Why Buy a Juicer?
Lots of people have a hard time devouring a plate of fruits and vegetables, or even half a plate, which is the current recommendation from the USDA for each meal. A juicer machine is one way to add a few fruits and vegetables to your daily diet in a way that is generally more appetizing than raw produce.
Research indicates that juice is not as healthy as eating raw produce with its accompanying fiber, but drinking fresh juice is better than leaving fruits and vegetables out of your diet completely. It can also be healthier than store-bought juices, which often have added sugar and preservatives. Juicing can help you get at least a little fresh produce into your diet. Also, fresh juice tastes great. The juicing community has been perfecting recipes for years.
The three main types of juicing machines – centrifugal, masticating and triturating – all have their strengths and weaknesses. The most basic difference is that centrifugal juicers grind, masticating juicers chew and triturating juicers press produce. There is so much competition for your juicing dollar that it can be difficult to determine the best juicer 2015 has to offer. The answer may be slightly different for each user based on personal preference and budget, but we were especially impressed with the Breville Juice Fountain Plus, Omega Mega Mouth and Power Juicer Deluxe. These units are a convenient and economical way to help you start a healthy habit. For even more information, see our articles on juicers.
Juicers: What to Look For
We evaluated a mix of popular centrifugal and blender-style juicers for our comparison, even though the two types differ from each other in some ways. Both have a central, rotating blade system that grinds produce, but blender-style juicers leave the pulp in and centrifugal units separate most of it out of the juice. Centrifugal and blender-style units can add heat and oxygen to produce, both of which can subtract nutritional benefits, according to some research. However, if you go from very few fruits and vegetables a day to taking in more of both, combined in any kind of juicer, it will be a huge improvement to your diet. Here are some of the characteristics we looked for specifically in our juicer reviews:
The best juicers make good use of the produce you put into them. We looked for juicer machines with powerful motors that yielded the most juice possible. Using a food scale to verify, we put the same amount of fruits and vegetables into each juicer we tested. We looked for high juice yields, whether testing soft citrus fruits like oranges or tougher produce like beets and carrots. We tested the same three simple recipes on every machine, one with mostly hard produce, one with mostly soft produce and one with a mix of both. Recipes included carrots, beets, apples, kale, spinach, lemons, oranges, grapefruit and ginger so we could see how each machine reacted to different types of fruits and vegetables.
Since one of the top reasons for juicing is to make fruit and vegetables more palatable, the goal in general is to get the smoothest juice with the least amount of pulp. We put the juice we made with each machine through the same strainer to see how much pulp was left. The less pulp left in that strainer, the better. If you value a little bit of nutritious pulp, you can always opt not to strain it out, but a juicer should leave you with juice, not froth or pulp.
Prep & Cleanup
A juicer can end up in the appliance graveyard at the back of your deepest cabinet or as a countertop dust collector if you do not find it easy to use. The best juicers require very little preparation and are simple to assemble and clean. We considered factors like how many parts you have to wash with each use and how many cuts we had to make to prepare the produce in all three recipes so they could fit in each juicer. The less you have to cut each ingredient before juicing, the better. Dishwasher-safe parts also make a juicer more likely to be used instead of stored.
With a lot of rpm and watts coursing through these juicers, they have the potential to wake the neighborhood, or at least the household. We used a decibel (dB) meter to measure how much noise each unit generates. This can be a deciding factor if you want to make juice in the early morning.
If you are absolutely sold on a specific juicer, you will find a way to make it fit into your kitchen somehow, but we like the units that make a small footprint on your countertop. Built-in cord storage and a nonslip base also add to the convenience of a machine. With all of the liquid involved in juicing, it is safer and easier if the machine stays in one place.
Help & Support
A long and strong warranty helps build trust in a product. We like the manufacturers that stand by their juicers with good warranties and lots of easy ways to access customer service representatives if you have a question.
A fresh juicing routine can add vital nutrients and wonderful flavor to your life. A glass of fresh fruit and vegetable juice can be much more appetizing than a bowl of raw produce. The right juicer can help you start a healthy habit that will last a lifetime.