While the number one juice extractor selling on Amazon is the Breville (model number BJE200XL) Compact Juice Fountain 700-Watt Juice Extractor, with a list price of $74.96, my sister recently purchased Jack LaLanne’s Power Juicer Express for around $99.
My sister, who has virtually every cool kitchen appliance under the sun — with the exception of a SousVide Supreme — raved about her new juicer, and insisted I buy one.
I played it safe and purchased a Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juice Extractor for only $39.
Difference Between Juicer and Blender
Before I compare and contrast the two juicers, I want to discuss the difference between a blender and juicer. A juicer or juice extractor separates the pulp and fibers from fruits and vegetables into a chamber resulting in clear juice free from pulp, which pours out of the machine’s spout.
The leftover pulp can, however, be used in casseroles, soups, and cookies, or for garden composting.
A blender, on the other hand, does not separate anything from fruits and vegetables. The skin, along with seeds, pulp, and fiber are all blended together.
It’s important to note that besides the vitamins and minerals, the health advantages in eating many fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, apples, broccoli, peas, and pears, is for the very pulp and fiber that a juicer extracts from these highly nutritious foods.
A high-fiber diet (see 20 high-fiber foods) helps to reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Moreover, fiber lowers blood sugar, cholesterol, and helps to prevent colon cancer.
That said, according to one of my favorite nutritional experts, Dr. Mercola, there are three main reasons why you should consider using a juicer:
1) Juicing helps you absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. This is important because most of us have impaired digestion as a result of making less-than-optimal food choices over many years. This limits your body’s ability to absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. Juicing will help to “pre-digest” them for you, so you will receive most of the nutrition, rather than having it go down the toilet.
2) Juicing allows you to consume an optimal amount of vegetables in an efficient manner. If you are a carb type, you should eat one pound of raw vegetables per 50 pounds of body weight per day. Some people may find eating that many vegetables difficult, but it can be easily accomplished with a quick glass of vegetable juice.
3) You can add a wider variety of vegetables in your diet. Many people eat the same vegetable salads every day. This violates the principle of regular food rotation and increases your chance of developing an allergy to a certain food. But with juicing, you can juice a wide variety of vegetables that you may not normally enjoy eating whole.
Jack LaLanne’s $99 Power Juicer Express
* Non-drip spout
* Special patented extraction technology
* Extra-large round feeder
* Whisper-quiet 3600 RPM motor
* Surgical-quality stainless steel blade
Dimensions: 10.2 x 13.2 x 16.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 14 pounds
Hamilton Beach $39 Big Mouth Juice Extractor
* 800 watts of peak power extracts juice from toughest of produce
* Extra-wide 3″ feed chute
* Stainless steel cutter/strainer juices quickly
* 20-oz. juice container doubles as a serving pitcher
* Extra-large pulp bin
* Cleaning brush with micro-soft bristles
* Rated “Best Buy” by a leading consumer advocacy publication
Product Dimensions: 13 x 9.2 x 16.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 8 pounds
Jack Lalanne vs Cheaper Hamilton Beach Juicer
Besides the $60 price deviation, after comparing notes, my sister and I concluded the biggest difference between the two juicers is noise. The Hamilton Beach Juicer sounds like a 747 on take-off compared to Jack Lalanne’s very quiet machine.
While Jack Lalanne’s machine touts a “whisper-quiet 3600 RPM motor”, Hamilton Beach makes no mention of RPMs, and instead claims it has “800 watts of peak power,” compared to the Breville Compact Juicer referenced at the beginning of our article, which boasts a 700-watt motor operating at 14,000 RPMs.
My sister and I estimate both machines extract juice from fruits and vegetables at about the same speed. Only time will tell which machine lasts longer, but besides the quality of parts and construction, the life of any juicer most likely depends on how often it’s used.
If you own dogs, my sister advises feeding the left over mashed up pulp mixture from a juicer to your dogs with their food — her dogs “went nuts for it.” She also adds a little juice in their food, and uses the mashed up mix to make muffins.
* Improving taste. If you would like to make your juice taste a bit more palatable, especially in the beginning, you can add these elements:
Lemons and Limes: You can also add a quarter to half a lemon a lime (leaving much of the white rind on).
Cranberries: You can also add some cranberries if you enjoy them. Researchers have discovered that cranberries have five times the antioxidant content of broccoli, which means they may protect against cancer, stroke and heart disease.
In addition, they are chocked-full of phytonutrients, and can help women avoid urinary tract infections. Limit the cranberries to about 4 ounces per pint of juice.
Fresh ginger: This is an excellent addition if you can tolerate it. It gives your juice a little “kick”!
And, as an added boon, researchers have found that ginger can have dramatic effects on cardiovascular health, including preventing atherosclerosis, lowering cholesterol levels, and preventing the oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL).
* Drink your vegetable juice right away, or store it very carefully.
Juicing is a time-consuming process, so you’ll probably be thinking to yourself, “I wonder if I can juice first thing in the morning, and then drink it later?” This is not a good idea. Vegetable juice is HIGHLY perishable so it’s best to drink all of your juice immediately.
However, if you’re careful, you can store it for up to 24 hours with only moderate nutritional decline. This is really helpful if you are bringing your juice to work with you so you can consume it during the day.
* How to store your juice:
Put your juice in a glass jar with an airtight lid and fill it to the very top. There should be a minimum amount of air in the jar as the oxygen in air (air is about 20 percent oxygen) will “oxidize” and damage the juice.
Purchase a food vacuum pump like Food Saver with a Ball jar attachment. You can pour your juice into a pint jar and put the lid on and use the Food Saver to suck out the air in the jar to vacuum pack it. This will remove most of the oxygen that will damage the juice.
Immediately store it in the fridge and consume it when you are ready. It is best to drink it as soon as possible and in any case within 24 hours of juicing.
Most people juice in the morning, but if that does not work out well for your schedule, please feel free to choose whatever meal works best for your lifestyle.
* Clean your juicer properly.
We all know that if a juicer takes longer than 10 minutes to clean, we’ll find excuses not to juice at all. I find that using an old toothbrush works well to clean any metal grater. If you buy a high-quality juicer, the whole process should only take about 5 minutes.
Whatever you do, you need to clean your juicer immediately after you juice to prevent any remnants from contaminating the juicer with mold growth.
December 17th, 2012