Although I have a Vitamix blender which I love and use all the time, I was just itching for a new juicer. You can make juice with the Vitamix by adding extra water to your fruits and vegetables or by straining them after blending, but I believe the machine is more geared towards making smoothies. Since a juicer extracts the pulp from the fruits and vegetables, a more pure juice remains as the final product than that from a blender. At the outset, let me state that I do not think that juicing should replace consuming whole fruits and vegetables daily. Although juicing is a great supplement to your diet since it includes antioxidants and nutrients which are quickly absorbed by the body, it does not give you the fiber which is found in whole fruits and vegetables. Why not eat your fruits and veggies everyday in conjunction with juicing? Go ahead, spoil yourself!
The Rolls Royce of juicers is the “Norwalk” juicer created by Dr. Norman W. Walker, a world-renowned physician on nutrition. The Norwalk is a commercial hydraulic press juicer which retains as much nutrition as possible from the fruits and vegetables you are juicing. A Norwalk runs about $2300 to $2500. Since I didn’t plan on buying one anytime soon, I considered a juicer from the brand “Breville” which is also extremely reputable. Breville makes several models of juicers ranging in price from $99.99 for a compact juicer to almost $600 for a more deluxe juicer . Although I was considering splurging on a Breville, I came across the Jack LaLanne Power Juicer for $89.99 at Costco (and you know how much I love to shop at Costco). Since it was reasonably priced, I decided to buy it. Today, I gave it its first test run.
When I took the juicer out of the box, I was immediately impressed with its quality. I separated its parts to be washed in warm water before its first use.
The parts were easy to remove from the juicer and to put back together. The only thing that troubled me a little bit (but no too much) was the tool needed to remove the blade from the juicer. I thought it might be a pain in the neck to keep track of its whereabouts because the blade cannot be removed without it. However, it turns out that the tool has a magnet on it which attaches to a metal part on the blender so that it’s easy to find at all times. This is a lousy photo of the tool that I’m talking about.
After reading the instruction manual, I decided to test run the juicer by making two different types of juices. I actually jammed the juicer on my first test run while inserting a carrot into the machine by putting too much pressure on the plunger. The instruction manual clearly advised not to push down too hard on the plunger or the machine would turn itself off. This is exactly what happened to me; however, the problem was simple to fix (I just cleaned out some of the parts and restarted the machine) and now I know how to properly use the machine. The first juice I made was a simple vegetable juice made from carrots, greens, an apple and fresh ginger.
The juice came out delicious and I could not believe how easy it was to make (except for the part where I jammed the carrot into the machine).
This is what the leftover pulped look like after I finished making the juice.
For your information, you could re-use the pulp by putting some of it back into your juice if you like a little pulp in your juice. You could also add some to a smoothie or soup for extra fiber or use some as an ingredient in veggie burgers. Many people opt to make the pulp into chips or crackers with a food dehydrator (yet another kitchen appliance I am lusting after).
The next juice I made is called a “Hot Beets” juice made with beetroot and their leaves, celery, carrots and garlic.
I have often heard that beet juice is excellent for preventing Alzheimer’s disease. I do not know if this is true, but the juice was delicious so why not keep on drinking it? And look at this gorgeous color?
All things considered, I highly recommend the Jack LaLanne Power Juicer which I know that I’m really going to enjoy and use regularly. The juices were easy to make and cleaning the machine’s parts was really easy. The juicer came with an excellent recipe book which included recipes for smoothies, soups, baked goods, frozen treats, salads, dressings, salsa and dips, in addition to many juice recipes.
The recipe for the “Hot Beets” juice came from the “Big Book Of Juices And Smoothies.” The inspiration for my simple vegetable juice came from the book “Juicing For Life” by Cherie Calbom and Maureen Keane. Although you really don’t need books to create wonderful juices which suit your tastes, these are really great books which I recommend.
SIMPLE VEGETABLE JUICE
1 celery stalk
1 small handful parsley
2 kale leaves
1 collard green leaf
1/4 inch slice ginger root
Juice all of the above ingredients and enjoy!
“HOT BEETS” JUICE
2 beetroot with leaves
1 celery stick with leaves, trimmed
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 carrots, tops and bottoms removed
Juice all the ingredients. Combine. Enjoy!