Many of the seeds, stems, leaves, and skins of fruits and vegetables that get thrown away are edible, nutritious, and can be completely liquified in a Vitamix! Use this guide to help you decide what Seeds, Stems, Skins, and Leaves you can use in your Vitamix recipes.
When I am trying to decide whether to use a skin, stem, seed or a leaf in the Vitamix I bite into it and chew some of it. If it tastes bad (bitter), I don’t put it in. The Vitamix will increase the flavor of the foods you put in, so a bad flavor will be intensified when it is blended. (You can rest assured that good flavors are equally intensified)! If you don’t see a seed, stem, skin, or leaf listed below, use this taste test!
An important rule of thumb is that pits are the pits! In other words – no pits! No date pits, cherry pits, apricot pits, peach pits, or any other hard pit. They will scratch the plastic of your wet container, and this is not a good thing for the reasons explained in this article about the Vitamix Containers. NOTE – an Avocado seed is not a pit (see below).
The items below that you can’t use in your recipes can be turned into a cold compost. Blend them with water and pour directly onto your garden for added nutrients, so nothing goes to waste!
Pomegranate – (No) Many people do ok putting Pomegranate seeds in a smoothie with other ingredients, but pure blended pomegranate (with nothing else), turned out too bitter for my tastes when I experimented.
Papaya – (Rarely) These taste “peppery”, and do not taste great in a smoothie, but they have health benefits. Use if you can find a use for their peppery taste – perhaps a few of them in a salad dressing?
Avocado – (Yes) See above. Avocados contain seeds not “pits” so they don’t fall under the “pits are the pits” rule of thumb. Some people eat avocado seeds for their nutrients and they are high in soluble fiber. If you are going to use avocado seeds in a smoothie I recommend using only 1/4 of a seed (or less) per smoothie. A whole avocado seed is just too bitter. Have no worries about adding the avocado seed to your Vitamix. The Vitamix can blend an avocado seed easily!
Apple – (Yes) A good source of potassium, magnesium, and they are high in protein. No need to worry about the cyanide (not arsenic) in them. Click here for an article about the safety of the cyanide in apple seeds.
Watermelon – (Yes) Watermelon seeds are very good for you, they are high in protein.
Cantaloupe and Honeydew – (Yes) For the best taste, use only the same proportion of seeds as you do the fruit. For example, if you use 1/8 of a melon, don’t put in 1/2 of the seeds, use only 1/8 of the seeds. Melon seeds are packed with nutrients. They are high in soluble fiber, and protein.
Grapes – (Yes) Grape Seeds are very good for you! You can buy grape seed extract for many benefits including heart health. Be sure to follow these guidelines when blending hard seeds like grape seeds.
Pumpkin Seeds – (Yes) A Vitamix can liquify them! The seeds of Pumpkin container fiber, and are packed with protein. Learn how to include them in your puree by reading this blog article.
The Seeds of Squashes like Acorn and Butternut – (Yes) A Vitamix can liquify them! They are also good sources of fiber and protein. Learn how to include these seeds in your puree by reading this blog article.
Tomato – (Yes)
Citrus – (Sometimes) Contrary to popular belief, the seeds and the white pith of citrus are not bitter if consumed right after blending. If you are going to make a recipe and eat all of it right away – go ahead and put the pith and/or the seeds in your recipe (they are loaded with very healthy bioflavanoids), but if you are going to store your smoothie (or salad dressing, or anything else that contains Citrus Pith and/or Seeds), use the Juice of the Citrus fruit only, because the Pith and Seeds do turn bitter over time. (I always advise consuming within half an hour of blending if you include the Seeds and/or Pith)
Sweet Peppers (Yes) Just like with melons, only use the proportion of seeds that you used of the pepper. If you use 1/2 of a pepper, use 1/2 of the seeds.
