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Juicing has become a popular element of a healthy lifestyle because of the endless fruit and vegetable combinations that you can choose from. Juicers have made it more convenient to try out tasty recipes at home and have juice with the highest level of nutrients because it is the freshest. While juicers are primarily used to make fruit and vegetable juice, they can also be used to make:
- Homemade crackers
- Vegetable burger patties
- Nut Butter
After pushing fruits and vegetables down a chute, juicers chop and grind these ingredients to extract the juice. The fruit and vegetable pulp is discarded by juicers into another compartment because this is considered waste. However, there are some juicers that will let you choose whether or not to let the pulp mix into the extracted liquid because of the dietary fiber that pulp offers.
Different juicers are designed to extract juice differently but will all get the job done. Juicer prices will range anywhere from $50 to $1000 depending on its size, yield, and how much dry pulp is produced after juicing. Additionally, centrifugal and twin gear juicers will produce juice that contains 30% of fruit and vegetable skin, seed, or fiber while a juice press will be 99% pure juice.
This kitchen appliance can also be used to make your own version of the popular V8 fruit and vegetable juice where you can add other ingredients to your liking. Also, a juicer can be used to extract the pulp from potatoes so that you can make and fry up hash browns for breakfast. You can also choose to juice only vegetables to make a hearty soup. Here is other food that a juicer can be used for:
The juicer can be used to make baby food at home. This way, you can choose exactly what nutritious fruits and vegetables to introduce to your baby and be assured that what you are feeding your baby is fresh. Prepare your chosen fruits and vegetables by washing them thoroughly and removing stems, skin, and seeds. You can steam your ingredients for 10 minutes and prepare the juicer while waiting.
To prepare the juicer, attach the homogenizing piece which will eliminate the use of the juicer’s screen holder, this way, the pulp of the fruits and vegetables will not be discarded and will make the baby food more solid. If you do not have a separate homogenizing body, you can use the blank plate your juicer comes with or add the extracted pulp after juicing.
Add the ingredients into the juicer one at a time then transfer to a food jar. You can also store your homemade baby food in the freezer by pouring it into ice cube trays and using it within 3 months.
The juicer can also be used to make cocktails. You can use frozen fruit as long as you use the Frozen Food attachment and push them through your juicer. Pour the juice into a cocktail shaker with your alcohol of choice, shake, and enjoy your cocktail.
If you want to use fresh fruit, you can juice the ingredients after chopping them up into smaller sizes. Add your vegetables, salt, pepper, and refrigerate the juice for an hour. Stir in the alcohol afterwards and then serve.
An alternative way to use a freezer is as a dip maker. You can use fresh tomatoes when they are in season to make salsa. Wash your tomatoes and put them through the juicer and do not discard the pulp so that you can make a tomato sauce. You will need to transfer the tomato sauce into a pan and cook it on medium heat until it reduces to about half of its original volume. You can add your onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and other spices after it has been reduced.
As for hummus, add a whole can of drained chickpeas into the juicer. Combine the pulp and the extracted juice from the chickpeas with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic.
A juicer can also be used to make hash browns. Instead of grating the potatoes by hand, wash a handful of potatoes, peel them, and slice them. Run them through the chute and push them down making sure that you are separating the pulp.
Toss the potato pulp in a bowl with salt and pepper and heat your pan. Add your oil of choice into the hot pan and spoon your potato into a small pancake that is about ½ an inch thick. Flip when you see the edges brown.
The juicer can also be used to make healthy vegetable crackers. After juicing your vegetables for a green juice, take the pulp and move it into a mixing bowl. You can add flax meal, chia seeds, nutritional yeast, and spices for your cracker mix. Place this mixture on a baking sheet and make sure that it is flat before you bake it in the oven or use a dehydrator.
Before using your juicer as a nice cream maker, you will need to make sure that the ingredients are prepared. This non-dairy alternative to traditional ice cream will need peeled and frozen bananas that have been in the freezer overnight. Use the blank plate or homogenizing function of your juicer to make sure that the frozen banana will come out of the pulp tube with a smooth texture. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy.
Another use that a juicer has is as a nut milk maker. For plant-based milk like almond milk, you will need to make sure that you soak almonds overnight or for 6 hours to 8 hours in a bowl of water. This will make the almonds soft enough for juicing.
Turn on the juicer and pour out the old water and rinse your almonds 1 or 2 times. Add equal parts of fresh water back into your bowl of almonds. For a juicer, 1 cup of almonds will make 1 cup of almond milk. Your fresh water to almond ratio should be 2:1 and you can use a ladle to scoop almonds and water into the juicer for unsweetened and fresh almond milk. Consume homemade nut milk within 2 to 3 days and make sure it is refrigerated.
