Every home inhabited by someone who's been on a temporary health-kick eventually ends up with something like the Kenwood JE550 Centrifuge Juicer sitting somewhere at the back of their kitchen cupboard. And it's not small - just under a foot and a half in length and height - so it occupies quite a bit of valuable storage space.
My partner has a bit of psoriasis and doesn't like to treat it by the usual means (nasty skin-thinning steroid creams from the GP). We read somewhere that drinking....raw potato juice could be helpful for this condition (which is odd, because other books on helping psoriasis suggest that plants from the solanacae group - of which tomatoes, potatoes and peppers are all members - actually make the problem worse.)
Try getting your hands on raw potato juice though: there's a reason they don't sell it in the shops, it's horrible - so if you really want some, you have to make your own. So we got this Kenwood juicer - £25 from Ebay (this was about four years ago, mind you) so we could get some at home.
The juicer has the following features all listed on a self-sticky plastic label that the previous careful owner didn't get round to removing either (for some strange reason; could it be that they used the juicer just as few times as we have done?) Reading these 'features' I must say that the people who manufactured this juicer did seem to make a big deal of the slightest little thing:
-Two speeds - for soft or hard fruit
-900ml pulp container - for easy pulp removal and cleaning
-500ml juice mug (note from self: this is much smaller than you'd think) - with pouring lip and foam separator (a pouring lip? See what I mean about making a big deal out of next to nothing?)
-Food hopper for ease of use
-Interlock system for safe and easy use (I have no idea what this refers to)
-Stainless steel filter basket for efficient juicing
Powerful 200W motor
Basically the juicer looks a lot like a food-processor. The main part - the centrifugal juicer - is encased away in the white plastic shell, and sitting snugly against this at one end is the slot-in clear plastic jug part. The controls are limited to a simple on / off switch. There is a smallish inlet chute - the 'food hopper' - a few inches long and about an inch and a half wide - through which you drop in pieces of fruit (obviously anything larger than the aperture has to be cut down to a size that will fit. There's a plastic 'prodder' that fits neatly into the chute inlet, that you can use to shove the fruit pieces down into the mechanism of the juicer with, and the chute is cleverly designed to be too narrow and long for you to be able to fit your hand / fingers down it into the 'dangerous' juicing part. Once the fruit's in and the juicer is switched on, juice is extracted and collects (not at a great rate, admittedly) in the juice-jug part.
As we mainly got this gadget for 'health' rather than 'fun' reasons, we didn't try the juicer with soft fruit like peaches or grapes so I can't comment on how well it worked with fruit like that. You don't get a very great return of juice, it has to be said, from 'hard' fruit such as apples - but then these aren't flowing with juice in the first place. Similarly for vegetables such as carrots (and the dreaded potatoes); you do get some juice but not a very impressive return really.
What the juicer does produce in abundance is left-over pulp from the juicing process; this collects in the inside part and has to be removed after each session of juicing. So much waste material is produced that we ended up feeling quite guilty about the 'wastage': from juicing eg. carrots, what was left looked like grated / pulverized carrot and still seemed surprisingly juicy, so we tried making carrot cake with it (with reasonable results). If you used the juicer regularly, there would be far more waste pulp than you could possibly use, however - but if you have a compost heap, the stuff's good for that.
Cleaning out the juicer after use is fairly straightforward and not even all that time-consuming, and I have to say that although the 'thought' of having to clean it afterwards was much worse than the actual hassle involved, it was enough to put us off using the juicer after the first couple of weeks. Once having bought the thing, of course, we felt obliged to use it at least for a while, didn't we? Similarly the return of juice was all right, but not brilliant - with this you wouldn't, for example be producing streams and streams of juice so you always had some fresh and on hand in the fridge. What it gives out per use is only about enough for a couple of moderately-sized juice servings. This combined with the pulp wastage / disposal problem (when we had it, we lived in a top-storey flat with no garden) and cleaning afterwards disadvantages led to us stopping using it quite quickly.
