Can you make juice in a Thermomix?

I often hear people talking about the latest must-have kitchen gadget, the Thermomix.  Some say they can do everything.  And you know what?  A machine that can knead, mix, whisk, simmer, and grind sounds pretty clever.  But lately I asked someone if the Thermomix can actually make juice, and the answer was: not really… let me explain.

A Thermomix, you see, is essentially a powerful blender with several different attachments.  Rather than just having the one blade assembly like a regular blender, it has several different inserts which will allow you to mix or grind or stir or whatever.  So you can do things like prepare bread with it from actual grain.  You throw in the grain until it’s ground finely, then you throw in the other ingredients and get the machine to stir and knead it up for you, then you put it in a pan and bake it in the oven.  Kinda cute.  But what they don’t tell you is that this machine will not make you juice like a juicing machine can.  And here’s why.

A juicing machine can work in one of two ways.  Firstly, your centrifugal juicers.  These blend your ingredients up at high speed and let the pulp get squashed to the outside of the chamber, where it will run down into a chute and be ejected.  Likewise, another spout will let the juice out.  It’s quite simple, but it has worked to make juice fro a long time now.  Secondly, you have masticating juicers.  These are the ones I recommend.  You push the ingredients into a chute, where they are munched up by a slowly-turning auger and pushed through a sieve, which lets the juice run out under that assembly and the pulp, very dry, comes out the bottom.  Also simple, but the technology to produce such precision assemblies has improved over the last few decades, so that you can buy some pretty cool masticating juicers which leave you with extremely fine pulp.  Excellent for juicing greens.  But I digress; here we are discussing Thermomixes.  :D

So now you can see the similarities and where they end.  The Thermomix is clearly not set up to be a masticating juicer, since the Thermomix is more of a blender than anything else, and the Thermomix is also not a centrifugal juicer, mainly for the reason that the TMX does not have anywhere to eject the pulp.  So, you can throw your ingredients in and you will not get a thin juice-like juice.

However, and this is what several people I know actually do with their Thermomixes, is make the equivalent of a smoothie with their TMX.  The machine can liquefy most things you put in it; that’s why it can mill grain; but since it has nowhere to eject the pulp, you will end up with a smoothie consistency rather than a water-like consistency juice.

And does the Thermomix make a GOOD smoothie?  Well, that’s subjective, obviously, but the Thermomix is not a dedicated blender, and as such, it will never blend things as perfectly as a dedicated high-powered blender, although it will last much longer than a cheap department-store “normal” blender, which is nice if you don’t like burning out the motors of your appliances regularly.

The jury may still be out for you, but keep this in mind: if you like to bake a lot, the Thermomix might be a good option for you to make green smoothies in.  However, if baking from absolute scratch doesn’t necessarily appeal to you (and we’re talking baking from grains and seeds rather than flours, etc) then a Vitamix might be a better option for you if you want to make green smoothies (it will cost you a lot less than a Thermomix, too!)… and if you just want to make straight juice – the kind that pours like water, not puree – then go for a masticating juicer, or a centrifugal juicer is that’s all that is available to you (I recommend masticating juicers for the health benefits of intact living enzymes, if you can get one).  An good masticating juicer will cost you less than a Thermomix, by the way!  ;)

So can you make juice in a Thermomix?  …Not really.  The Thermomix is clever, but it does not do everything.

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About Laurie Kavanagh