On my quest to discover more ways to get greens and other real foods into my kids, I’ve realized that the easiest way has been to drink them. We love smoothies in our house. My pickiest eater doesn’t really think about the fact that he’s drinking about a cup and a half of spinach in that strawberry banana smoothie he loves. When I discovered that I could make smoothies that consisted of only real, whole foods and no additives, I was hooked. It’s been our biggest way to dip our toe into the notion of eating more veggies.
When my daughter and I went to NYC for the first time last summer, we discovered another way. A bit worn out after several days at a course in Boston, we looked for something healthy to revive us our first morning in New York. I bought a small shot of fresh, cold-pressed juice and it was enough. I felt like it woke my whole body up, and suddenly I was able to fully experience my enthusiasm for the wonderful city as we roamed down the streets, arm in arm, in awe - yes, mouths gaping. In love with NYC, and in love with this kind of juice - nothing like we’d ever had before.
I’d been skeptical of juicers. After all, juicers take all the fiber out and just leave you with sugar, don’t they? Well, the boost I got in New York was more than sugar, and when I looked into it further, I learned that juicing allows nutrients to go directly into the bloodstream because fiber isn’t there to slow down the process. No wonder I felt so great so quickly! Seemed like it would be a great addition to my blender - another delicious way to drink our fruits and veggies. For more on this, check out this article on Juicing vs. Blending by Joe Cross.
I loved the idea of feeling as wonderful as I did in NYC on a regular basis by juicing at home. Kris Carr and Food Matters both have great buying guides. I ended up putting the Hurom HU-100 Slow Juicer on my wish list. While centrifugal juicers are faster to use, and twin gear extract the most juice, I felt the slow juicer (aka cold press juicer) seemed best for us, getting the most out of fruits and veggies - our ultimate goal- without costing an outrageous sum. It's still an investment. But how much are we saving in the long run when we invest in our health? To me, the investment in the Hurom is totally worth it. Hurom was the only brand I could find that claimed to be BPA free, too.
And then guess what I got for Christmas?!
I was so excited to try out my beautiful Hurom HU-100 Slow Juicer. It looked like everything I'd hoped it would be.
There was one factor I wasn't sure about, though. I had read that the downside of slow juicers was requiring more time than the centrifugal to assemble and disassemble, clean, and cut produce down to smaller pieces. This seemed like a major downside to me. Would I quickly stop using the machine because the time requirement's just not practical?
Good news! I’ve found that it really is not a big deal to separate the machine’s parts and put them back together. Once I’d done it a couple times, I had it down. It takes about a minute.
I thought it might be helpful to you to see the steps of assembly, in case you are considering getting one but are concerned about how time consuming it is. Take a look below:
Parts from far lower left, clockwise: Container (there are two; one to catch juice, the other to catch the fibrous leftovers), base with green handle, white hopper, black squeezing screw, bowl, white spinning brush, strainer.
Strainer goes in spinning brush.
Place strainer/spinning brush in the bowl, aligning the white dot on the lip of the strainer with the red or white dot on the lip of the bowl.
Twist the squeezing screw into the base/brush/strainer, pushing down until it reaches the bottom.
Place the hopper on top, aligning the red or white dot on the lip of the bowl with the white arrow on top of the hopper. Once aligned, twist to lock it on.
Place the hopper/bowl onto the base with the back arrow of the hopper aligned with "Open" and sliding to "Close" to lock into position. Note the size of the opening to place the produce. It's not all that small, really a good amount of room to fit decent-sized pieces - 2 inch pieces max recommended.
Place the containers at the pulp and juice outlets in the front.
The switch is simple: Just turn it to "On" and only hit "Rev" for reverse when something gets stuck.
It's actually a breeze, and sending veggies into the hopper is really pretty fun! It's a quiet machine; the sound reminds me of a bunny chewing a carrot. I'd have to do some chopping for any juicer, so chopping down to big two inch chunks doesn't seem like a problem. For cleaning, there's a special brush to help. It's just produce we're dealing with, so cleaning is really pretty quick and easy, too. I make sure I use a sink drain cover when I clean, since I don't have a disposal. I dump as much as I can into my compost. And did you know that the fibrous pulp left over can be used for making soups, smoothies - even crackers?!
I'll be getting into some actual recipes and the process of running produce through the machine in another post soon. Until then, I hope you consider adding a juicer to your kitchen - or brushing the dust off one you have hidden away. It is an extra, but the health benefits seem so worth it. I feel so good after drinking cold press juice right out of my own juicer, and that good feeling seems to be cumulative. I'm able to store a couple bottles for the next couple days, too. Since I started juicing just a few weeks ago, I've even lost more weight in that short amount of time than I ever have before! I still eat regular meals, I've just added juicing a few times per week. ! So many flavor options, too - looking forward to the next juicing post to share about that!
The Hurom slow juicer/cold press juicer is helping my family consume more fruits and veggies. Cheers!