Author: kitchencorner

Wheatgrass juice

How To Prepare Wheatgrass For Juicing

Wheatgrass juicing appears to be steadily growing in popularity and when you look at the possible benefits, it’s not hard to see why.  Wheatgrass is a bright green sprout and the precursor to the common wheat plant. It is believed to be a more potent super-food than the similarly healthy spinach and kale and the list of health benefits that come from consuming and applying it are simply staggering.

By far the best and most beneficial way to drink or use wheatgrass juice is from scratch.  It is important to keep in mind that many folks do not drink wheatgrass juice for the flavour, which can be very strong.  Some people love it and a whole of people hate it. However, you can mix it with other flavours to make it more palatable. Just be sure to keep the juicing process as healthy and organic as possible.

Although it is not rocket science, there are some things you should be aware of before you begin wheatgrass juicing, to ensure you get the best out of this super-food.  In the following article we will therefore look at what you need to do to prepare wheatgrass for juicing and how best to juice it.

Preparing Wheatgrass

Preparing Wheatgrass

The very first thing you need to do with wheatgrass before putting it anywhere near a juicer, is wash it.  Rinse enough wheatgrass for the recipe you are following carefully under running cold water, looking out for any signs of mould.  If you come across even the smallest trace of mould, you should throw that batch away and start again with a new batch.  If you are planning on consuming wheatgrass juice as part of a healthier more organic diet, your body’s sensitivity to mold will increase, which can result in some nasty side effects if you do ingest something mouldy.  So at all costs, throw away moldy wheatgrass.

Next you need to roughly chop your wheatgrass.  The reason being, that the smaller the pieces of wheatgrass are, the easier it will be to blend them down into a juice.  This is an important step, even when using wheatgrass juicers.

Using A Wheatgrass Juicer

Although  you may be tempted to just use your normal fruit and vegetable juicer or food processor, we would recommend you invest in one of the many widely available wheatgrass juicers.  As wheatgrass is very fibrous, it can clog up ordinary juicers not designed to cope with it; which can be a pain when it comes to cleaning up and make the whole process of juicing that little bit harder.  That’s if, of course, it doesn’t break your juicer.  Wheatgrass juicers are available in manual and electric varieties.

Place the amount of wheatgrass you need for your drink(s) into the juicer and position a glass, cup or other container underneath the spout.  If you are using a manual juicer, use the plunger to push the blades through the juicer while turning the crank; whereas if you are using an electric juicer, follow the straightforward instructions applicable to the brand and model you own.

Cold Pressed Juicers

Top Five Cold Pressed Juicers

Cold pressed juicers yield better tasting and more nutritious juice than their centrifugal counterparts. However, even narrowing down to the cold pressed variety leaves you plenty of options. Here, we name our five favorite juicers. Need to know more about juicing in general? Check out our Juicer’s Glossary.

Best All Around Juicer

The Omega Nutrition Center is one of the most well reviewed cold pressed juicers online – and with good reason. It has everything you should look for in a juicer – it’s quiet, easy to clean, and produces an excellent tasting, nutritious juice. Moreover, it can take on everything from fruits and veggies to leafy greens, nuts, and herbs. The Omega Nutrition Center is sleek, durable, and comes at an incredibly reasonable price. Our favorite juicer –and we’re not alone – hundreds of people have given the Omega J8004 five out of five stars.

Best Starter Juicer

juicers

The folks at Breville want you to understand your juicer and they do an excellent job of explaining just what their line of juicers can do. Straightforward and easy to use, the Breville Fountain Crush comes with a safe start system (all parts have to be in place before the juicer can start), an overload protection system (so no overflow), and an easy auto-clean system (just pour in a cup of water). An excellent cold pressed juicer for those just starting out – the Breville Fountain Crush will ease you into your new juicing lifestyle.

Most Luxurious

The all stainless steel Super Angel 5500 was made for the most passionate of juicers, and we thus don’t recommend her for everyone. Self-described as the “most advanced living juice extractor…in the world”, the Super Angel 5500 offers a superior tasting juice with a high yield and plenty of nutrition. However, at over $1100 a pop this juicer is certainly a luxury item. Some call it the Rolls Royce of juicers – the Super Angel 5500 is certainly for those who want only the very best parked in their kitchen.

Most User-Friendly

The Hurom HU-100 Slow Juicer is compact, energy efficient, and easy to clean – and thus ranks as our most user-friendly cold pressed juicer. This lightweight model comes with minimal parts and no sharp blades, yet can still juice fruits, vegetables, soy, and leafy greens easily. Simply pour water through to utilize its self-cleaning system when changing to another fruit or veggie. This lightweight and quiet juicer comes with an attractive design that’s sure to look good in your kitchen.

Most Veggie Friendly

Most Veggie Friendly

Most high quality cold pressed juicers on the market today can handle veggies as well as fruits. However, one of our favorite juicers for taking down the toughest vegetables is the Green Star Elite 5000. This twin gear juicer can take down everything from leafy vegetables (Kale! Wheat grass!) to hard roots (Carrots! Ginger!). The Green Star Elite can also be used to juice fruits, herbs, and vegetables – it can also double as a food mill to prepare nut butters, sorbets and baby foods.

