Saturday, July 7, 2012

Get Equipped and Sooth your Juicing Experience

This drink will surely sooth those hot Summer nights. The strawberry soother (page 102 of Juices & Smoothies) simply combines two cups of strawberries with one nectarine, served over ice (crushed ice would be best). What I like most about this drink, besides how sweet it tastes, is how versatile it can be. 

Option 1: Place the fruits through a juicer while straining the liquid to make a thinner juice.

Option 2: Blend the fruits together with ice (optional) in a blender to make a thicker juice.

Option 3: Blend fruit with almond milk and protein powder for a healthy breakfast smoothie.



Juicers

To make all of these wonderful drink options and more you will need the right equipment.  I bought my first juicer about 3 years ago off of Craigslist for $20.  I was lucky because that person had never used it, not even once, it was still in its original packaging so it was pretty much brand new. This juicer was a Hamilton Beach HealthSmart Juice Extractor.  It has now found its newest home in my coworkers kitchen, since my recent juicer purchase.  The second juicer I bought, also second hand, is the Omega 8006.

Types of Juicers

Centrifugal Juicers
Although it is the more common juicer, I personally find that centrifugal juicers don't juice fruit and vegetables as well as masticating juicers do.  A blade in the juicer spins at high speed and as the fruit or vegetable is being pushed through part of it is discarded as pulp and the remaining is pushed through as juice. I find these juicers are especially great if you are just starting out but eventually you might want a juicer that yields more juice, like a masticating.

Masticating Juicers

A masticating juicer works great because it does exactly what we do every time we eat - chew and grind the food into a pulp.  This juicer grinds the vegetables and then pushes the juice out.  It works at lower speeds and much more effectively.

Familiar Brands: Breville, Kempo, Hamilton Beach, Omega; or a comparison chart of different juicers at Harvest Essentials.


Blenders
Blenders are definitely best for making smoothies and to puree soft fruits like bananas and berries. Unlike juicers, you can add water, milk or ice to blenders to make a smoother drink.

Familiar Brands: Cusinart, Black and Decker, Hamilton Beach, and Vitamix


Food Processors
Food processors are also great for adding liquids and blending them with fresh fruit, or making chunkier juices and drinks.  I find however, processors are best for making soups, sauces and spreads, so I don't tend to use them for drinks.

Familiar Brands: Cuisinart, Magic Bullet, Kitchen Aid, and Breville
 

Sources: Juicing Book

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