Juicer Buying Guide
What is a Juicer?
There are a number of questions that you should ask yourself before purchasing a juicer, concerning how you’re going to be using the juicer, the frequency with which you’ll be juicing, how much you’re willing to spend, and how much space you have. Asking yourself these questions will help to lead you towards the juicer that is best suited to your needs and preferences. Before we delve into the different features that you can enjoy with various juicing machines, lets take a quick look into the history of juicing, and why it has become such a phenomenon.
History of Juicing
If you’re looking for a delicious and nutritious way to replenish your body with vital minerals and vitamins, there’s no better way to do it than by reaching for a glass of fresh fruit or vegetable juice. Juicing is extremely popular right now, but it’s by no means a new trend. In fact, the very first words written about juicing can be found on the Dead Sea Scrolls, dating back to 150 B.C. Since the dawn of time various different cultures have been making beverages out of popular fruits such as lemons, oranges, and pomegranates, and island cultures are notorious for making drinks out of tropical fruits since the beginning of their histories.
Popular in Peru, passion fruits were smashed and combined with water to produce a traditional and refreshing drink, while the Essenes of ancient Israel would pound figs and pomegranates into a mash that was said to impart “profound strength and subtle form”. Moving ahead to the modern era, the greatest proponent of juicing in the twentieth century was Dr. Norman W. Walker, and English researcher and author whose book ‘Raw Vegetable Juices’became a craze beginning in 1936.
Today more than ever, people recognize the benefits of fresh juice, especially since our diet has strayed so far from the natural diet of our ancestors. Also, we’ve learned that we need to supplement our bodies with nutrients since commercial farming methods have depleted the soil of key minerals, resulting in produce that is not as potent in vitamins and minerals. Nobel Prize winning doctor Linus Pauling attributed most of our modern diseases and ailments to mineral deficiencies in our diet and soil, and says rampant diseases are due in part to our adoption of commercial farming practices which rob the soil of vital mineral content.
Not only does Pauling claim that crops are harvested in toxic soil that is laden with fertilizers, but also that animals are farmed in unsanitary conditions and fed steroids to increase their market weight. Scientist also say that the world’s seafood supply, once a great source of minerals, has become so contaminated with environmental poisons that popular forms of seafood are being discouraged by health experts. All of these elements are encouraging a greater juicing culture, because they claim that juicing can fill these terrible gaps in our nutrition.
Lastly, it should be noted that convenience food and fast food, which are horribly lacking in nutrients, have become incredibly popular around the world. Many of these items are made with refined white flour, which is devoid of 90% of its vitamin and mineral content due to the refining process. Also, there’s a sharp decrease in the variety of food that is being grown. Because modern agriculture needs to make money, they’re producing fewer crops that are more reliable and profitable for them, which looks dim in comparison to the smorgasbord of varieties that were grown in the past. Did you know that the typical American today eats fewer than 20 kinds of food?
Juicing is the remedy for all this, because it puts nutrition back into your life. By condensing key nutrients, you can get an amazing variety of produce in one fresh glass of juice.
Benefits of Juicing
Whole Fruit or Juice?
You might not be aware of it, but 95% of the vitamins and enzymes our bodies need can be found in the juice of raw fruits and vegetables. When it comes to getting all the nutrients we need, consider the fact that it would take 2 lbs of carrots, 12 apples, and 8 lbs of spinach to get the same amount of nutrients that you get from 16 ounces of fresh juice. By drinking juice, you get a rapid infusion of nutrients into the blood stream. Also, by drinking these nutrients instead of eating them, you’re giving your digestive organs a much needed rest. That’s why consuming juice has more advantages than just eating the whole fruit or vegetable.
When Should You Juice?
When it comes to juicing, timing is everything. It’s important to drink your juice the very same day that you press it. Once the juice meets the air, it begins to oxidize, which compromises its nutritional value. One way that you can slow the oxidation process is by sealing the juice in a tight glass jar and placing it in the fridge. Try to drink your juice on an empty stomach, or at least an hour before eating a meal, as this maximizes the nutrients that are absorbed into the body. Even if you can’t follow this criteria, you can still benefit from the nutritional boost that juice gives you.
Juicing and Illness
Research shows that juice is an incredibly healing tonic, not only facilitating weight loss, but also increasing energy levels, strengthening the immune system, and leading to stronger bones and a glowing complexion. Did you know that juice can also reduce the incidence of heart disease, cancer, and stroke? Research suggests that modern vitamin supplements do not help to prevent chronic disease, because synthetic vitamin and mineral supplements are not easily absorbed into the body. However, a natural plant-based vitamin and mineral supplement is much more easily assimilated, especially in the form of juice.
Fresh or Bottled?
Fresh juice has more nutritional value than bottled, and it’s also alive. When you drink fresh pressed juice, you’re drinking a living source of vitamins and enzymes, essential minerals, antioxidants, and even antibiotics, which are necessary for optimal health. When you purchase bottled juice it has no doubt been pasteurized, which means that key vitamins and minerals have been killed during the heating process.
Should You Juice Organic?
