Should I Get a Juicer?

My friend Valerie is traveling quite a bit this summer.  I miss her already, but while she’s gone…she left a little piece of her behind for us to remember her by. 

Yep, she left us her juicer.  Isn’t that exciting?  (Well, it’s exciting for me.  I’m weird though, remember?)

For the past couple of years, we’ve tossed around the idea of investing in a juicer.  Would it help us get more fruits and vegetables in our diets?  Would we use it enough to get our money’s worth out of it?  Do we want to deal with one more appliance in our kitchen?  Is it even good for us, since drinking just the juice of the fruit has the potential to make us overdo our intake of fruit sugar?

So, with Valerie’s juicer in our home for a few weeks, we’re playing around with different yummy combinations of juices.  We’re using it to help us decide whether or not we may want a juicer of our own some day.

So far, I’m having a lot of fun with it.  I ordered a big 40 pound box of oranges from Azure Standard.  Plus, I ordered 25 pounds of juicing carrots.  Um, that’s a lot of carrots.

juicer
Here I am, making orange-carrot juice.  And yes, I am just about to overflow my glass. 
But check out my fascinating photography ability. 
See that drop of  juice just about to drip off of the spout?
It takes a lot of skill to get a shot like that.  Simply amazing. 
(And very, very lucky since actually I am as good at photography as I am at soccer.)

The kids weren’t big on the orange/carrot juice combo.  Matt and I liked it just fine though.  And, I used the leftover pulp that the juicer caught to make an orange/carrot cake.  The results on the cake were so-so.  I think I should have run the pulp through my blender first to make it less chunky.  It’s all about experimenting.  Trial and error.

power_juicer

The juicer we’re using is a Jack LaLanne JLPJB Power Juicer Juicing Machine.  It is very reasonably priced and seems to be very high quality.  So far, I’m very impressed with how easy it is to use and how easy it is to clean up.  All of the parts go right into the dishwasher!  Well, except for the motor.  That would be a bad idea.

So, for all of you juicing kind of people out there, I’d love to hear what you have to say about this.  Do you like your juicer?  Do you use it often?  What do you make with it?  What do you do with the leftover pulp?  Do your kids like it?  What kind of juicer do you have?

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Comments

  1. Hannah says

    My Jack LaLane Juicer just quit, after years of service, and I can’t wait to replace it. If I juice daily, I have much nicer skin, more energy, and better mental clarity. It is a great way to get more veggies into the kids, and I can’t say enough good stuff about it.

    Our favorite is carrot, apple, celery juice. I like a smidge of fresh ginger in mine.

    I wouldn’t worry about the sugar content. God made that sugar, and he did not refine it. It’s just not the same as the bad stuff. We call it brain power juice.

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  2. Amy says

    For exactly the reasons you state in your post we decided to get a vitamix instead. We drink smoothies all the time (they are far superior to a standard blender smoothie.) And it is more versatile than a juicer. It is an awesome tool!

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    Kelsey Reply:

    We also have a vita-mix! And we love Love LOVE it!!! We really love how
    you can put cold water/liquid in and leave it on for 5 min. and you
    have steaming water!!!! What do you love about your vita mix?

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    Kathleen Reply:

    I agree with the Vitamix! Take apples for example. A juicer just extracts the juice. The Vitamix pulverizes the skin, core, etc. meaning you get all of your fiber too to offset the overload of fructose. Much more like nature intended!

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    Kelsey Reply:

    Is it ok to eat the apple seeds??? I read some where that eating apple
    seeds wasn’t such a good idea…

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    Jennifer Reply:

    Apple seeds do contain something that isn’t good for you – can’t think of what it is at the moment, but I read that in my juicing book. I usually take the seeds out before I make my juice.

    Hannah Reply:

    Apple seeds contain B17. To my understanding, it is a type of cyanide. BUT – the chemical composition is different than the actual poison. Mainstream people and doctors say don’t eat them, but alternative care people have great success treating cancer with high doses of B17, found in most seeds, the most potent being apricot seeds (which the FDA has tried to ban).

