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For the healthiest diet, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends two to four servings of fruit and three to five servings of vegetables each day.
Serving sizes are smaller than you might expect: a serving of fruit is equal to one medium apple or banana, a half-cup of cooked or chopped fruit, or three-quarters-cup of fruit juice; while a vegetable serving equals one cup of leafy greens, one-half cup of chopped or cooked vegetables, or three-quarters of a cup of vegetable juice.
Sound like too much work?
While it’s very important to eat plenty of whole produce each day — you’ll get more fiber that way — there’s no reason you can’t sip several servings in the form of tasty, nutritious, juice. Many feel this is an easier, more convenient way to eat healthier.
Not only does juicing have health benefits – many people, especially children, are far more willing to drink juice than they are to eat whole fruits or vegetables — it can be a timesaver as well.
Whisk up a quick breakfast brew, and you can be on your way with a complete meal that’s easy to sip on the go.
Before you can start juicing, however, you’ll need a juicer – sometimes called a juice extractor or a juicing machine. And, no, a standard blender won’t cut it.
But, which juicer is best for you? That’s where we come in!
Here at BestReviews, we never accept free products or manufacturer’s perks in exchange for a good review. We do our own research by checking with experts in the field and listening to feedback from actual product owners. That allows us to give you unbiased product recommendations.
So, if you are ready to buy a juicer, check out the products in the matrix above. If you’d like to learn more about these popular kitchen appliances, read on. We’ll tell you what you need to know about choosing and using a juicer.
Product in Depth
Product in Depth
Omega Nutrition Center
When it comes to features, the Omega J8006 Masticating Juicer is in a different league — starting with the way it actually produces juice. According to the manufacturer, rapidly spinning blades damage valuable oxidants and enzymes. The powerful, slow-speed auger in the Omega prevents this. It also delivers considerably more force, so fruit and vegetables are squeezed once as they enter the machine, and then the pulp is squeezed a second time – which maximizes goodness and minimizes waste.
There are two basic types of juicers: masticating and extracting. Both have pros and cons.
These are also called cold-press or auger-style juicers. These devices have an auger that grinds the produce, breaking down cell walls and releasing the juice, which is then squeezed through a steel screen. Masticating juicers take longer than extractors to produce your cup of juice, but yield more juice and leave more of the nutrients intact. If you like green juices with plenty of leafy, tough greens like kale, you’ll be happiest with this type of juicer. Many can also be used to make nut milk. You’ll pay quite a bit more for a cold-press juicer, however.
Pros: Quieter than extracting machines, produce more juice, leave drier pulp, good for juicing kale, spinach, and other green vegetables.
Cons: Expensive, take longer to produce the juice, prone to jamming when used on tough greens, produce needs to be cut into small pieces before juicing.
Price: Expect to spend $100 to $300 for an auger-style juicer.
Born and raised in Paris, the land of unapologetic butter, Francois has spent the last 20 years shaping the American culinary world behind the scenes. He was a buyer at Williams-Sonoma, built the Food Network online store, managed product assortments for Rachael Ray's site, started two meal delivery businesses and runs a successful baking blog. When he's not baking a cake or eating his way through Europe, Francois enjoys sharing cooking skills with cooks of all levels. Rules he lives by: "Use real butter" and "Nothing beats a sharp knife."
These are also called centrifugal juicers, have a spinning mesh basket with a grated bottom. Produce is whirled against the grate, shredding it and releasing the juice. Pulp spins into a separate basket, while the juice runs out the device’s spout. Centrifugal juicers work much faster than masticating juicers, but are also quite a bit louder and yield less juice. They work very well on the fruits and veggies most likely to be juiced, such as apples, oranges, and carrots, but tend to struggle with leafy greens like kale. These juicers are the less expensive choice.
Pros: Juice quickly, suitable for most fruits and vegetables, no need to cut produce into small pieces before juicing, less expensive.
Cons: Noisy, not good with leafy greens, juice has less fiber and nutrients than juice from an auger juicer.
Price: Expect to spend $50 to $100 for a centrifugal juicer.
Juicers tend to be fairly simple, but there are a few features that add extra convenience.
This makes it easier to push produce into the machine.
Most juicers have this, but you might find a few models with opaque containers.
Product in Depth
Product in Depth
Breville has an excellent reputation for quality kitchen gadgets, and the JE98XL juicer is no exception. It's a well thought-out, stylish, and efficient machine, and though it doesn’t have multiple speeds, none of its owners seem to care. It's undoubtedly one of the most popular juicers on the market right now: powerful, stable, and quieter than many owners expected.
