Juicing and smoothie makeing is easy and fun. However three main bits of appliance are needed when making the smoothie or juice. Various recipes require the fruits and vegetables to be juiced with a juicer, blended in a blender or squeezed with a citrus squeezer. Some of the recipes might only require one or two of the processes.
There is no way to say which juicer or blender is the best one. Lots of different brands are on the market these days and most of them will do the job. Some of the fruit smoothies may require use one or two of these mentioned below.
Citrus juicer is used for squeezing juice from soft-centered, citrus fruits (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit). It has a conical ridged center. It is used to extract the juice by centering the halves of fruit over the juicer, pressing the fruit down, and turning the fruit back and forth. Juice is extracted to the container below while pulp and seeds are retained in the edges.
A hand-held version is known as a “lemon reamer”, “citrus reamer,” or simply a “reamer.” Electric versions of citrus juicers also exist, works basically on the same basis.
Juice extractors mechanically separate juice from the solid part (pulp) of fruits and vegetables.
There are three common types of juicer:
1. centrifugal juicer
2. masticating juicer
3. triturating juicer
Centrifugal juicer is the most popular and probably cheapest type of juicer. Centrifugal juicer is good for most of the fruits and vegetables, but cannot break the fibers of the grass and therefore will not be able to efficiently extract juice from wheatgrass, spinach or herbs.
The centrifugal juicer shreds the fruit or vegetables into a pulp first. The blades on the bottom, together with strainer spins at a very high speed, creating a centrifugal force. Due to this force, the juice is passed through the strainer into the container while the dry pulp is left on the side. Some of the centrifugal juicers collect the dry pulp into a separate container. The speed of the moving parts of a centrifugal juicer may affect the quality of the juice, as more air is introduced, and important nutrients quickly oxidize. Also the heat and the friction generated from the machine destroy enzymes found only in raw vegetables and fruits, hence juicers with variable speeds are recommended as being of higher quality.
Masticating (single auger) Juicer
Masticating juicers are generally more efficient than Centrifugal juicers as they extract more juice from the fruit and vegetables leaving the pulp dryer. Masticating (single auger) juicers use a slowly rotating cylindrical shaped single cutter, which effectively shred and chews fruits and vegetables while the juice is squeezed through a strainer below. As they operate at a slower speed, less oxygen is incorporated, resulting in less heat, leaving more nutrients in the glass. Masticating (single auger) juicers are also capable of extracting more juice from wheatgrass, spinach and herbs.
Triturating (twin-gear) Juicer
Triturating (twin-gear) juicers are usually the most expensive juicers, as they offer the best quality juice full of nutrients. Triturating (twin-gear) juicers press the fruit and vegetables between two interlocking gears, rotating towards each other. Extracted juice flow through the gap between the gears while the pulpy matter passes along the top where it is discharged. They also operate at slower speed with almost no heat, leaving all the important nutrients and enzymes in the juice.
Difference between the juicer and blender is, that juicer separates the juice from the pulp, as blender does not. Blenders are usually used to make a smoothie. Pieces of fruit and vegetables are added into the blender. The blended drink is much thicker in texture, containing fiber and skin, cut and broken down by the blades spinning at a very high speed at the bottom of the container. Blenders with variable speeds are recommended as frozen fruit can be added together with ice cubes.
Remember – when bit of fruit or vegetable stuck at the bottom of the juicer/blender, unplug the appliance first before trying to free it with your fingers.