My New Love Affair: At Home Juicing

by heather

So, a few weeks ago I splurged in an appliance that I have been lusting after for almost a year. And yes, I’m using the word “lust” in the same sentence as “kitchen appliance”…I’m fully aware of how sad that is so let’s keep moving…

Anyway, the said kitchen appliance is a the Breville Ikon 900-Watt Variable-Speed Juice Extractor. Yeah, that gleaming tower of stainless steel on the left…that’s what it looks like.

Now you might be wondering why, as both a greenie and a frugalista, I’d drop so much money on a frivolous appliance like a juicer. Well, there are several reasons…

Why I Splurged on a Juicer

First, the term “frivolous” is subjective. For instance, I’d consider a panini press to be frivolous. But to someone else who’s a fanatic about hot sandwiches, their panini press is something they can’t live without.

So, to each his own. To me, the juicer isn’t frivolous for plenty of reasons. So why I’d get one?

Reason #1: To Save Money on Nutritious Juice

Have you ever tasted fresh carrot juice? I’m not talking about the pasteurized, two-week old bottled Odwalla you can buy at the grocery store for $7…I’m talking about carrot juice that’s still warm from the carrots that were just sitting out on your countertop, and so fresh that the juice is nothing but frothy sweet goodness. You know, that kind of fresh.

Well, this is the first reason why I just spent so much money on a juicer. I lovelovelove fresh vegetable juice, but I’m not paying for it at the grocery store. Why not?

The fruit and vegetable juice you pay out the nose for at the grocery store is ballparks away from how delicious and nutritious really fresh juice is. They’re really like two different universes.

Grocery store juice has to be pasteurized and pumped with preservatives before it’s bottled…which means most of the vitamins and nutrients you get from drinking the juice are destroyed. This doesn’t happen with fresh juice; you get all the vitamins and minerals you would eating that vegetable. Only it’s much easier for your body to digest.

Reason #2: To Ingest More Vegetables

I’m vegetarian, but I still feel that often I don’t eat enough fresh vegetables. Having an at-home juicer means I can quickly whip up a glass of carrot and tomato juice and, within minutes, add a significant punch of vegetables to my daily intake.

Reason #3: To Add More Variety

I won’t eat beets. Ever.

But, I love to drink them. Added to carrot and celery juice, beets are delicious.

Thanks to the juicer, I’m adding a wider variety of vegetables to my diet.

Reason #4: Health Benefits

Because juice is liquid and super easy to digest, your body is able to absorb more of the essential vitamins, minerals and enzymes from the vegetables because the digestion process is bypassed. This does a world of good for your body.

Like what?

Some of the benefits of juicing are:

  • More energy
  • Decreased signs of aging
  • Alleviated signs of depression
  • Higher metabolism
  • Higher intake of cancer-fighting phytochemicals and phytonutrients
  • Higher intake of antioxidants, which strengthen the immune system

Drinking fresh juice regularly also detoxes your body, especially the liver. See, the liver works as a filter for our blood, cleansing it of toxins and waste (from all the nasty stuff we eat and are exposed to every day). If our liver isn’t working in peak condition…then our blood isn’t as healthy and strong as it should be. So, we feel tired, run down, we can’t sleep, we get sick, we can’t focus, we feel sad, we can’t handle stress…there are tons of reasons why we feel bad when our liver isn’t doing its job right.

Drinking fresh vegetable juice helps cleanse and detox the liver. When you start to drink it regularly, you start to feel better. I had my doubts, but now I’m drinking fresh juice every day I’m telling you it’s true.

Do I Like the Juicer I Bought?

After a ton of research, I settled on the Breville because it was a good price (It’s now $160 at Amazon) and it got incredible reviews.

So far, I love it. It’s powerful, it’s not that loud (about as loud as my blender) and it’s very easy to take apart and clean. It’s also fast…I can have  a glass of juice in less than 30 seconds with this thing.

And I know you’re wondering…yes, cleaning the machine does take a while. Perhaps 15 minutes for a very thorough job. But it’s like that with any juicer…it’s the nature of the beast. Personally, I don’t mind the clean up at all because the results are so worth it. The juice tastes incredible, and I know I’m doing something really great for my body. So, washing up all the parts is no big deal.

Last Word

Do you juice? If so, I’d love to see your favorite recipe if it’s online (or if you don’t mind writing it out!). I’m still new at this and haven’t ventured far beyond my “carrot, celery, beet” concoction. I’d love to start working in some greens, like spinach and kale, as well as ginger and parsley.


{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

ProjectGirl February 17, 2011 at 12:03 pm

I’m intrigued. Very recently I’ve started drinking a LOT of juices — from Wholefoods — and agreed, they are expensive. And in the summer when it’s so hot, I make a lot of gazpacho (a close equivalent in my mind) with my immersion blender, so maybe a juicer is for me….? I tend to not be a gadget person, but …

I have a couple of questions, if/when you have time:

How many vegetables does it take to get a glass of juice?

After juicing and you clean the juicer, can those remnants be put into your compost? (Or are they such tiny bits that you can’t get them out to put into compost. Obviously they are compost friendly…but can you get them there?)

