For those just starting out, juicing can be a frustrating challenge that ends up wasting time and a lot of money.
Welcome to Juicing 101!
In this juicing guide, we will teach you everything you need to know to get started, from choosing the best juicing machine to how to create your very own easy juicing recipes.
By the end, you should be able to avoid some of the common mistakes that prevent most people from becoming successful juicers!
1. Best Juicers For Beginners
The term “juicer” is used to largely describe all kitchen appliances that have been specifically created to extract the juice from fruits and vegetables. You’re going to need one and not all are created equal.
There are several types of juicers to choose from, all of them implementing different juice extraction methods and yielding different amounts of juice.
It can be confusing, so let’s look at the three main types of the best juicers – centrifugal, masticating, and twin-gear juicers.
SEE ALSO: Juicing vs Blending
We think the Breville The Juice Fountain Cold might be a great juicer to begin with!
Centrifugal juicers are recognized for their ease of use and price convenience, which make them ideal for juicing beginners. This Breville model is super easy to use, and clean-up is a breeze too, with some – but not all – components being dishwasher safe.
We particularly like the extra wide feed chute; with a 3-inch (84 millimeter) diameter, it can accommodate whole apples and beets with no trouble, cutting down on your prep time.
These juicers have an upright design in which fruits and vegetables are pushed into a mesh chamber spinning at between 6,000 and 12,000 rotations per minute, with sharp teeth that shred the produce.
The Breville features two speeds. The higher rotation is for harder fruits and vegetables, and the lower works well for leafy vegetables and soft fruit.
The centrifugal motion will then pull the juice out of the pulp through a mesh filter, funneling it out of the juicer via a spigot.
Traditionally, centrifugal juicers are known to create quite a bit of heat during the juicing process, which can damage those precious vitamins and minerals in your juice. However, this model with its cold spin technology claims to reduce and minimize that heat.
Centrifugal juicers have a separate chamber where the pulp is collected once the juice is extracted to prevent clogging the machine.
A major drawback, however, is the fact that they yield less juice as compared to masticating and twin-gear juicers.
Although this is a great unit which is easy to use and super-fast, the pulp produced is quite wet, indicating that the machine isn’t extracting the maximum amount of juice.
It’s also not particularly adept at juicing leafy greens like kale or fresh spinach, so if you’re hoping for a lot of juice from your green veggies, you might want to look at a different model such as the Omega Nutrition Center Masticating Juicer below.
If you’re new to juicing and want something affordable, fast and easy to use that produces delicious juice, the Breville Juice Fountain Cold is a great choice.
If you have a larger budget and are serious about juicing, the Omega Nutrition Center Masticating Juicer might be the appliance for you.
Not only that, this unit is a kitchen powerhouse that can make nut butter, extrude pasta, grind coffee and spices, make baby food or frozen desserts and more!
How does it do as a juicer though? A very fine job!
Pricier but more efficient than centrifugal machines, masticating juicers have a horizontal design with a tube containing the auger that extends out of the base.
The vegetables and fruits are pushed through the top of this tube, where they are crushed and squeezed by the auger. While the juice will drain out of the underside of the tube, the pulp will be squeezed out at the end of the tube.
Masticating juicers process fruits and vegetables slowly, at an average of 80 rotations per minute. Although this means they produce juice at a much slower rate than centrifugal juicers, it also means less heat is created, preserving the nutritional goodness of the produce.
This also makes them ideal for extracting juice from leafy green veggies like spinach and kale, not to mention that they yield larger quantities of juice and less pulp at the end of the process.
This Omega juicer is great at getting juice from wheatgrass and leafy greens. In fact, it extracts the maximum amount of juice from any produce, producing a nice, dry pulp as proof.
Although it’s a more complex machine than the Breville, it’s still easy to take apart, clean and put back together. The main juicing parts are also dishwasher safe.
The one niggle is that the feeding tube is quite small, so you’ll be adding extra prep time to your juicing regime by having to chop up your fruit and vegetables to make them fit.
If you’re looking for a high-quality juicer that will get the maximum juice out of your produce while retaining all of that nutritional goodness, and don’t mind the process taking a little bit longer, consider the Omega Nutrition Center Masticating Juicer.
BELLA High Power Juice Extractor
Our third recommendation is an entry-level, budget model, suited to someone who wants to give juicing a try and enjoy delicious fruit and vegetable juices but isn’t a serious juicer.
With a very reasonable price tag, the BELLA is a basic centrifugal juicer without any of the technology that would prevent it from heating your produce during the juicing produce.
You’ll still get delicious juices that are good for your health, but will be losing out on some of those precious nutrients due to heat damage.
Because of this, the juices won’t last as long if stored, so should be enjoyed as soon as possible.
This machine is overall good value for money. It has a two speed motor for different densities of produce and a 3-inch feeding tube that can accept larger pieces of whole fruit.
It’s easy to clean, with some dishwasher safe parts, and is very fast.
However, because this is a budget juicer, the juice extraction is not great. You won’t get the same amount of juice out of your produce and will notice the pulp is very wet.
It also tends to get clogged rather quickly and doesn’t do a good job with leafy greens like kale.
Because it’s fast, it also tends to be a bit noisy.
For a newbie juicer or someone not too fussed about the science, this is an affordable option. Just keep in mind that you get what you pay for and this may not be the most durable or long-lasting appliance in your kitchen.