If the pulp collector is small, you’ll have to stop frequently and empty it.
While masticating juicers typically only have one speed, some centrifugal juicers offer variable speeds, so you can juice soft fruit slowly and harder fruits or vegetables on higher speeds.
Because slow juicers (or "masticating juicers") press the juice out of fibers as opposed to pulverize produce, the resulting juice retains more vitamins and nutrients.
This common feature of masticating juicers lets you reverse the auger direction to release clogged produce.
The more motor power, the better your juicer can handle tough produce.
Many masticating juicers have settings to do more than just juice; they can also grind coffee, make nut milk, puree baby food, and chop herbs.
In general, masticating juicers are quieter than centrifugal juicers, but some centrifugal juicers are louder than others.
Product in Depth
Product in Depth
Die-cast housings give the Cuisinart CJE-1000 Juice Extractor a quality appearance, and this is backed up with a number of well thought-out features. Rather than just having a single speed, as is common, the Cuisinart has five, allowing you to vary the cutter to suit whatever you want to juice. Given that you can put quite large chunks in, this can help prevent jams or undue load on the motor.
It’s convenient to be able to wash your juicer’s collecting cups in the dishwasher.
Juicing leaves behind pulp, and lots of it. Most masticating juicers have an external collection cup for pulp, but the pulp cup on some centrifugal juicers is inside the machine. That’s less convenient to clean. Look for a juicer with an external pulp collector.
The best juice for you is made of leafy greens. Try to reduce the proportion of fruit in juice blends over time and add detoxifying ingredients like ginger, lemon or turmeric. It's an acquired taste but it does the body good!
You’ve chosen your juicer. You’ve got a pile of fresh produce ready to go. Now it’s time to get juicing!
Here are some tips to help you squeeze the healthiest and tastiest juice possible.
Not only should you start with fresh produce, you should drink your juice as soon as possible after extracting it. Oxidation quickly breaks down nutrients in the juice, so consume your juice within a day if possible. Immediately is even better.
If your juicer has two speeds, use the lower speed for soft fruit like berries, and the higher speed for greens and harder fruit like apples.
Extra juice? Store it in an airtight glass container in the fridge. It will stay good for up to 48 hours.
Save yourself precious morning time by washing and cutting up produce the night before you’re going to juice.
For the tastiest brew, limit your juicing ingredients to two or three types of produce and perhaps one herb or spice. Too many flavors makes a muddled, unappealing – perhaps even brown – juice.
While you can juice almost any fruit or vegetable, there are a few exceptions. You’ll have a hard time juicing bananas, avocados, rhubarb, mangoes, and peaches. These are all exceptional ingredients for blending smoothies, however.
If you have a garden, add the pulp from your juicer to a compost pile. You’ll soon have rich fertilizer to feed your plants. Leftover pulp can also be used in smoothies, sauces, soups, stews, and desserts.
Product in Depth
Product in Depth
Hamilton Beach 67650A
The Hamilton Beach 67650A Juice Extractor comes with a useful 20-ounce container/pitcher, but the tall design also means that there's plenty of room for your own receptacle under the spout. Although Hamilton Beach doesn't give an actual size for the pulp bin, it is more than adequate. As is common with modern juicers, the removable parts are dishwasher safe.
Wash all produce thoroughly before juicing to remove pesticide residue, dirt, bacteria, and other potentially harmful organisms. That includes organically grown produce – just because it is grown without chemical fertilizers and pesticides doesn’t mean it can’t have stomach-upsetting germs on the surface.
Consider color when choosing your ingredients. Mix red and green produce, and you’ll end up with a brownish juice, which might be healthy, but won’t look too appetizing.
If the pulp is still fairly wet, run it through the juicer again to extract as much juice as possible.
Don’t force produce into your juicer or overfill the basket. You’ll end up with a mess.
Remember to remove all pits from your fruit before juicing; it’s easy to overlook small seeds in citrus.
Some produce should be peeled before juicing, and some is fine to leave unpeeled. Generally, peel if the produce is not organic. If it is organic, go ahead and leave the peel on apples, beets, cucumbers, grapes, and carrots.
If a significant portion of your calories are going to come from juice each day, mix up your produce. Go with veggie-heavy juices, using just a bit of fruit for sweetness. Alternate types of produce, and try something entirely new periodically. Farmers markets and ethnic grocery stores are great spots to find fruits and vegetables you’ve never tasted before.
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