Juicing is an excellent opportunity to add a few extra servings of vital plant based nutrients to your diet. Choosing a juicer, however, requires a little thoughtful planning.
The two most common types of juicers on the market are masticating and centrifugal which describes their mechanical design. How do they differ? Very simply, the masticating juicer slowly chews the plant with an auger, similar to our chewing action. The masticating juicer presses and mashes the pulp through a fine sieve to extract the juice. Centrifugal juicers chop or grind the plant and use centrifugal force or spinning action to separate the juice from the pulp.
The exciting news in the juice world is that companies are continuously upgrading and improving the designs of their juicers. What was once a very expensive product used only in juice bars and out of reach for the regular consumer is now made available to us at reasonable prices.
Masticating juicers were at one time by far the most expensive juicers on the market. They are well designed to extract the largest amount of high quality juice from your fruits and vegetables. The slow chewing process keeps the produce cool and introduces very little air into the process. This process claims to protect the nutrients and reduce oxidation. When comparing juice from a masticating juicer with juice from a centrifugal juicer, the juice from the masticating juicer tends to have a more brilliant color and less foam.
Most manufacturers, like the guys who created my favorite masticating juicer, the Omega J8006 Nutrition Center Juicer, state that you can keep the fresh juice in the refrigerator for up to three days; therefore, you could feasibly juice several days worth at a time for convenience. Fresh juice, however, is always my first choice.
Along with hard fruits and vegetables, most masticating juicers efficiently juice leafy, stringy greens such as kale, spinach, and even wheat grass. Several models can also process frozen fruit for sorbet, nuts for nut butter and grains to prepare your whole grain flour.
Juicing with a masticating juicer is a slower process for several reasons. The chutes tend to be smaller which requires extra produce prep time, and the auger moves slowly, which protects the quality of the juice. This slow auger also creates a much, much quieter sound as opposed to the centrifugal juicer. The pulp left behind from a masticating juicer will be dry and virtually flavorless.
Cleaning your juicer immediately after processing your fruits or vegetables makes the clean up process simple. You will need to disassemble your machine and hand wash the parts.
Centrifugal juicers are often made with a larger feed chute and have high power RPM to separate the juice from the pulp. They can process produce much more quickly. For those of you with limited juicing time, this may be your highest priority. The high RPM motor creates much more noise than the masticating juicers, which is a concern if you are operating it while others are sleeping or have thin walls between neighbors. An excellent example of a centrifugal juicer, both in term of price and performance is the Breville BJE200XL Compact Juice Fountain
The design of a centrifugal juicer uses centrifugal force to press the ground pulp into a sieve to separate to the juice. They leave a wet pulp behind. A portion of this pulp can be blended back into your juice to make use of the fiber. You can save the remaining pulp for baking as not all of the juice and flavor will be extracted from the produce. Due to the high RPM required for this process, the juice will develop more foam than its masticated counterpart due to the introduction of air. The added air can contribute to quicker oxidation. Still the whole point of a centrifugal juicer is to produce juice for quick consumption.
Centrifugal juicers effortlessly process harder vegetable or fruits like apples, but they will have difficulty with leafy or stringy greens such as wheat grass. You will have to determine your juicing preferences. Centrifugal juicers also tend to be less expensive and a great starting point for beginners or occasional juicers.
For Best Results
For the best juicing results start with tried and true recipes. Always wash your produce before juicing using perhaps a solution of vinegar and water. Certain produce may juice well after being blanched and quickly cooled in ice water. Other produce may be best peeled. It is important to remove any pesticides, viruses or bacteria from your fruits and vegetables and it is important to keep your juicer clean. Clean your juicers immediately after use. Dried particles in the sieves are tough to remove, but most juicers come with their own brushes and using them should help a lot. Regardless of the type of juicer you choose, you will need to disassemble it to clean it, which is a simple process.
Drinking fresh pressed juice introduces extraordinary amounts of nutrients in to your system that are absorbed quickly. Use fruit sparingly as you will receive a quick blast of sugar, which will work against any benefits of juicing. It is wise to consult your physician when you begin juicing, especially if you are taking medication or have health issues. High concentrations of certain nutrients may work against your medications or may exacerbate some health problems. You may need to adjust your recipes slightly for the best personal results.
Regardless of the juicer you choose, you will enjoy the taste of freshly prepared juice and appreciate the benefits of the added nutrients to your diet.
Juice and Enjoy!