I have to be honest here and admit I’d always considered juicers and juicing in general as a bit of a fad. Something that others did but not me, not sure why, I just did.
Then I met someone who juiced, lets call her Kelly, Kelly seduced me with tales of ginger juice as if it were manna from heaven and before I knew what had happened I’d logged on to Amazon and bought myself one. Kelly’s advice was simple, make sure it can handle something hard like ginger. It was only when I started to see the choices that I realised not all juicers are made equal, after much review reading I opted for the [simpleazon-link asin=”B0007XHGHA” locale=”uk”]Philips HR1861 Juicer[/simpleazon-link], primarily because I’d read that with it’s wider chute you didn’t have to chop up the fruit and vegetables you were going to juice. It has some other nifty features so don’t think I bought it just because I’m too lazy to chop carrots and apples in half!
A little over a week into ownership and I find it transforming my typical day. My initial thoughts that cleaning would be a hassle have been discounted; I can wake up, juice some fruit and vegetables and have the machine cleaned and re-assembled in under 10 minutes. I have discovered however that you can’t just whack any old item in and expect it to taste great. As a general rule fruit and vegetables don’t mix well. As ever there are exceptions to the rule; apples can happily be juiced with any vegetable and carrots have no objection to being juiced with fruits. As for the rest, experiment at your own risk, just don’t venture too far from the loo!
What I like about the HR1861 is the fact it has a powerful (in comparison to a lot of juicers) 700 watt motor. This has 2 speeds, softer produce like strawberries and tomatoes don’t appreciate the high speed setting, so I usually juice those first on the lower speed, then turn it up for the tougher items. Fear not, the machine has anti-slip rubber feet on the bottom so that for all its power, the juicer doesn’t shake itself off your work surface!
It also comes with Philips’ “patented micro-mesh” filter. I’ve Googled it but can’t find out what this filter has that other filters don’t but I didn’t find anything, not on the first page of results anyway! What I did learn from reading on juicers is the filter is the most important thing to keep clean, it’s made of stainless steel and comes with a small scrubbing brush but it’s dishwasher safe, as are the rest of the removable parts, if you own one. Personally I think it’d probably take as long to rinse the bits and put them in the dishwasher than it does to actually clean it under the tap.
The Philips HR1861 comes with a 2 litre pulp container which should have more than enough room for all the debris as well as a 1.5 litre jug to catch the juice. A simple but effective design feature is the way the lip of the jug fits directly around the spout of the machine. This ensures every drop of juice goes into the jug; no mess, no waste! One tip is to leave the jug in place once you switch the motor off, otherwise you’ll likely find a small trickle of juice on the worktop.
When I bought my Philips HR1861 I was pleasantly surprised to find it came complete with a copy of Jason Vale’s book, [simpleazon-link asin=”0007225172″ locale=”uk”]Juice Master Keeping It Simple[/simpleazon-link], this was especially welcome as it has over 100 recipes for juices and smoothies. Jason is a controversial character by all accounts and his writing style/philosophy may not suit everyone but he seems to know a lot about juice and is eager to share his world of refreshing and delicious flavour combinations that you can easily create with your new juicer. I’ll give all his supplements a miss tho!
Overall I’m more than happy with my purchase, I’m enjoying the juices I’ve been making and notice that with around 2 juices a day I’m not eating as much, with any luck this will have the added benefit of allowing me to shed a few pounds. A colleague has lent me Jason’s diet book but I’m not sure I’m quite ready for a week of nothing but juice, perhaps once Spring arrives?!
When I purchased my [simpleazon-link asin=”B0007XHGHA” locale=”uk”]Philips HR1861 Whole Fruit Juicer[/simpleazon-link]it was £60, reduced from £100 however a lower priced alternative that seemed to be just as popular was the [simpleazon-link asin=”B003Q82Q3C” locale=”uk”]Andrew James Whole Fruit Juicer[/simpleazon-link]at £30
If you are going to make smoothies with your juice you’ll need a blender. I have one as part of my food processor but if you don’t already own one, Amazon have some reasonably cheap ones, such as this [simpleazon-link asin=”B001TH8IQ6″ locale=”uk”]Philips Blender with 1.75 Litre Jug[/simpleazon-link]