A common juicing criticism is that you have leftover pulp from all those amazing fruits, veggies, and greens. Some think juice pulp is a waste, but I see it as a goldmine of opportunity. Below are some of the fun ways you can turn that supposed waste into a windfall!
1. You Can Eat That!
A top juicing goal is to concentrate valuable nutrients found in fresh produce into a more concentrated, liquid package. While juicing doesn’t remove all fiber (check out my Juicing vs. Blending article for a more detailed discussion), the vast majority of the insoluble fiber (and a bit of the soluble) is left in the pulp.
Unless you’re on a juice feasting journey, where you’re consuming only juice, you’re regularly noshing on solid food. So why not take that pulp and turn it into a tasty, healthful treat?
I’ve developed many delicious pulp-centric recipes, and here are a few of my favorites:
Juicer Test Kitchen Pro Tip: If you don’t have enough pulp from a single juicing session, you can store it in the refrigerator (short-term) or freezer (long-term) to build up the volume you need.
Juice Pulp Crackers
Makes around 48 crackers
- 4 c Savory Juice Pulp
- ¼ c Chia Seeds
- Water (enough to achieve damp consistency)
The Flavoring: Get creative! Here are a few suggestions.
- Minced garlic, onion, herbs, or veggies
- Caraway Seeds
- Curry Powder
- Chiles and Lime
Juicer Test Kitchen Pro Tip: You can use nearly any mixture of pulp. Ideally, use a combo of vegetables and greens, keeping the sweet fruit to a minimum. This is especially true if you want a more savory cracker.
In a large bowl, combine the pulp and chia seeds (plus any flavorings you choose). Begin adding your water in ¼ c amounts. The goal is to create a slightly damp “dough”, just enough so that it holds its shape when compressed. Mix well after each water addition, check the consistency, then add more water until it holds together.
If using a dehydrator, spread the mixture ¼ inch thick on lined drying trays, score with a knife, and dehydrate at 105℉ for 8-10 hours, flip, then dry for an additional 2 hours (or until completely dried through).
If using an oven, spread ¼ thick on lined or non-stick baking sheets, score with a knife, and bake on the lowest setting. Start with 30 minutes, then check their level of dryness. Keep checking until the sheets are dry enough to flip. Continue cooking, checking frequently, until the sheets are completely dry. The entire process should take anywhere from 60 minutes to two hours depending on your oven settings and pulp consistency.
Snap along the pre-scored lines and store in an airtight container for up to a month.
Fruit Pulp Flapjacks
Makes 8 flapjacks
- 1 c All-Purpose Flour
- 3 tsp Baking Powder
- Generous pinch of Salt
- 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
- 2 tsp ea Allspice, Nutmeg, and Mace
- 1 – 1 ¼ c Milk (any type)
- ½ c Sweet Juice Pulp
- 2 tsp Vanilla
- 2 Tbsp Neutral Flavored Oil or Butter (melted)
- Fresh or Dried Fruit, Chopped Nuts, Chocolate Chips, etc.
Juicer Test Kitchen Pro Tip: This recipe tastes best when using juice pulp from sweeter fruits and vegetables, but you can slip in some mild green juice pulp without much flavor difference. Simply be sure to keep out any strongly flavored pulp (like onion, garlic, broccoli, or peppers).
In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.
Slowly pour in your mixed wet ingredients into the dry ones, stirring until completely incorporated but not overly mixed. If your mixture seems to be a bit dry, add small amounts of milk until you reach the right consistency. Conversely, if your mixture is too thin, add a touch more flour. Fold in any optional extra ingredients and set aside.
Heat up your skillet, griddle, or another cooking surface to medium-high heat. Add a touch of cooking oil or butter, turning down the heat if it begins to smoke. Drop ⅓ c scoops of batter onto your cooking surface with enough room for each flapjack to spread out without touching the one next to it.
Cook on the first side until you see bubbles forming on the surface and browning around the edges. Flip your flapjack over and cook until the bottom is lightly browned and the batter is cooked through.
Serve immediately with your favorite topping and enjoy!
Veggie Pulp Fritter Power Bowls
Makes 4 servings
- 2 c Vegetable Juice Pulp (excess liquid squeezed)
- ½ c Red Onion (diced)
- 1 clove Garlic (minced)
- 1 inch thumb Ginger (minced)
- ¼ c Cilantro (chopped)
- 1 Chia Egg
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Ground Turmeric
- 3 tbsp Coconut Oil (plus more, if needed)
- 1 c Brown Rice (cooked)
- 1 Avocado (sliced)
- ½ c Red Cabbage (thinly sliced)
- ½ c Carrot (thinly sliced)
- ½ c Mung Bean Sprouts
- ¼ c Cilantro (chopped)
- ¼ c Sesame Seeds
- 4 Lime Wedges
- 1 c Creamy Peanut Butter
- 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
- 2 tsp Sriracha or Garlic Chili Sauce
Juicer Test Kitchen Pro Tip: This recipe tastes best when using vegetable-based juice pulp, and you’ll need to remove as much liquid from the pulp as possible. (Some juicers remove more of the liquid from the pulp than others.) Also, if you don’t want to make your own dressing, feel free to top with tahini or your favorite Asian-inspired store-bought dressing.
Begin with the dressing. Combine all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir until completely incorporated. Initially, the liquids will cause the peanut butter to look stringy, but keep stirring until the mixture is silky smooth. Set aside and make your fritters.