The juicer came with a paper booklet of recipes for mixed fruit and veg juices many of which sounded most appetising, but which we never got round to actually trying.
I started a healthy eating life style change some months ago after realising that my old diet was pretty poor. Although I love the taste of fruit I actually can't stand the texture so I got this juicer, I figured that I could still get the goodness out of the fruit in a way that I could enjoy.
This juicer is a compact little thing so fits nicely into my tiny, crowded kitchen and doesn't take up hardly any space at all. The surface of the machine is glossy and very easily wiped, the actual machine is made up of a motor unit, juice jug, pusher and a filter with collector for all of the pulp.
The juicer is so easy to assemble that you don't really even need to look at the instruction booklet! Simply chop up your fruit or veg and turn the machine on, there are two speeds to choose from. The slower speed seems to produce more juice but if you're struggling to get something such as a hard carrot through the filter just crank it up a notch and it will be blitzed up before you know it! Pop your fruit and veg in the opening at the top and use the pusher to shove it down, simple really.
The filter is essential in this product as it stops all the nasties from going in to your juice, things like peel and pips. The filter is of a reasonable quality and mostly only lets through the juice but sometimes you do end up with thick lumpy bits in your finished product, just give it a quick stir and it's fine.
This juicer will juice literally anything, from carrots to grapefruit - whatever you want to use you can! You could probably even juice a potato if you wanted (though I don't know why anyone actually would, just saying that this juicer is more than capable), just remember to chop everything into small chunks. The jug holds 16floz of liquid and has a level at the side, handy if you want say 300ml's of juice.
One of my huge annoyances with this juicer is that it's just terrible to clean! It's extremely time consuming and fiddly but this might be the same for all juicers, I don't know. I'd say to clean it soon after juicing, otherwise pulp and other bits could stick and become hard to remove. Due to the cleaning I probably don't use my juicer as much as I should, also it seems to me that you have to use quite a lot of fruit and veg to get a small amount of juice, it's cheaper to just buy juice from concentrate although I appreciate it's not as good for you.
This juicer is cheap though, I think you can pick it up for well under £30 from some places so if you don't mind the cleaning then I'd say go for it. Also, I have found this juicer to be a tad noisy, not good to use in the morning as it could easily wake the other members of your household up!
This juicer is great, very efficient as the feeding tube is quite wide allowing large pieces of fruit to be juiced. The pushing down tool makes short work of each piece of fruit and makes the juicing process quite easy. Easy to assemble and a lock ensures no fingers can get into the juice :0)The juice is a very different texture to what you would get in a carton. its thicker and cloudier as most of the fruit is being used but this is much healthier. Its parts are dishwasher friendly which is positive as cleaning them in the basin isnt always very thorough. A good basic juicer
I first experienced freshly squeezed juice when I moved to London over 6 years back. It was a bit of a craze at the time and juice bars were popping up in all the 'cooler' parts of town. I've never really liked fizzy drinks in abundance so my fridge was always home to a carton of natural juice of some shape or form. The juices I sampled in the juice bars though were nothing like the gunk we pick up in the supermarkets and so yes I became a JUICE JUNKIE! After becoming dependent on my daily fix of juice I knew it couldn't continue as each juice purchased was costing me in the region of £3. I had a look around and realised that the easiest and more cost effective answer would be to invest in a juicer. I probably sound like a rich bitch but as a graduate trainee in the music industry I was earning substandard wages in a city that could rob even the richest blind. Juicers range in price form around £20 to way over the £200 mark. I did my homework and in true Mizzame style I was after the chrome model for around £200. Many a Saturday morning or lunch hour would be spent in Liberty's (department store) basement eying up the deluxe 'crème de la crème' juicer that I wanted but at £200 I'd be on the streets if I