I like to eat and drink as healthily as I possible can, which cost a fortune as we all know, so when it comes to buying such things as fruit drinks I try and go for the lower priced items. Sadly though, even those cheaper options of fruit drinks cost an arm and a leg, with some having more chemicals in them than a toilet duck.
To make sure that I know what I'm putting into a fruit drink I sometimes try and make them myself, which involves buying a lot or fruit from the grocers and crunching it all up until I get a fruit drink that is to my taste, or even to my kids taste if they are having a go at being healthy.
So, to make these healthy drinks that I know contain only the chemicals that are in the fruits themselves I drop the lot into what is known as a juicer, which, as the name suggest, makes fruit into juice.
Now, over the years I have used several of these juicers, some massive, some small, some good, some bad, some that should not be called juicers at all. One particular juicer that I used a while back, although don't use it these days, is a juicer from a company called Salter, who specialise in small kitchen equipment I think, with this juicer having the not so glamorous name of the Salter SDP-CJ101SV.
* What does this juicer look like..?
It stands at no more than 250mm high and is about 200mm in diameter at it's widest point, being shaped a little like a football trophy on a stand, a small trophy, maybe for the Carling cup rather than the Champions league cup, but a cup none the less. Only it has one handle not too, like trophies, so you can't really stand there with this raised above your head pretending that you've just won the FA cup once more.
The main body is a jug. There's no other word for it. It's a jug, with a single handle and a spout for pouring the finished juice.
Up the sides of the jug are a few numbers which give a rough idea of how much juice you have inside. These numbers go up in 0.25's of a litre, all the way up to a full litre limit. On one side of the jug there is a long handle that curves outwards slightly, leaving plenty of room between the handle and jug for your hand to grip it without fear of dropping.
On the top of the handle there are a selection of numbers with a little knob that slides across from the number '1' to the number '5'.
Then, sitting snugly on top of the top of the jug, there's the lid, which has a sort of dome centre that is where the inner 'spinner' sits inside. Take the lid off the jug and you'll see that inside there is the inner 'spinner' juicer head, which is what 'hacks' at the fruit and stuff to make it the juice you're after.
This head sits on a 'dish' like device which is what the juice and pulp sit on before dropping through the many holes that are in this 'dish'.
Under the juicer head there's the shaft that connected the head to the motor below, sort of. This shaft is made of a plastic material and is cleverly hidden inside a clear tubing that protects your fingers, and the juice inside the jug, from the spinning shaft as it turns.
The jug then sits on a base, which is nice and curvy, 'doming' upwards slightly to give the entire juicer more stability so that it doesn't rock about everywhere when the power kicks in.
And that's what it looks like really. A large jug on a dome shaped stand with a bowl inside that lets juice and pulp drop through it.
* Has it got the power..?
It gives off 40 watts of juicing kick which is not too bad for a juicer in itself, and as the jug can take up to a litre of 'mush' then there's a lot of fresh fruit juice to go around.
The power cable is about 400mm long so you have to have it quite close to a power socket, but as most worktops have a power source nearby this should not be too much of a problem.
* How does it work..?
It's a simple process of turn and pressure, sort of, with the machine doing the turn whilst you add a little pressure.
In other words, this acts like one of those manual juicers that you spin the half orange on, extracting the juice into the little bowl at the bottom , but with this juicer you don't have to turn the half piece of orange as the motor does the turning for you, sort of.
You simply take off the lid, slice an orange in half - other fruits can be used - then you simple press the half orange onto the top section of the juicer, pushing down with the clear lid so that the orange half presses onto the juicer head without your fingers being put into any dangerous places. Pressing the lid down automatically starts the motor and will in turn kick the shaft into motion, spinning the juicer head inside the half orange. This, in turn, grabs out the juices and the pulp from the half orange, through the filter section and into the jug waiting below.
Plus, this juicer has the ability to be able to do something that other juicers don't do. This has the ability to jump time and travel through the space vortex of historical interferences.
No. not really, this juicer has the ability to give you more options of how much 'pulp' you want in the juice itself, from almost none, making an easy to swallow drink, to quite a bit, making the juice more chewable than drinkable... but as each person prefers a different texture then this juicer offers that option.
