Thanks to the widespread availability of fresh fruits and vegetables, juicers have become an integral part of maintaining a healthy and balanced diet. The antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fiber which are found in fruits and vegetables can now be ingested easily because of the juicer’s useful features. Many parents who have difficulty getting their children to eat fruits and vegetables find that turning the ingredients into a flavorful juice helps encourage them to eat a balanced diet. Even adults enjoy the taste of fresh-made juice and prefer obtaining their daily vitamins and minerals through a unique blend of juices. Many people don’t have time to plan out and eat a homemade meal, so a juicer is the best way for them to eat healthy without spending too much time or money.
The Types of Juicer
As with any kitchen appliance, the juicer has been changing and evolving since its inception, which has left us with five main types of juicer. Every type of juicer has it’s own benefits and drawback, but each model is good in its own way and uses its own method to extract juice.
One of the earliest models of juicer, a manual juicer employs a hand press and reamers to extract juices from citrus fruits. Manual juicers come in many different shapes and sizes, but the design remains the same. There are some models of large manual juicer that make extracting juice from large fruits easier, but the majority of manual juicers are designed to be used on lemons, lime, oranges, and tangerines. Manual juicers are easy to use and don’t require the user to do anything to complicated to extract the juices. The juicers are easy to clean and can be stored in a kitchen drawer. One of the only drawbacks of a manual juicer is that it requires some effort to operate because you’re using your hands to extract the juices. Another problem some users face is that it the manual process can take a long time if you want to produce a large amount of fresh-squeezed juice.
Employing a disc shaped grater to rotate at high speeds and shred fruits and vegetables, a centrifugal juicer is entirely automated and only requires the user to insert the fruit and turn the juicer on. The shredded ingredients collect in a strainer basket that spins at a high speed, and the centrifugal motion of the spinning extracts the juices. There are 2 main types of centrifugal juicers: non-ejection juicers and ejection juicers. Non-ejection juicers collect pulp waster in a strainer and has to be emptied periodically to prevent pulp and waste from building up and jamming the machine. Ejection juicers deposit the waste in a separate compartment, and the contents don’t have to be emptied as often as a non-ejection juicer.
A centrifugal juicer can extract a larger amount of juice in a short amount of time, making it very popular among juicer enthusiasts. Both models work well with a variety of fruits and are easy to use. Once of the only issues with centrifugal juicers is that the juicer can create a lot of heat, which may reduce the amount of nutritional content of the juices.
A masticating juicer uses a process similar to a manual juicer, except the process is not automated. When loaded with fruits or vegetables, a masticating juicer chops up the food and then uses a series of augers to press the pulp through a juice strainer. Some models of centrifugal juicer grind the grind and slice the ingredients, but the majority of masticating juicers are based on augers.
A masticating juicer has a slower RPM than a centrifugal juicer, and it can perform additional grinding functions as well as juicing. A masticating juicer can make butter from all types of nuts, baby food, applesauce, and deserts, depending on what setting you have the juicer on. A masticating juicer is much more quiet than other models of juicer and operates quickly when compared to manual and centrifugal juicers. The decreased RPM means that the juicer produces less heat, which leaves the nutritional value of the fruits and vegetables intact. One of the only drawbacks of the masticating juicer is that it has trouble processing vegetables and it cannot process wheat grass.
One of the oldest automated juicer designs, a single auger juicer uses an electric motor to run an internal auger, which crushes produce and extracts juices by applying a great deal of pressure to the ingredients. Single auger juicers come with two separate containers: one for the extracted juice, and one for the dry pulp. Some augers run the pulp through a second auger to extract even more juice, but the majority of auger juicers run the ingredients through the auger once. Single-auger juicers are very versatile and can be used to make nut butters, and baby food.
The automated auger runs at a low RPM, which makes the device quiet to operate. Not very much heat is produced, so you get the full vitamin and mineral content of each ingredient along with a less pulp. Single-auger juicers can handle vegetable much better than other models of juicer, and the device can process wheat grass along with other popular health foods. While the juicer works well with vegetables, the device has trouble processing large fruits because of its slower RPM. The machine’s ability to perform multiple functions greatly increases the juicer’s value-for-money making it an excellent choice of automated juicer.
Easy to operate and highly efficient, twin gear juicers drive fruits and vegetables between two interlocking gears at a low RPM, which shreds the ingredients into fibers and extracts the juices. Twin-gear juicers are especially good with solid vegetables like beets, and the device offers a higher juice yield than any other juicer design. The juicer also works well with leafy greens and wheat grass, and the twin-gear juicer is capable of producing baby food, applesauce, and nut butters.
Along with high juice yields, a twin-gear juicer offers a very high in nutritional content due to the very slow RPM. The juicer processes all types of fruits and vegetables with ease, making it one of the most versatile types of juicers on the market. Unfortunately, the juicer operates relatively slowly because it takes a while for the twin-gear design to fully break down and process the ingredients.
Features to Consider
When buying a juicer, it’s important to keep in mind that every make and model operates differently and comes with its own features and drawbacks. There are a few things that you should keep an eye on that can affect the way you use your juicer and the quality of your juicing experience.
When purchasing a juicer, it’s important to remember that it takes a large amount of produce to make a small amount of juice. For instance, it takes several pounds of oranges to produce one quart of fresh orange juice. That’s why many people prefer a high capacity juicer that can hold and juice many pieces of fruit at once. Top-of-the-line juicers usually extract more juice from each piece of produce, but they require a larger initial investment. In the long run, a high-end juicer can save you money by being efficient and using fewer ingredients to produce more juice.
Some juicers have an internal basket that catches the pulp and stores it in a separate container, but many juicers require the user to periodically remove the pulp from the basket instead of storing it in a receptacle. There are some different types of pulp ejection methods. Juicers that eject the pulp into a separate container are easier to clean and make operating the juicer much more convenient. People who make large amounts of juice will appreciate the pulp being separated because otherwise they would have to clean out the internal basket after nearly every cup of juice. Internal baskets are also much harder to clean, and if you leave the basket unattended for too long, the excess pulp will clog the mechanism and require the user to completely clean out the device.
Many users prefer juicers with multiple speeds, so they can adjust the internal RPM depending on the type of fruit or vegetable they’re processing. Soft fruits such as grapes and cherries process better at a lower speed, so a juicer that can operate at a multiple speeds will serve you much better than one at a fixed speed. Purchasing a device marked as a low speed or high-speed juicer limits what types of juice you can produce, so try to look for a juicer with multiple speed settings.
Ease of Use
One of the most important features of a juicer is whether it’s easy to put together and to operate. Another aspect that’s important to keep in mind is whether the juicer is easy to clean. A dishwasher-friendly juicer can save the user a lot of time and frustration, compared to a conventional juicer.
When purchasing a juicer, make sure to assess how well the product can juice different forms of fruits and vegetables. If you typically use your juicer for fruits and vegetables then you should consider purchasing a multi-speed juicer. If you are only using the juicer one type of produce, then a specialized device might be better suited.
Of course you can just put some fruits, or different types fruits, in the juicer and have a nice drink. But with this great household appliance, you can try out and experiment a bit with some exotic fruits. Check out the recipes (JuiceRecipes, AllRecipes or Health.com) to really enjoy the juice extractor and make the best fresh juice ever!