forked out. I continued to pick up my daily fix form the juice bar, lining their pockets more and more until Christmas 3 years back when my mother answered my prayers! Mums are great when it comes to bringing you back down to earth, my mum is no exception. She knew what I was after, she also did her homework (Our family always had a subscription to Which? As long as I remember.) so for Christmas 1999 I received the KENWOOD JE550 JUICER. Weighing in at around £29.99 it's a far cry from the £200 baby I really, really yearned for but was probably more inline with my lifestyle! The juicer itself is a compact unit a little smaller than a food processor so nests elegantly on any work service or fits neatly i
n any cupboard. Comprising of a motor unit, pulp collector with filter, juice jug and pusher it's really rather simple but well equipped for the job in hand. If you are familiar with Kenwood kitchen products the JE550 JUICER is styled on par with the other electrical appliances in the Kenwood range so is primarily plastic with a modern look. GET JUICING! I'll never forget Christmas morning 1999 I had about a gallon of freshly juiced carrot and apple juice - It felt like heaven! The juicer is very easy to use. The fruit or vegetables need to be cut in to chunks that will fit down the hole, pop the chunks in turn on your juicer and use the pusher to push the chunks through to the filter! Honest it's that easy! The difficult part is to know what to juice. The juicer has 2 speeds which through time I have learnt are best used together - always start of slowly as you'll get more juice from your fruit or veg but should you have a stubborn carrot or a tough apple core the faster speed helps to get them through the filter. Apple juice is always a winner and whether you like simple apple juice on its own or prefer the more exotic I do find that apples make a great basis for any juice as they thin out the thick and sweeten the sour. Carrots are also handy and as versatile as apples although carrot juice posses a rather refined taste. I have used my juicer religiously since I received it and have fresh juice every morning before I get up. It's a great energy booster and should we be too lazy to climb down stairs to the juicer or be out of fruit and veg we really do notice the difference in our energy levels throughout the day. So what do I juice? Everything mate, everything! My shopping trolley is always laden with fruit and veg bought for the sole purpose of my daily juice fix. Here are some favourite mixes: 2 oranges & 2 grapefruit (pink grapefruit is slightly sweeter) 4 apples, 1 carrot & a piec
e of fresh ginger 6 apples & half a small fresh beetr oot (trust me it is delicious) 1 mango & 3 apples (needs apples as dilutant) 2 apples, 2 carrots & a stick of celery (my fave - hubby hates it!) ½ pineapple - gorgeous! 3 apples, an orange and a kiwi fruit (*each of the above makes approx 2 glasses of juice although varies from fruit to fruit so use your judgment) We do tend to opt for the fruiter mixtures however I have tried some juices with fresh vegetables rather than fruit - for example: tomatoes, celery and lettuce to combat fatigue or apple, beetroot and parsnip for a multi mineral boost but you need to remember these will offer more savoury juices rather than the sweet fruity ones which most people prefer. With over 3 years of continued juicing with my KENWOOD JE550, I think the juicer offers real value for money. The jug which forms part of the juicing unit hold 16floz of juice - enough for 2 reasonable sized glasses so great for 'his and hers' breakfast! Without detracting from this beauty after so much juicing my unit is starting to show signs of cracking up - the plastic is starting to ware in places but should I replace the juicer in the near future I would not hesitate to buy this model again. Prices vary from £20 to £30 for this very machine so I would say shop around - Argos will normally charge around £25 and House Of Frasers recently had the JE550 for £19.99. I have found 2 annoying things about this juicer - cloudy, foamy juice with some mixes which is basically down to the standard of the filter and juice separator (which here is just a small hole in a silly lid for the jug!) and personally I believe the only way to combat the foam is with the more expensive juicers (My chrome 'crème de la crème' £200 model for example). My second gripe is the cleaning - it really is time consuming and fiddly but I believe this is standard from juicer to juicer. My advice i
