I’ve been enjoying fresh juice lately…vegetable juice made from delicious organic veggies, smoothies made with berries and freshly juiced carrots, and fun fruit combinations that the kids come up with on the spur of the moment. I love knowing that we’re loading up on all those great nutrients, and it’s a lot of fun to plan out the next kind of juice we’re going to try! What I don’t love? Throwing out the pulp after the juice has been made. For every delicious, healthy glass of fresh juice we make, there’s a whole lot of this stuff. Fluffy, dry vegetable or fruit fiber…a whole bin full of it! I’ve often thought that there ought to be something you can do with these healthy leftovers, and a quick internet search yielded some great ideas! The leftover fruit and vegetable pulp is full of fiber, and still contains many nutrients. There are many things you can do with it, but I was excited to try the Juicer Pulp Crackers I saw on the Choosing Raw blog. What could be healthier than a cracker made of vegetable pulp and ground flax seed? I adjusted the recipe a little bit to suit what I had on hand at the time, and gave it a try. Start with a few cups of juicer pulp. I used mostly carrot, with some celery and radish mixed in. But you could get creative here…what about tomato and basil? I think just about any type of vegetable pulp would be just fine. Add 1/2 cup of ground flax seed to the mix, and 1/2 cup of raw sunflower seeds. I seasoned mine with a clove of pressed garlic, sea salt and some organic dried dill weed, but you can season them in many different ways. Once you’ve mixed your ingredients together well, it’s time to dehydrate the crackers. If you have a food dehydrator, you can press the dough onto a Paraflex sheet and dehydrate them. Or, you can press them onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Smooth them and score them to make squares (a pizza cutter works great for this). Then put them in the oven at 150 degrees for an hour, then test them ever 30 minutes until they are crispy. When they are very crisp, carefully peel them off the paper and break them apart. So what do crackers that are made entirely of vegetables and seeds actually taste like? I’m happy to report, they taste great! The texture is a little like thin crisp bread, very light and flavorful. Although they are more fragile than a regular cracker, they hold up well under cream cheese. My kids were pretty sure that I’d gone nutty when they saw me making food out of what was left over from the juicer. Yes, they may have dubbed these genius crackers “Compost Crackers”. But, they did so while devouring a whole bowl of them, so I’ll take that as a win!
- 2½ cups juicer pulp
- ½ cup ground organic flax seed
- ½ cup organic, raw sunflower seeds
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. organic dried dill weed
- Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. If your mixture is too crumbly to pat out flat, you may need to add a little water (this might happen if you have a very efficient juicer).
- Spread the dough onto a Paraflex sheet (if using a dehydrator) or onto parchment paper or foil on a cookie sheet (if you are baking them in the oven). Score the dough into squares with a butter knife or pizza cutter.
- For a dehydrator, dehydrate at 115 for 2 hours and then break them apart and flip them over, then continue dehydrating for another 2 hours. Check to see if they are crispy, and if they're not ready flip them again and continue to dehydrate for another 15 minutes. Continue to flip and dehydrate ever 15 minutes until the crackers are very crispy.
- For oven dehydrating, set your oven at 150 degrees (or 170 if your oven doesn't go that low). Dehydrate for 1 hour, then check to see if the crackers are crisp. Continue dehydrating, checking ever ½ hour, until the crackers are crisp. If you want to omit some of this checking, you can turn off the heat after 2 hours, don't open the oven door and let the crackers sit in the oven overnight.
- Dehydrating time will vary quite a bit, depending on how much moisture is in your vegetable pulp, how efficient your food dehydrator is, how low your oven will go, and how humid the air is where you live. It takes some patience the first time you make them, but take notes and the next time you'll know just how long it will take! Store the crackers in an airtight container.
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Check out this other fun ways to use leftover juice pulp.
Do you have a recipe that uses juicer pulp?