroughly after each use to maintain juice quality and prevent growth of mold and bacteria. With some care and practice, a cold press juicer can produce fantastic juices packed with enzymes, vitamins, and antioxidants. Just remember to steer clear of anything too pulpy, sticky, or hard for happy juicing.