A trouble-free guide to juicing celery
Celery can be a troublemaker when it comes to juicing. Over the years we've helped many people get better results with celery juice so we thought we'd share our simple tips in this cheat sheet.
Why can things go wrong when juicing celery?
This is more a case of why can things go wrong when juicing celery with a masticating or twin gear juicer. A centrifugal juicer will extract celery juice more easily thanks to a cutting/shredding motion and very high speed.
On the other hand, a masticating juicer relies on an auger gently pressing and crushing produce against a screen at low speed, and a twin gear juicer on the pressing motion created by two gears slowly rotating inward. These key differences (technology and speed) explain why juicing celery is more difficult depending on what type of juicer you use.
What can go wrong when juicing celery with a masticating or twin gear juicer?
Celery is a stringy, light yet water-rich vegetable. Juicing celery with a masticating or twin gear juicer means there are no blades to slice through the fibres that run along the whole length of a celery stalk. Unless celery is pre-cut into small pieces, these long fibres can wrap around the auger or gears and clog your juicer temporarily.
At first you will only notice that your juicer is going slower, so your first instinct might be to add more celery and push it down the chute. This will only compound the problem and overload the juicer, and if juice does start to flow a little faster it will be quite pulpy. The juicing screen and auger are at this point struggling to clear your celery fibres through the pulp outlet, so any produce fed through won't be pressed properly.
Help! My juicer is clogged and my juice is pulpy!
It's ok, we'll help you fix this! The best thing to do first is stop the juicer and clear the blockage. Follow these steps:
- Pour a few jugs of water down the chute while the juicer is still running
- Turn off the juicer once the water has passed through
- Take the drum assembly off the base
- Open the lid
- Rinse the auger
- Use a brush to clean the juicing screen
- Rinse the juicing bowl well to remove any left-over fibres or pulp
- Reassemble and resume juicing
- Disassemble the front part of the juicer
- Rinse all parts well under water
- Use a brush to remove left-over fibres
- Reassemble and resume juicing
You don't have to discard that pulpy juice, you can simply strain it to remove the extra pulp. If your juicing screen was also full of unprocessed pieces of celery, you can run these through the juicer again once the blockage has been cleared.
What can I do to juice celery successfully?
Now that you've got your juicer up and running again, let's talk about how you can avoid clogging in the first place.
It might sound counter-intuitive to cut celery very small due to its light weight and texture, but this is the key to avoiding trouble. It needs to be cut into small enough pieces that your juicer won't be struggling with long fibres.
To give you an indication of how small, we recommend pieces of around 1 cm (or half an inch). This ensures you don't need to worry about removing any the strings, which can be a bit messy and peel away a lot of the celery flesh, and leave you with much less to juice!
Also key is feeding your celery pieces slowly and steadily through the juicer, and making sure what you put down the chute is processed at a normal speed (juice pressed in the juice jug, pulp expelled in the pulp cup).
If you are juicing celery leaves they need to be as dry as possible: wet leaves will not pass through the juicer as easily as drier leaves. Pat the leaves dry before juicing.
If you are making pure celery juice, the tips above should ensure success.
If you are making a mixed juice, we have another trick that works very well: alternate celery with a harder vegetable like carrot, or slices of lemon with skin on but pips removed. Both will help clear the excess fibres.
A slice of lemon also works wonders with other leafy greens like spinach, kale and even wheatgrass - and adds a welcome kick of nutrition and taste.
An alternative and easy way to juice celery
If the above sounds too tedious, you can try making celery juice with a blender. If you specifically want a pulp-free juice, you can strain the juice to remove the pulp once it is blended.
We don't recommend discarding the pulp altogether as it is a fantastic source of fibre: you can add the pulp to soups or savoury muffins and benefit from the extra fibre.
Which juicer is best for juicing celery?
We only stock masticating and twin-gear juicers, as we believe slow and cold-pressed juice is more nutritious. Which juicer is right for your needs will depend on a number of things: budget, counter space, what you want to juice, how often you will use the juicer,...
Keep in mind
The key to success when juicing celery can be summed up by two words: small and slow. Cut your celery into small pieces and feed them slowly into your juicer.
One thing of note: celery has been on the Dirty Dozen Fruit and Vegetables list* for a number of years, so this is a good vegetable to buy organic if possible.
And finally, if you are new to juicing or want to make any significant changes to your diet, we always recommend consulting your healthcare professional first.
*The Dirty Dozen list is compiled by the EWG from data focusing on the US Market - produce included in the Dirty Dozen tests positive for pesticide residue at varying degrees of severity.
Please get in touch if you have any questions about juicing, it'll be our pleasure to help!