Apples juice beautifully, and they combine well with other fruits, vegetables, herbs and ingredients to make blended drinks and smoothies. Apples are also a much-beloved favorite for making cider drinks. However, some apples are better than others for juicing — so if you’re new to this health-enhancing activity, you might be wondering what are the best apples for this purpose.
What’s “the best” anything is a matter of opinion. It also depends on your objectives for juicing:
- Are you juicing because you like the taste of fresh juice?
- Are you juicing in hopes that it will help you lose weight?
- Are you juicing because you want to achieve or maintain a healthy, drop-dead-gorgeous body?
- Are you juicing because you’ve heard that it will give you more energy?
- Are you juicing because it’s your likeliest hope for getting your kids to consume fruit and vegetables?
- Are you juicing because you want to boost your nutritional intake?
- Are you juicing because you’ve heard that it’s helpful for healing or preventing disease?
- Or maybe you have some other reason in mind for juicing.
The best apple variety will depend on your objective(s,) your taste buds, your location, and the time of year it is. So, to answer this question regarding which apples are the best for juicing, we have a number of different considerations to look at. I’m going to give you my opinion, plus collect and collate a number of opinions from other knowledgeable people — plus examine nutritional information to make some informed decisions where health concerns are involved.
In general, the best apples for juicing, or any purpose, share the following 3 characteristics:
1. They are fresh apples. The fresher the better; it’s ideal if you can pick them right off the tree and juice them immediately. If not, at least get them fresh-picked from a local farm or farmer’s market if possible.
2. They are organic apples. This is crucial, because conventionally-grown apples are contaminated with pesticides and other chemicals. Apples are routinely treated with more than 50 different pesticides and chemicals. Apples typically top the environmental working group’s “dirty dozen” list. For further information about that, please visit this page at the environmental working group’s website, this page at the pesticides info website, and this page at the “What’s on my food?” website.
Important: if you cannot obtain organic apples, do not juice with apples. I make this suggestion because it is important for you to avoid consuming large quantities of harmful pesticides and chemicals. If organic apples are not available in your area, I recommend that you pick another fruit that you can obtain organically, and juice with that instead.
If you can’t find any organic produce in your area, it’s time to either consider growing your own food, or it’s time to consider moving. But in the meanwhile, I urge you to pick another fruit that’s less contaminated to do your juicing with. Pesticides are poison. Sure, there are pesticide levels that won’t kill you immediately…but ask yourself this. Does “it won’t kill you immediately” = “it’s safe”? Think about it. Pesticides exist because they are effective at killing living beings. Killing is their sole purpose.
The environmental working group has stated that
“Pesticides have been linked to a number of health problems, including cancer and lower IQ in children.”
There are plenty of good reasons to avoid consuming these toxins, which is why we recommend organic apples for juicing or other purposes.
3. The apples were grown in your local area. While this is ideal, it’s not as critical as the other two criteria listed above. It’s better to juice with fresh, organic apples that were grown in another state than it is to juice with pesticide-laden conventionally-farmed apples that were grown in your neighborhood.
If you stick with the above 3 guidelines, my opinion is that you can’t go wrong juicing any apple varieties for any purpose. However, if you really want to get serious about perfecting the ideal apple juice, the following insights will help.
The Best Apples When Juicing for Foodies
If you’re juicing for taste, you have your pick of apples. The deciding factor will be whether you prefer a sweet flavor, or a sweet-tart flavor. In either case, the juiced apples will taste many times sweeter than their whole counterparts.
If you prefer a sweet-tart flavor, try juicing with exceptionally tart apples like Granny Smiths.
If you juice with sweet but not-particularly-tart apples, the resulting liquid might end up being too syrupy-sweet. To my palate, super-sweet apple juice needs to be combined with something else — perhaps water, or perhaps some other fruit or vegetable juice.
My opinion: some of the best-tasting juicing apples are Granny Smiths, Fujis and Pink Ladies. However, it’s worth noting that I rarely make plain apple juice. I almost always combine apple juice with something else. Apple-carrot and apple-mint are two of my favorites. I also like apple-green juice, as I think apples combine deliciously with vegetables.
Also worth noting: the Pink Ladies tend to be on the small side, so it can be a pain in the neck to juice with them. You might have to cut up a bunch of them — or juice a few of ’em but then mix them with something else, like I usually do.
