So you’ve finally decided to take the juicer plunge. Even if you aren’t caught up in all the juice cleanse hoopla, there’s plenty good about adding fresh juice to your meal plans.
Not only does using a juicer help give you all of those important vitamins and nutrients from fruits and vegetables quickly and efficiently (and in a neat “to-go” package), but it can also be a much easier way to ensure your picky little eaters are getting their daily required servings as well.
Before you take the plunge, note that there are two main types of juicers: centrifugal and masticating. And it’s important to understand the difference to ensure you select the right one for you.
If you’re super busy, and just want to extract some goodness from your fruits and vegetables at home to drink on the run, centrifugal juicers might be the best way to go.
As the most common type of juicer, centrifugal juicers, as the name implies, use centrifugal force to quickly spin the food as it’s pushed inside. Sharp teeth shred the items, and work to separate the juice from the remaining pulp, skin, and seeds. The Breville Juice Fountain Elite and Breville Juice Fountain Plus are both good examples of a centrifugal juicer, offering 1,000 and 850 watts of power, respectively, with two variable speeds (13,000 or 6,500 rpm) and an extra-large pulp container. They also add the benefit of being easy to clean, with many parts that are dishwasher-safe.
Centrifugal juicers offer a quick way to get what you want in a drinkable format. They can take fruits and vegetables whole, cutting down on your prep time. Models like the Hamilton Beach 67850 have an extra-large mouth intake chute to accept many large fruits and veggies.
The downside is that they might not break down the plant fibres as well as masticating juicers. That said, you can always save the reserves and pulp and use it for cooking or baking later. Also, oxidation occurs due to the high speed at which they move, causing some enzymes to break down, and thus lost from the final product. That said, it’s still the most convenient, efficient, and quick way to get delicious cups of nutritious, freshly squeezed juice.
On the other hand, masticating juicers, which tend to be a bit more expensive, use a cold press process whereby you push fruits and vegetables, or even leafy greens and herbs and spices, into a tube and they are squeezed much more slowly to ensure you get every last drop of goodness out of each piece. This means you can retain more of the nutrients, and the juice can reportedly last longer in the refrigerator. Heaven Fresh says with its Slow Juicer, you can keep juices in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours. If you plan on making big batches of juice to grab and go in the mornings, it might be worthwhile to invest the extra money in a masticating juicer. Because of the slower process, the amount of oxidation is reduced as well. Masticating juicers tend to be favoured by those whose top priority is nutrition. The Kuvings Silent Slow Juicer even retains some of the pulp and fibre in the drink for even more added benefits.
The downside: you can typically only feed small, cut pieces of fruit and vegetables versus entire ones. And, as you may have guessed, masticating juicers are much slower. To compare, consider that masticating juicers like the Omega 8008 Nutrition System Slow Juicer J8008C and the aforementioned Kuvings model run at just 80rpms.
But also consider that many masticating juicers can do double duty as food processors, chopping up harder items like meat and nuts. Heaven Fresh’s model comes with a frozen dessert strainer attachment so you can convert frozen fruits into a sweet treat of sorbet.
Bottom line: each type has its advantages and disadvantages, but they are both great for extracting juice goodness out of fresh fruits and vegetables, and adding some much-needed nutrition to your diets.