At the moment, there’s no scientific evidence suggesting that drinking juice is healthier than simply eating your fruits and vegetables. What we do know is that fresh juice, especially from vegetables, is a whole lot better for you than pre-packaged stuff, and juicing can be a great impetus to start living a healthier lifestyle. But juicers have a reputation for being a pain to clean up and for having an unfavorable input-to-output ratio. With all of this in mind, I got my hands on the Juicepresso ($500) to see if the all hype about healthy juice was worth the cost in time and produce.
A Note to Juicers
Fact: People should eat between five and 13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. The average American has just three.
Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins. According to the CDC, eating fruits and veggies is important to preventing heart disease, stroke, cancer and more. When juicing, you remove the vegetable’s pulp, which is where all the fiber is. So juicing shouldn’t be an excuse to stop eating fruits and vegetables. If you juice, we recommend incorporating the pulp from your juicer into your diet or finding supplemental way of eating more fiber.
The first thing to know when you’re getting into the juice game is that you want a cold press juicer. There are several types of cold press juicers — masticating, triturating, hydraulic, manual — but their most important common characteristic is that they crush produce at very low RPMs. More affordable centrifugal juicers chop produce and then spin it out at many thousands of RPMs using centrifugal force. Juicepresso is a masticating cold press juicer operating at a very slow 40 RPMs. It uses an auger and strainer to slowly crush fruits and vegetables and then squeeze out the juice. The slow crush has two important consequences: it generates very little heat compared to a centrifugal juicer, which preserves more nutrients and causes less oxidation; and it produces more juice (up to 40 percent, according to the company). The bottom line is that cold press juicers yield better juice and more of it.
Body Balancer Recipe
What we mixed:
1 large apple
1 stalk of celery
1 tbsp fresh ginger
The Body Balancer is one of several recipes Juicepresso provides on their website.
The Juicepresso reviewed here is the CJP-03, a third-generation product that was released in May 2014. It’s easier to clean than the previous model thanks to a newly patented 3-in-1 Smart Extraction System. This system combines the Ultem screw, mesh screen and brush into one mechanism — which sounds confusing, but basically it means that there are fewer parts to clean. And cleanup did prove quick. After playing hardball with this machine, I found it was maybe only a little more complicated to clean out than my drip coffee maker.
Whole carrots, sinewy leaves of kale and crunchy beets — this machine squeezed like a boa to separate nutrient juice from dry pulp.
Of course, while the cleanup process is important, it’s irrelevant if the juice isn’t good. It is. The Juicepresso excelled in making pulp-free liquid out of whatever I shoved down its hopper: whole carrots, sinewy leaves of kale and crunchy beets — this machine squeezed like a boa to separate nutrient juice from dry pulp. Try doing that with your Jack Lalanne Power Juicer.
A few weeks into juicing, I found the whole process invigorating. I’d walk the grocery aisle, searching for all sorts of vegetables to combine and consume. I purchased raw beets for the first time. I strayed from Juicepresso’s recipes and started started experimenting, throwing anything down the hopper and seeing what the liquid version tasted like: celery, cucumber and mint; pear and fennel; carrot, grapefruit, ginger and pear. I wasn’t on a cleanse or under the guidance of a guru, but drinking juice certainly gave me the little extra energy necessary to venture out on some post-work runs — and I liked it.
In a Nutshell
Lowest RPMs of any cold press juicer
Easy to clean
Simple to use
Good countertop appeal
Seven-year warranty isn’t as lengthy as competitors
Obviously, Juicepresso isn’t the only cold press juicer in the game. The Hurom HH Elite ($400+) and the new Omega Low Speed Juicer ($430) are also worthy of consideration, and all three are in the same price range. What drew me to the Juicepresso was the super low RPMs and the design, which looks simple and clean and takes up very little countertop real estate. And Juicepresso has a new model coming out in July of 2015; the “Platinum” version will have a slightly different design and will be capable of making smoothies and sorbets in addition to juice.
I’m not the only one getting into juicing; if anything, I’m late to the game. But it’s not just a fad: the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (itself a little behind the times) recently called for less sugar in our diets, while studies have revealed that mass market fruit juices like Tropicana or Welch’s have more in common with soda than fruit. I won’t vouch for cleanses or juice as a path to enlightenment, but under the care of the Juicepresso I have re-evaulated some of my dietary habits and redistributed some resources toward fresh vegetables — and that seems like a pretty good use of time and produce.