Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

Updated Juicer Review – My Newest Juicer – Perfect For A Busy Mama

by Kristen Suzanne in Breville, food journal, video

I have a lot of juicers. Norwalk (as of 2012), Hurom, Brevilles, and Green Star.  I blogged about them (with video) here. As a quick recap, based on the video I linked to above, I love the following things about my three juicers… (but watch the video for more details).

I update this post as I get new juicers, learn new things, or add videos… so be sure to read through it all.

1) Green Star – Quality juicer that is popular. Extremely durable (I’ve had mine for about 7-8 years now). It’s a pretty awesome piece of equipment. I can make juice and store it without it degrading too much in quality (for about 1-2 days maybe, and the way it’s stored is important. I fill a glass mason jar to to the top and make sure to use a lid that is BPA-Free). But, here are the drawbacks… it takes a while to juice and clean. It’s also a bit of a workout in that you have to really push down on certain veg as it’s going through. Good ab workout though!

Many times, things like apples and cucumbers just end up all mushy in the shoot as they struggle to get through the screen and juiced. That sucks! As a result, a trick to help this is alternating something hard like carrot, beet, or cabbage between pieces of cucumber or apple. And, make sure your cucumbers and apples are chopped in small pieces.

It produces foam (like many juicers) which means the juice is oxidizing apparently. I always have to strain the juice either once through a nut milk bag (or if I forgo the nut milk bag, I strain twice through a metal mesh strainer which doesn’t squeeze out all of the juice and can be wasteful but easier than a nut milk bag). As a busy new mama, this juicer is not ideal.

2) Breville – small model (I’m calling it “small” that’s not really it’s name). Not as high quality of juice as Green Star, but it’s lighting fast (also has a container to collect the juice that has a great lid for holding back foam when pouring into my glass – I find myself actually using this container to catch juice from my Hurom, which I then use to pour juice into a big bowl through a mesh strainer – I know, so much to do with juicing, but it helps.).

It collects the pulp in the bin as opposed to shooting it out into an external cup. Its chute at the top is large enough to fit a whole (small) apple or a whole cucumber so it saves on time since you don’t have to chop produce before using it.

Great for people making small batches of fast juice. Not super for juicing leafy greens, but I can usually do a decent job by the way I stuff them down the shoot. Also, again, this is for small batches of juice, for a single person perhaps. All of the pulp is collected inside the machine and would require emptying between batches if you want to make more. Speaking of pulp, Breville Juicers are notorious (as are most centrifuge style juicers) for leaving you with wet, mushy pulp (that’s a waste because there is juice to be had! However, you can use the pulp in raw crackers or on top of your salad for extra nutrition). Keep that in mind when you think you’re attracted to the cheaper price of a Breville, because you’ll be buying more produce to juice the same amount that you’d get with a Green Star or Hurom. It’s a great starter juicer though (read on to read another review about my second Breville juicer the Ikon).

3) Hurom – This juicer is like a hybrid of Green Star and Breville mentioned above. It’s a high quality juicer, easy to clean, and quite fast for that type of “slow” juicer (not as fast as the Breville, but, remember, you sacrifice quality of juice for speed when using the Breville). I’ve had my Hurom for awhile now and it’s great, although not without its own flaws. I had one of my screens crack but no biggie, the company quickly replaced it for free. And, there have been a couple of occasions where my cucumber or romaine got backed up in it and didn’t juice properly (this only happened twice from the many times I’ve used it). Plus, there is a lot of foam (and pulp which you typically don’t want with juice – as the point is to have it easy to digest and sans pulp!!) with this juicer (ugh), but I strain it with a nut milk bag for extra smoothness (or I strain twice using a metal mesh strainer, or dare I confuse you with how I actually do it these days… I use my large Breville pitcher from the Breville Ikon described below… to hold back most of the foam while I pour it through mesh strainer number one into a bowl. Then, I pour it through another strainer into another bowl – a process I tell ya, but it’s for a good cause. However, with my NEWEST juicer purchase, you’ll see this noted in the latest update below, I shouldn’t have any pulp, because I bought a Norwalk Juicer! Anway… back to Hurom…). Until I bought my Norwalk, I would use this juicer the most. While the Hurom requires straining and chopping food before juicing, it’s still a pretty fast juicer while making a higher quality juice that gives a decent yield (the pulp is dryer than what you get with the Breville juicers). If you’re not in the market for a Norwalk Juicer, I’d most likely recommend the Hurom over other juicers for most situations, but read on because different lifestyles can call for different juicers.