I always peel skins of conventional produce, organic is optional based on some of the guidelines below…
Citrus – The colored Part – (Rarely) Personal Taste. To me it is much too strong, and only on occasion will I use the colored part of a citrus skin. When I do use it, I use about the amount that is served with a glass of water in a restaurant. Otherwise, any Citrus Skin bigger than that, I personally peel (leaving the white pith if I am going to consume right away). Using a bit of the colored citrus skin will give you a lot of the citrus flavor. If you are short on citrus, but you want the flavor in your recipe, this is a way to do it without using up too much of your last lemon, lime, or orange!
Citrus – The White Pith – (Sometimes) Contrary to popular belief, the white pith of citrus is not bitter if consumed right after blending. If you are going to make a recipe and eat all of it right away – go ahead and put in the pith and the seeds in (they are loaded with very healthy bioflavanoids), but if you are going to store your smoothie (or salad dressing, or anything else that contains Citrus Pith and/or Seeds), use the Juice of the Citrus fruit only, because the Pith and Seeds do turn bitter over time. (I always advise consuming within half an hour of blending if you include the Seeds and/or Pith)
Watermelon – (Sometimes) The rind of a watermelon is a powerful diuretic. If you want to include some watermelon rind (organic) for that reason, try a little bit. It is a bit bitter. Taste and see how you like it before you put in too much. I would not use the rind of a conventional watermelon.
Banana Skins – (N0) Bitter. Don’t add them to your smoothies, but the roses in your rose garden especially love banana peels! Use them in your cold compost as described above.
Cantaloupe and other Melons – (No) If organic, nothing bad would happen, but there are no special benefits, and I just wouldn’t. Cantaloupe is hard to clean and porous. If conventional then it would be a strong NO.
Pineapple – (No) You will see some demonstrators put this in, but it is hard to clean, not exceptionally nutritious, and full of more soluble fiber than you really need.
Avocado – (No) Hard to clean, not nutritious.
Mango – (No) Bitter, and some people are allergic.
Papaya – (No) Bitter, and some people are allergic.
Kiwi – (Sometimes) Personal call. I peel the skins of conventional, and use the skins of organic.
Peaches – (Sometimes) Personal call. I peel the skins of conventional, and use the skins of organic.
Apple – (Yes)
Tomato – (Yes)
General Rule of thumb with Skins, “if it’s thin, put it in“.
Zucchini – (Yes) The stem is soft and tastes mild. Put it in, or leave it out as you desire.
Sweet Pepper – (Yes) The stem is soft and tastes mild. Put it in, or leave it out as you desire.
Tomato – (No) Very bitter.
Apple – (Yes) But I’m not a big fan of that much insoluble fiber. The core is awesome, but I don’t care if the stem goes in or not.
Strawberries – (Yes) You’ll see Vitamix demonstrators use these every time! Wash ’em good, and toss ’em in. They are high in minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, and Vitamin K!
Celery – (Yes) A very healthy green. I use them in my all-veggie green smoothies every time!
Tomato – (No) Very bitter. Very bitter, but not poisonous as some will say.
Other Leaves – (Sometimes) Taste test. If excessively bitter, leave them out.
General information not really fully related to this topic but… if you are the kind of person who gets gassy after eating melons, try eating it alone (or with greens only) on an empty stomach. Mixing melons with fats and/or proteins can often be the reason for the gassiness. A great time to take melon, is first thing in the morning. It only takes half an hour to exit your stomach, then you can move on to eating other things.
If this article was helpful, and you already have a Vitamix, please consider sending your friends and family who are looking to buy a Vitamix to www.BlenderBuyingHelp.com and ask them to use the contact form on that page to connect with me so I can send them my Vitamix model recommendations, pricing (including any sales), and ordering information! Referral sales are the life blood of my business! 🙂
By Lea Ann Savage – Copyright 2015
Please ask questions and/or comment below…
TO BE NOTIFIED WHEN THERE IS A NEW POST – ENTER YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE BOX BELOW…