I’m not a pro at juicing: I’ve never done – or felt the need – for a juice cleanse, nor do I juice every day. Most days, sometimes more than once a day, but not every day. To some this may seem like slacking, but I eat plenty of vegetables, and don’t feel the need to add more in the form of juice every single day just for the sake of it. But I often want a boost to my energy or mental clarity, or wish to benefit from some of the extra nutrients from foods I don’t eat on a daily basis (carrots), or in amounts that have a meaningful impact (say, beets). And also, it’s darn delicious.
People juice for all kinds of reasons, often during times of illness or especial stress. But mostly people seem to juice because they feel a benefit from doing so – glowing skin, improved digestion, greater energy, mental focus.
I know I do.
A digression. Skip on if you wish: I’m not sure if I’ve told you this before (apologies if I have) but when I first moved to the UK in the late 1980s I had a bit of struggle adjusting to some of the foods here that were a bit new to me. Well, maybe not new but less common; and in the case of meat, reared on different diets (not necessarily inferior, just different). Anyway, because of digestive ‘disruptions’ shall we say, not only did I go vegetarian, I thought I might try some juicing to help get some extra nutrients in me. Fair enough you might think.
So, off I trotted to John Lewis, which I had heard was a gleaming temple of consumerism and would definitely have what I wanted. So, – and I remember this very clearly – as I was taking the escalator down to the kitchen section I saw rows of gleaming small white appliances stretched out before me. Past the toasters and tea kettles I saw an aisle that excited me: who would have thought I would have such a choice of juicers? Shelves of them! However, upon closer inspection I discovered to my bemusement that they were not in fact appliances for shredding vegetables and fruits into clear, lovely juice, but in fact hulking machines to deep fry the goodness out of said vegetables (presumably not fruits, but I’m not clear on that point). Cue massive disappoint, but not great shock. I was in the land of deep fried pizza after all. Seriously.
I ended up ordering a centrifugal juicer from Germany.
Anyway, fast forward nearly 30 years and not only has the range at John Lewis changed out of all recognition, so has the UK diet. Juicing, far from being the preserve of hippies and hypochondriacs, is now mainstream. Every high street and shopping mall seems to have a juice bar; and even if we don’t have a juicer many of us are at least interested in the benefits of juicing. So, juicing is pretty normal. I guess if we wish to be different, we could always go back to deep frying everything…
Froothie Optimum 600 Whole Fruit Slow Juicer – The Review
I have had my Froothie Optimum 600 Whole Fruit Slow Juicer for quite awhile now and I can’t believe I haven’t reviewed it properly for you. Along with my Optimum 9400 Super Blender, I use my juicer loads, and don’t mind giving up some counter space for both machines (they are quite handsome, and come in a variety of colours).
So, what’s the big deal about Slow Juicing?
The two main types of juicers are centrifugal, which rotates a shredding plate to extract juice, and slow, which uses a powerful, slow-moving auger (a fat screw) to push the juice out of the fruit or vegetable.
Here’s a quick summary of the pros and cons of each:
Centrifugal Juicer Cons: pretty rubbish with leafy greens (and adding veggies to juices is a must, really); noisy operation; usually more wet ‘waste’ pulp and therefore less actual juice to drink; more foaming and separation; less nutritious for some nutrients (namely Vitamin C and Beta-carotene); build quality is often inferior.
Slow Juicer Pros: very effective on leafy greens (chop first so they don’t wrap around the auger), grasses (ditto) and herbs; less foaming and separation; lower speed = less heat generation = better quality – and better-keeping – juice; higher juice yield; quiet to run; superior build quality.
Slow Juicer Cons – more costly initial cost outlay, can take longer to learn to use, slightly more pulp in the juice for softer produce (such as ripe pears) – making some pure fruit juices slightly nectar-like. I actually like the latter so that’s not really a con for me!
As for the Froothie 600 Whole Fruit Slow Juicer itself, well I love it. Once I figured out how to put it together (I’m a bit dim sometimes) it was dead-easy. The parts and machine base are reassuringly heavy, with quality non-BPA plastic and metal construction, and a heavy-duty induction motor. You insert whole fruits and vegetables (herbs too) into the wide chute and the integral vertical blade slices the produce before it is pressed by the powerful screw. It’s even easy to clean, just usually requiring a rinse out and the use of a hook-ended toothbrush-like brush to get into the nooks and crannies (comes with it). I always have a sink of soapy water waiting before I juice to make clean up super-easy.
While centrifugal juicers are good for occasional juicing – and if it is only to be quite occasional then this would be the type to go for – for those wanting more out of their juicer – more actual juice and nutrients – then it really has to be a slow juicer, and I heartily recommend this machine. And, if you are juicing quite a lot, the quieter action is a definite plus, as is the almost meditative way in which this machine slowly “chews” the produce.
Tips For Getting The Most Out Of The Optimum 600 Whole Fruit Slow Juicer:
1. If you are making more than one juice at a time, pour in some water to clear it out, then carry on with your juicing. No need to wash in between juices being made in one session.
