Thursday, March 12, 2009

Waste Not, Want Not: Fruit Breads from Juicer Pulp!

67800H Juicer

My dad loves gadgets as much as I do, but he tires of his toys faster. That’s how I wound up with his barely-used  Hamilton Beach juice extractor.

He’d chosen the 67800H model, shown here. Had it been me, I’d have gone for the more expensive 67650H that’s gotten better Amazon reviews … but for free, what the heck?

My biggest complaint about the (cheaper) 67800H model is the infinitesimal amount of juice the machine extracts from a whopping amount of (expensive) fresh produce.

I was dismayed to see whole apples disappear into its maw, producing maybe a tablespoon of juice? While at least a quarter cup of fruit pulp went into the “trap”?!

I like the fresh juice, and I like that you can use fruits & veggies complete with nutritious skins and seeds … but I couldn’t bear that kind of waste.

When Life Hands You Fruit Pulp …

After some culinary experiments with the pulp that were, ahem, less than successful, I hit on the idea of making “quick” fruit breads with it.

Quick breads are the un-yeasted sort, made from a batter instead of a risen dough. Banana bread, zucchini bread, and carrot bread are all quick breads, and are all based on fruit pulp, right?

My breakthrough discovery, not so startling really, is that you can substitute juice extractor fruit pulp, cup for cup, for the grated or mashed produce normally used in any of these quick breads.

QuickBreads My favorite recipe for fruit pulp reclamation is Beth Hensperger’s Glazed Zucchini Bread recipe, from her cookbook The Best Quick Breads: 150 Recipes for Muffins, Scones, Shortcakes, Gingerbreads, Cornbreads, Coffeecakes, and More.

(Like all Hensperger’s cookbooks, this one is chock full of great recipes that really work.)

I like her Glazed Zucchini Bread recipe because it makes 3 loaves at once that keep well and freeze well. But of course you could use any of your own favorite recipes for similar breads.

So now our standard operating procedure after juicing is to recover the pulp from the trap, and measure it in 2-cup increments (the amount needed to make a batch of Hensperger’s bread) into separate zip-lock plastic bags.

I store the bags in the fridge if I’ll be baking within a day or two; if not, I pop them into the freezer for later use.

And so far, every fruit & veggie combo we’ve tried has worked beautifully in the breads: apples, carrots, pears, celery, kiwis, strawberries, bananas, and, yes, zucchini too.

Produce I probably wouldn’t use? Um, probably not anything strongly savory (onions, garlic) or colorful (beets). But these pulps might make a nice dinner bread, who knows?

If you do some juicer pulp experiments of your own, I’d love to hear about it!

Designer, kNotes for kNitters
Sandia Park, NM

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