Friday, April 26, 2013

Let's Juice

My husband gave me a $100 Amazon gift card back in March.  I wanted to invest in my health and purchase a juicer but dreaded buying another kitchen counter appliance. I started researching different juicers and found that juicers are expensive, I could spend $50 to $400 plus. The more expensive models would accept fruits and veggies whole, rinds, seeds, core and all.  It's overwhelming to read through all of the details and compare them against one another. As I dug a little deeper I found that some juicers have extra attachments, are hard to clean, have a lot of parts, do not juice leafy greens, are loud, and take up a lot of counter space.  I didn't want to get stuck with one of those.

Invest in a good knife, peeler, and cutting board.  Cool glass optional.

I settled on the Breville BJE200XL as my favorite.  The price was right ($99.95) and it was said to be easy to clean and was compact.  I read through a zillion reviews and then decided to take it to FaceBook.   I asked my FB friends what juicer they had and it turns out that four of them had this exact juicer. I asked them the following questions.  Does it juice leafy greens?  Is it easy to clean/operate?  Is it really compact? Does it work well with beets/carrots? Do you like it?

Small enough to fit under my cabinets

All four friends gave it the thumbs up so I ordered one that night.  While I waited for the juicer to arrive I read as much as I could about juicing veggies and fruits.  There is a ton of information on the internet and many books with recipes.  The more I read the more confused and overwhelmed I felt.  What was I getting myself into?

My Breville arrived just three days later.  I am a vegetarian  and already had a refrigerator filled with fruits and veggies. Excited I removed it from the box, washed the parts and plugged it in. ( I love the end of the plug, it has a finger-hole so you can safely plug in or unplug if your hands are wet) I started to follow a recipe and had to abandon it when I realized I was out of celery.  No worries, the juice was fine without it.  The next day I went to stock up on more veggies and bought extra celery.

Honestly, I have followed very few recipes.  I throw in what I have on hand or leftovers, for instance a small handful of peppers, a few grapes or a lone orange/apple rolling around in the drawer.  I don't think you can go wrong just throwing in what you have, but there are certain recipes you can follow if you have a special need... say cancer prevention, migraine headaches, low energy, or heart disease.  I did not want to stress about following recipes so I experimented with fruits and veggies I liked. So far, I haven't made a bad juice yet.
Only FOUR pieces to clean, minus the pitcher.  You can use a glass instead.

My favorite items to juice are Kale, carrots, oranges, spinach, apples, and beets. I also use peppers, grapes, strawberries, and blackberries if they are available... my kiddos usually gobble those up very quickly. I may have a problem though... I am addicted to beets. I have them nearly every day and I get nervous if I am out. ( I will definitely be growing them this year )

Since purchasing the juicer I have juiced nearly every day.  My kids have tried some of my concoctions and liked them but said they would rather just eat their veggies/fruits than drink them.  Either way it's a win!  I am very impressed with the Breville and would highly recommend it if you are in the market for a juicer.  The machine is quieter than most, compact, quick and easy to clean, and works very well.  I have had zero issues.

Start with clean hands.
Wash your veggies and fruits.
Cut and peel if necessary.
Kale, beet greens, celery,beets,carrots,one green and red apple

All blended up

Finished product. YUM!

Depending on what you juice you will have pulp left over.  You can sneak it into muffins, soups, pastas or stews. Feeling adventurous, add it to cream cheese - mix in some herbs or garlic- and spread it on tortillas or toast.  I have chosen to freeze mine and add it to my garden.  The soil will absorb it and help my plants grow beautifully.  Use your pulp wisely, don't let it go to waste.

Frozen pulp

If you have any questions please leave a comment.

Happy Juicing!