Juicing can be a very healthy habit to add to your daily health regimen.
However, it’s important not to overdo it as juicing produces a product that is very dense in caloric and sugar content.
In this article, we will look at:
- The pros and cons of juicing
- Compare and contrast juicing with blending
- Offer some sound advice for selecting a good juicer for your kitchen
What’s Good About Juicing?
Juicing delivers a powerful punch of nutrition in a very small package. That’s why drinking a glass of freshly squeezed juice is a great way to get a quick energy boost and even to fend off colds and flu.
The trick to juicing is good selection of produce.
When selecting produce to create fresh juices at home, remember that vegetable juice and fruit juice are quite different.
Fruit juice can be excessively sweet and can cause blood sugar spikes and unhealthy triglyceride levels.
TIP: Juice Veggies & Add Fruit For Flavor
For this reason, you will want your home-squeezed juice to be mostly veggie with a bit of fresh fruit thrown in for flavor.
Remember that freshly squeezed juice provides you lots of vitamins, but it does not provide you with the fiber of the fruit.
That’s why drinking just an eight ounce glass of fresh juice a day can give you all the vitamins of a big pile of fresh veggies, but you will need to remember to take in your fiber otherwise.
When you just drink fresh juice, it goes straight to your head! It provides you with a burst of energy and a boost of antioxidants very quickly because there is no fiber to slow down digestion.
This is one of the reasons why it is very important to limit the amount of freshly squeezed juice you drink daily.
Eight ounces a day should be plenty. If you drink more than that, you run the risk of erratic blood sugar levels and unwanted weight gain.
If you are trying to lose weight, you must be especially careful about the amount of fresh juice you drink and the contents of that juice.
Guidelines To Help You Make Tasty, Healthy, Lower Sugar Juice
Use a combination of mostly veggies including:
- One or two root veggies (beets or carrots)
- One green leafy veggie (broccoli, chard or kale)
- One watery veggie (celery or cucumber)
- Toss in an apple, peach or similar piece of fruit for sweetness and flavor
This combination makes a tasty glass of juice filled with healthy antioxidants, chlorophyll, enzymes, vitamins and other desirable ingredients.
Juicing Changes Your Shopping, Cooking and Food Storage Habits
One thing many people do not realize about juicing is that, in addition to the initial investment in a juicer, you will also experience ongoing added expense because you will buy a great deal of fresh produce.
It takes a lot of produce to make an eight ounce glass of juice every day. The amount of produce you need for daily juicing can mean that you must purchase an extra refrigerator or make more trips to the grocery or farmers market.
Buying great piles of veggies can lead to a significant investment of time and money. The act of juicing also takes a bit of time.
If you are preparing juice for yourself every day, you can expect to spend 10 or 15 minutes in preparation and a bit of time in cleanup is well.
TIP: When Choosing A Juicer, Be Sure To Investigate The Ease or Difficulty of Cleanup!
Of course, the need for large amounts of veggies could mean that you have a very good reason for taking up the rewarding hobby of gardening!
Remember that juicing can be an excellent way to use up excess produce if you are an avid and successful gardener. Also keep in mind that the left over plant fiber from juicing is an excellent addition to your organic compost heap!
Is It Better to Blend or Juice?
Both blending and juicing can be very healthy additions to your lifestyle. As mentioned, juicing provides very concentrated nutrition and no fiber. For this reason, it is better to view freshly squeezed juice more as a tonic than a food.
Juicing does give you the opportunity to get more nutrition from veggies that do not make good blended drinks.
Examples include root vegetables such as beets, carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes which provide lots of nutrition but taste bitter and chalky when blended. They are fine additions to fresh juice!
TIP: Blending, offers more variety and gives you the opportunity to create a meal in a glass!
With blending, you can include lots of fruits and veggies that do not make good candidates for juicing (e.g. avocados). You can also include healthy additions such as chlorella, spirulina and the like for added nutrition and extra fiber.
The bottom line is that you really don’t have to choose between blending and juicing. They are not really comparable because the end products of the two processes are quite different. That’s why it’s smart to do both!
When you include an eight ounce glass of juice and a fresh fruit and/or veggie smoothie in your diet almost every day, you can quickly and easily get the three servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables that help make up a healthy balanced diet.
Which Juicer Is Best?
Juicers are generally fairly expensive, so when you make your final purchase choice, it’s smart to make certain you are getting the most value for your money.
For all of the reasons mentioned here, it is very wise to get a combination appliance that both juices and blends. Combination appliances give you greater value, save you time in terms of shopping, provide you with more varied functions in your kitchen and help you make the most of your counter space.
Breville makes some of the best combination juicer-blenders. The Breville BJB840XL Juice and Blend Dual-Purpose Juicer and Blender and Blender represents a hefty investment at around $400, but it is an excellent choice.
