Now that summer is on its way, I’m dusting off my juicer with best health and detox intentions reinvigorated.
While juicing offers serious nutrient intake and cell cleansing, it does seem a shame to toss all that flavoursome, fibrous goodness, even if it is into the compost bin. Enter my new love (though not a new kid on the baking block): pulp cakes.
A pulp cake is a cake baked with the drier fruit and vegetable pulp split off in a juicer. It usually replaces a portion of the flour and a portion of the moisture in a recipe.
So what comes first? The cake or the juice?
While you might think that a cake recipe requires an exact ‘recipe’ of pulp, it’s actually a lot more flexible than that. Think of a carrot cake. You could replace the amount of grated carrot with whatever pulp came out of your morning’s orange juice blend. So that pulp could include any variation of carrot, apple, pear, ginger or orange. It’s all good. The cake doesn’t determine the juice recipe – the juice determines the cake you bake.
Pulp cake best practices
– You won’t end up using the entire supply of pulp from one juicing session in one cake. You’ll only need about 1 to 2 cups of pulp.
– Apple pulp is fairly flavour-neutral, so it lends itself to a cake with non-conventional apple-paired flavouring. Think coffee cake with hidden goodness.
– Most muffin recipes will work with ¼ to ½ cup of pulp added in without disrupting the recipe too much. Their consistency will just be denser.
– Adding an extra egg to bring in more moisture to the batter can help. Remember that masticating juicers that press the juice out with an auger will leave you with a drier pulp than a centrifugal juicer.
Some good pulp cake recipe combos to explore
– Any carrot juice pulp can be substituted for the grated carrot in carrot cake recipes.
– Beetroot juice pulp is surprisingly delicious in chocolate cakes.
– Citrus juice pulp works well with a lemon and poppy-seed cake.
– Green juice pulp would be tasty in a matcha-style cake but is also easily disguised in a chocolate cake.
– You’ll get the hang of it. Google is your friend – just find a suitable recipe and play around.
Other things you may have never thought to do with your juicing pulp
– Savoury juice pulp crackers
– Here’s a quick guide on how to turn your pulp into savoury crackers.
– Blitz the pulp in a blender to get a finer consistency.
– Mix your juice pulp with some nut butter or tahini.
– Add a drizzle of honey or any syrup of your choice for sweetness if you have only veg in the pulp and no fruit.
– Toss in some seeds. Crack in some salt and pepper. Throw in some fresh herbs.
– Mix together into a tight sticky paste.
– Press it flat into a lined baking sheet.
– Be sure to score the pressed pulp with a knife before you dry it in the oven, so it cuts apart better without breaking into shards. A large chef’s knife or pizza cutter works well.
– Bake in the oven at about 180ºC for 20 to 30 minutes or until crisp-looking.
– Then take the whole sheet out, break the crackers into their squares and place back on the baking tray upside down to crisp up the bottom for a further 10 minutes.
Be creative and play around with flavour combos. Another neat use for juicing pulp is to put all that fibrous goodness to use in a veggie burger patty. All you need here is an egg and some quinoa.