Counter/Space is a new CNET series that puts kitchen appliances -- smart and "dumb" -- to the test.
Drinking fresh juice might do great things for your health, like preventing disease.
Even though there's little reliable, repeated evidence that juicing helps cleanse "toxins," boosts your immune system, or helps you lose weight, one thing is for sure: it just feels -- and tastes -- good.
But buying it daily or doing a juice cleanse is crazy-expensive -- upwards of $500 a week. That's a lot more expensive than just buying a juicer and doing it yourself. So here's how to stay juiced without going broke.
There are many types of at-home juicers
You have a lot of options when it comes to choosing a juicer. Your choice will probably depend on how "pure" you want your juice to be, how much cleanup you're willing to do, and (duh) how much you want to spend.
So before you pass go, read this guide to buying a juicer.
There are 'centrifugal' juicers
Centrifugal juicers use a fast-spinning blade to break down fruits and veggies before pressing them into juice. A centrifugal juicer typically:
- Is the cheapest kind of juicer.
- Has many parts that require cleaning.
- Needs to be cleaned each time you use it.
- Is sometimes criticized for "heating up" the fruits and veggies, thereby killing some of their nutrients.
A good centrifugal juicer, like the Breville JE200XL Compact Juice Fountain, is priced around $100 (roughly £70 or AU$140) -- much cheaper than even a week's worth of store-bought juices.
And 'cold-press' juicers
Cold-press juicers, like the Omega Nutrition Center, are a step up from centrifugal juicers, since they produce little to no heat in the process of juicing. So, theoretically, fewer nutrients are destroyed in the process of juicing.
- Are the most expensive type of juicers.
- Have fewer parts than centrifugal juicing (and are easier to clean).
- Need to be cleaned each time they're used.
Or you can just use your blender
If you like the idea of juicing, but aren't ready to invest in a juicer, use your blender. Here's how:
- Put all your fruits and veggies in a blender. A high-powered blender like Vitamix or Breville works best here.
- Add a little -- about 1/8 to 1/4 cup -- of water to the fruits and veggies.
- Blend it until smooth and most of the big fibers have been broken down.
- Grab a cheesecloth or nut milk bag and place it over a jar or bowl.
- Pour the "smoothie" over the cheesecloth or nutbag and strain.
- Discard the fibers and enjoy your juice!
Juicing obsessives might be dying a little bit inside as they think, "Nooo! You're creating heat!" Like centrifugal juicing, a little heat is created, thereby "cooking" out some of the nutrients. But if you want to juice in a pinch, it works fabulously.
The most annoying part is prepping the fruits and veggies
Juicing at home can save you a lot of money in the long run, but it does require more work from you. You'll have to buy, wash, dry and cut your veggies daily (or weekly, in batches), which can be a headache for some people.
So if time is money for you...
...You might consider Juicero
Juicero is kind of like a Keurig for juicing. The company ships prepared "produce packs" to your door, so all you have to do it put it in the machine and -- poof! -- fresh juice!
The catch? It's expensive. Like, $700 expensive. That doesn't include the produce packs, which are priced at $5 to $7 a pop.
Eventually, we expect the price of the machine and the packs to go down. Until then, it's the easiest -- but most expensive -- way to juice at home.
Me? I'll stick with the blender method.