Juicer Talk

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beet-whip1

I’ve gotten a lot of questions lately about my juicer so I thought it was time to give juicing it’s own entry.

I’ve juiced for many years (over 20…does that age me?) and am a huge fan. Back in the day we would get up on Saturday mornings, go run Greenlake and then come back and make a large juice while cooking breakfast. It gives you tons of healthy energy and makes you feel great. Have you ever been to a real juice bar and seen how the employees all seem to glow? I’m not talking about Jamba Juice here, I’m talking about a place where you can get something with leafy greens, carrot oranges and beet reds massacred right before your eyes.

One great thing about juicing with kids is that it allows you to get veggies into them they would otherwise go nowhere near. I’ve been writing about Chicken Little’s obsession lately with the beet whip. Last night we made a round of carrot with a touch of seasonal albeit non-local lime that tasted surprisingly like orange juice.

Chocolate shakes are a great way to hide green, orange and red juiced veggies. Berry shakes are a great way to hide things juiced beets and elderberries. Orange shakes are a great way to hide juiced carrots. These all can be made into healthy popsicles or ice cream with little to no added sugars. Beet juice can be used to color frosting or home canned cherries that otherwise turn brownish. Beet, carrot or spinach juice can be used to tint pasta or breads or mashed potatoes or soft cheese spreads. Juices can be your best friend when trying to make school lunches or picnics playful.

beet-pink-muffin

I know there are many out there who argue you lose the fiber when you juice but it does allow you to get more raw nutrients than you can get by eating vegetables. Because fruits are very high in sugars I don’t typically make fruit juice. Instead I prefer to put fruits into smoothies where you get the fiber and added fat and protein together, making it easier on your body.  So when I talk about juice here I mean juice from vegetables.

I’m on my second juicer now.  The first was a cheapo juicer from Target that put me out around $30.  The last was the top of the line juicer you could get there, an Omega similar to this one.

They are both centrifugal force juicers which have tubes allowing you to feed the veggies into a screened central chamber inside the juicer body which spins around at very high speeds and forces the juice out of the veggie through tiny holes in the screen.

carrot-beet-apple-juice1

You end up with a nearly fiber-less juice, very rich in color and true in flavor with quite a bit of foam which you can skim off the top of the glass. These juicers are very loud, difficult to clean, and require cleaning frequently if you are making more than one glass of juice at a time.

They are great entry level juicers and the most recent one has lasted me probably 15 years. But I’m moving up for my husband’s birthday.

Read below in the comments from my wonder-reader Auburn who just inspired me and spent quite a bit of time researching juicers.

I’m planning to get a masticating juicer (probably the Omega J8003 because it’s an older model and quite a bit less money.)  Auburn recently got the Omega J8006 which also grinds nuts and meat and somehow makes pasta although I’m a little confused by how.

Masticating juicers are quieter, extract more juice, don’t shake off the counter if you aren’t holding on to them, and the inner chamber doesn’t fill up with plant parts so you can continue juicing as long as you like before stopping to take the juicer apart, clean it up and then begin juicing again.

I also looked into getting a Vita-Mix Blender because they claim you can juice fruits and vegetables in the blender and then strain out the pulp to make a clear juice like a masticating juicer does. I was suspicious when I read that the blades move so fast they heat your veggies up for soup and Auburn confirmed my suspicions that they would also heat up your veggies. Plus the extra step of having to strain out the fiber has convinced me to get a real juicer.

Hopefully you found this post helpful if you are researching juicers.

I want to point out that these Amazon links are affiliate links and I hope you’ll consider using them if you were going to be shopping online anyway. It helps to fund this blog.

7 Responses to Juicer Talk

  1. OK, this is going to be a long reply so bear with me:

    The Omega masticating juicer will cost you only $50 less than the VitaMix (based on Amazon.com prices) so for the difference, it may make more sense to you to buy the VitaMix.

    However, this juicer has multiple functions: leafy veggie juicing (which none of the centrifugal juicer can do well), nut butters, frozen ice cream-like sorbets, pasta extrusion, meat grinder.

    It is a very quiet juicer and very safe to operate (safer than your current juicer) and a breeze to assemble/clean.

    A very important nutritional fact to consider: masticating juicers extract the juice at only 80 rpm, this slow speed eliminates oxidation which kills enzymes. The VitaMix, unfortunately, due to the high speed, kills the enzymes.

    I really had no idea about this until I started researching these machines but, now that we’ve been juicing with it for a few days, I can tell you that there’s a huge difference in the taste, texture and even the way the juice looks.

