Carrots are one of the most popular veggies to add to a juice – but should you peel them before juicing?
The answer is yes – but only if you want to. Whether you peel your carrots before juicing is a decision based on personal preference. Peeled and unpeeled carrots have slightly different tastes in juice, but you won’t lose any nutrients if you do choose to remove the skin.
This article will answer the questions you might have if you’re new to juicing carrots, including how to clean carrots before juicing, whether there are any advantages of peeling your carrots, and the best juicers for making carrot juice.
🤔 How Do You Clean Carrots Before Juicing?
Before you juice your carrots, it’s essential that you clean them to remove any dirt and debris. Cleaning your unpeeled carrots will also get rid of any pesticides or herbicides that may be on the produce. (Hint: buying organic produce means you won’t have to worry about these chemicals).
You don’t need to do anything really special to clean your carrots. Simply washing them under running water or in a big bowl will do the trick.
If you haven’t already invested in a vegetable scrubber, I’d recommend it. These scrubbers can scrape off the ingrained dirt and chemicals that you may otherwise have been unable to get to. Alternatively, you could scrub with a toothbrush for the same effect.
I recommend scrubbing your carrots for at least 30 seconds to remove the visible dirt before using them in your juicer.
One tip is to soak your carrots in a bowl of cold water for up to 15 minutes before scrubbing them. This will make the carrots softer and easier to scrub. It’ll also dislodge any dirt from the cracks and crevices in your veggies.
Tips for Peeling Carrots
There’s no need to peel carrots before juicing if you’re feeling lazy. But if you do plan to peel carrots before juicing, these peeling tips should help you out.
Hold the top of your carrot at a 45-degree angle, with the bottom touching your cutting board. Drag your vegetable peeler from the top to the bottom of the carrot, then spin the carrot ever so slightly and stroke your peeler from bottom to top.
If you continue to peel in this downward-upward motion, rotating your carrot as you go, you’ll be able to effectively peel at double the speed. This is because you won’t be wasting time lifting your peeler back to the top of the carrot after every downward peel.
Of course, this method takes some practice, and you should definitely start slower and build up your speed if you don’t want to end up peeling your fingers.
During your prep, it’s also wise to cut off both ends of your carrots. These ends are the hardest parts of the carrot, and are difficult for a juicer to process.
💭 Are There Any Advantages to Peeling Carrots Before Juicing?
There are only a few advantages of peeling your carrots before juicing, and they don’t apply to everyone. These are:
More Subtle Taste
As root vegetables, unpeeled carrots have an earthy, slightly bitter taste that isn’t for everyone. When you remove the skin from your carrots, you’ll be left with a more subtle earthy taste that you might prefer in your carrot juice.
If you’re not buying organic carrots, there’s a good chance that your carrots have been farmed using chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides. Removing the skins off your carrots will get rid of the majority of these chemicals. Of course, if you choose to buy organic produce, you won’t need to peel carrots for this purpose.
No Nutritional Change
Removing the skin from your carrots won’t get rid of any of their vitamins and minerals, and you’ll still enjoy the same health benefits from your carrot juice. It’s the carrots themselves that contain the good stuff – like vitamin C and beta carotene – and the skins don’t offer any additional nutrients that are worth keeping them on for.
🙋 Does Removing The Skin Change The Flavor?
As I mentioned above, unpeeled carrots have an earthy flavor that can be quite strong in carrot juice. You may need to peel your carrots if you’ve tried unpeeled carrots in your juices and deemed the taste too strong for your liking.
Peeled carrots also give carrot juice a different texture. While unpeeled carrot juice is grittier and rougher, peeled carrot juice is smoother. Some people prefer to have more texture in their juices, so there’s no clear winner here.
Whether or not you peel your carrots will even have an effect on the appearance of your juice. Peeled carrots produce a brighter orange carrot juice, while unpeeled carrots will give it a brownish hue. If you’d rather drink something orange than something brown, you know how to prepare your carrots.
❔ Are Unpeeled Carrots Healthier?
Unpeeled carrots are only better for your health if you’re using non-organically farmed veggies. When you peel carrots that have been treated with chemicals, you’ll prevent yourself from drinking these chemicals in your juice.
If you’re using organic carrots, peeling them won’t make them any healthier. The carrots themselves have the same nutritional value as the skins. Carrots are a great source of vitamin A (beta carotene), vitamin K and vitamin C, and they also contain healthy amounts of fiber, calcium and iron.
Whether you peel or don’t peel your carrots, you’ll get the same healthy, nutritional batch of juice.
📌 How to Prepare Carrots for Juicing
To make a batch of carrot juice, it’s important to prepare your carrots properly. Here’s what to do:
1. Wash Your Carrots
First, wash your carrots using cold water and a scrubbing brush. You should wash any fruit or vegetable you plan to include in your juice, especially if you decide to keep the skins on.
2. Peel (Or Don’t Peel!) Your Carrots
It’s your choice whether you decide on peeled or unpeeled carrots for your carrot juice. As I mentioned above, peeled carrots have a slightly less earthy taste than unpeeled carrots. They’ll also give your carrot juice a more vibrant orange color. If you’d rather drink something really orange and more subtle in flavor, you know what to do.
3. Chop Off The Ends
Next, chop off both ends of your carrot. This will make it easier to process in your juicing machine.
4. Chop Up Your Carrots
When preparing your carrots, you might benefit from chopping them up. It depends on the capabilities of your juicing machine. Some can make short work of producing carrot juice from full carrots, while others struggle to process anything too big.
5. Juice Your Carrots
You’re now ready to make a batch of carrot juice. Once you’ve prepared your juice, drink up immediately before the juice loses its nutrients. Fresh juice can quickly lose nutritional value when exposed to oxygen, so store it in an airtight jar in the fridge if you’re unable to drink it straight away.
🧐 Which Type of Juicer is Best for Carrot Juice?
No matter how much carrot juice you go through, the best type of juicing machine for juicing this vegetable is a slow masticating juicer.
Though slow juicing machines take longer to juice hard fruits and vegetables like carrots, their benefits make the wait worth it. Juicing with a slow juicer will prevent heat build-up and oxidation, retaining all the vitamins and minerals that make carrots so good for your health. These machines also extract the largest quantity of juice from your fruits and veggies.
How much carrot juice can a slow juicer handle? This depends. Some juicers have a shut-off time after so many minutes to prevent them from overheating. Nevertheless, if you invest in a high-quality masticating juicer, you should be able to make a large batch of carrot juice before this happens.
An alternative juicing machine to consider is a centrifugal juicer. This machine works at high speeds quickly to yield juice from carrots and other hard vegetables.
The problem with this high-speed performance is that many of the health-beneficial nutrients may be lost as a result of heat and oxidation. However, centrifugal juicing machines are more affordable and widely available, making them a better option for many new juicing enthusiasts who don’t want to commit to investing in something too expensive.