Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tips from a Novice Juicer

About a month ago, we bought a juicer. Before that, Greg and I had enjoyed the juice bar at Whole Foods during our weekly shopping trips. But those drinks cost us $5 a pop, and we were only getting the benefits once a week. So we decided to join to the home-juicing craze.

I should clarify that we are not juice fanatics. We have not done any kind of juice cleanse, and we have no such future plans. We make juice for breakfast every weekday morning, and sometimes we have juice as a snack or to supplement our dinner.

Here are five tips from a novice juicer:

1. Know what kind of juicer you want before you purchase.

We own a Breville Multi-Speed Juice Fountain, which is a centrifugal juicer. It makes excellent juice, but it does not juice leafy greens such as kale, spinach, cilantro, etc. Still, we felt that it was the best value. The five speeds make it easy to juice a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Clean-up is relatively easy, and the yield is very good. However, if you really want to be able to juice the leafy greens, you should look into another kind of juicer termed a "masticating" or "slow" juicer.

2. Lemongrass and ginger can brighten the flavor of your juices.

Especially when making vegetable-heavy juices, I recommend adding lemongrass or ginger for a bold flavor. Start with half a stalk of lemongrass. If you desire a stronger flavor, use the whole stalk. Be careful that a little bit of ginger goes a long way.

3. A daikon radish is still just a radish.

One of our failed experiments involved a daikon radish. The inspiration behind the creation was Banh Mi, the flavorful Vietnamese sandwiches. We concocted a juice of carrots, daikon radish, and lemongrass. In the end, it did not taste like Banh Mi, and instead just tasted like radish. Yuck!

4. Be wary of beets.

If you drink beet juice, you will have magenta lips and teeth! Beet juice should only be consumed if you can wash your mouth/brush your teeth immediately afterward. It is not a wise option if you are dashing to work. Also, raw beets have a distinctly earthy flavor, which is perhaps a nicer way to say that even just two beets will make your juice taste like dirt.

5. Strike a balance.

Using three ingredients will create a depth of flavor that you will not get by using only two things. Combining too many ingredients will result in a muddled flavor.

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