    This fall a friend made tons of juice from apples, tomatoes and carrots using a VitaMix which took no time at all (though the machine is very noisy) and was very easy to clean but the juices didn’t look or taste anything like what we are having now. Most notably: the juices she made had a slight brownish tint and looked somehow clear with a lot of foam on top. The juice from our masticating juicer has a deep color, almost no foam and the taste is far superior.

    I’ve also learned that it is better for us (humans) to juice vegetables and just eat fruits whole -I won’t go into details here but you’ll find a lot of info on this online- and this type of juicer extracts the most out of leafy veggies.

    I bought a big tub of organic mesclun from Costco (not local, I know, but I wanted to test this machine) and have been putting handfuls of it in the feeding tube alternating with carrots and other veggies and a couple of fruits. It’s simply amazing how much juice this thing gets out of those tender leaves and even more amazing is the taste of the resulting juice which isn’t bitter at all.

    The juicer extracts pulp that’s very dry but you can even re-process the pulp to get even more juice which we haven’t done because this thing extracts a lot more juice than a centrifugal juicer.

    I haven’t yet ground meat because I don’t have any meat I can use for that right now but I have made peanut butter and it’s the best we’ve ever had. I’ve also made banana-blueberry-peach “ice cream” using frozen fruit and we loved it. So easy, so creamy, so good.

    You can make pasta with this thing, which I’ll try next week.

    The videos below will give you a very good idea of how this machine works. I ordered mine from Amazon with free-shipping and was, quite unexpectedly, delivered in three days :) .

    Anyway, the guy in the videos does a very good and honest demo. The machine works exactly as shown.

    Tomorrow I will let you know exactly how long it takes for our machine to produce two 10 oz glasses of juice – I think it’s about five minutes but I’m not sure. Cleaning -rinsing, actually- takes about 40 seconds.

    This machine comes with a 15 year warranty (all parts covered). Sam’s Club sells a similar machine (http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?&dest=5&item=441166&cid=SearchResult%7C919852%7CKuvings%C2%AE+Multi-Purpose+Masticating+Juicer+%E2%80%93+Green) for about $100 less but it only has a 1 year warranty that’s why I decided to order the Omega.

    Here’s the Omega 8006 demo:

    http://www.youtube.com/rawfoods#p/u/74/_r437hboI_U

    And here’s a different type of masticating juicer, also by Omega, but this one is not a multi-function so no nut butters, pasta, meat grinding, etc. Also, many reviewers complain about parts breaking rather often and it’s just as messy to clean as a centrifugal juicer:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZ8OckabN0w&feature=related

    XOX

  2. A couple of things I forgot to mention:

    Even though the guy on the video puts whole carrots, if you wind up buying this juicer, take the extra few minutes and chop the veggies and fruit into one inch pieces. You’ll get the most juice that way (I tried both ways) and it’s gentler on the machine.

    You’ve got to alternate soft and hard, also.

    Roll up leafy veggies as he says. With the mesclun we’ve been rolling it, a messy roll, but it works.

    Oh, and with this juicer, if you use cold produce, you get cold juice, not warm-ish like with regular juicers. :)

    I hope you’ll feel better tomorrow.

    Gotta go to bed.

    XO

  3. Auburn, thank you so much for doing so much legwork for me! There’s an extra hour of sleep right there. :)

    xox!

  4. Very interesting. I have no more room on my counter for any more things – so the temptation to acquire a purchaser is mitigated by my practical side that refuses to remove my food processor, beloved KitchenAid, or my NutriMill grain grinder. I live in a small house and have very limited kitchen room so I have to choose wisely what is on the counter. If it is stored in the cupboard (which is also limited) it does not get used but on rare occassions.

    The veggie brews sound awful good though. :D

  5. Just came across your site & enjoying it very much. Btw, we have a Blendtec and I love it! Looking forward to reading more :)

    -Amy
    http://dealusional.blogspot.com

  6. You are very welcome, Annette, so glad to be of help. :)

    The reason the 8003 is $70 or so cheaper is because the 8006 comes with a new auger (8 times stronger) which you don’t get with the older models and a better body design.

    The warranty on the 8003 is 10 years. The 8006 has a 15 year warranty.

  7. Hi KFG – I have 3 kitchen cabinets so I feel your pain. I keep things downstairs and use having to run up and down them as my workout plan. ;p I was actually a little bummed when we moved into this house since it is one story with basement so only one set of stairs to go up and down all the time. Did I mention I have a lot of energy?

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