If you’ve spent more time and money than you care to calculate trying to lose weight, you probably feel inundated by the products, pills, and potions that promise results but don’t deliver as advertised, cost too much to be practical, or cause side effects that interfere with your life. Maybe you’re looking for a simpler, more natural way to get healthier. If so, you might realize that increasing your intake of vegetables and fruits is key. Certainly, eating your recommended daily amount of veggies and fruits is the best answer, but juicing can be the next best thing. Juicing involves removing the liquid from your chosen produce and leaving the solids behind. There are any number of commercially-available juices, but making your own can be more cost effective while avoiding the artificial ingredients present in so many of the store-bought brands.
Buying a juicer can be confusing because there are tons of brands and models to consider, especially given the increasing number of people getting into healthy juicing. Understanding the basic functions of any juicer can help make the process easier whether your budget is under $50 or well into the hundreds.
Types of juicers
Masticating juicers crush and press produce to extract the juice, similar to the chewing process. These models typically produce more juice, but can be pricier and slower than centrifugal models.
Centrifugal juicers chop produce into pulp and then spin that pulp to separate liquid from solid. They are among the most popular electric models and tend to be the least expensive. They do tend to produce less juice than masticating models, and the spinning process can heat the juice up a bit.
There are also citrus juicers designed specifically for citrus fruits and wheatgrass juicers that are meant for wheatgrass and some softer fruits and vegetables.
Size and weight
If your counter space is limited, be sure to look for models that will fit securely in the space you have or are light enough that you can easily go from cabinet to counter and back again.
Preparation and capacity
Your fresh fruits and vegetables go into the juicer via its intake chute. Some models have smaller chutes, which means you’ll have to spend a bit more time chopping produce into smaller pieces. Machines with larger chutes can take less time to load.
There are three things to understand when it comes to capacity. The first is how much raw produce will fit into the machine at once. If you can’t fit enough to make as much juice as you want, you’ll have to reload during the process. Next, make sure you know how much juice the machine can hold. Smaller reservoirs may be fine if you only want to make one or two servings at a time, but you’ll want a bigger reservoir for bigger batches. Lastly, you need to know how much solid waste (pulp) a juicer can handle without emptying. Again, a smaller capacity means it will take longer to make larger quantities of juice.
Power and speed
While having the most power doesn’t necessarily make a juicer the best there is, power is a good indication of how efficiently the machine operates. A more powerful motor can make quicker work of a greater variety of produce and can do a better job of separating more liquid from solid, resulting in more juice per piece. More powerful motors are generally a bit noisier and do usually drive up the price a bit, but it is probably worth the cost if you want to juice a large variety of vegetables and fruits. How fast a juicer does its work is definitely related to how powerful the motor is–stronger motor equals faster speed. Some models, though, come with a variable speed control that can make juicing a variety of items more efficient.
You will need to clean the juicer thoroughly after each use, so look for a model with easy-clean features to save yourself time and aggravation.
For reviews of many different brands and types, top juicers offers a list of some of the best, along with links to recipes and tips on juicing for kids.