Juicing typically works one of two ways: either you shop specifically for juicing produce, stocking up with specific juice recipes in mind (pear-berry-chard juice, anyone?), or you juice whatever you happen to have on hand. The first way yields a delicious medley of pre-planned recipes; the second way tends to be cheaper (wilting bunch of cilantro? Juice that baby!).
But I present you a third way: juicing your fruit and veggie leftovers. This method is designed to appeal to the lazy and frugal among us–it requires minimal work, since you’re prepping the fruits and veggies for other purposes, and at no extra expense, since you’re using the main part of each piece of produce in other dishes. The basic premise is this: save extra stems and peels as you cook, and once you’ve amassed enough, juice them.
Making a broccoli stir-fry? Toss the broccoli florets with soy sauce, but don’t throw away the stem–pop it into a plastic container and keep in the fridge. Broccoli stems produce a surprising amount of juice.
Sautéing kale or chard with garlic and olive oil? Strip the thick central stem from each leaf and add to your juicing leftover container. (You wouldn’t normally sauté kale stems anyway, so the original dish isn’t suffering at all.)
Slicing up fresh pineapple? Save the core for juicing later.
Other vegetable components you can save:
- apple, cucumber, and carrot peels
- mint, basil, and cilantro stems
- apple cores
- the small leafy heads of celery
- cauliflower stems
- beet greens
- tops and bottoms of bell peppers
- outer leaves of Brussel sprouts
- bok choy stems
- fresh pea pods
- jalapeño tops
- fresh ginger peels
- any part of the plant that’s clean and edible but that you’re not using in a dish for aesthetic purposes (like a weirdly shaped growth on a carrot)
IMPORTANT NOTES: Only save clean, edible plant parts. If you cut off a bruised portion of apple, please don’t save it to juice–that’s kind of gross. If you’re peeling your fruits and vegetables because they’re not organic, don’t use those pesticide-laden peels for juicing. And of course, don’t wait too long to juice your leftovers! Try to juice your leftover bin every 1-3 days.