The juicer can also be used to make almond, hazelnut, peanut, and cashew butter. Use the blank screen or attach your homogenizing piece to the juicer if you want to make nut butter. Using roasted nuts, feed them into the juicer’s chute and push them through. Add about ½ a cup of nuts at a time and push the nuts through more slowly if you want a creamier consistency. The nut butter will be plain so you can add a sweetener of your choice or a pinch of salt. Refrigerate the nut butter and consume it within the week.
Use your juicer to make nutritious and fresh salad toppings. After juicing your fruits and vegetables, save the pulp for your salads. You can either use the pulp as is or mix it into a vinaigrette for a salad dressing with texture. This is a great way to give your salad a boost of nutrients and color.
Also, the juicer is a great kitchen tool for making sauces. To make a tomato sauce for your pasta and pizza, you will want to use the blank screen or homogenizing piece to make sure that the liquid and pulp are not separated. Of course, if your juicer does not have either, you can recombine the pulp and liquid after juicing.
Make sure to wash your tomatoes, other vegetables, and aromatics before pushing them through the juicer. You can use the juicer to puree the onions and garlic right into the juiced tomato to save time and add texture. Simmer the ingredients in a pot until combined well and add seasoning of choice.
A juicer is great for making and saving the pulp for your smoothies. The fiber content that fruit and vegetable pulp is a great booster for your smoothies which will help you absorb nutrients better. You can add the pulp right into your smoothies or freeze them in a freezer-safe bag for other days that you are planning to whip up a smoothie.
The juicer can also be used as a soup maker. If you’re on a raw food diet, juicing your ingredients is a quick and easy way to make soup. However, the ingredients can also be heated and cooked after juicing.
For a simple tomato and basil soup, wash the tomatoes, carrots, and basil beforehand. Chop up the tomatoes and carrots before pushing them through the juicer’s chute. You can roll up the basil before pushing it through the juicer. Add salt, pepper, and parsley for taste and consume raw. You can also simmer the juice in a pan for 10 minutes on low or medium heat to cook the ingredients.
Use the juicer to make your own version of the popular vegetable juice drink, V8, instead of buying it at your local grocery. Homemade V8 will not be pasteurized because you will not heat it and remove beneficial nutrients, vitamins, and enzymes. You will also be able to add in the pulp if you want to take advantage of the benefits of dietary fiber.
Wash your tomatoes, carrots, beets, celery, lettuce, parsley, spinach, and watercress before slowly feeding the ingredients into your juicer. You can add in some pulp afterwards but overall, homemade V8 is healthier than the one you will find on the shelf because it is fresh and you can control your sodium intake by not adding salt into the vegetable juice.
Vegetable Burger Patties
Finally, use your juicer to make vegetable burger patties. You can use beet, carrot, celery, or spinach pulp as the base for your veggie patties. Take about 2 cups of vegetable pulp and combine into a bowl with 1 egg, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. You can also add ½ cup of black beans for extra protein. Then, shape your mixture into patties before putting them in a pan on medium heat. Cook each pattie for about 4 minutes on each side before putting it on a bun and adding your burger toppings.
What are the common mistakes for usage of a juicer?
No matter what type of juicer you purchase, there are common mistakes you need to avoid when juicing fruits and vegetables or using your appliance for the use cases above such as:
- Adding too many soft fruits and fibrous vegetables. If you have grown used to adding large amounts of soft fruit or dark, leafy greens, you could be damaging your juicer. Leafy greens are very fibrous and are difficult to break down in a short amount of time which is why it is recommended to mince them before adding them to your juicer. As for soft fruit like oranges or tomatoes, there is a lack of fiber and too much mushy pulp which is why your juicer may clog.
- Drying the juicer in the oven. The heat of the oven can deform vital parts of your juicer which can affect its performance and assembly. Additionally, the magnetic sensors can be damaged which will signal to your juicer that it is not safe and as a result, your juicer will not turn on.
- Juicing too quickly. If you are pushing fruits, vegetables, and herbs down the juicer’s chute too quickly, it can also damage your juicer. Your juicer is designed to thoroughly grind and chop ingredients and this process should not be rushed if you want the juicer to do its job well. Let your juicer process one ingredient at a time and you can have about 15% more juice.
- Not cleaning up the juicer after using it. Holding off on cleaning your juicer immediately after use can cause blockage. If there is dried juice or bits and pieces of fruit and vegetables, there can be a pressure that builds up which will cause cracks to form in the juicing screen.
- Overfilling the juicer. Putting too many ingredients when the juicer is still filled to the brim can jam the juicer or the excess juice can back up into the feeding tube and into the motor. Either of these instances can damage your juicer in the long run.
- The juicer is running for too long. If the juicer stops working after you have been juicing for quite some time, it might have overheated. Running your juicer for long periods of time can cause the motor to overheat and your juicer will shut down as a safety measure.
- Use other utensils to push your fruits, vegetables, and herbs down. Using other utensils such as knives, forms, or a cleaning brush as a make-shift pusher can damage your juicer. Using utensils as a pusher can jam the juicer, usually the auger, and will damage it.