UPDATE (8/19/11): Since getting my Hurom, the screen with white plastic has broken twice. The first time, I didn’t think much of it because I thought it was a fluke. I contacted the company and they quickly sent me a replacement free of charge. However, I’ve since been using my Hurom the past month (although below this paragraph you’ll read why I love the Breville Ikon… However, I’m now in a position where I can take more time juicing, so I’m using my Hurom juicer)… the darn screen (the plastic part) broke again! I contacted Hurom and here is what they wrote back (after getting some info from me such as the serial number and when/where I purchased it):

Hello Kristen,

Your request has been processed and you have been issued an upgrade from the strainer you currently have. It will ship to you via UPS in 5-7 business days. The upgrade includes 1 clear yellow GE Ultem screen. This material is 8 times stronger than the former 2 strainers and performs the functions of both of the screens offered before. In addition you will receive a new main bowl which includes a wider pulp outtake chute. All of your other assembly
components are compatible. These upgraded parts should significantly improve your juicer’s performance. Enjoy your Hurom in good health!

Very exciting! It seems they’ve improved the juicer since I bought mine and their customer service continues to be excellent.

Update 2/22/12 Video showing the Hurom

So… why ANOTHER juicer? Well, as much as I love my Hurom (and other juicers), I’m finding that being a new mama is a very busy time for me. As a result, I’m turing to my small Breville more often than the Hurom right now. The problem with my small Breville is that I can’t juice a lot in one juice session because it’s the smaller model (perfect for single people, not so perfect for a High-Raw family who drinks a lot of juice). Therefore, I decided to buy this beauty from Breville and so far I am LOVING IT!

Here’s the low down on the variable speed Breville

  1. It’s MEGA fast. As a new mama making juice for my family daily, I need speed right now or I’m just not going to end up juicing as much.
  2. It’s super EASY to clean.
  3. It juices large quantities because it shoots the pulp out into an exterior container and has a large carafe for the juice (with a top that holds back foam so I don’t need to strain it). This way, I can make large servings for both Greg and myself.
  4. And, here is another cool feature. It has a knob for changing the speed of the juicer so I can turn it down for leafy greens and turn it up for harder fruits and veggies. It’s helpful because it juices greens better than the small Breville model as a result. I don’t know if it’s helping to reduce oxidation as well, but it might. Still, when I use any fast centrifuge model of juicer, which typically gives juice that isn’t as high quality like the slow juicers, I drink the juice within 15-20 minutes of making it to get optimal nutrition before too much oxidation takes place. This is a great juicer, just know that the pulp is mushy and the juice quality is not as high as with a slow juicer, but it’s fast as hell.
  5. Even though this juicer doesn’t give the best yield and even though it oxidizes quickly, I can’t help but sing my love for this juicer. She’s such a lovely bird… fast and easy. I really love it. But, I know better in that I need a juicer that doesn’t oxidize as fast and that gives a better yield.

Overall – I love all of my juicers for different reasons and I will use them all but at different stages of my life – so they’re definitely not going to waste. They all have pros and cons, but you have to decide what’s important to you at the time, and then go from there when selecting a model. The goal is to juice! So, which juicer is going to help you accomplish that goal the best? Now that I’m not using the small Breville, I’ll save it for traveling perhaps. I’ve heard of some people using it for that. Of course, it’s not super small, so I’ll have to sacrifice taking some other things, like shoes – but hey, juice is a priority for my family. We do what we gotta do!

I had a comment on my last blog post where I shared the details about the Raw food I had for the day and she wrote, “You look like such vibrant, happy mother! And you totally smash that argument of ‘I’m too busy to eat healthy!’ I have a little sister, so I can say for a fact that nothing’s busier than mom duty!”

Mimi, your comment was awesome and really struck me. And, you’re right. I am busy as a new mom, but I make it work so that my family is eating as healthy as possible. One of the ways I accomplish this is using a juicer that juices fast and is easy to clean.


Update! We went all out…. we bought a Norwalk Juicer. The ultimate in juicing(!).

May 2012 … after having this a few months… here is a video from my five part video series sharing our experience with our beauty.

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