Spin, Squeeze or Screw
Not wanting to just talk the talk, I thought it was time for this health and wellness publisher to get his own juicer. But there are so many options available on the market, I first needed some guidance. So I went to the best sources I know, Dennis Gournias and Maree Price from Upaya Naturals. If you’re thinking of making juice at home, here’s everything you need to know:
1. What are the best reasons to juice at home?
You get instant fresh juice that has not been sitting on a store shelf. You control what you put in it. It isn’t pasteurized and has no added preservatives, sugars or fillers. Fresh juice gives you an instant shot of vitamins and minerals. You can get your kids and family members involved in the cooking process by creating their own juice recipes.
2. Describe the types of juicers that are available on the market.
Centrifuge: These juicers have blades inside a basket that spin very fast. The blades cut up the food and the spinning action presses it up against the basket. The basket has small holes which allow the juice to go through, but not the pulp. These juicers are very loud and sound like a jet plane taking off.
Single Auger or Masticating: These are slow juicers that use what looks similar to a tractor auger to chew up the fruits and veggies and press them up against a screen to extract the juice and separate it from the pulp. There are two types. The horizontal type and the vertical type – which correspond to which direction the auger is positioned. The vertical masticating juicers have only been on the market for about five years and are more compact than their horizontal counterpart.
Twin Gear: These juicers have two gears inside that are very tight to each other. The food is pushed between the gears and crushed then it is pressed against a screen to separate the pulp from the juice. These are also slow juicers, meaning that the gears move less than 120 RPM and produce less heat and oxidation.
Juice Press: This juicer basically takes veggies which are first mulched and then pressed, using a hydraulic press to squeeze out the juice.
3. What is each of the types of juicers best for?
Centrifuge juicers are best for juicing large quantities of fruits and veggies but excel mostly at juicing hard root vegetables and fruits. The masticating/single auger juicers do well with both greens and vegetables as well as juicing wheatgrass. Twin gear juicers are excellent for greens but need some added attention when doing soft fruits. Juice presses are excellent for both greens and fruits and have the least amount of heat and oxidation when juicing.
4. Are there any drawbacks to centrifuge, single auger, twin gear and juice presses?
Each juicer has its own "personality". For example the centrifuge juicer is the least expensive and produces a lesser quality of juice, takes the longest to clean and is not very efficient at juicing greens. The masticating juicers are good for both fruits and veggies but the vertical models are not recommended for juicing wheatgrass or fibrous greens. The twin gears are excellent for greens but not so great with soft fruit. The juice press is great for both greens and fruits and produces the highest quality juice but takes longer to put together and clean and costs the most. Regardless of the juicer types, it is always recommended to drink the fresh juice right away since that is when it's packed with the most vitamins. The longer it sits, the more it will oxidize and degrade.
5. For the beginner which juicer makes sense?
Although it really depends on what each individual will be juicing, we recommend the single auger/masticating juicers to most clients since they are the most versatile and best value. Most of them also come with attachments for making instant frozen sorbets, nut butters and also a have a pasta extruder tool.
6. If one were to juice at home, other than a good quality juicer, what equipment would you need?
You would just need a juicer and fresh fruits and veggies. That's it – other than friends and family to share your creations with. What we recommend is making sure that the juicer is on your counter and not hidden away. Make juicing a daily routine and fun by creating new recipes and getting kids involved. When shopping we always ask ourselves what are we going to be juicing this week and purchase what we need. This way we are preparing ourselves mentally and have the produce ready to go.
7. If money is no object, what is the juicer you would recommend? What is the best budget juicer?
We would recommend the juicer that best fits your lifestyle and needs. More expensive is not always better if you are not going to use it. We recommend the Omega 8003, 8004, 8005, or 8006 as the best budget juicers. These are all single auger masticating juicers, that are quick to clean and compact.
Jamie Bussin is the Publisher of Tonic Magazine. The first juice he made with his new juicer had kale, fennel, cucumber, mint, orange, lime and ginger. It was delicious. For expert advice in choosing your juicer, contact Upaya Natural’s friendly and experienced staff at www.upayanaturals.com