How to Stop Juicer Clogging

How to Stop Juicer Clogging

One of the biggest problems that occurs when using a juicer, regardless of the brand, is how to stop the juicer clogging. Although masticating and triturating machines will provide you with delicious cold pressed juice, if the juicer clogs, the whole operation slows or stops. Understanding why your juicer is clogging is the best way to prevent it from happening in the future.

Keep It Clean

This, of course, is the most obvious solution to keeping your juicer running smoothly. After every use, the juicer must be dismantled immediately and cleaned thoroughly. It’s all right to let it soak for a while, but never allow produce residue to harden on any of the parts. Some of the chutes can be difficult to clean, particularly the one that goes to the pulp container, but make sure you remove every bit of pulp from this area.

How to Juice Properly

How to Juice Properly

Keeping your juice clean will certainly help to stop the juicer from clogging, but very often the way you juice contributes to clogging. Not only is the size of the produce that you put through the juicer important, but also the consistency. Soft fruits and vegetables, as well as leafy vegetables have a tendency to clog up the juicer, either in the auger or at the pulp chute. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to prevent this from happening so that you can enjoy your cold pressed juice without problem.

  • Leafy vegetables can easily clog up your juicer, regardless of the brand. However, by mincing them fine, in pieces no longer than about 1/8 of an inch, these vegetables will pass through the juicer much more easily.
  • When you’re juicing, and using multiple items, cut everything up, and then leave it in separate piles.
  • In order to help leafy vegetables go smoothly through the juicer, don’t put them all in at once; throw in a handful and then put through a harder vegetable such as carrot or parsnip – this will help to clean out the residue of the leafy vegetables.
  • Soft fruits have a greater ability to clog the juicer, so be sure to follow them with a firm vegetable.
  • Don’t rush the juicing process. Many people try to cram everything in as quickly as possible. However, masticating and triturating juicers work fairly slowly, so letting them take their time to properly grind up the produce will make it less likely that your juicer will clog at all.
  • Use the freshest fruits and vegetables. As these age, they tend to become soft and ‘flabby’ and will be more likely to get stuck somewhere in the machine.
  • Celery is a popular vegetable for juicing, but it’s important to cut it up before adding it. Simply feeding in a whole stalk, which has very tough, long fibers in it, is a sure recipe for clogging up the juicer.
Celery
  • Check the pulp outlet chute to make sure that the waste pulp is being ejected. You should see a fairly steady output here, and if you don’t, it means that there is some kind of backup somewhere.
  • Alternate the produce you put into the juicer – soft, hard, soft, hard – and finish up the juicing session by running a hard vegetable through the juicer to clean it out.

Preparing the produce in the correct way before putting it into the juicer, alternating the different items, feeding the produce in slowly, and cleaning the juicer completely after each use will help you prevent the aggravating problem of a clogged juicer.

How to Care for Your Juicer

How to Care for Your Juicer

The most important aspect of caring for your juicer will be keeping it clean. Whether you have a centrifugal juicer or a cold pressed juicer, it is extremely important to keep it clean. Some juicers offer ‘self-cleaning’ systems and are easier to clean than others, however all juicers require at least a little attention.

If you have been using and cleaning your juicer every day, but still notice discoloration in hard to reach areas or, even worse, ‘gunk’, then you are not cleaning it as well as you should. When gunk builds up, it can provide a place for bacteria to grow. This is generally considered unhealthy.

Assemble Your Cleaning Tools

Some of the parts of the juicer can be difficult to clean, but if you have the proper cleaning equipment, cleaning your juicer will change from being an onerous and time consuming chore into a simple, fast operation. Remember to unplug the juicer before you begin taking it apart for cleaning.

A scrubbing pad that has a sponge on one side and a somewhat abrasive scrubbing surface on the other can be used to clean most of your juicer.

A tough nylon brush is good for cleaning out the filter basket. A brush will work much better than a scrubbing pad, and you can use a toothbrush with stiff bristles, too.

You will also want something to clean out the pour spout or other such difficult to reach areas, and a pipe cleaning brush will be perfect for this.

Because you will not want to scratch up the plastic parts of the juicer, have a large plastic spoon on hand to remove pulp and other residue.

How to Clean Your Juicer

breakfast with fruits

Your cleaning task will go much quicker if you have everything at hand before you start cleaning the juicer.

Fill your sink with warm, sudsy water and place all the parts of the disassembled juicer in the water.

If there seems to be any ‘gunk’ in crevices, it would be a good idea to soak the part to soften for a while for easier removal.

Be sure to get all the particles of fruit or vegetables out of the filter basket screen with your nylon brush or toothbrush.

Once all the parts have been cleaned, allow them to dry, and finish up the drying with a clean towel.

Assemble the juice once everything is clean, and it will be ready for the next time you want a pitcher of fresh cold pressed juice.

Keeping your juicer clean will not only prevent bacterial contamination of your juice, but it will also help your juicer last longer.

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