    I do not have any qualms feeding my family apple seeds, and we do eat them everyday, because in Genesis, God said he made the seeds and we were to eat them. I choose to believe him over the FDA.

    And, we would all be dead by now if it were harmful, as we eat them all the time. In fact, my husband worried once a few years back that he had cancer, and ate hundreds of apricot seeds a day, and suffered no ill effects. In fact, the symptoms he was worried about disappeared.

    So there’s my two cents. :)

    kelly Reply:

    we got a vitamix a month or so ago and we love it too. We make
    smoothies and I also got the dry container and blade and we grind our
    own grains for our homemade bread. Yum!

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  3. says

    I thought the juicer was pretty cool…until we got a vitamix. There is no waste and it gets used all the time. It is pricy, but we use it for so many other things that I have felt it was a worthwhile investment in our health.

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  4. Kim says

    Juicing is COOL! My childhood (and adulthood for that matter) favorite was apple carrot celery! My 19 mo old loves it now too! I will caution you to research into the differences between masticating and centrifugal juicers. The Omega 8003 and Hurom Juicers are the masticating type and retain more vitamins, but are much more expensive.

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  5. says

    We have a Champion juicer. It was recoomended by a nutritionist that I see. I was told that this type of juicer is best, in that it doesn’t just grind your food. You can also use the Champion for other things such, like making shorbet out of just frozon fruit – talk about yummy!
    I go in and out with using my juicer. Even if you only used it when you all were sick or if you wanted to do a juice fast it is worth having.
    I vote yes! : )

    Here is a recipe that I like…
    It’s called Immunity
    2 stalks of celery
    2 carrots
    1 clove of garlic
    1/2 inch piece of ginger
    1 apple
    half of a lemon, peeled and cut in half

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  6. Amber Cooper says

    I too bought an Omega juicer (8004, I believe) after much research. As Kim says, they retain more vitamins and squeeze every last drop out of the fruit/veggies. It even juices wheat grass and makes wonderful peanut butter. It also makes pasta, though I haven’t tried it yet.
    I was able to sneak a couple leaves of spinach, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, and zuchini along with apples, bananas, and frozen fruit and my kids loved it!! We also found that the remnants work great in the composte pile.

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  7. jenny w. says

    I used a friend’s Omega Juicer for a few weeks to make cabbage juice for an ulcer. I really liked that juicer. The pulp is very dry and not much flavor. We used it for coleslaw. Then my friend bought me a centrifugal juicer at a rummage sale. I do not like it as much, but I have only used it once. Not all of the veggies I put into it got juiced and there were larger chunks of cabbage in the pulp. It is also messier as things fly around.

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  8. Jennifer S. says

    We go through seasons of using our juicer. Try apples with your carrots and your boys will love it – our six children do. It only takes one or two apples to a batch.

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  9. Tamara says

    I have also considered it on and off and have decided NOT to get a juicer. Basically it is because of the fiber and sugar issue that you alluded to in your post. Adding veggie juice to it is good but does not make up for the fact that it is a high sugar beverage.

    Since you are such conscious eaters and are making a point to eat lots of whole fruits and veggies it does not seem like it would be that helpful for you either.

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  10. marcie says

    I have a green life masticating juicer- the pulp is very dry and there is really nothing left of value in it except that it is fiber- we compost it! Pure carrot juice is my favorite! We go through 1 pound of carrots for one cup of juice! It is loaded with great vitamins and minerals! Love it!

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  11. Jen says

    I bought my juicer a few years ago (the same one you have pictured). I love having a juicer you can use the juice for so many things! Very easy to use and cleanup is easy too. I don’t use mine as often as I did in the beginning but its still great to have around. I should really get my juicer back out and juice for some smoothies :)

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  12. Kris Mays says

    I have a Juiceman Jr. I bought that one because that is what my Mom had and I’d been borrowing hers. It does the job, but I would like to get a juicer that is easier to clean. The Juiceman is really a pain in the neck to clean.

    Juicing and using a Vitamix are completely different things. Sometimes you need to juice (like during a cleanse, or if you want some lemonade) and you don’t want the extra fiber. That’s when you need your juicer.
    Juicing makes the nutrients more readily available to your body and easier to digest. This is especially important for folks with health issues and for cancer patients.

