FYI: My first attempt to juice...
I am looking for a way to improve my overall health so for a long time have considered buying a juicer. I have been visiting local juice bars and sampling their juices but they are quite expensive and not open in the morning, when I would like to drink the juice. I finally did buy a juicer. It is a Joyoung masticating juicer -this is not an advertisement or endorsement for anything - just reporting the facts ;) For those who don't know, a masticating juicer is a juicer that uses an auger (screw) to "chew" the foods to make the juice at slow rpm's. It is very easy to use. The first step - I scrubbed the veggies with a stiff brush and rinsed them -did not bother to peel them, because the area right near the peel in most veggies has the greatest amount of nutrients. I then chopped off the root parts and cut the veggies. The juicer has a rather large mouth to the chute so I didn't need to spend a lot of time doing this. The potato was cut into 1/8 size pieces and other things, if needed, were cut into 1/4 size. Washing and cutting time took less than 2 minutes. For my first attempt I used one large potato, 2 medium sized carrots, one large tomato, a small bunch of cilantro, 4 stalks of celery, half a long British cucumber and a medium size purple onion. Total weight was probably a little more than 3 pounds. I was not following a specific recipe but rather choose these veggies to see how much juice they would provide.
First thing I noticed is that the juicer is remarkably quiet and makes a very slight hum when not juicing. When juicing something it sounds like the noise made in the game "Zombies vs. veggies" when the zombies are eating the veggies :) Total "munching" time was about 7 minutes. The pulp (residue from juicing) was very dry. I wish I had measured more carefully, but I got about 30 ounces of juice from these veggies. - I am looking to get about 10-12 oz each morning.
Masticating juicers are usually used for veggies - especially leafy veggies - because the slow speed does not generate the high heat that the blender type juicers create with their 8k-20K rpm speeds. They are also more effective at juicing the leafs. I would say, however, that a common juicer would be more effective for tomatoes - or just throw it into a blender and puree it.
Clean up was easy also, and took about 3 minutes. The juicer comes apart with a couple of twists. There are a couple of sharp parts - mainly the strainers - but there are no sharp knives in this to worry about cutting your fingers. I rinsed everything off, washed quickly in soapy water with a scrubbie then rinsed thoroughly in hot water. Because I will be doing this in the morning, when I am usually in a bit of a hurry, I will consider rinsing everything off with water that has a slight amount of bleach in it, to make sure that everything stays nice and germ free.
The result? I would like to say that I was pleasantly surprised...but the taste was not very wonderful. The strongest taste was the carrot, even though I only put 2 in it. The cilantro was noticeable. The onion was not noticeable but there was an intense aspect of the taste that I could not identify - almost spicy hot (the same kind of influence that wasabe has) that I am guessing was caused by the onion, but no onion breath :) There was a slight aftertaste of potato...and a hint of tomato. There was no taste from the cucumber but the cucumber added a lot of liquid to the juice. I added about a 1/4 tsp of salt and the taste improved immensely. It still wasn't wonderful but very drinkable. some people say that cihlling it changes the taste immensely. Maybe because I am not used to drinking veggie juice, the taste was a bit like vegetable soup and I kept expecting to find chunks of potatoes, carrots, etc in the juice. A quick fix might have been to take 1/4 of a can of condensed vegetable and beef soup and mix it in with the juice - maybe heat it up to. But I would do something like that mainly for the texture, not the taste. The taste can be changed by following recipes and even using various kinds of herbs. I have seen some recipes where people have put the juice in a blender with cooked beans (lentils, lima, etc) and blended them together to give a nice smooth texture, more like a smoothie.
I will try again because of the nutritional benefits I have heard are available from juices. I think, if I make a few adjustments to my preparation area and use 1/3 the amount of veggies I can get the whole thing done in 10 minutes, which, to me, is a very good use of time. I will follow a recipe the next time, of course, which should make the results even better.
I would feel better about doing this if I could find a use for the pulp. I am thinking of making a worm-composting pile - they would love it, but I have to find the space to do that.
If you have any suggestions, please feel free to share them.
PS The aftertaste is really good - like I just ate a big meal of stew :)