Using fruit juicers is a better option than buying store-bought juice

Fruit juicers are still widely available for sale and are even better than before

Store-bought juice has become widely available in the last 20 years, and people are less likely to make their own juice these days.  However, as would be expected, convenience does not equal quality, and the store-bought juice available today is of a far lesser quality to the homemade juice of yesteryear.  But do not despair!  Fruit juicers are still widely available for purchase and are even simpler to use than ever.

Fruit juicers

For instance, for the time-pressed, you can now buy a whole fruit juicer which will actually take the entire apple or orange.  (A commercial fruit juicer machine can handle whole oranges at an alarmingly quick speed, as can the home orange juicer, but obviously the home one is a lot smaller!)  Some other fruits will be suitable for these juicers, also, such as pears, and other citrus fruits.  You need to check the specifications for each juicer you consider, but generally a whole fruit juicer will always handle a whole apple; that is a good guide of the size of the chute and the output capacity of the machine.

What else can you tell me about the new generation of fruit juicers?

Fruit juicers were once a tool used solely for fruits, but now many juicers will be multi-purpose and are actually extremely effective at extracting vegetable juice also.  A fruit and vegetable juicer is much more versatile, obviously, and will benefit your health even more than a fruit juicer because vegetable juice, although it is not as popular or common, is better to drink if large quantities of juice are regularly consumed.  A mixed fruit and vegetable juice will contain more fibre to buffer the blood sugar spike that can be caused by drinking a lot of fruit juice.  (Even though homemade fruit juice will cause less of a blood sugar rise than, say, a bottled juice from the store or a soda or soft drink, it will still cause some blood sugar rise.)  Vegetable juice is of a lower GI than fruit juice (except in the case of carrots and some other root vegetables, which surprisingly, do contain a lot of natural sugar) and when green vegetables are juiced, more vitamins and minerals are extracted than from soft fruits.  Most people like to make a mix of fruits and vegetables when juicing their daily juice, because it is a more palatable taste, and I often do this myself, adding apple or carrot to my mixture, which may also contain potent juicing vegetables such as broccoli, or green leaves.

So which is the best fruit juicer to buy?

Well, it’s kind of hard to say, because to say that one juicer is the best is a very sweeping statement.  Juicers come in all shapes and sizes, power wattages, even the juicer mechanism can vary hugely.  Read my comparison of fruit and vegetable juicers for more information – a recent post I made on this very topic.  To summarise again, and pertaining to fruit juicers in particular, with hand juicers you are generally limited to the realm of the citrus fruit juicer (as they are soft and easily squashed!), although some hand crank single auger juicers are made to be operated manually.

Do you have a personal fruit juicer recommendation for us?

I do recommend a vegetable and fruit juicer, multi-purpose model, because you will get more out of it in the end.  Even though they may cost more money initially, the good brands such the heavy duty home masticating juicers like the Angel Juicer and Green Star Juicer are known for high build quality and innovative design, and one of the advantages of buying one of these reputable and resepcted companies is that the design is already so refined that replacement parts from the same model continue to be suitable for older machines.  Also consider that the better brands give a long warranty, like the Angel Juicer which has a 10 year warranty.  Whereas a cheaper juicer which can be bought off the shelf at Walmart or similar will look shiny and clever but will not have the same workmanship and thought that went into the design, and you won’t have much luck getting replacement parts for these juicer machines.  Which can be, well, annoying, once you’ve forked out $100 or more for one of these things.  So in the long run a juicer which costs you more will cost you less, because a) the parts won’t break on you easily and b) you can get single replacement parts if they do break.  Long standing quality brands have customer service, too, whereas I’m sure you have had the experience of trying to get hold of a human on the other end of the line to discuss a problem with a generic Walmart item that you have purchased (slim chance!!).  Also, I don’t know about you, but I prefer to buy from companies who make the effort to be the best.  It’s easy to be mediocre!  Thankfully, you’re not mediocre, because you’re here to become a Daily Juicer, or you already are one.  Thumbs up!

I also recommend having at hand a simple citrus juicer like a manual citrus press or maybe an electric reamer… if you love baking, or drinking lime or lemonade, or making curries etc which require citrus juice, then definitely get one of these – for the odd few drops of juice, you won’t want to be cleaning your juicer machine just for that.  We have both, if you are wondering.  (A small citrus juicer won’t make much of a dent in your wallet.)

So what kinds of stuff do you do with a your own fruit juicer, Laurie?

I mostly use a single-auger juicer at the moment, and ours will do both vegie and fruit juices.  (I have my eye on a twin gear juicer, probably the Angel Juicer, because I am convinced of their superiority as far as juice for optimal health goes.  But, at the moment we’re using our single auger because it’s still in perfect working condition.  Updates on the Angel if we do buy one in the not-too-distant future are promised to be posted on my blog!)  I love that when I juice organic fruit and vegetables, my juicer is really a modern organic product, in a way.  It is both stylish and healthful.

Do you always mix fruits with vegetables in your own juice?

I rarely make an all-fruit juice.  Sometimes I do get a craving for orange juice, so I will make a modest batch to have with breakfast sometimes.  It’s quite rare for me to do this if it’s only us drinking the juice, because as yummy as it is, I will end up having more than I intend and I don’t enjoy the feeling of my blood sugar going up from the juice.  But, if friends or family are round, I like to treat everybody to a glass of fresh orange.  Or, for birthdays or special occasions, I make it – or pure apple.  But, I will reiterate that it’s not something I do very often, although I don’t condemn anyone who does because any juice is better than no juice! Orange juice is more likely to be made by me than apple juice, because oranges have the property unique to citrus fruits which is that they contain bioflavonoids in the pith (the white part just under the orange skin).

Bioflavonoids are wonderful for aiding the absorption of vitamin C, which as I’m sure you know is contained in a decent amount in oranges and other citrus.  So, you get double goodness when you juice oranges with the white pith still on.  I try to peel just the outer layer of orange, as this contains the citrus volatile oils which don’t taste as good.  Of course, if you have a whole fruit juicer and you are able to throw the whole orange in, then that’s nice for you as it will definitely save you time but the taste of the orange skin will be transferred throughout the whole juice – that may or may not bother you.  If you have never tasted freshly made raw orange juice, say, made at home in a cold-press juicer or “masticating juicer”, you will be surprised at the deliciousness of it compared with store-bought orange juice pressed whole on industrial machines, then heated to high temperatures to pasteurise it (and kill off all the nutrients), then concentrated, then reconstituted, then vitamin C added again to be able to say that the bottle of juice contains vitamin C!  (What a con – honestly…)

OK, I’d like to try a fruit and vegetable juicer – can you give me a list of some good ones?

Sure, I’ll try.  Obviously I am a bit sweet on the Angel Juicer (lol) so that was the first thing that comes into my head, but the others aren’t in any particular order.  Click on some of the juicer brands and types in my tag cloud (to the right – in the sidebar) to see more about these models and the pros and cons.

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About Laurie Kavanagh