Adventures in Juicing

March 20, 2013


When I left my job in Des Moines, my amazing co-workers were kind enough to throw me a little going-away part complete with my favorite snacks (peanut butter M&Ms, pretzels and cheese/crackers). They also gave me a little gift – a gift card to Williams-Sonoma. Gift cards typically burn a hole in my pocket, but this time I decided to take my time deciding what to buy for my kitchen.

Since I have a pretty well-stocked kitchen, it took me a while to decide what I wanted to get that would be useful and a little bit fun, too. I had been contemplating jumping on the juicer bandwagon for a while now, and this seemed like the perfect time to make the leap. Once Williams-Sonoma started carrying the Breville Compact Juicer, which comes in at an affordable $100, I was sold.

We’ve been juicing for a few weeks now, and I’ve been gathering a few thoughts as we’ve gone along. I was ultra-curious about juicing and wanted more information before I made the leap. Hopefully my observations can come in handy for someone else in my shoes.

What I Like:
-The Breville Compact Juicer is smaller than other models and sits nicely on my countertop. It’s easy to store, fairly easy to clean (just takes a few minutes more than using a blender, but it’s not bad) and makes great juice.
-It’s a great way to use up produce that would otherwise not get eaten duing the week. This is especially true for extra apples, oranges, carrots, and celery that I seem to always have a surplus of at the end of the week.
-It’s a great way to get a few servings of fruits and veggies in the morning with breakfast. Typically I make the juice at night so I don’t have to mess with clean-up in the morning when I can barely make myself a cup of coffee. The juice stores well for up to a day, so that seems to be a good solution.
-I find that Joe and I enjoy drinking juices made with produce that we don’t usually like to eat. Example: I hate eating raw carrots. They take so long to chew! I also don’t care for the texture of mangoes or papayas. But Carrot, Mango, Papaya juice? Love it!

What I Don’t Like:
-I feel a little guilty every time I make a juice when I see the amount of pulp and extras that get thrown away. I can’t help but feel wasteful. I know that some people have used the leftover pulp in baked goods and such, but it seems like that’s just forcing things a bit. Have any of you found good solutions to this problem? This summer when we have a garden, I’m hoping to use the pulp as compost.
-Although I feel great when I drink a glass of veggie and fruit juice, I think it’s important to remember that juice should still be consumed in moderation. Unless you’re making a juice comprised 100% of green veggies, juices still contain quite a bit of sugar. Yes, the sugar is healthier in form, but I wouldn’t get carried away drinking multiple juices a day.

Overall, the pros outweigh the cons by a large margin. Joe and I have both loved playing around with new combinations and flavors throughout the week. As it stands, we probably use our juicer 3 days a week, maybe 4.

Since Joe is allergic to raw apples (crazy, right?!) we’ve been looking for other fruits and veggies that juice well (aka produce a lot of juice per fruit) and found that our favorite base to start with is carrots. Bags of large, whole carrots are extremely cheap so we buy four or five bags for juicing each week. Then, we add in other fruits and veggies, like oranges, pears, tropical fruits (mangoes, papaya), lemons, limes and beets.

The combination above was one of our favorites. Here’s an estimation of how it was made:

Orange, Pear and Carrot Juice
60% carrots
25% oranges (peel removed)
10% pears
5% lemons (peel removed)

Do any of you juice? Or are you considering buying a juicer like we were? If so, I would love to hear your experiences!


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  • Reply Bridget March 20, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    I had a question about your juicer: Have you tried it with green and leafy veggies?

    • Reply MadisonMayberry March 21, 2013 at 6:09 pm

      Bridget, I have tried a few green, leafy veggies in the juicer with mixed results. I can’t say that I get a lot of juice from kale or spinach, so I haven’t used them much because I feel like those veggies are better in a smoothie or eaten as part of a meal. It just doesn’t seem to produce enough juice to justify using them in the juicer.

