Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Exploring Juicing

 Ok, so after doing a lot of reading on the web about juicing, juice fasts and juicers, I had discovered that juicers are not all the same.  There are basically five types, if you are interested – if not, skip past all that info and just go to what I bought LOL
Juicer Types
Masticating Juicers / Single Gear / Single Auger Juicers use a single gear or auger that literally chews fruit and vegetable fibers and breaks up the plant cells, resulting in more fiber, enzymes, vitamins and trace minerals. Masticating juicers are generally more efficient than Centrifugal juicers because they can extract more juice from the same amount of food (i.e. the pulp comes out drier). Masticating juicers are very capable at juicing virtually any fruit and vegetable, and single gear juicers will also extract juice from leaves and grasses, like wheatgrass, spinach, lettuce, parsley, and other leafy greens and herbs. 

(Note: the Champion Juicers are the exception and do not juice wheatgrass or greens very well).

Another benefit of masticating juicers is that they operate at slower speeds (RPMs) than centrifugal juicers, resulting in less foam and heat, which means more nutrition in your glass. The low speed also increases the shelf life of the juicer so that you can generally store your juicer for a few days. Masticating juicers are also more versatile than centrifugal juicers because, in addition to extracting juices, the these juicers also homogenize foods to make baby foods, pates, sauces, nut butters, banana ice creams and fruit sorbets. Some of these juicers can even extrude pasta and make bread sticks and rice cakes!
Upright Masticating Juicers are a revolutionary new patented design juicer with all of the high yield, low speed qualities of a standard Single Auger Masticating Juicer but in a space saving, upright design. With these juicers, the juice is first extracted through a crushing stage and, before the pulp is ejected, it is then squeezed during a second pressing stage; resulting in more juice, and extremely dry pulp. The low RPMs of these juicers ensure high yield and low waste. Upright Masticating juicers are very capable at juicing virtually any fruit and vegetable, and single gear juicers will also extract juice from leaves and grasses, like wheatgrass, spinach, lettuce, parsley, and other leafy greens and herbs.
Twin-Gear (Triturating) Juicers are the most expensive type of juicers, but they offer the most benefits. Twin gear juicers turn at even slower speeds (RPMs), resulting in even less oxidation from foam and less destruction of nutrients from heat. The low speeds also decrease the aeration and oxidation of the juicer, meaning you can refrigerate and store your juice for a few days.

Twin gear juicers are the most efficient type of juicer available and can extract higher yields of juice from fruits, vegetables, wheatgrass, pine needles, spinach, and other greens and herbs. The pulp that comes out of twin gear juicers is the driest of all the types of juicers. These juicers extract as much juice from wheatgrass as the wheatgrass-only type of juicers.

Twin gear juicers operate by pressing food between two interlocking roller gears. This juicing process yields a larger volume of juice. The high pressure squeezing force of the twin gears breaks open tough cell walls and releases more enzymes, vitamins and trace minerals.

Twin gear juicers do more than just extract juice, they homogenize to make baby foods, nut butters, fruit sorbets and many have optional or included attachments for making pasta, bread sticks, and rice cakes.
Centrifugal Juicers are the most popular and generally the most affordable type of juicer. In fact, most juicers available in department stores are centrifugal juice machines, but beware of machines with warranties of less than one year.

Centrifugal juicers are great at juicing most any fruit or vegetable and get the job done very easily and quickly. However, centrifugal juicers have a more difficult time effectively extracting high yields of juice from grassed and leafy foods like wheatgrass, spinach, lettuce, parsley and other greens and herbs. Centrifugal juicers will extract some juice from these greens, but far less than single or twin gear juicers.

Some Centrifugal juicers are available with large feeding chutes that allow whole foods to be juiced without the need to cut and prepare food into smaller pieces. Most, centrifugal juicers, however have oval shaped feeding chutes that are large enough for a half or at least a quarter of an apple.

Centrifugal type juicers first grate the fruit or vegetable into a pulp, and then uses centrifugal force to push the pulp against a strainer screen by spinning it at a very high RPM.

The advantages of centrifugal juicers are the speed at which a juicing job can be done, especially when juicing with a wide mouth juicer. There are several disadvantages as well. As mentioned above, centrifugal juicers are not effective grass and leaf juicers. Additionally, the pulp generated by a centrifugal juicer is still relatively wet, meaning that some juice goes to waste. Single gear juicers and twin gear juicers have higher yields (drier pulp) than centrifugal juicers.

