From Trash to Treasure–Making Juice Pulp Crackers
I have been into juice again lately – probably because the weather has been getting warmer and cool drinks are coming back into favor. As anyone who has cleaned up their diet knows, once you live “cleanly,” you crave healthy things like fresh juice, greens, and other things you may have previously not even considered eating.
The “problem” with juicing – if there is one – is what to do with the leftover pulp. Whether you’re juicing with a Ninja Blender or traditional juicer, unless you are doing “whole food juicing,” you’ll have two products from your endeavors: 1) Juice and 2) Pulp.
Before you throw that pulp away, consider turning it into crackers!
I certainly didn’t get this way overnight, and, I’m not perfect by any means, but in general, when it comes to snacking, I try to keep it healthy, and juice pulp crackers are an amazing solution to the night time snacking conundrum. You may think I’m absolutely certifiable, but, with some juice pulp, a little flax or chia seed, and a dehydrator, you can create a unique cracker that you can feel good about eating. I can’t keep enough of these in stock!
My go-to juice lately is carrot/beet, so I’ll use that example to walk you through making these simple snacks. To make the juice, I use 4-5 large carrots, 1/2 a beet, and 8-12 ounces of filtered water. Then, I strain the pulp from the juice using a mesh strainer over a bowl. I mix the pulp with some flax seed (yay for being able to eat flax again – for years I thought I had a sensitivity to it!), and then dehydrate.
Now might be the time to mention that in addition to being on a juice kick, I’m on a dehydrating kick. Poor 2Chilican’t catch a break – there is always some machine going at full tilt in our humble home. Now might also be a good time to point out you could also do this with the pulp you have leftover from making almond milk.
Juice Pulp Crackers
- 2 cups of leftover juice pulp – just use whatever flavor combination you have leftover. If you like it in juice, you will like it as a cracker
- 1/2 cup ground flax seed or chia seed
If you used your Ninja Blender to make the juice and strained it, you likely won’t have to add water. If you used a juicer and have a very dry pulp, you’ll need to add water at your discretion to help everything blend together.
- Combine the juice pulp, flax or chia seed (and a small amount of water, if using – start with just a couple tablespoons) in a bowl and thoroughly integrate
- Spread mixture into an even layer on a dehydrator fruit roll sheet. If you are looking for “orderly” crackers, use this time to score the shapes you want. I don’t bother with this step. You want the layer to be at least 1/8” thick so you actually have something leftover when all the water dries out. A paper-thin layer will just leave you with crumbs.
- Dehydrate for 2-3 hours, and then, flip the mixture onto a second fruit roll sheet so the other side can dry. If you can’t seem to flip them from the sheet, use a spatula to manually flip sections.
- Continue to dehydrate for another 2-3 hours, or until the crackers are crispy
- Let sit in the open air for about 15 minutes to cool before putting in an airtight container to store
Here is what it looks like when you spread it onto the jelly roll sheet. Go for a consistent thickness. Yours may vary in color, of course, depending on your pulp.
Here is a sample cracker. I end up with random chunks because I don’t bother to score them. These may not be formal crackers that you would serve to guests, but they are tasty and sort of addictive. If you crave salt, you could add a dash of sea salt or Himalaya salt to your mixture before you dry it, and end up with a saltier snack that can take the place of your chip craving!