The Best Apples When Juicing for Weight Loss
When you’re juicing with the goal of losing weight, you’ll probably want to choose the lowest-calorie, least-sweet apples that are available in your area. Sweet apples have high sugar content, which is really not a bad thing considering that it’s all-natural fruit sugar. However, super-sweet apples yield intensely sweet juice, and most people are satisfied with less sweetness.
To answer the question of which apples have the least calories and least sugar, I turned to data from the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) website. Their data is better than no data, but it isn’t quite what I had hoped for — because I could not find any data specifically quantifying the nutritional data from organic apples. To the best of my knowledge, the USDA-compiled data I was looking at is derived from conventionally-farmed apples. Studies have shown that organic produce is more nutritious than its conventionally-farmed counterpart, so I think it would be preferable to look at data from organic apples. However, in the absence of such data, it’s worthwhile to at least compare the conventionally farmed apple varieties to see which ones are best.
What I found: when comparing the data from Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious and Granny Smith Apples, the lowest calorie apples are Gala and Golden Delicious apples. Both of these varieties contain 62 kcal units per 109 gram cup of fruit. Granny Smiths are pretty low-calorie as well, having only 63 kcal units for the same amount of fruit. Fujis were the highest calorie, having 69 kcal units per 109 gram cup.
As far as having the least sugar goes, Granny Smiths were the winner, with only 10.45 grams of sugar per 109 gram cup. Golden Delicious apples had only slightly higher amounts of sugar, with 10.94 grams per cup.
Conclusion: If choosing only from the apple varieties that I was able to find data for, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and Gala apples are the best apples to juice for weight loss.
On a different but related note, you can use apple juice as a sugar substitute in teas and other beverages. This is a great hack for dieters to know about. When you get a sweet craving, it’s fine to indulge it with apple juice — but only if the juice is fresh and organic. Processed juices purchased in plastic containers from the grocery store are not acceptable sugar substitutes; they often contain ingredients that are worse than sugar — like high fructose corn syrup.
When you’re juicing for weight loss, you could consider adding a bit of water to your juice to make it go as far as possible. You can also mix your apple juice with a few other lower-calorie vegetables or fruits. For example, apple-carrot juice is delicious, and raw carrots weigh in at only 52 kcal units per cup — making apple-carrot juice an ideal low-calorie treat for dieters.
The Best Apples When Juicing for Nutrition
Apples all contain essential vitamins and minerals, so you really can’t go wrong in juicing any variety of apple for nutrition.
Apples all contain vitamin C, but some have more vitamin C than others. If you’re looking to increase your intake of vitamin C, try any of these varieties:
- Bramley’s Seedling
- Northern Spy
- Yellow Newton
When comparing the USDA’s data for Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, and Granny Smith varieties, one can see that the Granny Smith apple has notably higher levels of Beta Carotene and Vitamin A than any of the previously-mentioned apple varieties they report data for. So for those who want to both juice apples and achieve the highest possible vitamin A intake, the Granny Smith is the best choice from among those possibilities. There may be other apples that offer higher levels of vitamin A and Beta-Carotene, and there are most certainly other fruits and vegetables that are more effective sources of Vitamin A.
If vitamin A is a primary concern for you, try juicing with tomatoes. Tomato juice will give you more vitamin A than apple juice will.
When juicing for nutrition, be sure to opt for fresh-picked apples, since the nutritional content is higher when the fruit is fresh-picked. If you don’t have your own apple trees, you can plan to attend pick-your-own produce days at local apple orchards in the late summer and early to mid fall. This will ensure that you get the freshest possible apples for your juicing. You can also make a habit of buying your produce at your local farmer’s market rather than the grocery store. In general, you’ll usually get fresher, more nutritious apples from your local farmers than you will from the grocery store.
The Best Apples When Juicing for Body Building
When you’re juicing for bodybuilding, you have several important considerations:
- You want to build muscle, therefore you need to consume the sorts of ingredients that will assist with this goal.
- You need to take in enough nutrients, and the right combination of nutrients, to assist your body with repairing itself after a strenuous workout.
- You need to consume enough calories to power your workouts and avoid bonking.
- You want to retain (or achieve) a lean, chiseled look, so you don’t want to consume too many calories either.
- Most bodybuilders don’t want to overdo it on the sugar, so sugar content may be a concern for you as well.