    If you can’t use the fiber leftover from juicing in a recipe, you can always put it in your compost pile or use it in your animal feed.

    Enjoy!

    Kris in Oregon

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    Sarah A. Reply:

    Good comment! My father-in-law has been seeing an alternative medicine doctor for cancer. He is on a juicing plan (something like 10 C/day of various kinds of juice including carrot, celery, apple, beet, tomato and romaine lettuce!) and consumes a 90% raw diet. He drinks all his juices throughout the day on an empty stomach and waits 15 min. before eating any solid food. As his doctor explains it, he juice w/o pulp is critical because this allows the vitamins to get into the bloodstream quickly without fiber to slow down absorption.

    His tumors are shrinking, and traditional doctors don’t know quite what to say about his improvement other than, “keep doing what you’re doing”. He also feels better than he has in years. This type of diet is probably not for everyone (and is very expensive), but we are so thankful for his progress, and I would encourage anyone with serious medical issues to consider seeking alternative and dietary therapy rather than just accepting what traditional medicine has to offer.

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  13. says

    I got a juicer for Christmas. Tried several different fruit/veggie combinations & it was too thick. The kids didn’t like it. I didn’t like it. We exchanged it for an ice cream maker. That’s something we’ve all enjoyed! : )

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  14. says

    LOL…cannot help but laugh at the comment by one mothers love ~ about the ice cream maker getting more use! Now there’s honesty for you!!

    I found you through another blog and just wanted to add my “two cent’s worth” to the mix.

    We have a masticating juicer and apparently it is the best type for nutrition…but it is not as quick to clean up as the centrifugal ones ~ hence the sporatic use it gets. :) I think they are fabulous if you are going to use it…but do weigh it all up before you take the plunge. How wonderful that you could try one out while your friend is away!

    Blessings,
    Camille

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  15. says

    I have a Samson BG-9001. I had big plans for that juicer than never came to fruition. (Pun intended.) I bought it b/c it does wheatgrass and I used it for a good 9 months. Nowadays it gets pulled out (and dusted) off every few months. I’m not sure we’ve gotten our money’s worth but it sure makes me “feel” healthy owning it. ;-)

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  16. says

    I agree with what Kris Mays said above. We use the juicer for cleansing, as well as pleasure. I love a combination of carrot, grapefruit, apple, and ginger root. I also love to add celery and beets; they are all great and are a great way to cleanse the liver. We have a Jack LaLane juicer also, and love it.

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  17. Julie says

    We have a champion juicer as well that we like. We just toss the waster, but if we had a composte pile, I would compost it. We used to use it a lot, but then I got a KTec blender and have used it alot to make green smoothies and things like that. I personally like the texture of the juice better than the smoothies, but the blender is easier to clean up. I personally feel like the benefit that you get from the enzymes and easy digesitibilty from the juice far outweighs the sugar and fiber issues. One of my kids’ favories is called Caribbean C (orange, lemon, pineapple that usually sneak a carrot or 2 into). One of my favorites is Green Lemonade. (A big bunch of greens like lettuce, kale, spinach, etc, one apple, one half a lemon) Yummy! I definitely think it’s worth your while nutritionally to juice. It is a bit of a time investment (to wash the fruit, cut up the fruit, juice, and clean it up) which is my mental hurdle most mornings! :-)

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  18. says

    We don’t drink any juice in our home so this wouldn’t be something we would purchase.

    I am glad you are testing it out- so you can see if the novelty wears out after a few weeks.

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  19. says

    We have a juicer and we go on kicks using it – but it does take a lot of veggies and fruit to make a decent-sized glass for all four of us – so we don’t do it more often because of the expense. When we are juicing, however, we also love the carrot/apple combo. You have to try juicing a pineapple. So yummy and easy!

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  20. Mombeam says

    My husband is from Syria where people LOVE juicing so when his mom came to stay with us we bought a juicer to make her carrot juice, which she normally buys from her neighborhood fresh juice shop. The problem we ran into was that quite frequently the carrots we bought were terribly bitter and the juice that came out of them was undrinkable! Eventually MIL went back home and the juicer has been in the closet, unused, ever since. Has anyone else ever experienced this? Are we buying the wrong carrots? Should we have bought organic?

