Juicing has become an increasingly popular way to get more nutrients from fruits and vegetables. Fresh grape juice in particular is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. But can you actually juice grapes at home using a juicer? Let’s take a look at whether or not grapes can be juiced, the pros and cons of juicing grapes, and some tips for getting the most juice and nutrients out of grapes.
Can You Juice Grapes?
The short answer is yes, you can absolutely juice grapes at home using a juicer. However, the type of juicer you use makes a big difference in how much juice you can extract from grapes.
Grapes contain a fair amount of moisture, around 80% water. But they also contain skin, seeds, and some fiber that make it difficult to extract all of the liquid. So you’ll need a powerful juicer that can really break down the grapes and squeeze the moisture out of them.
Here are some common juicer types and how well they work for grapes:
|Effectiveness for Grapes
|Not very effective, lower grape juice yields
|Better juice extraction from grapes
|Triturating twin gear juicers
|Very effective, highest grape juice yields
Centrifugal juicers are the most common and affordable, but they struggle to fully break down grapes and extract all the juice. Masticating juicers, like single auger models, do a better job. But triturating twin gear juicers are the best for maximizing the amount of nutrient-rich grape juice you can make.
Pros of Juicing Grapes
There are some great benefits to making homemade grape juice with a juicer. Here are some of the top pros:
- Concentrated nutrients – Juicing extracts the liquid richness out of grapes, leaving behind the fiber. This gives you a intensely nutritious beverage packed with vitamins and antioxidants.
- Versatile uses – Grape juice can be enjoyed on its own, added to smoothies, used in cocktails, made into popsicles, and more.
- Better than store-bought – Juicing your own grapes allows you to avoid the added sugars and preservatives often found in bottled grape juices.
- More affordable – Buying bags of grapes and juicing them at home can cost a lot less than buying bottles of liquid grape juice from the store.
- Fun activity – Juicing grapes can be a fun kitchen project for kids and adults alike.
Cons of Juicing Grapes
However, there are also some downsides to keep in mind:
- Lower yields – Grapes are difficult to fully juice, so you’ll get less liquid compared to fruits like oranges or apples.
- Sugary taste – Grape juice is very high in natural sugars. The sweetness can be overpowering in large amounts.
- Short shelf life – The juice starts oxidizing and losing nutrients quickly after juicing.
- Skin and seeds – Some residue particles can end up in your juice if the juicer doesn’t fully separate out the skin and seeds.
- Takes time – Washing, de-stemming and juicing grapes is more time consuming than throwing store-bought juice into your cart.
Tips for Juicing Grapes
Follow these tips to get the maximum amount of nutrient-packed juice out of every grape:
- Wash grapes thoroughly to remove any dirt, chemicals, or debris on the skin
- Make sure grapes are ripe – underripe grapes have lower juice content
- Remove stems, which can clog up the juicer
- Use seedless grape varieties if possible to avoid seeds in finished juice
- Combine grapes with lower-sugar fruits like apples or pears
- Drink juice immediately or store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days
- Add lemon juice to help preserve the nutrients and flavor
- Use the leftover pulp in smoothies, compotes, or baking recipes to reduce waste
The Best Grapes for Juicing
You can juice almost any grape variety. But some types hold up better during juicing and produce higher juice yields. Here are some of the best grapes to use for juicing:
|Thick skins, bold flavor, high yields
|Fewer seeds, rich dark color
|Juicy, sweet, green grapes
|Distinctive musky aroma, soft skins
|Seedless, low acidity, flavorful
Try experimenting with different grape varieties to see which you enjoy juicing most in terms of flavor, sweetness, aroma, and juice yield.
Juicing Grape Skin and Seeds
The skins and seeds get left behind when you juice grapes. But grape skins especially contain beneficial nutrients like antioxidants. Should you juice them anyway?
It’s best to remove stems and leaves, which can contain higher levels of pesticides. The pulp and some seeds may end up in your juice depending on the juicer. But intentionally juicing seeds isn’t recommended.
Grape seeds contain tannins and oils that can cause an unpleasant bitter taste. They also contain a compound called amygdalin, which breaks down into hydrogen cyanide in the body. Consuming a few grape seeds likely won’t cause harm, but intentionally juicing seeds is not advised, especially for children.
Grape skins can add flavor, color, and nutrients if included in moderation. Some grape skin particles naturally end up in juices made with centrifugal and masticating juicers. If you want to intentionally add skins, use a small amount and be sure to strain out larger particles.
Juicing Unripe Grapes
Fully ripe, sweet grapes tend to produce the best, most flavorful juice. Underripe grapes are lower in sugar and higher in acids. This can lead to a more sour, bitter taste. The juice may also appear thinner and watery compared to ripe grape juice.
That said, less ripe grapes contain more antioxidant compounds as they haven’t reached their peak sugar levels. So juicing grapes just shy of being fully ripe can provide greater health benefits. Just expect a different flavor and texture in the finished juice.
Can You Juice Grape Stems?
It’s not recommended to juice grape stems along with the fruit. Stems are very fibrous and most juicers will have difficulty properly breaking them down. Pieces of stem can get lodged in the juicer, reducing extraction and efficiency.
Grape stems also contain chemical compounds that can change the taste and safety of the juice. Certain pesticides and waxes are used on the stems and leaves to protect the grape from damage. Juicing the stems risks transferring these chemicals to the juice.
Overall it’s best to remove all stems before dropping grapes into your juicer. The stems can safely be composted.
Juicing White Grapes vs. Red Grapes
|Mild, sweet flavor
|Rich, bold flavor
|Pale green to golden
|Deep red to purple
|Lower antioxidant content
|Higher antioxidants like resveratrol
|Great for juice blends
|Makes bold colored juice
Both white and red grapes can be juiced, each providing their own unique characteristics. White grapes tend to be milder in flavor while red grapes are bolder. Red grapes also contain higher levels of certain antioxidants.
You can juice one color grape or mix both types together. Blending the two can create a nice balanced flavor and aroma in the finished juice.
Other Fruits and Vegetables to Juice with Grapes
For the best flavor and health benefits, try blending grapes with other fruits and veggies. Some combinations work particularly well:
- Apples – Sweetens the juice and adds pectin
- Pears – Mild flavor that complements grapes
- Oranges – Boosts vitamin C and balances acidity
- Beets – Creates a unicorn-colored purple juice
- Carrots – Adds carotenoids like beta-carotene
- Celery – Provides mineral salts to balance sweetness
Get creative and make your own grape juice blends! Mixing fruits together can create delicious new flavors. Just be aware that adding lots of sugar-dense fruits will spike the carbohydrate content.
Storing Your Grape Juice
For best quality and nutrition, grape juice is best enjoyed immediately after juicing. But you can store leftover juice for 1-3 days.
- Pour juice into airtight containers like mason jars or resealable bottles
- Make sure there is minimal air space at the top as oxygen degrades juice over time
- Store grape juice in the refrigerator
- Drink within 24-72 hours for best freshness and flavor
- Avoid freezing grape juice, which can cause texture and flavor changes
Adding a squeeze of lemon juice can help slow oxidation and preserve more nutrients during storage. But in general, homemade grape juice doesn’t keep long compared to store-bought pasteurized juices.
Juicing grapes at home lets you enjoy fresh, flavorful grape juice with all the added benefits. Just be sure to use a masticating or triturating juicer to maximize the grape juice yield. While juicing grapes takes more time and yields less juice than fruits like apples, you still extract plenty of nourishing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Drink your grape juice promptly or combine it with other healthful ingredients in smoothies, cocktails, dressings, and more. Homemade grape juice makes a nutritious and delicious addition to any diet.