Juicing is an effective and efficient way to consume greater quantities of fruit and vegetables and ultimately give our bodies a boost of essential vitamins, nutrients and general goodness. With busy lifestyles and a lack of a good diet; chronic fatigue, muscle pain and broad spectrum symptoms have become the norm.
Deficiencies in our diets will not be helping matters, although we can boost our immunities through supplementation, juicing is a way better alternative.
We feel we need to stipulate that we don’t ever support the idea that juicing should be a meal replacement option, juicing should be considered as an addition. Just like your glass of orange/apple juice would be had with a meal, your juice should be held in the same esteem.
Now down to the main matter. When it comes to juicing, what’s better? Is it worth buying pre made juice? Making yours with an all in one blender or is it worth the expense to get a juicer?
Pre made juice
We wholly don’t advocate doing this, for two reasons. Firstly, generally speaking, juice manufacturers have to use additives to give the juice a decent preservation life. We want to consume our vegetables and fruits as close to their natural state as possible to get the most benefit so any additives are only going to be reducing this effectiveness.
Secondly, again, generally speaking, they’re packed full of sugar. They want it to taste nice so that we buy more; they may do this by adding sweeteners or packing it full of fruit- although we want some fruit, fruit, when broken down turns to sugar; too much of this and you’re getting completely adverse effects.
Not all pre-made juices will be like this though; of course on the flip side, on the shelf juices are likely to contain superfoods, berries and more expensive ingredients than we’re likely to get hold of at our local supermarket- they use these ingredients because of proven health benefits. But it’s worth bearing in mind the additives and sugars, if you’re looking at ready-made juices, check the ingredients and daily guidance for suitability.
Using an all in one blender
A perfectly viable option but again not as effective.
When we use a blender to process the fruit and vegetables it takes a certain amount of heat/energy to achieve it. This heat effectively destroys the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that we want from our fruit and vegetables, defeating the point of juicing or creating smoothies in the first place. In addition, the heating aspect releases the fruit/vegetables fructose creating sugar smoothies.
An additional disadvantage of using a blender over a juicer is it is unable to extract the pulp from the juice- although you can blend most things, there are some fruits and vegetables that the blender, or most blenders, simply won’t be able to handle and so it’ll either create too much heat nuking your fruit and veg, end up with a thick smoothie or it’ll undoubtedly have bits in it.
And a juicer?
These are generally specialist pieces of equipment that, as highlighted above can extract juice from our fruits and vegetables with minimum heat exposure, extract pulp from the juice and make it easy for us to even juice in the first place.
There are two general apprehensions when it comes to purchasing a juicer though:
- The expense
- Ease of cleaning.
Not owning one ourselves we borrowed a Kitchenaid Artisan Maximum Extraction Juicer to put one to the test.
The Kitchenaid Artisan Maximum Extraction is undoubtedly an impressive piece of kit- there are lots of bits to it and in addition to juices, where you can also control the pulp levels, it makes jams, purees and coulis as well. Although overwhelming initially, it’s pretty easy to comprehend what goes where, what does what and how you use it. In fact, it’s super easy- easier than the manual, £400+ juicers I’ve come across in the past.
We tested two, quite different recipes on it (which we’ve shared below), here’s how we got on:
The carrot & ginger juice is, as you can imagine, pulp heavy; its labour intensive for a standard blender but the juicer handles it with ease and you get a nice smooth consistency. As carrots are particularly fibrous, in a blender it would either break the blade (causing tons of noise in the process whilst it even tries) or you’d end up with a very stodgy smoothie; with the juicer with little fuss it steadily breaks the carrots down, and with ease, feeds the excessive pulp out the ejector chute. Despite being a difficult vegetable to work with, the Kitchenaid Artisan Extraction processes it with ease, no need even for a de-clogging.
It even handled the spinach in our Green Goodness juice with ease. Again spinach, you wouldn’t think, is a vegetable that you would get much juice from it. But with ease, it pushes the vegetable through the different cycles to give you a smooth taste.
When it came to cleaning, I couldn’t believe how easy it was! Everything, aside the main body, could go in the dishwasher; the filters were the only aspect that needed a good swill, possibly a little go with the small brush included, but otherwise just a quick rinse over. Even if you don’t have a dishwasher, everything was so easy to clean anyway; it took a matter of minutes to give it all a wipe over.
The KitchenAid Artisan Maximum Extraction, compared to other professional juicers on the market, is price competitive. Now you can pick a juicer up from as low as £70 and up to £500. The problem with the lower price point is, we’re looking at machines that entail lots of heat to extract the juice from the vegetable/fruit. They’ll likely to reduce or illuminate pulp but we’re losing the goodness factor.
Although you have the initial cost outlay, it is worth going for a more expensive juicer; simply because it can do it all. Also, if you commit to making juices regularly, it will be more cost effective than buying ready-made juices in the long run or having to regularly replace your machine where it isn’t cut out for the workload. We’ll even show you some tips and tricks to making it even more cost effective:
Create juices from fruits and veggies that are expiring or have no other purpose in your meals for the week. Plan your meals for the week with juicing in mind to get the most out of your fruit and veggies
Clean the fruit/veggies thoroughly and chop and ends off so that you can use the pulp in another recipe. Carrots for example are particularly fibrous and although extremely good for you, you get little from juicing them- instead of wasting the pulp use the excess and create a veggie hash or a topping for a pie. Just make sure you put them through the juicer first and transfer to a bowl before extracting juice from your other fruits and vegetables.
You don’t need or want too much fruit: as highlighted, heat releases the fructose- you only want a little fruit to make your juices taste slightly sweeter.
Recipes to try:
Each of the below makes enough juice for 2, just multiply if making for more.
To make, ensure all fruit and vegetables have been cleaned in advance, chop the fruit/vegetables into medium sized pieces to make it easier to feed through the juicer and then just feed the items in, a few pieces at a time. With the water/juice, feed this in amongst the fruit and vegetables.
Carrot & Ginger
- Thumb sized piece of ginger
- Green apple- golden delicious is best
- 3 medium sized carrots
- 1 cup of water
- ½ an avocado
- 1 conference pear
- Handful of green grapes
- Handful of spinach
- 1 tsp of lemon juice
- 200ml of apple juice