If you managed to grab a seat at Dan Barber’s buzzed-about WastED pop-up last month—where all the food and drinks were made out of leftovers and food waste—you might have sipped the Immunity Booster cocktail. But it wasn’t spiked fresh juice you were imbibing—it was the leftover pulp from the many juices made at Melvin’s Juice Box each day.
“Pulp is never to be thrown away. There’s always something you can do with it,” says juice guru Melvin Major, Jr., who delivered his to the team at WastED once a week, where they used it to infuse the gin for the cocktail.
And if you’re juicing at home, reusing your pulp is not only good for the planet and your wallet, it’s also good for you. (How’s that for multi-tasking?)
“Pulp is rich with nutrients,” Major explains, particularly if you’re using a centrifugal juicer (as opposed to a cold-presser) like he does, since the juicer functions by leaving a lot of precious nutrients behind to create the drink.
So why not celebrate Earth Month and boost your vitamin intake by putting pulp to work? We asked Major to share a few simple ways you can use it instead of throwing it in the trash.
1. Make an eco-cktail. Follow the Blue Hill team’s lead. For the Immunity Booster (pictured at right), they infused Barber’s Gin with pulp from kale, chard, celery, beets, carrots, banana, ginger, strawberry, and apples and then mixed it with leftover flat champagne and coconut water.
2. Put it in your juice. This may seem a little silly, since you just finished taking the solid elements out of the veggie to make the juice in the first place. But Major says lots of regulars at Melvin’s ask him to blend a little bit of pulp into their juices to add fiber (and you know you could always use a little more of that in your life).
3. Feed it to your pets. Major says lots of his customers ask to take his juice pulp home to their cats and dogs to mix into their regular food for extra nutrients, and lots of bloggers even share recipes on how to make pet treats with it. And Major swears it has benefits. “When I had my guinea pig, we used to give him the pulp. It maybe added like two years to its life,” he says.
4. Use it on your skin. “A lot of people use the beet pulp for makeup,” Major says. You can also use pulp to deliver hydrating nutrients to skin, by using it as an exfoliating, brightening face mask, for instance.
5. Make a burger. Major suggests adding the pulp to ground beef before you make burgers if you’re a meat eater—it’ll leave them super juicy. Or, you can make veggie burgers with pulp as a base. To get you started, he created the recipe, below, with Miss Lily’s executive chef Adam Schop. —Lisa Elaine Held
Miss Lily’s Pulp Veggie Patty Recipe
1 cup carrot pulp
1 cup beet pulp
1/2 cup red bell pepper pulp
1/2 cup red cabbage pulp
1/4 cup pear pulp
1/4 cup green apple pulp
Mix all pulp* until incorporated.
1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups cooked red kidney beans
2 cups firm tofu (sliced and grilled until charred well on both sides then diced fine)
Mix with vegetable pulp until well incorporated.
3/4 cup Kecap Manis (sweet soy sauce)
1/2 cup sesame oil
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup liquid smoke (Wright’s is recommended.)
1/2 cup chopped parsley
5 eggs (optional, to be used as a binder).
Mix the seasoning in well until incorporated and form into six-ounce patties. Grill them and enjoy!
*When you are juicing at home you can substitute whatever pulp you have on hand, but this combo will make a really tasty pulp veggie patty.
For more information, visit www.melvinsjuicebox.com
(Photos: Melvin’s Juice Box, WastED)