  • Reply Laura Wifler March 20, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Love hearing about this – been wanting to try, but like you, I think the pulp seems wasteful. Composting it seems like a good idea. You should snag an indoor compost pail for all that pulp! I have the one from Williams Sonoma and love it. (I think you can get the same one almost anywhere for the same price – Crate and Barrel, Amazon, etc.) http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/brushed-stainless-steel-compost-pail/?pkey=ctrash-recycling

    • Reply MadisonMayberry March 21, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      Laura, thank you so much for the compost bin tip! I had never even considered an indoor compost pail. But I certainly will now!

  • Reply Cindy Germann March 20, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Can I just say THANK YOU for addressing the sugar content? I keep hearing OMG JUICING without addressing the possibility of a huge (albeit natural) sugar spike. Anyway, with that off my chest, every time I see a picture of your juices I think about getting a juicer – true story. They look so amazing!! One of my friends gives the pulp (or some of it) to her pup with his dinner. Some extra veggies are good for the dogs, too! Obviously start slow to avoid shocking her system, but it could be a good option. I give our veggie “rejects” (tops, ends, excess leaves etc) to our dogs and they love love love their veggies.

    keep posting your juicing adventures! you might just convince me to try it someday.

    • Reply MadisonMayberry March 21, 2013 at 6:07 pm

      Yes! I feel the same way you do, Cindy! I feel like so many people talk about going on big juice cleanses but don’t mention that they are losing the weight in an unhealthy way and loading up on sugar. Anyway, that said, we’ve been enjoying it in moderation and trying to incorporate a lot of veggies into the juices we make. Love the idea of giving it to Nutmeg. She goes crazy for all kinds of veggies and frequently eats scraps while I’m in the kitchen cooking so she would love that!

  • Reply Christina March 20, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    I love this post! You’re always writing about things I want to hear more about 🙂
    I’m allergic to raw apples too! I can eat them cooked, but raw burns my stomach. Weird, huh?
    We use pineapple instead of apples for sweetness in juicing 🙂

    • Reply MadisonMayberry March 21, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      Joe is going to love knowing that someone else shares his crazy uncooked apple allergy. He can eat cooked apples, too, but uncooked makes his mouth itch. Pineapple is a great idea! Especially since it’s so water dense. Thanks for the suggestion, friend!

  • Reply Liz @ Tip Top Shape March 20, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    I’ve been thinking about getting a juicer lately for the health benefits. Great informative post!

    • Reply MadisonMayberry March 21, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      Thanks, Liz! Let me know what you think if you decide to get one. And if you find a good use for all that pulp!

  • Reply Stacy Lane March 20, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    My husband took the pulp, made it into little patties, then dehydrated it and turned it into veggie treats for the dogs. They LOVED them!

    • Reply MadisonMayberry March 21, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      I LOVE that idea, Stacy! I never thought to make it into dog treats but since Nutmeg loves veggies, it’s a great idea.

  • Reply poiresauchocolat March 20, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    My mum always used to make carrot juice when I was growing up. It was always plain carrot with no other fruits or vegetables. She actually used it intentionally as an energy/sugar boost to help her give up drinking alcohol – it provided the lift at the time she always, always had a beer (well, a pint and then a half) at the pub or glass or two of wine at home (5-6pm, pre-dinner). We still have it sometimes – if the carrots are good, it’s really delicious.

    • Reply MadisonMayberry March 21, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      That certainly sounds like a much better way to get a little energy boost during the day! Although I don’t drink much, I do find that it provides a much healthier jolt of energy than an afternoon cup of coffee would. Since I’m trying to cut back on my afternoon coffee intake, it seems to help.

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Emma!

  • Reply greensnchocolate March 21, 2013 at 2:02 am

    I just got a juicer too and am having fun experimenting. I’d say another con for me is the hassle of setting up and cleaning it. I also feel bad about the pulp…love the idea of using it in your garden!

    • Reply MadisonMayberry March 21, 2013 at 5:58 pm

      I thought about you when I got our juicer since I knew you just recently bought one! I’m curious to try and add a little bit of the pulp to Nutmeg’s food as another use for it.

