When I’m in New York City for extended periods of time, I try to work fresh-squeezed vegetable juice into my daily routine. NYC has fresh juice bars on quite literally almost every corner, which makes it easy to down a glass of broccoli and beets on your way to somewhere else. (Well, let’s say it makes it convenient. The ease of actually swallowing some of these “grassy” concoctions often has more to do with how skilled you are at separating your taste buds from your brain. More on that later.)
Well, when I’m not in NYC (which is most of my life), it’s pretty hard to find fresh-squeezed juice. There are a lot of things to love about Virginia, but being the first to new-age hippy food trends isn’t one of them. I’m not someone who wants to go all a-solid-food-shall-never-touch-my-lips again hard core. No. Popcorn is a solid food (I’m sure the FDA some data to back me up here), and as long as that’s the case, I refuse to drink all my meals. BUT, there is a benefit to having some juice every day. Especially if it’s vegetable juice. And definitely if it’s fresh. The vitamins and minerals are consolidated into one manageable cup of juice, which guarantees that they get into your body. (Can you imagine eating three carrots, two zucchini, six stalks of celery, one apple, some ginger, half a lemon, a beet and a yellow pepper all at one time? For breakfast?)
So, last time I returned home from New York, fortified and bordering on a super human from my daily juice routine, I decided to invest in a juicer of my own. Of course this meant that I needed to do some research. In this internet age, I find myself paralyzed to make a decision unless I’ve researched, read reviews, cross referenced and generally over-thought the damn purchase for 8-10 agonizing hours.
Not this time.
When I found myself staring down the barrel of yet another week of long evenings reading Amazon reviews, I made a deal with Mike. Armed with my list of “must haves,” Mike would educate himself on the world of juicers and present me with the pros and cons of his top picks. In exchange, I would sacrifice my pride, buck up, and make the embarrassing phone call to an Amazon seller in which I would literally beg for them to accept the return of some (ahem, men’s) sunglasses whose return acceptance period had passed. In my mind, this is the definition of marriage. Accept each other’s weaknesses. Try to compensate for them equally so that you can limp along as the imperfect creatures you both are.
And you know what? It worked!
Mike, the analyst that he is, definitely held up his end of the bargain. He narrowed us down to a couple of options and in the end, there was one we thought fit our needs the best. The Breville 800JEXL. At $300, it wasn’t cheap. But in an attempt to buy more quality things that will last longer and fewer crappy things that we’ll end up replacing in a year, we splurged. And boy, has it been one juicy party ever since!
One of the main reasons we chose this Breville is that the feed tube fits large pieces of produce (less chopping) and it’s easy to clean. Look, even the “trash” it produces is beautiful!
Because my reason for juicing is to wedge more healthy things into my diet, I typically make really healthy juices. Sometimes too healthy. Like a mixture of freshly cut grass and liquified Pacific Northwest forest in a glass. When I get it right though (usually by adding enough carrots or apples to sweeten the juice), it can be really damn tasty. Today’s juice is a smorgasbord of zucchini, celery, orange and yellow peppers, beets, apple, cucumber, lemon and ginger. The only thing missing is a Snickers bar!
Isn’t it cool to see the color of the juice change as different vegetables are added? No wonder juicing is sort of a hippie thing. It looks like tie dye.