Orange juice is one of the most delicious fresh, sweet beverages to make in your juicer. If you’re a big fan of juicing oranges, you might be wondering what to do with your leftover peels. Do you have to throw them away – or can you stick them in the juicer, too?
The answer is yes, you can juice your orange peel. However, the results are mixed. I personally find orange peel doesn’t add much flavor to my juices, but many people think that it adds an unpleasantly bitter flavor.
Orange peel itself is edible, though we’re only recommended to eat it in moderation. When you put it through a juicer, you’ll only end up with the juice from the peel, anyway.
If you want to save yourself a job, don’t peel your oranges before juicing. But there are a few things to be aware of if you plan to keep the skin on your oranges, which I’ve discussed in more detail in this guide.
❔ Why Should I Remove the Peel Before I Juice Oranges?
There are a number of reasons why you may prefer to remove the peel from your oranges before juicing:
Gets Rid Of Pesticides
The biggest incentive for removing orange peel before juicing is that it could contain pesticides. Unless you’re using organically farmed oranges, there’s a good chance your fruits will have been farmed with chemicals. Orange skin acts as a protective barrier against these chemicals, preventing them from getting into the fruit itself. But these chemicals can linger on the skin, even after you have washed it.
Of course, this problem can easily be resolved by buying organic produce, or simply washing your oranges more thoroughly (I cover this in more detail later in this guide).
Difficult to Digest
Additionally, orange skin is very high in fiber and contains essential oils that can be difficult for the digestive system to process. This can lead to bloating. You shouldn’t experience this from juicing the peel, as you won’t technically end up eating the peel. But if you wanted to use the pulp for something, keep in mind that orange peel may not have the best effect on your digestion.
If you notice that you’re getting bloated from drinking orange juice made with peel, I’d recommend peeling your oranges.
As I mentioned in the introduction, not everyone thinks that the peel from oranges has a bitter taste. But if you do notice an unpleasant bitterness, don’t be so quick to stop peeling your oranges.
This bitter taste can be masked by other fruits and vegetables. Try adding more produce to your juicer, including sweet apples, ginger, banana, other citrus fruits like lemons, limes and grapefruit, and maybe a few nutritional veggies, too. You’ll have so many flavors going on that you shouldn’t taste any harsh flavor.
If you enjoy drinking pure, fresh orange juice, however, and don’t want to feed any other fruits and vegetables into your juicer, you may have to get rid of the peels.
🤔 Does Removing The Skin Change The Flavor?
Most people find that orange peels, and the peels of other citrus fruits, are tough and bitter.
With that said, orange skin is very good for you. It’s a great source of fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, polyphenols, and calcium. There is also limonene, a type of essential oil, in orange peels. Limonene has been found effective in promoting weight loss, treating bronchitis, and even preventing cancer.
If you do choose to remove your peels before adding oranges to your juicer, try saving them for other culinary purposes. Citrus peel makes a great addition to summer salad recipes. You can also add grated or zested orange peels to cake and cookie recipes.
📌 How to Prepare Oranges for Juicing
If you’re using a citrus juicer, or your juicer has a citrus juicing attachment, you’ve got the easiest job. Simply cut the orange in half and place the flesh side onto the reamer. Press down and twist the orange to extract maximum juice from the fruit.
If you’re using a masticating or centrifugal juicer, you have a few more steps to take:
Step 1: Wash Your Oranges
Whether you plan to remove the skin from your oranges or not, I would still recommend washing them. Hold your oranges under running water and use a vegetable brush (or a toothbrush) to scrub the skin. This will get rid of any caked-on dirt or chemical pollutants.
You can find more information about the importance of washing your oranges later in this guide.
Step 2: Peel Your Orange (Optional, Recommended)
Peeling your orange before juicing is your choice. But I would recommend it, especially if you’re using non-organic fruits that may contain chemical pollutants. Peeling your oranges will also be the better option if you’re using a juicer that doesn’t have a super-strong motor, and can’t handle the tough skin of your citrus fruit.
Step 3: Divide Into Segments
Use your hands or a knife to divide your orange into segments. This isn’t vital if your juicer has a large enough feed tube to fit the whole orange. But generally, smaller slices are quicker and easier for your juicer to process.
Step 4: Remove The Seeds (Optional)
You can juice your orange with its seeds if you want. Juicers are designed to process seeds from produce, so it’s not essential that you do this yourself. However, if you do find any seeds while you’re dividing your orange, you can simply throw them out. The seeds contain no additional health benefits, and your juicer will filter them out anyway.
Step 5: Juice Your Oranges
Finally, feed your orange segments to your juicing machine. Mix with other healthy fruits and vegetables, like lemon, grapefruit, mandarin, pineapple, ginger, grapes, green veggies, and bananas to enjoy a vitamin C boost, and fuel your body with other vitamins and minerals like potassium.
Once you’ve finished juicing, drink up! Your juice contains the most nutrients when it’s fresh, so you should ideally consume it immediately rather than storing it for several hours.
⭐ Importance of Washing Oranges
When you wash an orange, it removes pesticide and herbicide pollutants from the skin. If you don’t wash your citrus fruits, these pollutants and bacteria may end up getting into the flesh of the fruits from the rinds. If you want to drink healthy, pollutant-free orange juice, you know what to do.
Washing your orange fruits won’t get rid of any nutrients, especially if you don’t plan to use the peeled skins anyway.
🧐 How to Peel Oranges
There are several methods of peeling the skins from your orange fruits before juicing. The first is to simply use your fingernails to break the skin, then pull to peel it from the whole fruit.
An alternative method is to use a knife to cut around the orange in a downward spiral, starting from the top. Once you reach the bottom of the orange, you should be able to pull the peel away in one long strand.
💭 Which Type of Juicer is Best for Making Orange Juice?
It probably comes as no surprise that citrus juicers are the best choice for making orange juice. When used properly, this juicing equipment makes it easy to yield all the juice (and nutrients!) your citrus produce contains without having to worry about the rind. Of course, the problem here is that you’re limited to what you can juice. Lemons, grapefruit and limes can also be juiced in this type of juicer, but you won’t be able to juice anything else.
A greater variety of produce (both peeled and unpeeled) can be juiced in a centrifugal juicer. If you’re looking to mix various fruits and veggies for a rich flavor and high vitamin & mineral content, centrifugal juicers are worth considering. Keep in mind, however, that a centrifugal system may extract more pulp and kill some of the vitamins in your juices because of its fast operation.