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    Danielle Reply:

    I think this is why I don’t like carrots… every carrot I’ve ever had has been bitter! Except the ones when my mom would make homemade chicken noodle soup. :-/

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    Sarah A. Reply:

    The absolute best carrots for juicing are Bunny Luv. They’re organic and the sweetest carrots I’ve ever had. In fact, we use the juicing carrots for cooking and raw eating too. They are that good!

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  21. says

    I bought a Vitamix last year, and that was the absolute BEST investment. I’m loving the smoothies. I’ve considered buying a juicer too, but I think I’ll just get something to strain the blended stuff from the Vitamix for when I actually want juice. I’m a little jealous though! I’d love to experiment with a Jack LaLanne juicer.

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    Mari Reply:

    You could get cheesecloth. That is what my cookbook that came with it recommends.

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  22. Mary says

    I have an Omega juicer for a number of years (maybe 15 or more) and 2 years ago bought a Vita Mix. I don’t use the Omega much anymore. It did a great job, but the Vita Mix is more versatile and you get the fiber from the fruit too. It makes smoothies that are wonderful. You can put flax seed in and it is undetectable because it is buzzed up so finely. I use it all the time for a variety of jobs and I couldn’t recommend it more highly. I have the “dry” container too which allows me to grind grain. I use a grain mill when I’m going to be doing a lot of baking, but if I need two cups of barley or kamut flour, I just grind it up in the vita mix dry container.

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  23. Christine says

    I have a Braun juicer and do not like it. It takes 15 minutes to clean the pulp off the fine mesh filter. I’ve tried putting the filter in the dishwasher and the pulp does not wash off. If any one has any tips on speeding up this process I would love to hear them.

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    Sarah A. Reply:

    I’m not familiar with this exact juicer, but ours has a fine mesh filter also and I use a vegetable brush and running water to scrub off the pulp immediately after use. This works well for me.

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    Christine Reply:

    Thanks. I use the scrub brush that came with the juicer and I also cleaned it right after use but it still took about 10 minutes to get all the pulp off. I even tried soaking it in water for hours hoping the pulp would easily whisk away it still does not come right off and took around 190 minutes of scrubbing to remove the pulp.

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    Christine Reply:

    The 190 minutes is a typo. My comment should read “10 minutes.”

    Lorrie Reply:

    LOL – I thought 190 minutes was a bit extreme;
    now there is someone DEDICATED to a clean juicer!
    We have two juicers – an Omega (about 20 years old) and another
    less expensive one. Both are a bit of a pain to clean.

  24. Kendra says

    I have a Breville juicer. It is a very nice juicer with two juicing speeds; one for softer items and one for harder items such as sweet potatoes. We absolutely love cantaloupes; especially honey dew melons with cucumber juice. We are not regular juicers and find that it takes up a lot of counter space. You can find books on juice fasting with different recipes for different purposes. I have always thrown the pulp away. My Breville has a detachable basket that catches the pulp. Before juicing I put a small plastic produce bag in it. This makes the pulp cleanup a snap. The Breville does have a removable screen that is a pain to clean. I hope this helps!

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    Christine Reply:

    I like that idea re the produce bag. I had been wondering if a
    coffee filter would do the trick. I’ll try both suggestions.

    Thanks for the idea!

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  25. jerilyn says

    I just got my juicer a couple of weeks ago! It was $3. Pretty sweet deal huh?

    I love carrot, orange, apple. Sometimes I will juice something and then put it into my smoothie (think orange julius!)

    I have yet to do anything with the pulp. I’m just glad I get it clean before the pulp gets stuck onto the parts. :)

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  26. Mette says

    Hi Laura,

    I had a juicer some years ago. i just LOVED making orange/carrot juice and apple/ginger…but after a while I got SO tired of cleaning the thing that I got rid of it….I thought there was too much clean-up for the benefit. What a great idea though using the leftover pulp for cake, I never tried that.