To use this 'pulp' function you use the slider which, a I mentioned, is on the top of the handle, sliding it along from 1 to 5, with one being less pulp and 5 being more pulp.
All this means is that the slider opens up the little holes in the section under the lid, from small holes to larger holes, which, when you pulp the half orange into the jug, a certain amount of pulp can seep through the holes into the juice, depending on the size of the holes.
You get two 'heads' which means that you can squeeze the juice out of small fruits, such as oranges and lemons, to larger fruits, such as larger oranges and lemons, or even melons too.
* What about cleaning..?
To be honest, cleaning this is like cleaning your average jug, almost, although you do have to take the jug off the lower stand as this stand houses the motor and means that it has the electrics inside it, which in turn means that it can not be washed in a bowl of soapy water as water and electrics are like marmite and custard - they should never be put together.
But as for washing the jug. All this entails is whipping off the lid, taking out the juicer head and giving the entire lot a good soak and a bit of a scrub to get rid of any scents that may class with other juice. The hardest part of cleaning this is making sure that all the holes in the bowl of the head are clear of any left over pulp, which I find using a brush does a cracking job in clearing the holes.
The jug, lid and juicer heads are all dishwasher safe so you can put them in the dishwasher with all your other pots and pans and let nature take its course.
* What do I think then..?
I have used a few juicers over the years and have found 99% of them to be a very useful piece of kitchen equipment, and this one lies in that 99%.
I like the look of it, even though it remind me of those old fashioned ladies of the night with their tiny waists which made them look sort of freaky in a way. This thins out a little between the stand and the main container, or jug, with the jug widening more as we go upwards to the lid area. But that's just what I see anyway.
It's not massive so it fits nicely on the worktop, surrounded by several pieces of slice up oranges, lemons and any other fruits that I am juicing up at the time. Then, when I've finished with it, and it's time to put it away. The nice size of it means that I can slot it quite comfortably into the cupboard without too much fuss.
It works like a dream, dragging out the juice and stuff from the half sections of fruit, very much like the old fashioned hand juicers in fact, without any effort from me as the pressure needed to get this going is almost none, in fact, my budgie could get the right amount of pressure without breaking into a sweat.
I like the way that I can control the size of the holes in the 'bowl' with the little slider, which at the end of the day is such a simple idea and really does let me decide how large the pulp should be when it settles inside the jug.
I particularly like a little pulp as I find that too much makes it more a chewy drink than a drinking drink, if you know where I'm coming from? This means that I have the slider set on number two, (no, not that sort of number two, although too much of some certain fruits could lead to many number twos).
I also like the way that the spinning shaft is cleverly hidden inside a clear casing, making it look a little like a controlled tornado inside the jug as it spins away. This spinning shaft has no impact on the juiced pulp inside the jug as it's only juicer head that touches the fruit, not the shaft inside the jug.
I initially thought that the handle would not be strong enough to take the weight of the jug when it was full of fresh pulped juice but as the saying goes, looks can be deceptive, and this handle is a perfect example of that saying.
The only downside I have to say is that the spout itself is a bit too small and is shaped a little wrong. What I mean by that is that when it comes to pouring the finished juice out into glasses I find that quite a bit of juice flows over the sides of the spout and can sometimes slop over the sides of the glasses, which is a waste of fruit and means I have some cleaning up to do afterwards.
What more can I say about this juicer?
I think I've covered all corners, although there's no corners on this jug as it's all curves.
The jug can hold a fair amount of juice that you can control the right size of pulp that goes inside the jug, so you get a fresh drink with or without the need to chew too much.
* So what does this juicer cost..?
This Salter juicer sells for about £20.00 or less, which is in the mid to low price range when it comes to juicers. Which is good money in anyone's books when it comes to knowing what's going into your body when it comes to drinking your twelve-a-day
* Would I recommend this juicer..?
I'd recommend using a juicer so you know exactly what is in the drink you're about to swig down as some of these drink they sell in the shops that claim to be good for you are as bad as drinking water direct from the River Thames itself.
So yes, I would recommend this one as it does exactly what it is supposed to do, at a very nice price too.