Juicing Oranges and Lemons – To peel or not to peel?
Wondering whether or not you need to peel your orange before you stick it in your juicer?
I did the same thing! I was juicing away with my orange cut into quarters then started to wonder…
Juicing oranges with peel, is this a good thing or not? I did some research and found some mixed results, a lot of people were saying to peel because the peel leaves your juice tasting bitter, not something I’ve found, and other people were saying that it can have harmful chemicals on it, but again I felt fine after drinking my freshly squeezed orange juice and always make sure to wash them before I juice them.
The peel itself is edible in moderation which I was surprised about since it was always something I was told not to do, but it doesn’t have that much juice and comes out as pulp anyway, I just don’t peel to save time!
I look more into it further through the article but nothing I found is going to convince me to start peeling my oranges, or lemons. If you don’t like the taste however you peel away!
Reasons To Not Juice Citrus Peel
The only real reason that’s out there for not juicing citrus peels is that it can have pesticides on it. But we’re washing our fruit and veg like responsible juicers, right? RIGHT?
Apart from that. The only hazard is that cirtus fruit peel can be hard to digest and leave you feeling bloated, but we’re not eating the peel so it doesn’t matter. But it means you may not want to use the pulp for anything if you’ve juiced with the peel.
However, if you’re drinking orange juice made with the peel on and do start to feel a bit bloated you should probably start peeling the oranges. There might be something else at work, other meals, other ingredients, but that’s a good place to start.
Finally, it can affect the taste, some people always peel their oranges before juicing because of reported bitterness. I’ve never actually noticed this, I’m not sure if it’s because I always juice alongside other fruits and vegetables so the taste gets masked or what but it’s not something I’ve had a problem with.
What about you? If you’ve done it and don’t like it, please let me know in the comments at the bottom and I’ll update the article to talk about it a bit more.
I will say this isn’t the case if you’re using a citrus juicer. A citrus juicer needs the peels left on to work properly compared to the likes of a centrifugal juicer which doesn’t.
Do You Peel Grapefruit Before Juicing?
What about grapefruit? It’s got a thicker skin so you do you juice grapefruit with the peel?
You can juice grapefruit with the peel on for all the same reasons you can juice lemons, limes and oranges but it depends more on the juicer you’ve got. If you have a cheap juicer then it might struggle to get through the tough skin and it’s worth cutting what you can off before juicing.
But you’ll likely need to chop up the grapefruit before you put it in your juicer anyway which will make it easier to juice because the soft flesh is already exposed. So yes again you can juice with the skin on and you should be fine.
But, the thick peel can be more likely to release an oil that gives some people indigestion and bloating so again try it out and see. You won’t do any harm to yourself and if your stomach feels a bit funny then next time just peel them!
You’re on a journey and it’s going to take some trial and error getting it right, don’t worry, you’ll get there!
How Healthy Is Orange Peel?
Orange peel is more nutrient-dense than the soft flesh on the inside, it’s packed with vitamin C and a single teaspoon has 3 times the vitamin C of the flesh inside according to Healthline. Not to mention that potassium, magnesium, B6 and B2, it’s no wonder fresh orange juice has so many health benefits!
It’s also got more fibre but that’s not relevant here since that will all be spat out as pulp from the juicer anyway.
The peel is also where the essential oils are found that are packed full of micronutrients that can help with everything from weight loss to strengthen the immune system while also being great for your skin!
These oils come out if you twist the orange peel and can be nice in a whisky cocktail coincidentally.
Can You Juice Orange And Lemon Seeds
This is one of the instances where you don’t have a choice. Or you do but I don’t know anyone who will sit and pick all the seeds out of an orange before they juice it.
But more to that, it’s a good thing to juice the orange seeds because they have limonene in them which is a compound that’s been researched to help care for chronic illnesses, I t’s also found to help lower cholesterol and a whole host of good things.
So not only can you juice them I recommend that you do put them in your juicer.
How To Juice Oranges With Skin On
It’s much the same as how you’d juice them without the skin on but let’s get stuck in and go through the steps of making orange juice with the skin on.
Step 1. Wash Outside – Because you’re keeping the skin on you definitely need to wash the outside of your oranges. This is where any of the chemicals that got sprayed while they were growing would be so it’s good to wash it thoroughly to get rid of these. Or consider getting organic oranges if you can afford it.
Step 2. Cut Into Quarters – Don’t juice a whole roange, even if the feeding chute is big enough it’s a recipe for jamming your juicer. You’ll have a much easier time cutting your oranges into quarters, or smaller if needs be, before you juice. That way they fit better and you’ll avoid blocking the whole thing up.
Step 3. Feed through juicer – Next you’re going to juice them! Whether you’ve got a masticating juicer or a centrifugal juicer you’ll still feed your oranges into the juicer pushing through with a tamper if needs be. Don’t put too much in at once, just nice gradual feeding of smaller pieces so it doesn’t get jammed.
Step 4. Drink and Enjoy – Now for the best part! You get to drink your OJ! Alternatively, you can store it in the fridge for 24 hours if you used a centrifugal juicer or 72 hours if you used a masticating juicer. So long as you have proper bottles to store in of course.
Step 5. Wash Your Juicer – After the fun part comes the boring part, having to wash your juicer. But much better to wash all that orange peel out the filter now than wait till it dries because no one likes washing up so you’ve got to make it as easy as possible by getting it when it’s wet so you can mostly clean it by rinsing.
Drink and enjoy! You can add a little cold water if the flavour of the orange juice is too strong but it’s up to you. And if you’re making large quantities of orange juice then you might need to let your juicer cool periodically.
Do juice companies like Tropicana peel their oranges?
A fair question, because if they’re not peeling then you have to assume it’s safe right? Well I can tell you that orange juice companies (tropicana at least) don’t peel their oranges before juicing them, it would be far too difficult and costly to do so.
They’ve got big machines that cut the oranges in half and then squeeze out all the oranges.
Fun Fact, most of the orange peels that get leftover between orange and carton get turned into cow feed.
Not so fun fact, Tropicana have a manufacturing process that takes oxygen out the juice so that it lasts up to a year. But when they do this they take away all the natural flavours and have to add this taste back in. This is why it all tastes exactly the same, but it’s also why to me it can’t possibly be as healthy as a homemade glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, with or without the peel.
And there you have it, whether your juicing oranges with peel, lemons with peel or even grapefruit with peel you can leave the skin on and carry on juicing. You just have to wash them before you put them through the juicer. But orange peel has lots of magnesium, b vitamins, vitamin C and fibre so there is definitely some goodness worth having!
And you can add orange peels to compost easily enough or the orange peels can be added to cold water to flavor it. Finally, eating whole fruit is another great option It doesn’t all have to go through your electric juicer naval oranges and valencia oranges are especially tasty.
Let me know what you think in the comments, did you try it? Did you notice a taste difference?