January seems to be that time of year when many of us decide to “get healthy” and among things purchased in that pursuit are juicers; so I thought some insight might be helpful. As a juicer my entire adulthood, I have learned that juicers are not all one in the same, some are better for certain fruits/vegetables than others, and there is a difference between juicing and blending.
The first juicer I ever purchased (20+ years ago), was at the low end of the market. The juicer died within 6 months and preparing and cleaning took longer than juicing and drinking! After purchasing a second mid-priced juicer, which died within a year and again required much preparation, I decided to truly commit. Plunging into my bank account I purchased a Champion Juicer, the leading maker at the time (it is still available today). It required little prep, was easy to clean, and a had a strong fast motor; in truth the motors will out live us all- making the whole experience of juicing pleasurable. It served me faithfully until five years ago, when I chose to give it away, not because of it’s death, but rather the items that I was juicing changed. Instead of denser fruits and vegetables, like pears, apples, carrots, etc I began juicing many leafy greens. The result was that I needed a juicer with a much more efficient and fine strainer, with variable speeds.
So like all good Americans I saw an infomercial for a juicer created by a health guru and endorsed by a long line of the famous and not. The verdict: it worked but not without a lot of prep-time and definitely not on leafy greens. So the search continued, ending in the purchase of a Breville Ikon Juice Fountain …worth every penny! It required no real prep, has easy clean up and it loves leafy greens. (You can compost the discarded pulp mixture). *Note here: I first purchased the Juice Fountain Elite which is a little less clean up friendly over time and I have seen no real difference in the additional 100 watt motor strength).
So, do I want a blender or a juicer? The blender at high speed grinds items into a homogenous consistency with the help of liquid that you add to it. It does not separate anything that is fed into it such as peels or seeds. This could be a good thing if you like texture and want extra fiber. That said, it can also be a bad thing as some fruits and vegetables have toxic seeds/peels if chopped/ground up and consumed. Ex: apple seeds contain arsenic. So do your homework before going this route.
The juicer, on the other hand separates the skin, pit, and seeds, resulting in pure nutrient juice without pulp or fibers. Note: the texture is very thick, nothing like store-bought. No added liquid is needed in this juice. The fundamental job of the juicer is to separate the unwanted parts from the nutrient juice, by collecting the skin, pulp and fibers in one part of the machine so pure juice flows out of the spout into a container at the end of the juicer. Another note: other than the champion, fruit like bananas and avocados will be juiced into a puree if you’re lucky, but usually you just get a mess! *Frozen bananas juice brilliantly through the Champion, for a tasty healthy alternative to ice cream; kids love it!
Happy juicing and a healthy 2013!