Another disadvantage is the shelf life of the juice from a centrifugal juicer. Because of the high speed required to extract juice, the juice gets aerated, or in other words a great deal of oxygen is dissolved into the juice. The oxygen bubbles in the juice causes the juice to oxidize (spoil) quickly. As a result, the juice from a centrifugal juicer should be consumed right away and can't be effectively stored for any length of time without loss of nutritional value. If you wish to store juice, consider a low speed juicer like a single or twin gear juicer.
Wheatgrass Juicers are made exclusively for extracting the juice from wheatgrass and other leafy greens, as well as some soft fruits like grapes. Wheatgrass juicers are not made for extracting juice from vegetables and most fruits. Wheatgrass juicers are available in both electric and manual models.

(Note: all of the masticating (except Champion) and twin gear juicers are capable of extracting juice from wheatgrass)
I couldn’t wait for the Breville juicer (which is a centrifugal juicer) to arrive on Wednesday to at least start tasting what is going to be my source of food for the next week or two; so I ran to Target and bought a NutriBullet http://www.nutribullet.com/ ($99) to give a sample juice recipe a try.

Since Target has fresh produce, I also picked up a package of Spring Mix, apples, bananas and blueberries.   The Spring Mix was organic, as I saw on the label later, but that was completely unintentional as I’m not really big on the organic produce as a rule.  I find organic produce to be usually double the price and not as nice or as large as the non-organic, but that’s just my opinion, anyway.

So I went back to the office and used the NutriBullet to whip up in seconds a drink consisting of:

  • 2 handfuls of Spring Mix
  • 1 cored apple
  • 1 peeled banana
  • 1 handful of blueberries
  • ½ cup of water

It did not look very appetizing but when I tasted it was very pleasantly surprised!!  

 It actually tasted really good!  Now this wasn’t a juice per se, because it was everything simply pureed smooth – like a natural smoothie.  When the ingredients are pureed, you get the added component of fiber that you don’t get from an extracted juice.  

In any case, the fact that it tasted really good gave me a LOT of hope that this is definitely an endeavor that can be undertaken.

I left the NutriBullet at the office to use there since it really is only made to make enough for one person at a time.

On my way home, I stopped at Walmart and picked up a Ninja Pulse Blender (on sale for $89) so I could try the same recipe I made at the office at home - with the addition of pineapple and pear (which was the actual recipe I had earlier, but I forgot to get the pear and pineapple).

Once home, at dinner time, I used the Ninja to make a drink using:

  • 1 container of Spring Mix
  • 1 pineapple, cored and cut into chunks
  • 2 cored apples, skin on
  • 2 cored pears, skin on
  • 2 peeled bananas
  • 2 handfuls of blueberries
  • ½ cup of water

Again – it did not look great and it actually came out a little more like thick pea soup because of the small amount of water but it did, once again, taste good. 

Ed liked the chunky stone-ground texture because he felt like it was more substantial. The pineapple made it a bit too sweet, believe it or not but I had about 3 cups of it.

I’d also bought a large Mexican papaya at the store since I love papaya and decided that I’d make a pure papaya smoothie to sip on as I worked at the computer.

I cut up the peeled, seeded papaya and whizzed it in the Ninja – it was not smooth like the yummy papaya smoothies I usually get at 30th St. Station (you know, the amazingly delicious ones with papaya, yogurt and probably gallons of sugar syrup) so I decided to add some whole milk and blended it until it was smooth and creamy.  It looked delicious – but wasn’t as good as the earlier mixtures.  It was definitely smooth, creamy, had a great milkshake-like mouth feel but it had a slightly astringent aftertaste.  Clearly why my favorite smoothie place loaded their pureed papaya up with yogurt and sugar syrup – it needed it!

However, as I had made a quart of it – I sipped it all down over 2 hours as I worked at the computer – as it was.  I got used to it and it wasn’t so bad in all honesty.

I got a good night’s sleep – went to bed feeling VERY full, but not uncomfortably full like if I had a dozen pierogies or anything like that.

It is now 12:45 in the afternoon and I am STILL not hungry LOL – I think that the addition of the fiber and pulp in last night’s mixtures really helped to make me and keep me feeling full.  So that little tidbit is definitely a ‘note to self’ about juicing.  If I’m feeling hungry, I’ll opt for a fiber and pulp full juice as opposed to a pure extracted liquid juice.

I have my Breville juicer now (a day early - yay!) so tonight I am going to try the classic ‘Green Machine’ recipe.

Tonight's Juice Recipe:

Mean Green Juice (original)

This is the official recipe used by Joe Cross and Phil Staples according to the Reboot Program.

  • 6 Kale Leaves
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 4 Celery Stalks
  • 2 Green Apples
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 piece of ginger

Stay tuned!! 

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