What is the difference between centrifugal juicers and cold press/masticating juicers?
Cold press juicers (also known as slow juicers, or masticating or triturating juicers depending on the action they use) use a different method to extract juice from produce than cheaper centrifugal juicers. Unlike centrifugal juicers (which use a blade spinning at thousands of RPM to rapidly shred produce and then spin it against a filter) a cold press juicer uses slowly rotating augers or gears to gently crush and squeeze produce.
A masticating juicer gives you:
Less oxidation. Since the crushing action is slow and steady, minimal amounts of air are mixed into the juice. This reduced aeration means less oxidation of the juice (which is what decreases enzyme activity and makes juice spoil), less foaming, and less separation.
Less heat. The heat generated by the rapidly spinning blades of centrifugal juicers degrades the nutrients in the juice. A slow juicer heats the produce being juiced less, thanks to slow operating speeds.
Less noise. Centrifugal juicers are loud, like a blender, with plenty of grinding and rattling. A cold press juicer makes only a quiet whirring noise, easy to use without waking your family or disturbing neighbors.
More juice. Masticating juicers easily extract much more juice from the same amount of produce with their slow and thorough action.
No blades to deal with. No sharp parts to worry about getting dull and needing replacement, or worse, cutting you during cleaning.
Less waste. Besides making more juice, cold press juicers don't need to use disposable pulp bags to separate juice from pulp.
Longer lifetimes. Because of their slower operating speeds, cold press juicers are under less strain when operating. This means that the juicer you purchase today can be with you for many years to come, and it's the reason why so many cold press juicers come with such long lasting warranties!
Now, no juicer is perfect. Masticating juicers do require that you chop produce smaller before feeding, and they can be slower in operation. Some people also dislike the higher amount of pulp passed through to the juice, though it is possible to use a strainer to prevent this. If the simple convenience of a centrifugal juicer still appeals to you, remember this: the best juicer for you is the one you will use the most!
Selecting Fruits and Vegetables
If you're ready to start making your own juicing recipes, here are some of the ingredients to consider:
Green apples - these go wonderfully with some of the stronger greens such as spinach and kale.
Pears - Barlett pears are the sweetest and juiciest.
Pineapple - Contains an enzyme called bromelain which acts as an anti-inflammatory and aids digestion.
Lemon/Lime - great for adding some zest to almost any juice.
Oranges - try different varieties from sweet to sour!
Grapefruit - tasty, but be aware of potential drug interactions.
Mint - adds a refreshing flavor to your juice of choice.
Kiwi - sweet but tangier than most other citrus.
Cucumbers - great for skin health. Vitamin K, calcium. They are also 90% water, so they function as a great base for a drink with other ingredients.
Kale - anti-inflammatory, omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, iron and more - one of the healthiest veggies to juice.
Celery - anti-inflammatory, alkalizing, soluble sodium, butyl phthalide to help reduce LDL levels (bad cholesterol)
Beets - liver cleanser, great source of iron. They can have an overpowering taste, so be careful!
Carrots - Vitamin A, high in beta carotene for eyesight, a great liver and gall bladder cleanser. Complementary with many other ingredients to juice with.
Spinach - high in iron, potassium and magnesium, very alkalizing, great for skin health (use spinach sparingly if you are sensitive to oxalic acid - see more info on oxalic acid here).
Wheatgrass - great detoxifier, alkalizing, 20 amino acids, all of the B vitamins, calcium, zinc, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and more!
Parsley - antioxidants, folic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin A
Fennel - excellent for digestion, reduces bloating. Vitamin C, folate, potassium, manganese
Romaine lettuce - high in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, thiamin, folate, potassium, and manganese
Broccoli - Vitamin C, beta carotene, folic acid. Leftover stems are great for juicing.
Red bell peppers - high in vitamin A, vitamin C, cancer-fighting carotenoids
Asparagus - high in protein and vitamin C
Ginger - Spicy ginger root is good for digestion and reduces inflammation. Very strong flavor, so use with caution.
Garlic - if you don't mind your breath scaring off vampires, it's great for immune health.
What to make nut milks from:
Operating your Juicer
First, read your juicer's manual before juicing! It will tell you exactly what your juicer can and can't do, and is the best resource for figuring out how to safely and effectively use your juicer.
Always wash your produce thoroughly before juicing, especially if you aren't sure if your produce is organic. You can use a spray bottle solution with white vinegar or lemon juice to help clean more effectively, or a similar soak in your sink if you have a lot of produce.
When chopping your produce to fit in the feeding tube, be sure to chop stringy vegetables such as celery into smaller pieces. This will help avoid having long stringy pieces wrap around the auger of the juicer and clog it.
It can help to wipe a little olive oil around the pulp output nozzle of your juicer. This allows the pulp to slide out more freely, preventing jams.
If your juicer is clogged or jams, use the reverse switch if your juicer has one to free the jam and then resume juicing.
Do not overfeed your juicer. Masticating juicers are very thorough, but they need time to process the produce. If you force too much produce in, it will start coming out as pulp before it is completely juiced. Be patient, especially with vertical juicers!
When mixing soft and hard produce, alternate them as you feed the juicer. The harder produce will help push through the softer produce that might otherwise clog your juicer.
Masticating juicers by nature have a pulpier juice. Although you can strain it as it comes out, one trick to make less pulpy juice if you are juicing in bulk is to first juice your produce unstrained, and then pour the pulpy juice into the running juicer with another container that has a strainer on it ready to receive the juice. This way the juicer helps remove more pulp quickly and easily, and the strainer simply takes care of the rest.
If you are trying to avoid all pulp in your juice, a coffee filter is great for getting almost everything out, though it can take a while!
Cleaning your Juicer
Try running a bit of water through the still-operating juicer shortly after juicing to flush out pulp remaining inside. This is more effective with vertical juicers, especially ones with a juice tap that can be closed to hold the water inside.
Always remember to unplug your juicer!
The quicker you clean your juicer after juicing, the less the pulp will dry into the juicing screen making it easier to clean. This can make a huge difference in how quickly you can clean up after juicing!
If you cannot clean your juicer immediately after juicing, soak juicer parts to be cleaned in soapy water for easier cleaning later. If you are running late in the morning, just leave them this way - cleanup will be easy when you get back!
Do not place the base of the juicer into water while cleaning it.
Check to see if your juicer parts are dishwasher safe before putting them in a dishwasher. Many parts should be cleaned by hand to avoid damaging them.
To clean juice stains, try soaking affected parts overnight in an 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water. This will help loosen up otherwise permanent stains from produce such as carrots.
Make sure your juicer is completely dry before reassembling it to avoid trapping moisture inside.