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Juicers

How to Choose a Juicer for Raw Food
by Robert Ross

In general, the best juicers for raw food are low RPM machines. Here’s the RAW TRUTH - the 2 big reasons for this:

  1. Slower machines produce less friction and less heat, preserving enzymes that can be destroyed by heat.
  2. Low RPM machines “masticate” or virtually chew the food to squeeze out the juice. High RPM centrifugal juicers spin juice through the air causing exposure of juice to lots of air and thus oxidizing the juice. Low RPM juicers don’t expose the juice to air, reducing oxidation and preserving more of the nutrition in the juice.child_juicing2

With a 25 year history, the Champion juicer was probably one of the first low RPM juicers ever. It was, and still is, built like a tank and is great for certain applications, though it doesn’t do wheatgrass. However, today there are many better juicers that are even slower and more efficient at making juice. I still have a 20-year old Champion on my counter that gets used occasionally, especially for my favorite Raw Ice Cream!samsoncur1

The juicer I use myself is the Samson. I think it is the best value for the money and the easiest to clean by far of the many juicers I have personally used over my 12+ years as a raw foodist. Twin-gear juicers like the Green Power are more efficient at getting the juice out - so you get more juice and drier pulp. I once owned a Green Power/Green Star (which now belongs to an ex-girlfriend), but being basically lazy, the extra cleanup meant that it sat unused on the counter more often than I liked. The Samson changed all that. It is so easy to use and clean that I use it daily without a second thought!

When juicing with a single auger juicer like the Samson, I generally cut hard veggies and fruits up a bit to make them easier to put through the machine. I also alternate between soft fruits or leafy veggies and the hard stuff. The Samson has a harder time with carrots than anything else, even wheatgrass - but it still does them and again, I am willing to put up with a little less juicing efficiency for the convenience of the Samson. I don’t use more than one or two carrots in a glass of vegetable juice anyway because of the sugar content - and neither should you! Try to avoid having a glass of just carrot juice - there is far too much sugar in carrots for most people! If you already know that you have some hypoglemic tendencies, then avoid carrots altogether. If I ever find myself needing to juice a 5 pound bag of carrots, say for a party, then I would switch to the Champion.

rsz_5kempoThe newest version of the Green Power Juicer, also known as the Samson Ultra, is an upgraded Green Power/Green Star/Green Life. The Green Power/Samson Ultra are virtually identical with interchangeable parts. This is the best of the twin-gear triturating juicers. Twin-gear juicers are more expensive and generally harder to clean than a single auger, but the Green Power is the easiest of the bunch. Also, this model is better for hard produce like carrots, is built very solidly and has a longer warranty. Which is REALLY a better juice? To me it is the one I will actually use!

One of the nice things about all low RPM juicers is that you can run the pulp that comes out back through the machine a second time to extract more juice, This is a particularly good idea with the Samson and radically improves it’s efficiency. On the other hand, if you choose to re-use the pulp in a raw recipe, then it is nice to leave the pulp a little wet because it will keep some of that nutrition and flavor in the pulp for your other recipes.

Most of the low RPM juicers I have tried have trouble with very soft fruits or veggies, since they have little fiber to help them move through the unit. However, I can’t think of a single time I juice nothing but a bushel of tomatoes or oranges. With veggies, you are usually mixing some soft veggies, leafy veggies and hard veggies together, and alternating the hard with the soft handles this problem nicely. The Samson works great with watermelon, with rind and seeds, no problem. The Green Star will juice just about anything. Personally, I prefer to use fruits to make smoothies in my Vita-Mix rather than juice them, but occasionally I make my own organic raw apple juice to use in a smoothie.

One of my favorite things to make is to make with a low rpm juicer is “raw ice cream.” Basically you just feed frozen fruits through the juicer. I start with frozen bananas as a base for any flavor, then may add blueberries or strawberries, or maybe some frozen mango.  The absolute best juice for this in my opinion is the venerable Champion, using its "blank plate" or "solid plate" instead of the juicing screen. All the low rpm juicers make raw ice cream adequately, however.

Some of these juicers claim to make nut betters as well. I wouldn’t count on that myself. They all do a so-so job at that, in my opinion. I have an inexpensive “bullet” type blender sitting right on top of the counter at all times, which is great for quickly making nut butters, salad dressings and, when traveling, even smoothies. They can produce a little more heat, so you have to be careful, using them in short burst to keep heat down to a minimum. But they are so much faster that I personally think the speed compensates for that to some extent, and they work better for things like nut butters or grinding spices.

The last option to consider is for the ultra-fanatical, most idealist juicers - the hydraulic press juicer. The most well-known of these is the famous Norwalk Juicer, which sells for around $2,000.00. The advantage of these is that it gets the most juice, and most nutrition, from your produce. However, as you can see from the Juice Stability Study, the Samson and Green Power get pretty close, so in my opinion it isn’t worth the difference. However, if you already have a Champion, Samson or Green Power, you can buy an inexpensive hydraulic press for about $350.00 to supplement your own juicer. With this option you just take the pulp that comes from your juicer and squeeze even more high-quality juice out of it. However, as with any hydraulic press juice extraction system, there is a lot more cleanup, so in my opinion it is really only for the most dedicated juice lover.

The bottom line is that the best juicer is the one that meets your budget and your needs.  I own a Champion, a L’equip centrifugal juicer (I don’t use often since getting a Samson) and the Samson - my hands down favorite. Between them I can juice juice about anything.

CLICK HERE to see the Juicer Comparison Chart for more details on the most common low RPM juicers on the market today.

 

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PERSPECTIVE
Why are juicers so expensive?
You wouldn’t think twice to get a brake job if your car needs it. That can cost several hundreds dollars - even more than some juicers! But you know that the brakes can save your life, so you don’t hesitate. Well, a good juicer can save your life, too. You may even be able to hear yourself squealing like bad brakes if you learn to listen to your body! Is your health you worth as much as the brakes in your car?

 

RFL-LOGO

Robert Alan Ross
Consultant | Author | Teacher
© Copyright 1996-2010
All Rights Reserved

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* RawFoodLife.com does not offer medical advice or "treatments." I believe your body has the inner wisdom to naturally achieve optimal health and heal itself when supported with a diet of whole, live raw foods. If you have any medical conditions or questions, please ask your health professional to review the extensive information & research on the web and this site before making any major lifestyle or dietary changes. Click Here to read more about this.

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