If you’re like so many other Americans, you probably know that your diet isn’t as healthy as it should be. Too often, we sacrifice nutrition for convenience and, yes, taste. Most of us would certainly prefer a chocolate chip cookie to a carrot, right? Ignoring our body’s need for healthier fruits and vegetables, though, can lead to any number of problems. Without proper nutrition, our bodies can’t do all the things they need to do to keep running at maximum efficiency. Poor nutrition can lead to weight gain, loss of energy, digestive issues, aches and pains, and any number of more serious health issues.
If you’ve been thinking that you need to start making healthier choices, you might be considering juicing as a way to increase your nutrient intake. Finding the right juicer can seem like a daunting task given the vast number of choices out there these days. Taking a few minutes to understand the basic function of juicers can help narrow down the field for you. If you understand your basic requirements, the choice can be limited to models that offer the optional features that you find the most appealing.
The function of a juicer is to separate the liquid contained in a fruit or vegetable from its solid components. The best juicers are the ones that extract the most liquid. Look for machines with the highest per-piece yield, as this will give you more juice from less produce.
Juicers come in many sizes and weights. Make sure that you choose a model that will fit nicely and securely on your countertop or one that is light enough that you can easily move it from cabinet to counter and back again.
The juicer’s intake chute is something else to consider carefully. Some have smaller chutes, requiring you to cut your produce into much smaller pieces before inserting. If you don’t have the time to dice your fruits or veggies before juicing, consider a model that accepts larger pieces. Models that accept the largest pieces typically have the most powerful motors, which tends to make them a little more expensive than their less powerful counterparts, but there’s nothing so expensive as the gadget we quit using because it was inconvenient.
When you look at a juicer’s capacity, there are two things to consider. The first has to do with how much juice the reservoir can hold. If you only want to make a glass or two at a time, you can opt for a model with a smaller reservoir, but if you want to make enough juice for the whole family or enough to last a few days, a small reservoir can be time consuming. The other capacity concern is the pulp collector. You will want to know how much pulp your machine can collect before that container needs emptying. Obviously, different fruits and veggies contain different amounts of pulp and juice, but if you know that you only want to empty and clean the machine once per session, make sure both capacities meet your needs.
Ease of cleaning is the last major consideration. The machine will need to be cleaned after each use, so make sure you know how much time and effort that will entail.
After the basics, there are features available on different models that might appeal to you. Different finishes can make different models a better match for your kitchen. A locking lid can help prevent leaks. Variable speed motors can make more efficient work of different vegetables and fruits. Some models are quieter than others. Different models take different amounts of time to get the job done. Noise and time are generally dictated by motor power, so it’s common to expect more noise and less time from more powerful models.
If you’re new to juicing, it might be wise to look for a model at the lower end of the price spectrum. Making your first juicer a more basic model gives you a chance to get a feel for the process and learn what your favorite juices are. This can make it easier for you to decide on the best upgrade when it’s time to buy your next juicer.