As I’m writing this sharepost, I’m enjoying a juice that I made a bit ago. This one has green apples, pears, cucumber and blueberries mixed in. The juice actually didn’t take long to make and I’ve noticed that drinking a regular juice has caused my intake of fruits and vegetables to jump.
It turns out I’m not alone. Juicing and blended drinks increasingly are becoming popular as a way to incorporate more fruits and vitamins into your day. “The nutrients are rapidly absorbed because juicing and blending breaks down the whole plant food and partially ‘predigests’ it,” writes Eric Helms and Amely Greeven in the book The Juice Generation. Thus, you quickly get much of the health benefits of lots of produce in one glass, resulting in a burst of energy within about 20 minutes.
There are many equipment options for creating a concoction out of those fruits and vegetables. Here are some options:
- A wooden spoon and a container - One juice option, the agua fresca (which means fresh waters in Spanish or Portuguese), actually doesn’t require any fancy equipment. Instead, you place the produce in the container you want to use and then mash them lightly with a tool, such as a wooden spoon. You also should bruise any herbs or spices gently to get them to release their flavors (and scents) and then add them to the mix. Once you have those ingredients in place, add water and refrigerate for a couple of hours. Strain out the produce and then serve within two days of preparing this juice.
- Manual juicers - These juicers are operated by hand and are relatively cheap. They also are easy to clean. However, they are limited as far as the types of fruits and vegetables they can juice. One type is the citrus juicer, which only juices these types of fruits (which must be peeled). There also is the wheatgrass juicer, which can process some other types of produce.
- Blenders - This kitchen staple can work in helping you make blended drinks. However, cheaper models may not be powerful enough to handle grinding frozen fruits. Therefore, you may need to spend a few more dollars to get a stronger blender that will work. Additionally, you can opt for high-speed blenders, but these are going to be more costly.
- Centrifugal juicers - These juicers are the most affordable of the electric juicers. This juicer uses a cutting blade to chop the produce and then spins it at a high speed. The juice is pushed through a strainer basket that has little holes. These juicers are less efficient than single or twin-gear juicers and also create heat and friction, which can lower the nutritional quality and alter the taste.
- Single-gear masticating juicers - These juicers use a single gear to turn produce into pulp, from which juice is released. This process turns out a lot of juice and smaller amounts of dried pulp. This juicing process takes longer since it runs at a lower speed. It also lowers the rate of oxidation, so there’s no froth and enzymes and nutrients are preserved.
- Twin-gear titrating juicers - These juicers turn slowly using twin gears to crush the produce. These juicers create no heat; thus, the nutrients were well-preserved and there isn’t any foam in the juice. They are, however, more time-consuming as far as cleaning. While these juicers can be pricey, these juicers can do everything related to juicing.
Primary Sources for This Sharepost:
Helms, E. & Greeven, A. (2014). The juice generation: 100 recipes for fresh juices and superfood smoothies.
JustJuice.org. (2012). Juicers 101: Different types of juicers and how they measure up.
Published On: April 17, 2014