Here is my newest "toy":
A Hamilton Beach "Big Mouth" Juice Extractor.
Now, we are not new to juicing...as evidenced by this way-too-old photo:
|Noah, just turned 3 years old, helping mama juice|
We loved that Jack LaLane juicer, and "used the hound out of it"(to steal my friend Anna's phrase) over several years. We finally had to retire the tired old thang. So we've now been without a juicer for several years.
We have (all 7 of us) been on the GAPS diet together for 3 weeks now (Mr. G is going on 4 weeks). The first couple of weeks were rough. ROUGH! For the first week we could only eat soup - soup made of very well cooked (read: mushy) meat and veggies.
So when we got to the point in the protocol when we could add in freshly juiced veggies and fruit (we could only juice carrots at first, then added in other veggies...then fruit)...we were ecstatic!
|Beet, cabbage, apple, carrot, celery|
Knowing ahead of time that we'd be juicing in the GAPS protocol, I started contemplating what to do about another juicer.
|Noah, age 9.5...helping his mama juice.|
At that very time, a message came through our food co-op coordinator that someone in the co-op wanted to sell their Green Star juicer (3 years old, only used a few times). Those things are super expensive (like $400-$500 expensive)...and buying one used would be great! Turned out it was a friend-of-a-friend, and I jumped at the opportunity to talk with her. I went to pick it up with checkbook in hand to pay her, but she insisted that we try it out first before deciding whether to keep it. I am so. thankful. We used it three times over the next three morning. Did NOT like it!
I had to cut the food up into smaller pieces (prep time took longer), the juicing process itself took much longer because the machine was masticating instead of centrifugal, and clean-up on that machine was harder. (Masticating is reportedly better nutritionally, but basically boils down to us needing to drink the juice right away, instead of it being good for 2 days...not a problem here.)
So I was able to return that juicer to its owner...and I happily researched and then spent all of just under $50 on this Hamilton Beach model.
I still cannot believe how happy I am with this thing! It juices super-fast, it has a "Big Mouth" (which means I don't have to do as much prep cutting stuff up...apples fit in whole, unless they are really big, like the above "juice apples" I got from our co-op)...and clean up is quicker than with the more expensive juicer.
So, why juice? When I bought my Vitamix a few years ago, I loved the idea of just throwing whole foods in there, and blending up the peels, fiber...everything! But, juicing definitely has its place too.
Juices like this without the fiber means that it is much easier and quicker for your body to assimilate. And you can get the vitamins and nutrition of more veggies/fruit than you'd be able to eat at one time...for example, this batch of juice had 2 lb of carrots in it...we would not eat that much at one time!
AND, blending veggies and fruits together like this allows us to take in nutrition from food we might not would eat at all (beets?).
Now, the million dollar question: Does it taste good?
Mr. G cries every morning when he gets to the bottom of his cup of juice...and frantically signs "more"!