2. Drink your delicious, life-enhancing fresh juice right away. You can store it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 24 hours and still get a lot of goodness, but it is often less appetising, especially green juices. But a day-old juice is ALWAYS going to be better than double pasteurised stuff from the supermarket. An idea is also to freeze extra juice, either as ice cubes or in a shallow container to break up with a fork as you would a granita for a savoury or less sweet summer treat.
3. Cut leafy greens before putting in the feed chute (and rhubarb and asparagus for the more daring among you) as they tend to have long strands of fibre that can wrap around the auger and make the machine work less effectively. But you can of course use fruit whole – the internal knife slices the fruits and hard veggies before it meets the slowly turning auger.
4. Speaking of greens, try and include at least one type of green vegetable in most juices. Even if you have a sweet tooth adding mild but nutritious and nearly-zilch sugar fresh spinach will give you extra nutrition points. Drinking all-fruit juice, even if freshly made, gives your body an awful lot of sugar in one go.
5. Sip it slowly; you aren’t doing shots. Take the time to drink your juice unhurried and in a calm state (if possible). We know that digestion isn’t as good if we are in a hurry, and certainly if we are walking or moving around. Sit and enjoy the flavours in the knowledge that you are doing your body good.
6. Lastly, fresh juice is NOT a substitute for eating intact, whole produce; it is an enhancement, a way of getting extra nutrients into the diet in a safe way (unless you have too much of it). It is also not a cure-all, despite what some websites and books may tell us. If you need to follow a low fibre diet, then juicing is a brilliant way of having off-limits fruits and veg in your diet, and I highly recommend it – a liquid supplement that not only adds variety to an otherwise fairly dull diet but really can help with energy and digestion. But everyone else – get that fibre in too.
Right now the Froothie Optimum 600 Whole Fruit Juicer is £279 instead of the normal price of £329 – a savings of £50. Not too shabby. If that’s not incentive enough, you get a one-month free trial and a 25 year motor warranty.
Now, for some easy-peasy recipes to use in your new (or old!) juicer.
Please Note: All produce is washed and trimmed, pits/stones removed (whole apples and pears are fine), green leafy vegetables and herbs are roughly chopped. I try to use organic, but local and seasonal non-organic are always my preference if organic has flown around the globe to get to me. Your call though. Here is the latest report from the Environmental Working Group guide to pesticides in/on produce: the “dirty dozen” and “clean fifteen.” This list is US-based but widely applicable.
This is not a pretty juice. But I make no apologies for its muddy colour. Perfect for Glastonbury
2 medium carrots + 1 small beetroot + 2 celery stalks + 2 large tomatoes + 2 kale leaves OR handful of spinach + 1 clove of garlic + handful of parsley + 1/2 yellow pepper + 2-4 radishes . A dash of Worcestershire sauce (vegetarian kind) and hot sauce to the juice if you like, too.
Liquid Sunshine Vitamin Juice
The Food To Glow take on the traditional Indonesian tonic juice, jamu. This anti-inflammatory juice may be a useful drink to add to your repertoire if you have problems with digestion, arthritis or lowered immunity. Imbibers traditionally dilute this deliberately strong juice with either natural coconut water or tea. I like it with plain water though. Here is a link to a great looking green jamu.
1/2 pineapple (or a small pineapple) + 1 lime or lemon, peeled + 3 carrots + knob each of ginger and turmeric (no need to peel, just scrub) + 3 kaffir lime leaves (a nice but optional frippery)
A Rhubarb Awakening
Juice rhubarb? Am I mad? No, not really. People sometimes hear that rhubarb is toxic in its raw state, but rest assured it is only the leaves, although the whole plant does have oxalates, as do many natural foods that we eat. However, we shouldn’t have too much in its raw state. This recipe is just fine though, and very, very refreshing when blended with ice or semi-frozen and slurped off a spoon. Here is more information on everything to do with medical aspects of rhubarb.
2 stalks of rhubarb (chopped) + a thumb of ginger root + 2 apples such as James Grieve, any of the russets or, for a supermarket apple, try a Pink Lady or a Braeburn. All of these have the right acidity and sweetness to match the rhubarb.
This is an all-fruit concotion, so enjoy in moderation due to the sugar content. But, get a load of the lycopene in it: both watermelon and apricots are brilliant sources of this hugely anti-inflammatory and disease-fighting plant chemical. Tomato paste is the best source, and actively promoted for men with prostate cancer, but any red or orange fruit and vegetable will have at least some.
1 quarter of a small round watermelon (or an eighth of an oblong one) + 2-3 ripe apricots
Here are a few other food to glow juice recipes for you:
Happy Tummy Tonic (the lead image in this post)
and my Juicing 101 page (addressed to cancer patients but for anyone – more recipes too)
Disclosure: I am an ambassador for Froothie and some links in this article are affiliate links. However, as always, all product reviews are based on my honest opinion. If you’d like to know more about Froothie health products, or this machine in particular, please visit the Froothie website for more details.