Have you tried juicing? Well, I did in a former life. I was once given a juicer by a friend whose husband worked for Black and Decker. I tried it out but found the whole process to be incredibly time-consuming and the machine was such a pain to clean – too many bits and pieces to take apart and reassemble – that the juicer did not last long in my kitchen.
So twenty-five years on, I am giving Juicing another go. Eldest daughter surprised me on my recent visit by producing very inventive arrays of juices each morning and her machine was easy to use and did not take a lot of cleaning either. So when I returned to the UK, I bought a machine. Just what I need another machine, but there you are.
So which juicer to buy? A good question. Well for me a top priority was one that could be left on the counter top and was relatively small. The other consideration as always is price. There are juicers on the market for as little as £30 and up to as much as £500, so there’s obviously a lot of choice out there. As always the conundrum does Cheap = quality? Does it do the job? No and then it is a waste of money! And just because it’s expensive, is it any good?
In any case, whichever machine you choose must be left on the counter top of your kitchen otherwise it WILL NEVER BE USED.
So after some research I went middle of the road. There are actually two type of Juicers, one is a Masticater and the other a centrifugal juicer.
The Masticating type of juicers use a slowly rotating screw that crushes produce against a stainless steel filter by a process similar to a mincing machine. So in theory these produce a better, healthier juice. These days the vertical auger juicers are low speed but they do juice very quickly because the augers and filter screens are much bigger and can be left running whilst rummaging in the refrigerator for another ingredient to add. Most vertical auger juicers come from the Hurom factory, are marketed under various names and this is what I bought.They are also very quiet.
Centrifugal juicers work by using a flat cutting blade on the bottom of a rapidly spinning basket. Food is shredded by the cutter and flung out to the sides of the basket. Due to the high centrifugal force, juice then passes through tiny holes in the basket and through a spout. The juice produced by centrifugal juicers may not be quite as rich as juice from a masticating juicers, but it is surely better than shop bought? These machines, however, can only be used in relatively short bursts (so can not juice for the neighbourhood) and are comparatively noisy.
What is fun though is creating juices from whatever is in your refrigerator. My daughter has a great market nearby and shops there especially to find fruits and vegetables to juice. The day after market day her refrigerator is packed with washed and cleaned fruits and vegetables,ready to go. She juices carrots, celery and BEETS (Beetroots…. Raw) that produces a glorious deep red coloured juice.
Me? I am a little bit lazy and I check to see what I have. A favourite is Avocado, here you see below, avocado, spinach, cucumber,rocket, a whole lime and a chunk of fresh ginger. The other one is, what I might call “Sunrise”, it is Strawberry, nectarine, lime, tangerine, and an apple, (I used a cox, as I love their taste, but they are very English) and again ginger. I love the zing of ginger and historically it has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. So it must be good!
“Eat your fruits and vegetables” is one true recommendations for a healthy diet. Eating plenty of vegetables and fruits can help you ward off heart disease and stroke, control blood pressure, prevent some types of cancer, avoid diverticulitis, and guard against cataract and macular degeneration, two common causes of vision loss. But how much? The latest dietary guidelines call for five ( in the UK) to thirteen and even 15 ( Japan) servings of fruits and vegetables a day (2½ to 6½ cups per day), depending on one’s caloric intake. (1) For a person who needs 2,000 calories a day to maintain weight and health, this translates into nine servings, or 4½ cups per day (2 cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables). So when you take this into consideration, most of us DO NOT eat the amount that we should.
I would recommend buying a book to give you inspiration and recipe ideas. The one I bought is called “The Funky Fresh Juice book” by Jason Vale aka, the Juice Master.
So get healthy and get juicing!