Fruit juices make for a refreshing and nutritious drink on their own or combined together in creative combinations. However, not all fruit juices play well together when mixed. Certain juices can cause curdling, bitterness, nutritional deficiencies, or an unbalanced flavor profile when blended. As a juice enthusiast, it’s important to know which fruit juice combinations to avoid for optimal taste, nutrition, and safety.
In general, citrus juices like orange, grapefruit, lemon, and lime juice can be safely mixed together or with non-citrus juices. However, there are a few exceptions to keep in mind:
|Citrus Juice 1||Citrus Juice 2||Result When Mixed|
|Grapefruit||Orange||Bitter, unpleasant flavor|
|Lemon||Lime||Curdling and separation|
The compounds in grapefruit and orange juice don’t combine well, creating a bitter taste. Meanwhile, lemon and lime juice can curdle when mixed due to their similar acidity levels. For the best results, avoid mixing these particular citrus juice pairings.
Fruit Juices with Milk/Dairy
Mixing most fruit juices with milk or other dairy products like yogurt, kefir, or ice cream results in curdling. The acids in fruit juice cause the proteins in milk to coagulate and separate. Some examples of fruit juice and dairy combinations to avoid:
|Pineapple juice||Yogurt drink|
|Grape juice||Ice cream|
The acids in these fruit juices curdle the dairy products, creating a lumpy, unpleasant mixture. If you want to combine fruit juice and dairy, stick to making smoothies where the curdling isn’t an issue when blended up.
Pomegranate juice is high in tannins, natural compounds that give it a tart, astringent taste. When mixed with certain other fruit juices high in antioxidants, pomegranate juice can result in a bitter, unbalanced flavor. Avoid mixing pomegranate juice with:
|Fruit Juice||Result When Mixed with Pomegranate Juice|
|Acai berry||Bitter, astringent taste|
|Black cherry||Muddied, unbalanced flavor|
The bold tannins in pomegranate juice just don’t meld well with other antioxidant-rich juices. For the best results, enjoy pomegranate juice on its own or mixed into a smoothie with bananas or yogurt to balance the tartness.
Pineapple juice contains the enzyme bromelain, which breaks down proteins. When mixed with certain fruit juices high in protein, bromelain can cause separation, curdling, and change the juices’ nutritional value. Avoid combining pineapple juice with:
|Fruit Juice||Result When Mixed with Pineapple Juice|
|Apple||Separation, modified nutrition|
|Aloe vera||Curdling, bitterness|
|Coconut water||Separation, texture change|
The bromelain in pineapple juice interrupts the protein structures in these juices, leading to curdling, separation, and nutritional changes. Enjoy pineapple juice on its own or combined with other fruits like oranges, berries, or melons that aren’t high in protein.
Juices Containing Pulp
Juices that contain pulp like orange juice with pulp and lemonade with pulp can cause texture issues when mixed with certain clear juices. The pulp can clump together, creating a grainy or chunky consistency. Avoid mixing pulp-containing juices with:
|Pulp Juice||Clear Juice||Result When Mixed|
|Orange juice with pulp||Apple juice||Grainy, clumpy texture|
|Lemonade with pulp||Coconut water||Chunky, unpleasant mouthfeel|
For the smoothest texture, only mix cloudy or pulp-containing juices with other cloudy juices. Or stick to combining clear, pulp-free juices together.
Green Vegetable Juices
Green vegetable juices like wheatgrass, celery, cucumber, spinach, and kale are packed with chlorophyll. When blended with fruit juices high in vitamin C like orange and grapefruit juice, the chlorophyll can turn brown. Avoid mixing green veggie juices with:
|Green Vegetable Juice||Fruit Juice||Result When Mixed|
|Spinach||Orange||Unappealing brown hue|
|Kale||Strawberry||Dull, brownish color|
The vitamin C oxidizes the chlorophyll, leading to an unappetizing brown color. For the best color, enjoy green veggie juices separately from fruit juices.
Juice Combos to Avoid
To summarize, here is a list of the top fruit and vegetable juice combinations that should not be mixed together:
|Juice 1||Juice 2|
|Grapefruit juice||Orange juice|
|Lemon juice||Lime juice|
|Pineapple juice||Yogurt drink|
|Pomegranate juice||Blueberry juice|
|Orange juice with pulp||Apple juice|
|Wheatgrass juice||Grapefruit juice|
Mixing these particular fruit and vegetable juices leads to curdling, bitterness, unpleasant textures, and unappealing colors. To avoid issues, consume these juices separately or blended into smoothies.
Tips for Mixing Fruit Juices
While some fruit juice combinations should be avoided, many juices can be successfully and deliciously mixed together. Here are some tips for mixing fruit juices:
- Citrus juices can generally be combined with each other except for grapefruit and orange or lemon and lime.
- Most fruit juices pair well with green apple, pear, coconut water, aloe vera juice, or mild herbs like mint.
- Tart or strong juices like pomegranate and pineapple blend best with sweeter juices like mango, peach, and banana.
- Start with small amounts of new juice combinations to test compatibility before making large batches.
- If juices curdle or separate, try adding ice, sparkling water, or blending into a smoothie.
- Store mixed juices in the fridge for up to 3 days and give them a stir or shake before drinking.
Following these tips can lead to stellar juice combinations full of flavor and nutrition. But when in doubt, avoid the problematic pairings outlined above.
Benefits of Juice Mixing When Done Properly
While some juice combinations don’t mix well, blending juices together also has many advantages when done thoughtfully. Benefits include:
- Unique flavors: New, exciting flavor combinations emerge when blending juices in complementary ways.
- Nutritional diversity: Different juices provide different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can balance each other out.
- Smoothed tartness: Mixing small amounts of tart juices like pomegranate or cranberry with sweeter juices makes them more palatable.
- Diluting sugars: Adding vegetable juices to fruit juices cuts down the sugar content for better blood sugar control.
- Hydration boost: Combining watery, hydrating juices creates drinks with higher water content.
- Added benefits: Juices like aloe vera and wheatgrass provide bonuses like digestion and immunity support.
Done properly, juice mixing allows you to create custom beverages to boost nutrition, hydration, and deliciousness in every glass.
Exploring unique fruit and vegetable juice combinations can definitely lead to some winning flavor profiles. However, certain juices simply don’t mix well together, causing issues like curdling, bitterness, and unappetizing changes in color or texture.
By avoiding problematic pairings and following proper mixing tips, you can unlock a whole new world of tantalizing juice blends. Armed with the knowledge of which juices not to mix, you can whip up smooth, nutritious juice combos that pop with flavor, nutrition, and drinkability in every serving.