Kiss Your Arsenal: Juicers

So, I’ve spent a bit of time around here going over the tools and appliances in my kitchen that help me work my culinary magic. I’ve aptly titled this series “Kiss My Arsenal.” But now, it’s time for me to kiss your respective arsenals, dear readers, because I find myself with a new and frightening appliance: a juicer. My mother in law gave it to my husband and me for Christmas.  Although it was a generous gift, I’m not quite sure how to use it. And with my tiny NYC apartment kitchen, I tend to resent any item that isn’t adding a lot to my kitchen.

I feel a little bad for the juicer. It seems to be an oft-mocked symbol of excessive, indulgent gift-giving. Isn’t it kind of short-hand for a bad wedding gift? Like, you set up a registry specifically so you don’t get one or more juicers. So here I am, adding to the heap of juicer scorn. But maybe I’m wrong! Maybe this will end up being a great addition to my

Fruit and Veggie Juice
Don't they look...colorful?

kitchen, and not a dust-collector or space-taker-upper. While I’m leery of any single-use appliance (hence my abstinence from panini grills and the like), it seems like a juicer could have more general utility.

The specific item I have is Jack LaLanne’s Power Juicer. It comes with a handy recipe book that contains smoothies, baked goods, salsas, and soups. I don’t doubt that this gadget is more than capable of helping me make these things; I’m just wondering whether it can do anything the food processor I already own can’t already do. Apparently it creates fruit or vegetable pulp that can be saved and added to other recipes to up the vitamin count, which is certainly promising. (Also, I’ve learned a few things. Did you know bananas can’t be juiced?)

So, what say you, commenters? Who has a juicer? How do you use it? I’m open to both positive and negative feedback, here. Whether or not I get any handy tips, I am going to march forward and make something with my juicer this week, and I’ll report back either in another food post or in the forum.

5 replies on “Kiss Your Arsenal: Juicers”

Yep, I have the very same juicer. I use it fairly regularly, maybe once or twice a week on average, and almost everything I’ve made with it was delicious. The exception, as pointed out above, was pomegranate – I got lazy and decided to see if I could just toss big ol’ chunks in there and let the filter sort it out, but it ended up being bitter and awful, so I learned the hard way you have to take the time to take out the seeds and just use those. Some especially tasty combinations were apple-carrot-spinach and pomegranate-lime-cactus pear.

I don’t have a juicer, so I don’t have much advice. I’ve been lusting after one lately though. Nothing fancy, just something I can use to juice citrus fruits for recipes–it is such a pain in the butt to try to squeeze half a cup of juice out of an orange by hand. So that’s one really practical application.

My mom got a juicer in the early 90s and made copious amounts of carrot juice. It actually wasn’t that bad-tasting, but I bet you could think of more creative ways to get your daily produce in.

P.S. I hope you’re planning on joining the Juice Club!!!

Future Mr. paperispatient’s family gave us a juicer not too long ago. I haven’t used it but he has fun making all sorts of concoctions. I do know that you should be careful with pomegranate – the first time he tried juicing it, when I got home there were a few tiny bits on the walls and the cupboards, and apparently if you include the white stuff inside it tastes awful. Hopefully he’ll see this post and can offer some good flavor combinations!

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