s clean it as soon as juicing is complete as juices can stain the unit and become stubborn to remove. All in all this juicer is a winner with me! MIZZAME's DOS & DONT'S OF JUICING: DO juice slowly - you'll get more juice DO pick up reduced fruit and veg for juicing, it saves money and ripe fruits will produce more and sweeter juice. In my opinion organic works best. DO drink the juice as soon as it's made- vitamins disappear so the sooner you guzzle the juice the more goodness you get. (Should you wish to store the juice add a squeeze of lemon juice as it'll keep better and refrigerate.) DO dilute strong vegetable juices (beetroot, broccoli, spinach etc) as they can be too much for your delicate system - you cann dilute with apple or water, I prefer apple. (Did I ever tell you about my mate who drank too much beetroot? Hilarious!) DO dilute all juices for children with an equal amount of water Do soak the juicer components from time to time in a diluted bleach solution as this helps clean of any discolouring and get to the parts of the juicer that normally you can't. (Obviously I am NOT talking about the motor unit here!) DON'T be too picky - I never peel or core apples, kiwis or carrots, I just rinse, chop and chuck in, it adds to the goodness. (Peel all citrus fruit to avoid bitter juices) DON'T mix fruit and veg together - the results can be painful and smelly! (The exception to this rule is apple and carrot, which can be added to anything) DON'T drink more than 3 x 8oz glasses of juice a day until you're a hardened juice junkie like me. DON'T blame me when you get hooked! A great book I have discovered with loads of great recipes and ideas is 'Juicing For Health' by Caroline Wheater covering everything you need to know about juicing and its benefits. Health war
ning: Fruit juices are high in fruit sugars so people with diabetes should avoid drinking too much.
First it was the coffee bars that started springing up in every town. Maybe it’s only me, but I could not walk down a high street without passing at least two coffee bars, if not more, often next door to one another. Having got the nation hooked on caffeine at a couple of pounds a shot the novelty started wearing off and previously packed coffee houses were seeing trade dwindle. Enter the juice bar! This one has far more health appeal and offered something that the coffee bar couldn’t. You can boil a kettle at home and make a cup of coffee but fresh juice is another thing entirely. Most of us could squeeze an orange (provided of course that we had one) but to get a good glass of orange juice you need around three to four oranges and a lot of elbow grease! What about carrots though – ever tried squeezing the juice out of one of those? One such juice bar sprang up not far from my place of work. Tempting me in at 8 o’clock in the morning with Latin American music flowing from the door I was persuaded to part with £2.70 for an “Autumn Energiser” drink. One sip and I was hooked. The problem I had was that I could not justify spending £2.70 every day on a drink made of carrot, apple, orange, ginger and honey when a quick bit of maths told me that the raw ingredients cost less than 50p. A quick trip down to Argos provided the answer. A centrifugal juicer. Which one? They all looked so similar. In the end it came down to a special offer (free book on juicing) and reliance on that well known brand name of Kenwood. I have many Kenwood appliances and they have all been reliable so £30 lighter in pocket I set off home eager to try my new purchase. The Kenwood JE550 Juice Extractor is a simple looking machine. In keeping with the rest of the Kenwood range of kitchen equipment it is white with a blue logo. The machine itself measures 24.5 x 16 x 29 cm and weighs about 2.5kg. It is therefore o
f a size that can be accommodated in a cupboard or left out on the work top without causing too much trouble. Kenwood clearly thought about design when they came up with this one as there is a very useful food hopper (on which you can put your prepared fruit and veg before juicing) which inverts for easy storage on top of the machine. The juicer operates from a 200 watt motor at one of two speeds depending upon the fruit being juiced. As a basic rule soft produce should be juiced on the slow setting and hard on the fast. So how do you use it? 1 – Prepare your fruit or veg to be juiced. The hole into which you put your fruit and veg is not overly large and thus most things need to be cut before they can be juiced. Obviously fruit such as oranges will need to be peeled but I tend not to peel carrots and never apples! You will find that you will need to quarter or possibly eighth apples (depending on size) and possible halve carrots (lengthways). Perpared fruit can be placed on the hopper. 