    Now I just make smoothies with the blender and buy juice as usual. But I do miss the homemade, so FRESH taste. Maybe someday again :-)

    cheers from Denmark,
    Mette

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  27. Michelle says

    I have a Brevile and love it. My favorite juice mix is 1 apple, cored (seeds have cyanide), 1/2 cucumber, 1 carrot, and handful of spinach. When the zucchini is in abundance I toss one of those in too, great way to use them up since they grow faster than we can eat and share them :) I take a bit of the pulp and mix it back into my juice. The brevile makes a really fine textured pulp and I have had success in tossing it into baked goods, stews, soup. We have two apple trees, so this comes really in handy when they are all ripe. I just spend a while juicing all that I can, put juice in containers and freeze for the winter. I really only use it in the summer since that is the time of year when I have produce from the garden available, otherwise it would get really expensive.

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  28. Chariti says

    I have a Blendtec which is comprable to a VitaMix. I also have a juicer but I love the Blendtec so much more. If you’re thinking of making an investment I would see if someone would let you test a Vitamix or Blendtec out. Every morning I make “green” drink for my kids and they LOVE it. Frozen strawberries, grapes, apples, spinach… really whatever fruits I have on hand with a couple of large handfuls of spinach. It’s already broken down but all the fiber and nutrients from the skin are still there.

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  29. Melinda says

    I have a Jack LaLanne juicer. My parent’s bought it for us one Christmas. It is a different model than the one here but works great and is easy to clean. I have a very small kitchen so it was put away for a long time and I did not use it. Now I cleared a space for it and I use it a little more.

    Coincidentally, I made carrot/apple/cucumber juice today and it was soooo good. I just love having fresh juice when I take the time to make it.

    I think it would be great to use the juice not just for drinking but in soups and other recipes. I always think I should use the pulp but do not readily know what to do with it so I end up throwing it out. I am thinking about getting a Vita Mix and then the pulp and juice would all be in one drink so I wouldn’t need a juicer. Hmmmm…..

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  30. Tamara says

    Just a note about a juicer versus a blender like vitamix. Some fruits ( like apples) and veggies will get blended up really nicely in a blender but since all the fiber is still in there it is NOT thin like a juice. It has some texture to it that some members of your family may not enjoy.

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  31. Alex says

    I have the same juicer you show in the picture. I borrowed it from a friend when I was considering getting a juicer, just to see if the kids would drink juice. They love it. I ended up buying her juicer for $20, so I thought that was a sweet deal. She moved up to a masticating juicer, and this was in her garage for a while. I have considered a masticating juicer, and have researched them a bit, but I can’t justify the expense right now when I have one that works fine. I’m not happy with the clean-up, and that’s the reason I gave mine up 15 years ago. The basket on this one is easier to clean than my old one, but still takes about five mins to get the pulp out of all the crevices. I don’t know what they were thinking when they made it! Another friend brought her omega over, and we juiced side by side three carrots and an apple in each. Then we taste-tested, and could only tell a slight difference in the taste (the omega juice was slightly more apple-y), but not enough of a difference to make up for the cost. Hers was WAY easier to clean – just a rinse for a few parts, as opposed to cleaning the basket and crevices on mine.

    We make all combinations of fruit and vegetable juice. I have found that adding a lemon or lime to things with beets or spinach or kale will cover the earthy taste of the veggies. My two youngest fight over who gets to stir the juice each morning. We put in beets, greens (wad them up and put them in on top of an apple before it’s finished going through the chute) cucumbers, pineapple cores/rinds, zucchini, sweet potatoes, all sorts of fruit. The kids never know what they’re going to get. BTW, beet juice is VERY powerful for cleaning out the digestive tract, and is good for the liver. I like the large chute on the Jack LaLane, as my friend had to cut all her produce into small pieces to fit the feed chute on the omega, and I had all my juice made before she was finished feeding hers into the juicer. I put all the pulp in my worm bin for compost, so even though some people think of it as waste, my plants love the constant supply of healthy dirt.

