Last weekend, we went and chatted to Keith and bought some living wheatgrass and a hand juicer - you can read about that outing if you want some more background. Suffice to say for the purposes of this entry, we now own a Lexen Healthy Juicer
What it is
The healthy juicer is a masticating juicer - meaning it essentially chews the item being juiced, breaking down the fruit or vegetable and squeezing the juice out.
It consists of:
- a base with suction grip and optional stainless steel clamp (I don't use the clamp when doing wheatgrass)
- a hopper and juicer body
- a busher and auger that slot into the body - the head (and the corresponding end cap) is stainless steel
- an end cap, and an additional small end cap which can be used for wheatgrass to get a bit more force on the produce
- a removable handle
- a dish with cup and removable metal sieve for collecting the juice
- a pusher that doubles as a lever for the suction cap lock/release knob
- a plastic end cap spanner to be used to loosen the end cap once you've finished juicing
- there are a couple of spare washers, an extra small end cap and a spare busher provided as well
In my experience, this is the most important factor determining whether or not I'll actually persevere with using a device - how easy is it to clean? I've been using the juicer during the week to juice our wheatgrass, and it has worked really well, and is unbelievably easy to clean - you really just rinse the various parts under water. It is honestly that simple.
The box only says it is ideal for wheatgrass and leafy greens - so I really wasn't sure whether or not I could use it for juicing much harder vegetables such as carrot and celery. So I watched their video from Keith's homepage (the link on their own website wasn't working) and discovered that yes, carrots and celery can be put through. The only preparation required is to cut then into thin sticks.
What I juiced
I set about putting this to test, preparing the following:
- 3 small carrots which I peeled, (you don't have to, but I don't like the bitter taste if you don't) and cut into sticks ranging from about 75mm square up to 1cm square - and of varying lengths,
- 1 leaf of cavolo nero (only 1 because I wasn't sure how strong this would taste!),
- 2 sticks of celery cut in half lengthwise
- 1 small orange, which I cut the skin off (roughly) and cut in quarters
- 1 tomato cut in quarters
When I'm juicing wheatgrass I don't bother using the mesh sieve that sits in the top of the collection dish, but for this juice I decided to.
I juiced the fruit & veges in a mixed order, leaving the tomato until last - the tomato generates a very thick, pulpy juice which I found I had to turn the handle backwards on the juicer to get it out of the auger and back into the drain hole, then I spread it across the sieve and forced it through with the back of a spoon as a final step.
The resulting juice was absolutely delicious, of lovely consistency, and what I really appreciated is that it wasn't horribly frothy.
Comparing my experience with a centrifugal juicer
We have an electric, centrifugal style juicer which I used to use years ago and the resulting juice, regardless of what you are juicing, is always absolutely full of froth and has to be continually stirred while you're drinking it to stop it seperating out. Not to mention that due to the way it works, everything gets somewhat heated in the high-speed process thus destroying some of the amazing nutrients you otherwise get when you juice, and finally, it was an absolute beast of a thing to clean - which is why I haven't used it for years. And now that I know how easy it is to use the Lexen Juicer and how much I can do with it, I will be getting rid of the electric one.
The resulting pulp still looked so good, and I hate missing out on the good fibre from the veges, so I set about making a pot of soup - I had some heads of celery leaf that I'd been saving for soup and used these as the base and tipped in all of the pulp from my juice as well. Its cooling at the moment - initial taste tests have been very positive!
If you're looking for an easy to use juicer that is convenient - particularly as far as cleaning goes, this is an absolute gem. I haven't bothered finding a home for it in the kitchen - because I am using it every single day. And at about $90 this is a very economical way to juice. (I just checked and if I were to buy our Breville centrigal juicer brand-new today, it would cost over $250!)
Last but by absolutely no means least, because this is a masticating juicer, you really are getting the very best of the nutrients and vitality out of your produce.
Oh - and no I am not being paid to review this product! I'm just doing so because I absolutely love it!