- Use water that is too hot to wash the juicer. The cold-press parts of your juicer should not be run under scalding water. The hot temperatures can damage seals and important sensors that give your cold-press juices their high nutritional content. Never wash any of your juicer’s parts in water that is heated over 176 °F (80°C).
- Your ingredients are too big. Clogging can occur if you have not prepared your ingredients for the juicer beforehand. When the ingredients are too big, they might also cause the juicer to work too hard which can cause overheating and internal damage.
Avoid these mistakes when you are learning how to use a juicer to efficiently use this kitchen appliance and maintain it.
What is the history of usage of juicers?
Juicing has been around since 150 B.C. to 70 A.D. as recorded in the Dead Sea Scrolls. During this time, figs and pomegranate were mashed and consumed for their healing benefits as the Essenes believed that this juice would give them strength. Fast forward to 1920, the organic fruit and vegetable diet was introduced to the world by Max Garson who believed that the juice from soft fruit and herbs have healing properties and can cure cancer.
So, what is a juicer? It was only in the 1930s when Dr Norman Walker invented the Norwalk Hydraulic Press Juicer because he was an advocate for the raw food diet. This machine would grate and squeeze fruits and vegetables where the pulp would be transferred into a linen bag. The pulp in this bag would be processed with a hydraulic press. This is considered the first juicer that became widely available.
The masticating juicer, also known as the cold-pressed or slow juicer, was invented in 1954 and was called the Champion Juicer. This was considered the best juicer on the market because of its ability to extract juice from nearly all fruits and vegetables. A health and fitness advocate named Jack Lalaine launched Jack Lalanne’s Power Juice juicers afterwards.
Then in 1993, Mr Kim invented the first twin gear juicer: The Greenpower Juicer. This type of juicer was designed off the mortar and pestle where the twin gears would press fruits and vegetables without the heat generated by high-speed blades. This way, the juice would still be full of nutrients and enzymes that could have been destroyed if it were processed by a centrifugal juicer.
From the 1990s onwards, juicers have become more efficient in extracting juice from fruits and vegetables and are no longer limited to juicing as seen by the case uses above.
Do the use cases of a juicer change based on type?
Yes, the use cases of a juicer change based on the type of juicer it is. Some juicers are designed for certain produce such as citrus fruits or wheatgrass and not all juicers have the same yield
The fast juicer is the most popular type found in homes and is called the centrifugal juicer. The centrifugal juicer is affordable and can shred fruits and vegetables at 6,000 rotations per minute (RPM) to 14,000 rotations per minute. Produce is fed down a tube and is shredded by the blades where the juice is spun towards the sides of the spinning basket and through a screen and into your glass. However, the high speed of this juicer can compromise the quality of your juice and there is about 30% of solids (stems, pulp, fiber) in the juice. Additionally, produce with high fiber content, nuts, and seeds should not be juiced in this type of juicer.
There are also masticating juicers that will juice produce at 80 RPM to 100 RPM which does not oxidize juice as much as the previous type of juicer. These juicers are slower, have smaller chutes, and can be more expensive and bulky.
Then, there is the twin gear juicer which has two augers that will spin and pull the fruits and vegetables. The juice of produce is then extracted by pushing ingredients into a screen that allows some pulp through.
Finally, there is the juice press which is the best and most expensive juicer on the market. A hydraulic juice press is also known as the two-stage juicer because produce is ground into a pulp and then extracted under pressure. This pneumatic juice press is where the term “cold-pressed” stems from and will give your juice the longest shelf life of 3 days to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Which juicer is best for vegetables?
The best juicer for hard vegetables will be a centrifugal juicer while leafy green vegetables should be juiced in a masticating juicer. A centrifugal juicer will be able to quickly juice cucumbers and carrots but the rotation can cause the juice to oxidize quickly which is why it should be consumed immediately. For spinach, wheatgrass, or kale, the masticating juicer will take longer but will extract the juice well and can last longer.
Does a juicer have more use cases than a blender?
No, a juicer does not have more use cases than a blender. Looking at the juicer vs. blender debate, the blender has more use cases because of its various blades and settings. Though both kitchen appliances have similar case uses the blender can be used to make sugar, vegetable rice, and dessert batter as well as be used to grind meat, breadcrumbs, and grains for flour.
What are the other kitchen tools with various use cases similar to juicer?
Other kitchen tools with various use cases similar to the juicer are the:
- Blender: This electric appliance has a jug or body with rotating blades that are used to chop, puree, mix, and liquify ingredients.
- Food processor: A food processor is a kitchen tool that is used to perform repetitive tasks such as grinding, pureeing, slicing, chopping, shredding, kneading, or mixing solid and liquid ingredients.
- Grinder: A grinder has cutting blades that are used to slice and grind food into specific sizes or shapes depending on what blade is used.
These kitchen tools have unique uses that set them apart from juicers and you can learn more about the 5 uses of these 3 appliances here.