2. Juicing Shopping List
Simply throwing a couple of fruits and vegetables in your juicer might be good, but not sufficient for producing healthy juices packed with important nutrients.
The best vegetables for juicing should mix up different tastes, which also adds a variety of nutrients from each group. The following list contains top picks from each taste category.
- Sweet: apples, grapes, pears, pineapple, melons, oranges, berries, mangoes
- Roots: carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips
- Herbs: mint, parsley, basil, cilantro
- Spices: ginger, cinnamon, hot pepper
- Greens: spinach, lettuce, chard, dandelion, arugula, sorrel, beet greens, mustard greens
- Tart: lemons, limes
- High-yield (produce a lot of juice for their size): cucumbers, tomatoes, melons, celery, fennel
See our Juicing Cheat Sheet for a picture guide and more details.
3. Prepare Your Produce
Many centrifugal juicers on the market have been specifically designed to work with whole fruits and vegetables. But for your juice to taste its best, you need to take some time to prepare your produce before juicing it.
Wash Your Produce
This helps remove dirt and debris, as well as other pollutants that might get into your juice which could impact your health negatively.
Core Fruits & Vegetables
Coring might be necessary for fruits such as apples, whilst stemming might be required for some vegetables like kale.
Citrus fruits, cucumbers, tomatoes, pineapple, and other such fruits and vegetables should be carefully peeled to ensure that your juice will not have any extra unwanted bitterness.
Cut Smaller When Needed
Once washed, cored, stemmed and peeled, the produce should be chopped into smaller pieces to make it easier for the juicer to extract the juice. If you are preparing them ahead of time, use a zip-lock bag or lidded container for storage to preserve their freshness.
Keep in mind that fruits and vegetables will gradually lose their nutritional value as time passes, so it is best to prepare them right before you juice to ensure they yield maximum amounts of vitamins and minerals.
4. How To Juice
If you’re juicing using a machine, the process should be a breeze. Although some juicers may look different and have a few different features, the overall process should remain similar for all styles.
If you prefer to prep your produce for juicing in advance, bear in mind that items such as apples that oxidize and go brown quickly should be cut right before you are ready to juice.
Items like celery and carrots can be pre-chopped (if your juicer can’t handle them whole) and stored immersed in cold water in the fridge until you need them.
Here’s how to make fresh, healthy and delicious juice at home.
- Set up your juicer, ensuring all parts are assembled and fitted correctly and it’s ready to go.
- Choose the fruit and/or vegetables that you want to juice. Make sure all items are ripe with no nasty rotten or bruised areas.
- Wash your produce by rinsing it under clean running water. Most items will just need a gentle rub with your hands, but certain items — like carrots or root veggies — might need a scrub with a vegetable brush.
- Peel any items with thick skin or rind. While most juicers can handle thin skins on items like apples and pears, you’ll need to remove thick skins on things like pineapple, bananas, citrus fruit, and melons.
- Remove larger pits that can be found in cherries, peaches, plums etc.
- Depending on the capacity and size of the feeder tube on your juicer, you may need to chop up some or all of your produce. Refer to your instruction manual and chop accordingly. Many models can handle whole apples, carrots, and beets.
- Once your produce is ready to go, turn the juicer on and begin inserting items into the feeding tube. Most models will have foolproof safety features, but make sure you never insert your hands or fingers into the tube.
- Don’t forget to adjust the speed setting — if your juicer has one — to account for different produce densities. Refer to your instruction manual.
- If appropriate for your model, use the provided “pushing implement” to gently force the item down into the juicer.
- It may be helpful to vary the densities of produce as you go. Often, following a softer fruit like a kiwi or peach with a hard item like a carrot can assist in pushing the item through the juicer.
- Once you are done juicing, give the juice a stir to blend the different flavors together.
- Enjoy as soon as possible to get the most nutritional value from your tasty juice!
- Clean your juicer as soon as possible to make the job easier and avoid any pulp or juice residue from sticking.
5. Drink Your Juice ASAP!
Many beginners to juicing make the mistake of leaving the juice sitting for too long before drinking it.
Drink the juice within 24 hours after extracting it, and make sure to store it in an air-tight glass container in your fridge for maximum freshness.
Let’s not forget that raw juice does not contain any preservatives, which means that it will go rancid very quickly.
Letting the juice sit for too long will result in it losing most of the nutrients you initially extracted, not to mention that it will develop a different color as it oxidizes.
6. Clean Your Juicer After Every Use
Cleaning your juicer goes a long way towards helping it functioning properly and keeping it free of harmful bacteria.
The pulp and remaining juice will get sticky and may make it difficult for you to clean the machine. You should take some time to read the cleaning procedure of your specific juicer for best results.
To recap everything we’ve covered:
- Pick a juicer: We mentioned the Breville Juice Fountain Cold might be a great choice for beginners.
- Get a recipe or create your own formula.
- Prepare your produce and juice it!
- Drink and enjoy!
- Clean your juicer.
Steps 4 and 5 can be changed, just remember you need to consume your juice fairly quickly before it oxidizes.
There are methods to juice without a juicer, but you will struggle and it might make the whole process more hassle than it’s worth.
Knowing how to mix up your own combos of fruits and vegetables is an art that you will be able to master only once you have learned the general formula for juicing.