2 – Turn on juicer and put produce into machine! Quite simple this one. You are provided with a shaped plunger (for want of a better name) with which to force the fruit down the entrance hole and onto the stainless steel filter. This takes very little effort but using it does stop things being spat back up the chute! 3 – Juice will magically collect in the jug below! The jug that collects the juice is capable of holding up to 500ml. It claims that the lid is a froth separator (you do get a lot of froth from certain fruits and veg) but I have found use of the lid just to make a huge mess! The problem is that the hole which lets the juice out but retains the froth is in the middle of the long edge of the jug (imagine a semi-circle with an oval hole in the middle of the straight side). It would be far better if the hole was at a corner where it is easier to control the flow. I th
erefore, tend not to use the lid. 4 – Pour into a glass and enjoy! I have found the juicer to be very efficient and must say that I feel really good in the mornings after having had a glass of freshly pressed juice. There is no danger of cutting yourself on the filter (although care should be taken when washing it) and there is a safety lock on the lid. So, are there any niggles? Well, apart from the problem with the lid of the jug, not really. The top of the machine where the pulp collects (which can hold up to 900ml of pulp) can be a bit fiddly to clean and the stainless steel filter can be a little hard to remove. Sometimes, fruit gets through to the pulp container without being properly juiced although I have found this only really to happen with apples and it is not such a huge problem. If I had one complaint it would be that the machine does not clean itself! I love the juicing but I hate the washing up (the machine breaks down into 6 parts and then there is the knife and chopping board!). What can I juice? I have found fruit to be the best although I regularly add carrots to my juices. You can juice veg but I am not yet that brave! My favourite recipes are: AUTUMN ENERGISER (as bought for £2.70!) 1 Orange 1 Apple 2 Carrots ½ inch of Fresh Ginger 1 tsp Honey Juice the fruit and veg and then stir in the honey! CARRIBEAN DREAM 1 Orange 2 Kiwi Fruit (peeled) 1 Apple ¼ Fresh Pineapple (peeled) (rum to taste!) Apples juice well but do expect “bits” in the juice – like old English apple juice as opposed to the clear variety. I would not recommend trying to juice bananas – they do work but are better blended with a hand blender. (Strawberries, banana and raspberries with either natural yoghurt or milk is scrummy!) One point to note is that the fruit and veg quic
kly loses its vitamin content after being juiced (through oxidisation) and you should therefore drink the juice as soon as it is pressed for maximum benefit. You will be surprised at how much fruit and veg you can eat (and I normally hate the stuff!) and so having a local market where you can buy in bulk at the end of the day helps (the fruit does not need to look good for juicing!). If you are into cooking then you can make up individually flavoured juices and freeze them (ice cube bags are great for this) and you can even use the pulp for pies and as yoghurt flavourings (a la Muller only much cheaper!). I think that this juicer was a great buy and I have had more than my money’s worth out of it! It is now on offer at Argos for the knockdown price of £24.25 – you can’t go wrong. Happy juicing! Claire
Juicing the occasional glass of apple, carrot, pineapple, peach or even potatoes can be quite interesting, they say that there is nothing more natural or healthy than a fresh glass of fruit juice. I call it slightly annoying, how many carrots do you think it takes to make a small glass of carrot juice? 14! I know, it's good for me, and seeing the tasty juice coming out the end is quite satisfying, and it tastes absolutely beautiful. This juicer has two speeds, the slower one being for the squishy fruits like oranges. You can't get your fingers caught either as it has one of those safety lids, just what I need! The opening to get your fruit or veggies in is a little on the small side, but as long as you cut the potatoes up you're away! The machine is easy to take apart and clean. Just be sure to rinse its various parts thoroughly before the pulp hardens in the various nooks and crannies). You can try:- - carrots - apples - beetroots - celery Or:- - parsley - kale - spinach - grass! But please, don't try apple and grass together, I have, and it tastes disgusting!!!!!
Short name: Kenwood JE550