I’m a fan. Thanks for writing.

heather February 17, 2011 at 12:19 pm

ProjectGirl,

I usually will use 4-5 carrots and 4-5 celery sticks, and that makes enough juice for two big glasses for me and my husband.

The veggie remenants is pure fiber…it’s very very dry. I’ve been eating a bit of it (since fiber is so good for you!) and it actually tastes better if you wet it back down a bit…like carrot slush! Everything I don’t eat goes into my worm bin…and it’s practically gone the next day. The worms LOVE the pulp b/c it’s so finely ground!

The pulp collects on a large pitcher on the side of the juicer. It’s very easy to get out! You’ll have several large handfuls of pulp when you use the amount of veggies I described.

Good luck. and thanks for reading! 🙂

Mark February 17, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Juicing can be addictive! My daughter makes a “tropical” juice drink from pineapple, strawberries, blueberries and oranges that is to die for! No sugar, nothing but the juices.

Mark
thriftytimes.com

Ashley February 18, 2011 at 7:41 am

I like juicing, especially, apples, carrots, celery, and beets. Then I might add a little extra of what I have in the fridge, swiss chard, parsley, cilantro, green onions, garlic, horseradish, and, lately, mustard greens. Whatever I am in the mood for. I juice with a Champion Juicer and juice the apples and carrots first (The carrots come out in such a bright lovely orange color.) I save this pulp and make a salad adding raisins with a dressing or I’ll make carrot bread. The pulp of celery, etc. is too stringing to use. Everything that’s left is put into compost. In my Chicago area there is an infomercial for a veggie powder drink,. The woman giving the presentation would always say how messy and time consuming it is to make fresh juice. I would just like to tell her and everyone else that it is well worth it to make fresh juice. The taste is super and the clean up is quick and easy because you are using raw fresh produce. I do use a powder veggie drink too, but can’t wait to once again taste fresh juice. My husband makes juice in the blender to keep all the pulp, which is quite tasty too. I was in Atlanta recently and ate at R-Thomas Restaurant. I ordered the veggie soup with apples and here it was so much like my hubby’s blender drink. I was amazed!

Eric February 18, 2011 at 8:14 am

I got a Omega vrt 330 for Christmas and I love it. I asked for it for pretty much exactly the same reasons as you decided to buy yours. I juice lots of stuff, usually with an apple or 2 to make it taste a bit better. A friend who has the same juicer said you can run the pulp back through a second time for more juice and then about 6 or 8 oz of water just to clear it out a bit. All in all..I love it!

Enjoy yours and try throwing in a small handful of kale – looks gross- tastes good – apples rule in juicing for sweetness.

dave February 18, 2011 at 9:26 am

We have had the exact same juicer for a couple of years and we still use it almost every day.

My favorite recipe:
1 apple
1 lemon
a chunk of ginger
2 or 3 large carrots
a head of romaine lettuce
several big leaves of either chard (rainbow, red, or green), kale (lacinato, green, etc), or collard greens

This makes a great drink for two adults (we usually do it after our two young children are in bed — a little late night ritual for the two of us). Normally the dark green stuff at the end would be too much for me, but my wife and I have found that the apple and lemon make it quite delicious.

Mercedes February 18, 2011 at 11:15 am

A juicer is on my list of “gosh, i’d like to have that one day” stuff. Currently my budget, and my kitchen don’t have room for one, but one day they both will, and I will happily be sipping my carrot juice.

Marie-Josée April 20, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Consider growing green shoots (sunflower greens or other microgreens such as argulua) at home. They grow well on cafeteria trays near a window and you cannot get fresher greens all year round!

Mrs. Green June 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm

We have the same juicer and love it. We make grapefruit juice with an apple and a few grapes for sweetness, and always add a few carrots to the orange juice we make for the kids.

E.Z August 31, 2011 at 11:39 am

I love to make my own juice from just quality oranges and nothing else. it´s the greatest thing in the morning to sit down with the paper, some coffe, bread and home made orange juice. I have another Breville juice machine, a simpler one. But it works well, the brand is OK.

Chris January 30, 2012 at 10:01 am

we find that our panini press also works well for bacon (pressed) and it’s perfect for pancakes and grilling fish – Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler…

we purchased a juicer back in November, it sits nicely on the counter next to the panini press and the KitchenAid mixer… we got into home artisan bread making two years ago and haven’t purchased store bought since.

Sam March 5, 2012 at 12:22 am

Just discovered your blog and very much enjoying it! Gotta love finding fellow Michiganders on the interweb.

I also have a Breville! And use it religiously.

Favorite juice recipe is…
1 head of romaine OR cucumber OR bunch of celery
1/2 bunch of dark greens (e.g. kale, chard, collards)
1 whole lemon
1 sizeable knob of ginger

I add some liquid stevia as well because I have a sweet tooth. But if stevia’s not your jam, I’m sure an apple would also work.

"Tom" May 28, 2012 at 5:37 am

Very nice tips. Personally I just love having fresh vegetables and fruit juices and take full initiative to have it at least twice a day. I often use mixer for diluting them as it’s less time consuming and makes the juice all ready really fast. If you go for having juices in a restaurant, it will be highly expensive and sometimes your pocket won’t even permit. So it’s best to go for home made juices…..something that will be fresh and highly acquirable.

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