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A recent question tipped me off about juicers. I have heard of them before, but I had always written them off as TV informercial gadgets that were not really useful. Is this true?

If I had and orange, a tangerine, and a grapefruit, could I just put them in a juicer and have my own fruit "cocktails?" Is there a special juicer, just for amateur cooks?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I recommend this juicer I have it and use it every week to make lemonade:

Peel 6-8 lemons

Add to juicer

Mixing in a large pitcher, add water and sugar to taste.

Refrigerate

It's absolutely delicious. It's all I drink, no more soda.

Last week I made cherry juice. De-pitted the cherries and repeted the same steps as above.

I've also made carrot and beet juice, but they test very strong and work better when you mix them with other juices - orange juice for example.

My experience with juicing grapefruit is not good. The juice comes out very bitter and tastes very strong.

In general, to reduce the bitterness in citrus juices, peel the fruit first before adding it to the juicer. As in the lemonade example, I sometimes use the lemon peels to make Limoncello, or keep a few in the fridge to garnish my coffee. If you have no use for them, they will at least make your garbage smell very good.


Maintenance

You need to clean the juicer after each use, which can be discouraging. If you have someone who lives with you, have them help. My husband peels and juices the lemons, I wash the juicer parts while he mixes the lemonade in the pitcher. It takes us about 15 minutes from start to finish.


Experiment

You can throw anything in the juicer as long as you remove large pits and cut it to a size that fits the opening. It will fit a whole lemon but you need to halve an apple. The juicer - at least the model I have - also comes with a recipe book. Not that I ever used it. I just use whatever I have left over and try to make something tasty.

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This is a very compreshenive answer! Thank you. –  James Slagel Feb 22 '11 at 17:16

You are completely correct about juicers being infomercial gadgets. You're probably thinking of the Juiceman Juicer. This model apparently also acts as a food processor (the older models were simply juicers). You certainly don't need a special amateur one, just go for a relatively inexpensive model if you don't plan on using it often like most infomercial products.

As for the fruit mixture, you can throw virtually any fruits and/or vegetables into the juicer and it will extract the juice from them. Try experimenting with a variety of different flavors, and you may find something you really like. I personally enjoy the grapefruit-strawberry-grape mix - very high in anti-oxidants. Watch out if you have high blood pressure though, as the resulting drink will be very high in sugar. Try mixing less quantities of fruit with more water after it's juiced for a lighter fare.

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Very interesting! I think that is the very infomercial that I have seen! If the price is right, I may give this a try. –  James Slagel Feb 22 '11 at 3:56

Many years ago, after reading many whole-food/raw-food sites, we bought an Angel juicer (I think ours says "Angel One") I won't repeat the touted advantages of this type of juicer (they're well-covered on the linked site), I will say that it works really, really well for us, chewing up anything you stuff into it, extracting juice from leafy vegetables as well as fruit.

The downside is that it's very heavy and it's hard to clean. We end up using a toothbrush to scrub out the gears and the mesh plate.

One minor benefit is that the pulp left over after making carrot juice works really well in carrot muffins.

To answer the actual question, with this juicer you could just peel the orange, tangerine and grapefruit, stuff the sections into the juicer and you'll get a nice, thick juice out.

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For citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruit, ...) you're better of with an "Orange Press" rather then a juicer, you'll get more juice out of it.

Juicers are indeed infomercial goods.

I have one and indeed, cleaning it is not an easy job. We also have to clean the head with something like a toothbrush.

Another downside is that it takes quite some kitchentop surface, and you're probably not going to "juice" it everyday...

That said, you can get really great juices out of it. Carrots, tomatoes, radish, ... that's stuff you can only juice with.. a juicer..

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I juice everyday and have been through 4 juicers over the years.

Some tips:

  • Don't worry with juice recipes. Once you start juicing you'll find you really start to feel alive and taste becomes strongly influenced by how great you'll know it makes you feel. I just chuck anything in and it tastes different every day but always good. Well I put too much garlic in once, but you learn those lessons.
  • Juicers, such as the one seen in the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead are nice in that can take many fruits whole, cutting down on prep. I blew two of these up (however it was their first release). Now I have a juicer with a small chute and I have to do more prep work, however that allows me to at least see there are no worms in the apples etc.
  • Juicing of course removes valuable fibre. I add the fibre from some fruits back in and my auger-style juicer spits out that fibre as I juice. Centrifugal juicers like popular Breville one in the movie make it a lot harder to selectively do this. You may even like to consider blending as opposed to juicing.
  • Try to get veges into the juices. Fruit only juices are extremely high in calorie, are high GI and of course miss out on many of the vitamins and minerals found in vegetables.
  • Compared to other styles of juicers that squeeze or chew, the centrifugal juicers struggle with leafy vegetables.
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