The abundant fruits and vegetables of this summer season make it tempting to juice, but the cost of good juicers is prohibitive. Still, the health benefits of juicing raw produce are undeniable.
Last year we found a Jack LaLanne juicer at Costco for $75. As a starter juicer, we thought it was a steal, especially since reviews were pretty good. We juice almost every day now and it’s held up very well in its first year. It does a great job. Unless you’re a professional juicer, this is a no-brainer–even if we replaced it every year it would take us five years to reach the cost of one of the bigger name brands. No sign of problems with this little workhorse. Highly recommend.
All juicers are a pain in the butt to clean. The big waste reservoir can get caked with produce remnants that are a bit hard to get off. So here are our tips: Clean the juicer right after use so the waste bits don’t dry on the plastic or metal. Be careful of sharp blade edges; they’re lethal. And to make clean-up a breeze, here’s my best tip: line the reservoir with a plastic bag, the kind used for produce. The reservoir bin contains all the waste and you can simply lift the bag out and compost or discard. It makes washing the juicer a breeze. Take it from my husband, who is chief juicer-washer and who lines the reservoir as soon as it’s dry so we’re ready for the next day’s juice.
As far as juice recipes go, we always start with spinach and kale, which have no taste when blended with everything else. Here’s our favorite juicer recipe: (we like organic.)
Our Base Juice:
2 or more generous handfuls of spinach and kale
2 celery stalks
half cup frozen or fresh blueberries
Then add any or all of the following:
apricots, pears, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, peaches, nectarines, cucumber.
Or beets or just about anything else you have. I don’t like ginger in my juice, but others do. Same with lemons–we have three lemon trees but lemon’s too strong in juice. I cook with ours.
Our neighbor’s apricot tree is heavy with fruit and he shares generously, so we’ve been adding a few of these antioxidant-laden spheres to our juice each day.
We juice into a 4-cup glass container and usually make close to four cups to share between the two of us. The bitter taste of kale is completely masked by everything else. Same with spinach. This I can promise you. Neither of these super-greens would never be on my plate otherwise, so I feel great about getting those nutrients in a palatable form.
Give it a try!