When you juice on a consistent basis, you definitely want to invest in organic fruits and vegetables. Organic farming uses minimal toxins, and focuses on building soil quality and water quality. When you buy organic you are supporting chemical and pesticide-free farming practices that are much healthier for our farmers and our planet as a whole. Not only that, but organic produce is more flavorful and nutrient-dense.
How Do You Choose a Juicer?
There are some things that you should know before you go out and buy a juicer. For instance, many people think that because a juicer is expensive it means that it’s better. This is simply not the case. There are many juicers that are budget-friendly, and have all the same features and benefits as other more expensive versions. So be sure to do your homework and get some research under your belt before you go out to buy one.
Before you go out to buy a juicer, do be sure that you consider your requirements. Each juicer will have a different quality, speed, and yield that you must consider.
Before you begin:
- There is no such thing as a ‘universal juicer’that will process every kind of fruit and vegetable.
- Every fruit and vegetable is different in terms of their juicing characteristics, and each will be more suited to a different kind of juicer.
- Know what you require, in terms of which fruits and vegetables you’ll be juicing most frequently, and choose a juicer that accommodates your favorite produce.
What are you going to juice?
- The most common produce used for juicing, such as carrots, beets, apples, and citrus fruits, can be processed with no problems on pretty much every machine. However, when it comes to green vegetables, berries, and stone fruits, results will definitely vary from machine to machine.
- Remember that the most problematic items when it comes to juicing are tropical fruits. Pineapples, kiwis, and mangoes are incredibly demanding to juice, so you’ll need a machine that is quite powerful if these are your favorites. Also, berries such as raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries are quite a challenge for any juicer. If all the above are your favorites, then consider purchasing a Single Auger Juicer to get the job done right.
- When you plan to juice a variety of green vegetables and herbs, then a Dual Gear Juicer is the way to go. You can also process them with Single Auger Juicers, but you’ll get a lower yield from them. But do take note, Centrifugal Juicers are completely inappropriate to juice the above mentioned greens.
- When juicing berry fruits such as grapes and currants, you should purchase a Single Auger or Dual Gear Juicer to get the job done.
- Stone fruits are very hard to juice, due to their soft pulp. Because they’re hard to press they produce a very dense juice, but this can make a delicious complement to many recipes. If you do want to juice these, you may find that their pulp quickly clogs the strainer, and juicing can seem quite ineffective. This also goes for kiwi and mangoes.
- Almost every juicer on the market will work well with pome fruits, mainly apples and pears, when they are fresh.
- Root vegetables are also quite easy to juice in pretty much every type of juicer.
- Citrus fruits are perhaps the easiest produce to juice in general, and every type of juicer can handle them without any worries.
What Kind of Juicer Do You Prefer?
Essentially, there are two basic types of juicer, the Low RPM and the Centrifugal. Each is more geared towards producing a different kind of juice. Consider the following:
Low RPM Juicers
- They will press juices of a stronger taste, which may contain small pieces of pulp
- Juice from a Low RPM can be stored in the fridge for 24 hours
- Juice from these devices will be without foam
- The product of these juicers is more watery in consistency and taste
- This juice is best when consumed right away
- There is a bit of foam on the surface of this juice
How Much Juice Will You Prepare?
- Should you plan to prepare large amounts of juice at once then a Centrifugal Juicer is the ideal choice. It’s possible to process ingredients in a short amount of time in comparison to a Low RPM Juicer.
- Consider the fact that Low RPM Juicers are slower and can only work for 30 minutes of uninterrupted use. In this time it is possible to produce 4 liters of delicious juice, which is sufficient for a large family.
How Often Will You Be Juicing?
Should you desire to use your juicer on a regular basis then you must take into account the time that will be needed for maintenance. After every use you’ll need to clean your juicing machine, and this takes quite a while. If you plan to juice often, but you’re not crazy about the cleanup process, then be sure to choose a juicer that is easy to clean and maintain.
The Benefits of Spending Money on Quality
So, why should you fork over a bit more cash for a high quality juicer?
- High quality juicers are very expensive, but you save a lot of money in the long run because they produce a much better yield on the ingredients that you pay for.
- High quality juicers are easier to maintain and their quality guarantees a longer shelf life.
- Using a high quality juicer makes the juicing process more enjoyable with fewer troubles.
When it comes to finding the right juicer for you, it’s all about knowing your preferences. What will you be juicing, how often, and what amount of juice do you require? Once you have the answers to these questions, you’re well on your way to finding the right juicer for you.
When you want speed, it’s all about the Centrifugal juicer. These machines can very quickly prepare juices from hard fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots, and beets. The yield may be lower, and the juice must be consumed right after pressing it, but these are the speediest machines you can find.
Single Auger Juicers on the other hand are considered to be the universal machines that can easily process a wide array of ingredients. It’s easy to maintain these machines, and the juice is always delicious. It takes longer to use these machines, but it’s always worth the wait.
If you’re a green juicer, then you need a Dual Gear Juicer. These machines require more power to feed the press, but you’re going to be amazed at the yield and purity of the juice that comes from them. Maintenance of a Dual Gear takes a bit longer, but these are very special machines. Lastly, Mechanical Juicers are the ideal choice if you’re an occasional juicer. You get a lower yield from these machines, but you enjoy the same quality that you would get from a Low RPM Juicer.