Juice and smoothie bars are popping up in cities all across the country and celebrities continue to tout the benefits of juice cleanses. Chances are, you are already familiar with the basics of juicing but how much do you really know about it? For instance, did you know that certain types of juicers yield a healthier product? The current trend in juicing is toward cold-pressed juice.
What is Cold-Pressed Juice?
If you have ever seen or used a juicer before, you may be familiar with the basics of how they work. Basically, a juicer is a device that presses fruit and vegetables, separating the pulp and seeds from the juice (which you then drink). Different types of juicers use different processes to achieve this and not all juicers are made equal. A centrifugal juicer is the most common type because it is the easiest to use and also one of the less expensive options. This type of juicer utilizes a spinning metal blade that chops the produce as it is fed through the juicer, forcing the juice through a mesh filter which traps the pulp. The major downside to this type of juicer is that its blade produces heat as it spins which can affect the enzyme content of the juice.
One of the newest options in juicers is the masticating juicer, or cold-press juicer. These devices crush rather than chop the produce then press it to extract the juice. The result is a higher yield of juice than you would get from a centrifugal juicer. As suggested by the name, cold-press juicers also produce little heat so the nutrient content of the produce remains intact as you juice it. If you are looking for a high-quality homemade juice similar to commercial products distributed by juicing companies, a cold-press juicer is definitely the way to go.
Benefits of Cold-Pressed Juice
I dont know about you, but if I am going to drink an entire glass of juiced kale and cabbage, I want to make sure that it is worth it. If you go with a juice made using a centrifugal juicer, you may not receive all of the natural nutrients contained in the produce you used. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain natural enzymes which provide a number of nutritional benefits for your body if you use a juicer that produces heat, however, you may lose a significant portion of those enzymes.
Other benefits of a cold-press juicer include:
- More effective process, results in a higher yield
- Vital nutrients and enzymes are preserved rather than destroyed
- Juice tastes fresh and natural
- Less wasted produce in the form of pulp
- May also be able to process nuts for homemade nut milk
- Very quiet while running compared to other juicers
Although a cold-press juicer is definitely the best way to get the freshest, healthiest homemade juice there are a few downsides you might want to consider before you buy. The main disadvantage of a cold-press juicer is the price these appliances can cost upwards of $300. There is also the fact that a cold-press juicer may be slower than a centrifugal juicer because the juicing process involves more pressing than quick shredding of the produce. In the end, however a cold-press juicer will yield a higher quality product.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Juice
No matter what type of juicer you choose, there are a few tips you can follow to make the most of your juice. When I first started juicing I wasted countless hours looking up recipes to find just the right combination of fruits and vegetables only later did I discover that the beauty of juicing lies in its customizability. I also learned that a juicer removes the need to peel or seed your fruits and vegetables before you use them, cutting down on your preparation time.
Some other tips for juicing that I have learned include:
- Always use vegetables as the basis for your juice (use fruits for flavor/sweetening)
- Wash produce thoroughly but do not bother peeling it
- Take advantage of local farmers markets to find fresh in-season produce
- Drink your juice quickly after making it for the greatest health benefit
- If you store juice for a day or two, do so in an air-tight container
- Always clean your juicer immediately after using it or the pulp will dry, making it harder to clean
Juicing is a wonderful way to add some extra nutrition to your day in a way that is quick and easy to accomplish. If you want to get the most out of your homemade juice, consider investing in a cold-press juicer. These devices yield high-quality, nutritious juice that cannot be rivaled by the juice made by other juicers. If you are serious about juicing, get a serious juicer!