    I have been on both sides of the fiber/sugar argument, and I agree with both arguments: easily assimilated nutrients, and a large dose of fruit sugar. We try to balance with lots of greens in the juice as well as green smoothies. I like being able to have a few days of just juice when one of us is not feeling well. We eat a mostly raw diet, so I know we are getting lots of nutrients already, but hubby is addicted to junk food, so I’m hoping it all balances out.

    I would definitely get a juicer again. One day I would love to have the vitamix, but I think I would still want my juicer too.

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  32. says

    I used a juicer TONS when I was pregnant with my son. It was so good for me and for him! I really think it made a huge difference as to how I felt. I also used some Green Magma to add to my juice. Good stuff! I don’t use it as much now because sometimes it is such a pain to clean (even though it really isn’t that difficult). The health benefits are amazing! I never used the pulp for anything although I wish I would have. I do have the Jack Lalane juicer which is super easy to clean! I should definitely take it out and use it again!

    ourpeacefulhome.blogspot.com

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  33. Tammy says

    I have the same one your friend left you and I have had it for years I bought mine when they first came out and it hasn’t been used for about half of the years,it sits and just takes up space.I wish you lived near by (WI) I would give it to you!

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  34. Tarnation says

    Lots of great comments but thought I would add my 2 cents. After much research I bought a Blendtec blender. I chose this over the Vitamix because the Blendtec fits under the cabinets while sitting on the kitchen counter and the Vitamix is too tall to fit. The Blendtec is the blender that all the retail food restaurants use–Starbuck, Panera, etc. so I knew it would be a great work horse. I love it! I also chose a blender over a juicer because I preferred the idea of using the whole fruit. It has been worth every penny.

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  35. says

    bought one a few years ago but ended up selling it. didn’t have a dishwasher at the time and it just took up too much space. Enjoyed the juices but just not the work.

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  36. Alice Swartz says

    VitaMix is the only way to go. No waste. Throw the kitchen sink in and nobody knows. I pick fresh berries all summer, freeze them and add them to Kale, spinach, carrots, etc. Costco normally has a demo of them every 6-8 weeks and is the best price.

    I’ve had to other kinds including a Champion and they are a pain and waste all the pulp.

    Alice

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  37. Kim says

    Another vote for vitamix! We haven’t had ours long so we are still experimenting but we made smoothies, homemade peanut butter, “ice cream” from frozen bananas and more. It is wonderful! Oh yeah – and it makes juice too! :)

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  38. Kim says

    I’ve read some of the posts here, but thought I would throw my two cents in. Sorry, if this has been said already.
    Ok, here’s the deal…when you juice it is better to remove the pulp. That allows the nutrients to go straight to the cellular level, bypassing the digestion. Several reasons you would want to do this, 1) it allows your digestive system to rest and 2) it is very healing for the body. If you want the pulp, make smoothies. Also, drinking juiced fruit is for cleansing and veggies are for healing. So, don’t drink juiced fruit everyday, again, save those for your smoothies.
    So, whether to get a juicer or not? Depends on what health benefits you are hoping to achieve by getting one.

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  39. says

    I was reading through the comments because my naturopath just suggested juicing for my liver.. Anyway, I felt the pulp was a tad wasteful, but after doing a bit of research I noticed that most juicers aren’t the best.. Let’s see if I can sum up what I learned in a sentence or two..
    You want to get a masticating one which uses an auger to PRESS the juice out of the fruit and veg rather then the centrifugal ones that shred and spin it out. This way you get masimum nutrients for your effort. They are a bit noisier and slower, but they do a more thorough job in expressing the juice with it’s nutrients in tack. The one that came recommended to me was the Compact juicer, but since I’m in Australia I don’t know if it’s available in the states. I will also add that I’ve not purchased one yet. I’ve been borrowing my mil’s centrifugal Breville, and the pulp can often be rung out and seems incredibly wasteful. Our guinea pigs don’t mind it though.. ;)

    I mix celery (one stalk), carrots (two), apples (two), and sometimes strawberries, spinach, beet root, raspberries or whatever other veggie is floating around that needs using up. Unfortunately I can’t use oranges or lemons because they are migraine inducers for me. So unless I’m really brave and daring I have to be wise and not indulge.. which is a total shame because the orange carrot juice sounds amazing!

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