This 4-Star appliance saves space on your counter top and allows you to make fresh blended drinks, smoothies and fresh juice with one sturdy, durable, well-made appliance.
The unit comes with interchangeable juicer and blender attachments and is the picture of efficiency with 5 variable speeds.
The juicer aspect of the appliance runs on a 1000 watt motor, and the blender aspect is powered by a 1200 watt motor. The base is made of scratch resistant, die-cast metal. All attachments are scratch and chip resistant and easy to clean because they are dishwasher-safe!
Breville Juicer Advantages
Breville is one of the most respected brands in the world of juicers because of their superior quality and designs. These characteristics, along with:
- Multi-speed function
- Ease of use
- Competitive prices
… ensure that you will get good value for your money no matter which model you purchase.
One advantage to purchasing a Breville juicer/blender combination is that the company makes several different sizes of machines to suit the needs of your household and the size and counter space of your kitchen.
The Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus 850 watt Juice Extractor is a nice midsized option that is suitable for many households. Priced at around $160, it is an excellent value.
Users of the JE98XL report that they rarely need to use the higher speeds as low speed works very efficiently for even very tough root veggies.
High speeds seem to be made for extra challenges, such as the introduction of large amounts of carrots, apples or other tougher fruits and vegetables.
Breville juicers have a great reputation for efficiency, and you will surely find that even the most unlikely vegetables (e.g. asparagus and Brussels sprouts) yield generous amounts of juice and leave mostly dry, spongy pulp behind.
Overall reviewers find Breville juicers very easy to use because they come equipped with spacious, 3-inch feed chutes. Because of this, it is possible to add small produce without chopping. This helps cut down on preparation time.
Downsides Are Minor
It is worth noting that every once-in-a-great-while a user complains about leaking from the seal that joins the top of the appliance to the bowl. This complaint is so rare that it is very likely attributable to user error and not to a problem with the appliance.
Some users also find it a bit difficult to keep these juicers clean because a number of crevices make thorough cleaning rather painstaking.
Breville should definitely look into developing a dishwasher-safe juicer! As it stands, users must clean the appliance by hand using the cleaning brush that is supplied.
Breville Is The Top-Drawer Choice For Juice Devotees
Even with its very minor drawbacks, the Breville JE98XL and its brethren are by far one of the best choices for people who make juicing a daily habit. These juicers are remarkably durable, come with a one-year warranty and are produced by a company that is renowned for good customer service.
The JE98XL is just one in a generous series of juicers from Breville. Other offerings in the Juice Fountain Plus Series range in price from $100 to around $400.
Each of these appliances receives top ratings from both professional reviewers and purchasers. All and sundry agree that every Breville juicer provides the very best in power, efficiency and versatility.
A Low-Speed, Masticating Juicer Provides Even More Functions!
Another excellent and popular choice in juicers is the Omega J8006 Nutrition Center Juicer, a very nice model in a low-speed juicer (80 RPM).
This is a valuable quality because lower speeds prevent oxidation, help protect the nutritional value of the ingredients you juice and maintain healthy enzyme levels.
The Omega J8006 is also a masticating juicer. For this reason, it provides a few other functions aside from juicing. For example, you can use it to make fresh nut butter with a variety of nuts.
You can also use this appliance to make nut milk, grind spices and coffee, create pasta, make baby food and much more.
The design of the Omega J8006 is unique. Even though it is a fairly large appliance, this unit is an excellent space saver because it performs the functions of a grinder, a food processor and an exceptional juicer.
It is equipped with a patented stone screw that gives it eight times the auger strength of most juicers. This means juicing tough veggies such as broccoli and spinach is a breeze.
The appliance has a built-in reverse function that makes it easy to prevent and mitigate clogging. Clean up is very quick and easy all around.
Additionally, if anything should ever go wrong with your Omega, you can count on quick and efficient help from the manufacturer because this juicer comes with a 10-Year Warranty!
People who are serious about reaping the health benefits of juicing love the Omega J8006 juicer for its durability and reliability and the fact that it produces the very best, enzyme rich juice.
A full complement of enzymes it beneficial to your health and helps keep your juice fresh in the fridge longer. This means you can make a larger batch in advance, so you can save a bit of time in juice preparation.
The Bottom Line
A juicer is a major investment for your organic kitchen, but it’s one you will need to take seriously. Juicing, blending and masticating are all intensive processes.
If you want to get good service out of an appliance you buy for these purposes, you must be sure of purchasing a high quality product that comes with a solid warranty.
Any of the juicers reviewed here would be a fine addition to your kitchen. To make exactly the right choice for you, review your finances, your needs, your time constraints and your cooking habits.
You will get the most value for your money by investing in the design that offers the processes and functions you use most.