Let’s talk juice for a minute. No, not that juice we see in grocery stores that is loaded with sugar and a bunch of other unnecessary ingredients.
I’m talkin’ juice:
Ever since I received my beloved Breville Juice Fountain Plus three years ago, I have been absolutely in love with juicing. There have been some busy times where I have let it fall to the wayside, but each time I return to it I remember exactly why I love it so much.
My obsession with Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead has lately had me chatting about juice even more than usual, and, after I urged my parents to watch it, they have been doing much of the same. They even bought a juicer a little while back and are completely hooked.
All of this love for juice has given me an opportunity to not only use my juicer, but try out my mom’s as well. And because of that I thought it might be helpful to each of you if I tell you a bit about my experiences with each one … just in case you decide to jump on the juice train (it’s a fun one).
This is my tried-and-true juicer and I absolutely adore it. The Breville Juice Fountain Plus gets the job done and makes for a fairly easy cleanup process. Don’t get me wrong — cleaning up any juicer is a bit of a task. But this one is made of a material that makes it easier to wash. There is also nothing complicated about the Juice Fountain Plus: All of the parts are easily put together and taken apart. Oh, and hey, this guy can juice an entire apple — core and all! Handy tip: Line the pulp basket with a plastic bag for cleanup that’s a cinch — just remove the bag and discard (or toss ’em into a compost). Voila!
This is the juicer my parents bought and it’s totally awesome too. It has a little more wattage than the Breville (1000 watts as opposed to the Breville’s 850 watts) and five different speeds from which to choose. (The Breville has a “high” and “low” setting.) I am not as much a fan of the pulp basket on this juicer (it’s a little trickier to line with a plastic bag), but it’s manageable. In addition, the juice container is smaller on the Cuisinart. So, if you are juicing for a bunch of people (believe it or not, it can happen), then you may have to empty the juice into another container in order to continue juicing.
I know it’s not exactly a juicer, but I had to throw the Vitamix in there because there is a lot of talk about the benefits of using a juicer versus a high speed blender in order to produce juice. My opinion is that neither one is superior, but rather that they each have their own very separate benefits.
When it comes to using a juicer, the purpose of removing the pulp-y fiber from the vegetables and fruits is to send all of those vitamins directly to our bloodstreams without having to make the digestion system work (i.e. if there is no fiber to digest, than the body simply has the job of absorbing nutrients). This is also beneficial when you consider how many fruits and vegetables you would have to eat/blend in order to achieve the concentration of vitamins that are in one serving of juice that comes from a juicer. If the average 32-oz. of juice has 2 cucumbers, 2 broccoli stems, 4 stalks of celery, 1 romaine lettuce heart, 6 kale stalks, an apple, a pear and more, then imagine trying to squeeze that into a veggie and fruit smoothie — start drinking now because that will take all day! (And your digestive system might just get a little antsy.)
On the other hand, blending fruits and veggies has its benefits too. Mushing all of those ingredients into one blended smoothie of goodness is incredibly healthy for the body! However, it will contain fiber and, while that is not a bad thing at all, it will cause your digestive system to get to work. One very specific benefit of blended fruits and veggies? The fiber will help to slow down blood sugar spikes or that “rush” that can be experienced from drinking straight up juice. This is a factor that is especially beneficial to someone who suffers from diabetes or any other blood sugar imbalance.
That’s not to say, however, that juice without the fiber can’t be enjoyed by everyone. As long as the sugars from fruit are balanced with a healthy dose of veggies, you should be good to go. But do always check in with a doctor before making a change to your diet.
As for the Vitamix, in my opinion it is hands down the best blender for mixing wet or dry ingredients. I adore the dry container for making my gluten-free flours, and the wet container is a dream for blending soups, smoothies, hummus and more. It’s pricey, but, if you can save up little by little, then you will find it’s a worthy investment.
If you are considering buying a juicer, then I hope this was helpful to you. Juicing is a wonderful addition to any healthy diet and I can honestly say juicing has added such a wonderful element to my life — I definitely notice a difference when I go a day without it! As a side note, both of the juicers I mentioned above are centrifugal juicers. If you are interested in a masticating juicer, then consider visiting this site for more information and comparisons. There is also more information available here to discover which juicer will work best for you.
Want to get started? Here’s my favorite recipe for Classic Green Juice that can be made in a juicer of your choice. You will find similar recipes in several health books, including Crazy Sexy Diet, The Raw Food Detox Diet and most juicing books:
- 2 cucumbers
- 2 broccoli stems (save the crowns for yummy roasted broccoli!)
- 4 stalks of celery
- 1 romaine lettuce heart
- 6 kale stalks
- 14-15 parsley sprigs
- a 1 – 1 1/2 inch chunk of ginger, peeled
- 1 pear
- 1 apple
Juice all ingredients. This batch makes 32 oz. – 40 oz. of juice. Store juice in an airtight container for 1-2 days.
Thoughts on juicing? Please share below!