  • Reply Laura March 21, 2013 at 2:13 am

    As usual, you read my mind on the waste and lack-of-whole-foods issue in the midst of the current juicing craze — although I admit being in a tropical country recently I realized the appeal of juice when I felt too hot to consume anything at all!

    • Reply MadisonMayberry March 21, 2013 at 5:56 pm

      It’s most certainly one of those things that I still haven’t settled on how I feel about, Laura. I guess, like all things, it is best in moderation. Hopefully I find a few more creative ways to use the pulp soon!

  • Reply Urban Wife March 21, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    I thought buying a juicer for us (at this time, when everything is about The Baby…) would be out of the question but I can’t believe how affordable it actually is. I remember in my childhood, my Mom would make us carrot & orange juice a lot (in a blender, I’m pretty sure) and I loved it. I’ve always loved smoothies and fruit juices but yes, moderation is key like anything else because they can have a lot of sugar. Anyway, thanks for the info! 🙂

    • Reply Madison Mayberry March 21, 2013 at 5:54 pm

      It’s amazing how affordable some of the juicers can be. I was not sure if this juicer would feel cheap, but it doesn’t at all!

  • Reply Brittaney Devane March 21, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Great post! I love that you touched on the sugar content too. We have also been juicing for a few months now and I think it’s official to say that has become a way of life for us. And as far as trying not to have too much sugar, we try to stick to a 1:3 ratio.1 fruit, 3 veggies. Seems to work alright. The only thing I don’t love… the clean up. We have the Jack Lalanne power juicer and it’s a pain. It makes me wonder if all juicers are this much of a hassle to clean or just this one…

  • Reply jamie March 21, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    i’m glad you wrote this post — i’ve been thinking about upgrading to this same juicer for a while now! have you tried juicing parsley or cucumber? cucumber-watermelon juice in the summer is so nice. also, dog treats sound like a great way to use pulp! my favorite juice recipe uses grapes, so i’ll have to think of some other options if i want to use the pulp to make treats for my dog…

  • Reply Madison March 21, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    A few months ago we got a Breville juicer and I felt the same way as you about the excess pulp. It seemed to me that so much more could’ve been used and it was being wasted! After about a month we decided to return it and get a Vitamix instead (Plus, our old blender wasn’t very strong). I don’t regret it one bit. We can do so much more with the Vitamix like blend, juice, and make different things compared to the juicer which is only for juicing. I still juice with my Vitamix by blending the fruits and veggies really well, then straining it with a cheesecloth. It’s a little extra work but I do find that there is less pulp in the end compared to the juicer!

    Also, in my juice I typically put cucumber, spinach/kale, carrots, beets, an apple or orange, little bit of lemon, a small piece of ginger root 🙂

    PS. My brother is allergic to raw apples as well as peaches, too! I feel bad for him 🙁

  • Reply Randi Durham March 22, 2013 at 1:32 am

    Well thought out post. I am glad you included the pros and cons of juicing.

    My husband and I juice fast occasionally. I know the subject of juice fasting is controversial, but I have done several short and extended fasts and from my own experience I recommend everyone at least try it for a day. It’s a very disciplined and satisfying experience. On one of our recent fasts, I found a website with a three day recipe plan and grocery list. Some of the fruits and veggies on the list I thought I would hate and some I thought were just plain strange to juice raw. What I learned from that experience is that there are some undesirable juicing combos, but there are some things I never would have tried if it wasn’t for doing the preset menu. For instance, I realized that I enjoyed raw sweet potatoes and beets in juices. And when juice fasting, the sugar isn’t as much of a concern. 🙂

    I couldn’t find the exact recipe plan I followed, but it was something similar to this:

    Also, I have been eyeing this recipe to try out, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. To me, this seems like something you could eat an endless amount of before worrying about your caloric intake.
    (This is a great blog btw!)

    Thanks for the post.

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