If you want to maximise your chances of living a long, healthy, productive life you will need the tools to help you do so. Central to your raw living foods kitchen is a few core pieces of equipment. Of course there is some initial cost, but think of this equipment as an investment in your health, not an expense. But which juicing machine is the best? Bernadette Bohan, author of Raw and a living food diet advocate shares some of her tips for buying a juicer.
Top of the list is a masticating juicer. It’s so easy to implement a daily routine of juicing, all you need is just some fresh fruit and vegetables and a good juicer. There are basically 3 types of juicers available. If you are inexperienced, you could spend a great deal of time deciding whether to go for a masticating juicer or the cheaper centrifugal models. Some people start out with the cheap centrifugal juicers and upgrade to a masticating juicer because of the drawbacks of the centrifugal models. Of course you want a good juicer at a competitive price, but don’t compromise and start with a cheap juicer that is difficult to wash, as it will put you off juicing. After the initial outlay, I am sure you will find no comparison in the quality and quantity of the juice from a masticating machine versus that of a centrifugal juicer. Masticating juicers are not usually sold in the high street as they are a bit more of a specialty - check out my website www.changesimply.com for a range of my favourite juicers.
I use the Green Star twin-gear masticating juicer, it is by far my absolute favorite juicer and believe me, I have tried many of the models on the market. In fact my own juicer is nearly 15 years old and still going strong. They cost about €500 and have a five year warranty. Twin-gear masticating juicers produce the best quality juice. I use my juicer not only for juicing, but also to make pizza or pie crusts, pates from nuts and vegetables, sauces and yummy treats. If you think a masticating juicer is out of your price range or wondering if it’s worth the cost, bear these few points in mind:
• Masticating juicers are very economical as they produce very small amounts of dry pulp, which ensures you get the best possible value from your produce. Their strong triturating and squeezing power extracts more minerals from your produce, which gives you a better quality juice. They have automatic pulp ejection, and the pulp can even be returned to the chute to extract more juice.
• They produce twice as much juice as centrifugal juicers. If you juice even 4 times per week (especially if it’s for 2 or 3 people) the price difference between the masticating and centrifugal juicer will easily be paid in a year just from the savings on produce.
• A really important point to look out for when buying a juicer is the two gears that grind the fruit and vegetables slowly. The twin gears revolve very slowly while grinding, so no heat is produced which means you get a superior quality juice.
• Masticating juicers can juice wheat grass, fruits, leafy green vegetables and herbs which most juicers bought in the high street stores won’t juice. They are outstanding for juicing kale, parsley, chard, lettuce, turnip greens and spinach; the gears suck the leafy greens in and grind them up. The advantage of this is your machine does not clog up.
• One of the big advantages of this machine is its ability to reconstruct the water molecules in the juice. It does this by magnetically extracting minerals from fruits and vegetables through magnetic technology, which reduces oxidation of the juice. For a good quality juice, you want a juicer that oxidizes the juice minimally as its being made.
• There are single-gear masticating juicers that are cheaper (about €200-€300) but having tried this type of juicer I found they are not as effective as the twin-gear machines. However if you are on a budget they are cheaper.
• Masticating juicers don’t require any messy greasing before use, unlike other juicers.
• The tiny screen requires a bit of scrubbing but a really handy tip is to open the nozzle at the front and pour a jug of water down the chute while the machine is running. This cleans out most of the remaining pulp and a rinse under the tap removes the rest.
• There are various accessories that are supplied with the more expensive models such as pasta and bread stick makers.
If you want a good juicer at a reasonable price that looks the biz in your kitchen then look no further than my personal favourite, the Green Star.
I am not a fan of centrifugal juicers because they use the power of centrifugal forces to separate the pulp from the juice; this tears up the fruits and vegetables and destroys the enzymes in the juice, the most important part. The question is why juice with a machine that produces a poor quality juice, I can’t see the sense in that. When I started juicing I made the mistake of buying a centrifugal juicer because they were cheaper and readily available.
• The high revolutions produce a poor-quality juice which for me is a big design flaw. They mainly extract the water from the fruits and veg. If you have one of these juicers you will notice how the juice separates.
• They are also quite wasteful on produce as they produce a lot of wet pulp, which can become very expensive if you are buying organic produce.
• The spinning fine mesh basket inside the machine is a pain to wash. A machine that is difficult to wash is the major reason why people who start juicing enthusiastically soon pack it in. This is why I always recommend that you buy a good juicer first and don’t waste money on poor substitutes.
• The other let-down is the appliance gets jammed and clogged easily which is a major annoyance.
• I also question their durability, if you are juicing every day or juicing for a family, these machines can easily burn out and need replacing. I had two machines in the past that burned out which was costly in the long term.
• Finally, centrifugal juicers won’t juice wheatgrass or leafy greens. They tend to get stuck and can jam the machine. You end up stuffing in leafy greens and trying to force them through the machine.
• I would not recommend centrifugal juicers as I believe they are not the ideal solution because they are wasteful, difficult to wash and bad value for money.
• These are cheap and very affordable; however, they are a little difficult to use and wash.
• In comparison with the electric-powered models they are not as good at juicing fibrous veggies like carrots and celery. However they can juice wheatgrass and leafy greens and, as a result, most people tend to buy them just for wheatgrass juicing.
• Manual juicers are, however, handy if you are travelling because they are lightweight and portable, which means you can make your own fresh juice wherever you go.
If you’re serious about your health, remember a juicer is an investment in your health and your future.
Throughout the book you will find lots of deliciously healthy juice recipes to delight and turn on your palate. Happy juicing!
Raw. Recipes for Radiant Living by Bernadette Bohan is now available nationwide - buy it online in our shop or as an ebook on Amazon!