For the fritters, combine all ingredients (except the coconut oil) in a large mixing bowl. Using a ¼ c measuring cup, scoop out each portion and form it into a well-packed patty. Be sure to mop up any remaining liquid to achieve as dry a patty as possible.
Melt the coconut oil in a large, preheated skillet over medium-high heat and 3-5 fritters allowing for enough room in between to flip. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the edges are crispy, flip, and cook for an additional 5. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining fritters (adding more coconut oil, as needed).
To assemble, portion out the rice evenly between the four bowls, then add the avocado, red cabbage, carrot, and mung bean around the outer edges. Place 2-3 fritters in the center and drizzle dressing over the top. Garnish with a pinch of cilantro, sesame seeds, and a lime wedge, then serve.
Thank you to Le Petite Eats for this recipe inspiration!
Make It Thick
Pulp can be used for more than stand-alone recipes, like those above. A great way to use juice pulp is as a thickening agent in a myriad of applications. Try adding some to your next smoothie, soup, pasta sauce, popsicles, or breakfast casserole. It’s not only a great way to use up your juice pulp, but it also boosts the nutrition and fiber content. The options are endless, so experiment to find your favorites!
2. Pamper Your Pet
Juice pulp recipes aren’t just for people! Pets also love and can benefit from the bounty of fresh pulp generated from juicing.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Before you feed anything new to your pet clear it with your veterinarian. For instance, some produce is toxic to our canine friends (grapes, onions, and avocados, for example). Additionally, changing up your pet’s diet suddenly can trigger unpleasant side effects. So, again, before introducing these (or any) new foods check in with your pet’s healthcare professional.
Juice Pulp Is For Pups
- 2 c Juice Pulp
- ⅓ c Peanut Butter (peanuts only: no added salt, sugar, xylitol, or oil)
- ¼ c Flax Seed (ground)
- 1 c Rolled Oats
Preheat oven to 300℉.
Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Adjust the amount of rolled oats until you can form a ball that holds together. Form into whatever shape you like using your hands, a cookie cutter, or knife. Place on a lined or non-stick cookie sheet for 50-60 minutes.
Let cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to a month, longer in the freezer.
This recipe was inspired by The Produce Moms who have a wealth of fresh produce-based recipes for you to explore!
Pulp treats aren’t just for pooches! One of our Juicer Test Kitchen Team members grew up in an apartment, so had hamsters, guinea pigs, and other rodents as childhood pets. Try making these nibblers for your favorite furry friend from the Rodentia family.
Rad Rodent Treats
- 1 c Juice Pulp
- ½ c Banana (mashed) or Pumpkin Puree
- ¼ c Seeds or Nuts (raw & unsalted)
Mix all three ingredients thoroughly and form into small balls, about the diameter of a quarter. Adjust the amount of banana or pumpkin puree if you need more or less to bind everything together.
You can either bake or dehydrate these. If baking, place on a lined cookie sheet in a 350℉ pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. To dehydrate, place on lined trays at 105℉ for 24 hours, or until completely dry. Store in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze for longer.
3. Garden Goldmine
For those of you who have a green thumb, you know the importance of plant nutrition. Well, we have some great news…you can turn juice pulp into plant food by way of composting!
Everyone seems to be jumping on the compost train. From tiny countertops to expansive backyards, juicers everywhere are turning their pulp into gold for their gardens and houseplants.
If you’re new to composting, let us share a couple of tips and tricks to help you successfully convert all that pulp into healthy compost.
Balance Your Ingredients
Just like you, compost is an organism that thrives when it’s balanced. An easy way to ensure that happens is to incorporate both “green” and “brown”, or “wet” and “dry”, ingredients throughout the decomposition process. Maintaining a pile or bin that’s not too dry nor too wet ensures the quick and complete transformation of juice pulp, and other produce scraps, into beautiful compost ready to feed your plants.
Ideally, keep out any animal byproducts, since they are far trickier to break down properly. Definitely keep out fecal matter, diseased plants, and weeds as they can cause problems with your gardens/houseplants later down the road.
Stir It Up
Oxygen incorporation, called aeration, is also key to creating healthy compost. The bacteria that break down all that fiber and turn it into plant food are aerobic, meaning they require oxygen to live.
One way to ensure those hungry bacteria get the fresh air they need is to physically stir, or turn, your compost. Be it a large pile in your garden or a small container on your counter, give it a turn. Some folks get creative and put their produce scraps and juice pulp into an easily turnable container, like the one below.
Not only does aerating your compost help those bacteria can do their job, it also speeds up the compost conversion process, yielding you nutrient-packed compost sooner than later.
Give It Time
While we’ve discussed ways to speed up the composting process, there’s no substitute for time. Like a fine wine, great compost takes a while to create. If you try to use partially-decomposed compost you’ll end up doing more harm to your plants than good. Believe it when we say that some of us have tried and caused our plants much strife in the process.
How do you know when your compost is ready? Give it a sniff. If it smells like rot, it’s not finished. Fully decomposed compost should have a fresh, loamy odor like garden soil or a forest on a dewy morning. The color and texture should be dark brown and crumbly, with no large pieces in the mix.
So when you have more pulp than you or your pets can eat, turn it into plant food!
What Do You Think of Juice Pulp Now?
As I said at the beginning, pulp can be a boone to anyone who looks at it that way. These suggestions above are just the tip of the juicing iceberg! From tasty recipes, healthy pet treats, and even plant food, the pulp left over from juicing is something I just can’t get enough of.
Tell me how you use your juice pulp in the comments below and inspire others to try it out!