It seems that everyone is juicing these days and if you’re a newbie, this stuff can get really confusing. What’s the difference between cold-pressed juicing and blending? What combinations do I use to make green juices taste good? What’s the best bang for your buck juicer on the market, an so on. This post is designed to get all those questions answered and more. So, first of all, why is juicing so good for me anyway?
Juicing is one of the most effective ways to get a massive amount of living enzymes and vitamins into the bloodstream. Think of it as a vitamin super shot. In fact, our bodies themselves are like a juicer. The digestive system breaks down the food that goes in, extracts the maximum amount of nutrients and discards what it can’t use. When you juice, there’s very little digestion involved because the juicer has done all the work for you! Fresh vegetable and fruit juice boosts immunity, raises energy levels, hydrates the cells and improves our overall health. Below is the breakdown on how the machines on the market extract the good stuff from our produce and scroll further down for tips on how to make delicious green juices and smoothies.
Can my high-speed blender make juice?
High Speed Blenders such as the Vitamix and Blendtec are blenders on steroids. You can make silky-smooth shakes, raw soups, nut milk, dressings and yogurt. High speed blenders create a centrifuge motion that turns all the fruit and vegetables into a mushy, creamy consistency. A blender is not a juicer since it doesn’t expel any pulp. This is good for keeping fiber but sometimes, especially when you put in a lot of veggies in, you end up with a really thick, pulpy drink that doesn’t go down easy. The heat created by the speed of the blades also oxidizes the produce quicker and detroys nutrients. High-speed blenders cost about three hundred and fifty dollars.
What’s the difference between all the juicers on the market?
Basically, juicers come in three types: centrifuge, masticating or cold-pressed. The cold-pressed juicers are more expensive but far superior in technique, hence extracting the most amount of juice. Check out the details on the various types of juicers ranging from a few hundred dollars to approximately three thousand.
Centrifugal Juicers operate at around 3,500 and 14,000 RPMs (revolutions per minute). They are faster but they are not as efficient at getting the most juice from dense greens and other vegetables/fruits. The pulp expelled by a centrifugal juicer is much wetter than the pulp from masticating juicers. The other downside is that a centrifugal machine creates heat and therefore kills vital nutrients quickly. This juice has to be consumed immediately, given that most enzymes have been destroyed. Less oxidization occurs in masticating juicers. The Omega and the Green Power are both masticating juicers and the Jack Lalanne and Breville are centrifugal types.
Masticating Juicers are called “slow juicers” because they run at very slow speeds (about 80 RPM). What makes these juicers superior to centrifugal juicers is that the masticating process extracts more juice and keeps nutrients more intact.
Cold-Pressed Juicers use gentle squeezing and crushing action to extract nutrients. The Norwalk is my absolute favorite of all the cold-pressed juicers. The machine is extremely well-built and will last a lifetime. It shreds down the solid produce to a pulp. The pulp is then pressed by the hydraulic press. This method is far more efficient than a rotary blade machine, which leaves behind much juice in the pulp. The press has two separate juice extraction machines built into it: the pulverizer and the three-ton hydraulic press. The vegetables and fruits are first pushed down the pulverizer feed tube. A slow spinning blade creates a pulp out of the produce. The pulp is then wrapped in a cotton or linen cloth and placed on the press tray where the hydraulic press crushes the juice from the pulp. The result is the extraction of the maximum amount of juice from the least amount of produce. The pulverizer is also proven to be the most effective way to liberate the nutritional enzymes from the fibers of the produce. Did I forget to mention that Norwlk juice is velvety-smooth and can last up to seven days if stored on ice or just below freezing? But what if you can’t afford the Norwalk? Try finding a used one or opt for the Champion or Omega juicers.
Here is a comprehensive review of some of the most popular juicers and blenders out there and here is a good video comparing cold pressed vs centrifugal juicers. I also found a nice list of affordable and effective cold-pressed juicers.
Now on to how to make a great smoothie every time.
- Choose your liquid. I suggest coconut water, nut milk, vegetable/fruit juice or just plain H2O.
- Add in your greens. A few good ones that I always try to include are spinach, chard and mint.
- Sweeten with fruit. I like to add 2 or 3 fruits and maybe some dates if I’m feeling like I need an extra sweet smoothie. Be creative here. You can also include some coconut meat to make it extra creamy.
- Finishing Touches – Protein powder, supplements, or spices such as cinnamon or garam masala.
2 cups of homemade macadamia milk
1 ripe bana
1 cup of spinach
1 chard leaf
raw protein powder
coconut meat from one coconut
Gerson Greens Juice
This has to me my absolute favorite green juice ever. It has eight amazing ingredients: four types of lettuce, escarole, beet tops, watercress, red cabbage, green bell pepper, swiss chard and green apple. The healing and medicinal qualities of this juice are just amazing. Full recipe here:
Lastly, getting a lot of juice from dense greens is pretty hard to do so when you’re making green juice here are few things to consider:
- You need a filler – To yield more juice you will have to use produce with a lot of water content such as cucumbers, apples and celery.
- Get the bitter out – Some greens are bitter in taste so we need to use something to diffuse the bite and citrus does a great job. Try adding grapefruits or lemons to make the greens taste better.
- Sweeten it up – If you like your juice a little sweeter add green apple since it’s not as high in sugar as the other apples.