Whatever your primary concerns when it comes to bodybuilding, apples will fit well into your diet regiment. You’ll receive benefits from any apple variety you decide to juice with. Having said that, here are some additional insights that might help guide you in your choice of apples:
- If you’re sugar shy, go for Granny Smith apples; as compared against other popular apple varieties including Fujis, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious and Galas, they’re lower in sugar and higher in dietary fiber content.
- If high nutritional intake is your primary concern, be sure to see the section regarding the best apples when juicing for nutrition, posted above.
- If energy is your primary concern, see the section regarding the best apples when juicing for increased energy, below.
The Best Apples When Juicing for Increased Energy
Any fresh-squeezed apple juice will give you a jolt of energy, so you really can’t go wrong by juicing apples of any variety. However, if you’re looking for a quick, flavorful energy boost, try juicing a batch of delicious Fuji apples. The natural fruit sugars and carbohydrates contained in the Fujis will power you through boring afternoon meetings, endless household chores or whatever other energy-draining tasks your daily routine might throw at you.
The Best Apples When Juicing for Kids
If the kids you’re juicing for are overweight and you want to help them slim down a bit, I suggest juicing both Granny Smith apples and carrots to make a combination of apple-carrot juice for them. The carrots are lower in calories than the apples are, yet they offer the children many necessary vitamins and minerals. Carrot juice also tastes delicious when combined with apple juice.
Otherwise, it’s really a matter of preference. Why not juice several different varieties, and see which ones your children like best?
If you aren’t sure where to start, I think Gala apples are a lovely variety to juice for kids. Galas are widely available; they taste deliciously sweet, and children tend to love them — yet they are low-calorie and nutritious.
The Best Apples for Juicing in Winter
One wonderful thing about apples: they are reliably available in the wintertime in much of the USA. For wintertime juicing, try any of these apples:
- Ashmead’s Kernel
- Bramley’s Seedling
- Kidd’s Orange Red
- King David
- Red Delicious
- Stayman Winesap
- Wolf River
Best Juicing Apple Recommendations From the Folks at Orange Pippin Trees
The Orangepippintrees.com website is a resource that is helpful for both foodies and fruit tree buyers. On their website, they have a neat-o tree finder where their customers can choose which characteristics are important to them. When I used the tree finder to choose both “good for juice” and “suitable for growing organic / no spray culture,” the tree finder algorithm offered the following list of suggestions:
- Ashmead’s Kernel
- Bramley’s Seedling
- Fiesta, AKA Red Pippin
- Kid’s Orange Red
- King David
- Lord Lambourne
- Wolf River
While I haven’t actually tried any of these apple varieties, I’m definitely making a note of them in case I come across them in the future. Pippin’s recommendations seem trustworthy to me, given their history and experience. I would love to try juicing with these varieties in the future.
When I looked at their list of best juicing apples, I noticed that several other apple varieties mentioned on the list are ones that other organic farmers are definitely growing:
- Arkansas Black
- Mutsu (Crispin)
- Newtown Pippin
- Northern Spy
- Snow Apple (Fameuse,)
- Tydemans Late Orange
- Winter Banana
So these may be good choices as well, assuming you can actually find organic growers for them in your area.
So there you have it: our take on what’s the best apple for juicing when trying to achieve just about any goal. If you can’t find any of the suggested apple varieties, please don’t stress about it — the important thing is really that you find some fresh organic apples, fruits and / or vegetables and get your juicer going.
We hope you found this information helpful, and we also encourage you to make good use of our other free juicing resources.
If you’re curious about where this data came from, you might be interested in visiting the references I’ve posted below.
- Nutrition information for Fuji apples at the USDA website
- Nutrition information for Gala apples at the USDA website
- Nutrition information for Golden Delicious apples at the USDA website
- Nutrition information for Granny Smith apples at the USDA website
- Nutrition information for Red Delicious apples at the USDA website
- Nutrition information for raw carrots at the USDA website
- Bramley’s Seedling Apples at the Orange Pippin Trees website
- Northern Spy apples at the Orange Pippin Trees website
- Vitamin C content of apples at the Orange Pippin Trees website
- Vitamin C content of apple cultivars
- Vitamin C levels in apples
- Measuring Vitamin C in apples
- Best fruit for a bodybuilding diet at Muscle & Fitness website
- Additional references include the pages linked in the body of the article above.