Yes, it’s been forever since I’ve last posted. No, I’m not going to bore you with how busy I was or what was keeping me from the blog. What I am going to do is talk about juicing.
As you might have guessed, I finally got that juicer which I’ve been coveting for some time now. You know the one. The Omega J8005. She’s a beauty.
You might be wondering why I chose this one over, say, one of the ever-popular Breville’s or the Green Star. Or you might now be wondering what the heck the Green Star is.
Okay, okay. Let me start from the beginning.
I started off thinking I would, in fact, get a Breville centrifugal juicer. The price seemed right, and hey, the Amazon ratings are pretty high, so how bad could it be? Well, upon further research, I discovered that these centrifugal types are far more prone to oxidation than their masticating counterparts. This is due to the way in which they work. What they do, pretty much, is take the vegetables and spin them around and cut them up until the pulp is spun dry. Then the pulp and juice are separated and ejected through their respective exits. The problem with this is it’s not quite as efficient as most masticating juicers, which means waste. If there’s anything in the world that I hate, it’s waste. Immediately, my mind conjures up images of soggy pulp and wasted juice (and having to buy too much produce, and what that’s going to do to my grocery budget…and before I know it I’m in a full blown panic about going bankrupt. All over soggy pulp. My brain is a chaotic place…). This is all extremely wasteful and I can’t really stomach that much waste (money, and food…and I guess nutrients, so TRIPLE NEGATIVE on these centrifugals), especially when I consider just how much I’m planning to juice. The added expense over time of the wasted juice is simply not worth saving a few bucks right this second (the centrifugal juicers are typically much more “affordable” than the masticating juicers). And apparently these suckers can be pur-itty loud. I don’t know about you, but I have enough appliances trying to murder my ear drums. I don’t think I need another.
My next logical step, of course, was to begin looking into masticating juicers. This is where I found the Omega line of juicers. Also in this category is a brand called Champion. Some people like them, but in my research I determined the Omega to be better (for my uses), for reasons I am now unable to recall. Go figure. The masticating juicers work slower, but juice much more efficiently than the centrifugal types. I can handle throwing in a few extra minutes of my time if it means higher quality juice, and more of it. The pulp coming out of my machine (the Omega J8005) is dry as a bone. The only time it’s at all wet is if I’m pushing too much food through the chute, which means I’m not giving the machine enough time to work its magic on the pulp already in the auger. If I’m patient, I can’t squeeze a single extra drop of juice from the ejected pulp. That auger thing I mentioned, that’s the other difference between the two types if juicers. The masticating juicers work with an auger, which rotates to push and squeeze the juice from the veggies, working the ever-dryer pulp toward the spout, while excreting the (almost) pulp-free juice out the bottom of the compartment.
There are also a few other models to choose from. The Green Star, mentioned above, is basically the top of the line. It can’t be beat as far as efficiency and juicing grasses and greens. It also comes with a $500 price tag, so you get what you pay for here in the juicing realm. Omega also makes an upright masticating juicer, which is sort of new technology on the juicing scene (or so I was to understand while doing my research). I don’t really know too much about them, as I didn’t dig too deep into them. The one I found was almost $400, so when I realized I could get everything I wanted for ~$250, I decided to quit while I was ahead and go with the Omega J8005 before I convinced myself that I did, indeed, need to spend $500 on a juicer.
Juicing in Action
Juicing in Action
When I started talking to people about juicing, most people seem to share the opinion that juicing is too expensive. So far, I beg to differ. Let me give you a cost example for my most recent batch of juice. I like a nice combo of cucumber, tomato, carrot, apple, parsley, and ginger. I made a triple batch over the weekend to last me throughout the week. Here’s what I used and what I estimate to be the cost of each:
(Keep in mind, it’s currently the dead of winter here in PA, so prices are a little higher than usual)
15 carrots: $0.90
4 green apples: $2.00
6 tomatoes: $5.50
3 large cucumbers: $3.00
1 handful of parsley: $0.15
2-3” chunk of ginger: $0.25
This batch yielded 6 pint sized jars of juice. For me, that equals 6 days’ worth of juice. So that is less than $2 per pint of fresh vegetable juice. I used to spend more than twice that amount on a 12 oz. mocha latte every day, so I count juicing as a bargain, both for my wallet and for my health.
So it’s official. I’m a juice convert, for sure. I love having a fresh glass of juice every morning, ready and waiting in the fridge. In case you’re wondering how I keep my juice for the entire week, I use my foodsaver with the widemouth jar attachment to “preserve” the juice. I put preserve in quotes because it’s not technically preserving, since it still requires refrigeration, but this method will keep your juice fresh for at least a week. A week is the longest I’ve let sealed containers of juice hang around, so I can’t yet speak to the quality of juice contained for longer periods of time. I will bet that the juice will last longer, though, because I didn’t notice any degradation of flavor at the 6 day mark. I do highly recommend sealing your juice in mason jars, as it saves a lot of time to prep, juice, and can a weeks’ worth of juice at once, instead of chopping and cleaning 7 days a week.
Have any juicing know-how of your own to share?