People were starting to notice. Each time I would slyly pull the plastic bottle of cashew-vanilla-cinnamon-agave juice out of my bag I could feel the judgmental vibe. What kind of person pays more than $10 for a half meal? Hasn't she had one of those three times this week already? But I didn't matter; I was completely hooked, and I even dragged a few friends down with me, telling them that a little experimentation couldn't hurt. It wasn't until I took a long hard look at my grocery bills over a two-month period that I realized this had to stop . . . or I had to start making my own.
Which led me to do some heavy research on juicers—which kind would give me the closest result to my beloved cashew drink? What I've come to understand is that when it comes to juicers, you've got two basic schools of thought: there are those who cold press, and those who go for the high motor (centrifugal) juicers. A cold press, or masticating juicer, processes ingredients with a low motor and at a low speed, which retains more enzymes, nutrients, and cuts down on the oxidation of the juice so it lasts longer in the refrigerator. A centrifugal juicer has a high power motor and whips the ingredients around so fast that it eliminates pulp and tough fibers. The main drawback here is that the high power motor produces heat, resulting in the loss of some of the raw-form nutrients (if you're using the juice to cook with, the centrifugal is ideal, and they're often more affordable).
Below we've looked into the best juicers in each category; if you've had any experience with the appliances below or have one to add, let us know about it in the comments section.
Above: Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks recently inherited a Waring PJE101 Quite White Juice Extractor. The extractor features an industrial strength, 550-watt motor with a stainless steel blade and centrifugal force and can be used with a citrus attachment that is sold separately; $149 from Factory Direct. Its newer model, the PJC44 Juicing Center, expands upon the first design with more stainless steel incorporated for easier cleaning, cellulose filters for juicing softer fruits, and the citrus attachment included for $199 from Amazon. Photograph by Heidi Swanson from A Lesson in Juicing on 101 Cookbooks.
Above: Breville's 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt Juice Extractor has two speed controls of 6,500rpm for soft fruit to 13,000rpm for tougher fruit. The stainless-steel micromesh filter and titanium-plated cutting disk, along with other parts, are all dishwasher safe and housed in die-cast steel. The 800JEXL is $299 from Amazon.
Above: Cuisinart's CJE-1000-Watt 5-Speed Juice Extractor uses its 1000 watts of power to process soft to tough fruits and vegetables at variable speeds. It has a large 3-inch feeding unit for larger ingredients, a foam management filter disk, and anti-drip adjustable flow spout; parts are dishwasher safe; $149 directly from Cuisinart.
Above: Omega's O2 Compact Pulp Ejector is a stripped down, simple centrifugal juicer. Capable of 6,200rpm with a 1/3 horsepower motor, the pulp ejector/juicer is $99.99 from The Vitamin Shoppe.
Above: The Kuvings NJ-9700U Centrifugal Juice Extractor in Chrome has a 350-watt motor with dual speed options: a low 9,500rpm up to a turbo 11,000rpm to juice anything from a soft orange to a fibrous piece of ginger. The Kuvings extractor also has a fine mesh stainless steel juicing screen and extra large feed tube to cut down on prep work; $179 from Amazon.
Cold Press Juicers
Above: The classic masticating juicer is the Omega J8004 Nutrition Center Commercial Masticating Juicer that processes at a low 80rpm speed to maintain enzymes, prevent oxidation, and allow for juice storage for up to 72 hours without degradation. The juicer claims to process everything from fruit and leafy green juice to nut butters and baby food and to grind garlic, herbs, coffee, and spices; $269.99 from Overstock.
Above: The Breville BJS600XL Fountain Crush Masticating Juicer Slow Juicer processes fruits and vegetables with a 240-watt motor at 80rpm. The result is a thicker juice and more juice from leafy greens than centrifugal juicers, which process them at a higher speed; $299.95 from Williams-Sonoma.
Above: Add the Champion Household 200+ Juicer to that list of classics, powered with 1/3 horsepower General Electric. It does operate at a much higher speed than most masticating juicers (540 watts), but does claim to maintain nutrient levels in the juice it produces and among juicing communities, it is somewhat of a cult classic. The juicer is $269 from Live Super Foods. Made in the USA.
Above: Named the Best New Kitchen Appliance by Bon Appétit, the Hurom Black Slow Juicer operates at 80rpm, uses 150 watts of energy, and weighs just 12 pounds. As with the other cold press juicers, the Hurom breaks up phytonutrients for rich-colored juice, retaining vitamins and minerals. Available for $359.95 from Sur La Table.
Above: Named the "Rolls-Royce of juicers" in many user review threads, the Super Angel All Stainless Steel Twin Gear Juicer 5500 has a twin gear impeller press system that rotates at a low 86rpm, an ideal speed for keeping enzymes and nutrients alive in the juice. The Super Angel is $1,184 from Amazon.
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