Pulp NonFiction: Thoughts On My Breville Juicer

There are some things that I’ve wanted for a long time: a juicer, a Vitamix blender, a treehouse…  I may not be eating a Vitamix-made peanut butter sandwich in my house in an oak tree anytime soon, but in February my dreams of a juicer became a reality.  The idea of having in house kitchen-access to the kinds of mouthwatering, freshly made juices that I’ve enjoyed at restaurants and natural grocery stores has been calling to me for a while.  (Not as long as the ideas of a treehouse hideaway, but you probably already guessed that.)  The thought of waking up with a refreshing green juice, sweetened with pear or apple, seemed like a perfect start to the day.   (Ahem, after I’ve had my other morning juice involving organic, fair trade coffee beans…)  So after years of wishing while visiting raw blogs or watching documentaries like Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead and Crazy Sexy Cancer, a juicer is finally adorning my kitchen counter.  Between the smoothies, the juices, and the raw kale salads, my home even smells like a raw restaurant and juice bar.

When I was looking into juicers, I heard good things about Breville.  Although I didn’t buy one of the high-end models or brands used by true raw foodists, I feel pretty happy with my Breville Compact Juice Fountain.  On the plus column, it’s a nice size for two and fits under the counter.  It’s a breeze to assemble and disassemble, it juices quickly and easily, and cleaning is a cinch.  Breville includes a brush for cleaning the juicer’s mesh interior screen, and that is very handy.  I clean the whole juicer as soon as I’m done, and I haven’t had any problem at all getting to the machine’s nooks and crannies, unlike some kitchen appliances I’ve had in the past.  Most of the juicer is even dishwasher safe, although, I don’t clean it that way most of the time.  It’s easy enough to do by hand, and then it’s always ready for my next juice craving.

On the negative column, it’s not great at juicing leafy greens.  I’d looked forward to that, but this type of juicer just doesn’t do a very thorough job.  It seems to just immediately throw the leaves to the inside of the pulp container.  Being a leafy greens fanatic, I hate to just waste leaves that could have made a marvelous meal.  Luckily, outside of leafy greens, there’s still plenty that it is good at juicing  - fruits and vegetables like celery, bok choy, broccoli stalks, cauliflower stalks, cabbage, carrots, pears, apples, peeled citrus fruit…  I like to do an 80/20 mix of vegetables to fruit.  I often plan to bring extra juice with me to work for an afternoon pick-me-up but I’ve yet to have the restraint.  I can’t help but drink it immediately.  The crisp and thirst quenching juice is irresistible.

I can’t compare the dryness of the remaining pulp to other juicers since this one is my first, but I can say that it isn’t completely dry afterwards.  It has the feeling of mashed potatoes.  I’ve tried running it through the machine again, but the few droplets of juice it produces come out like sludge.  For the most part I like the juicer, and so I’ve started finding other uses for the remaining pulp.

One thing I’ve done is make my own vegetable broth.  Before adding any fruits, I juice only the vegetables.  Then I remove all of the vegetable pulp from its catcher and put it into a pot with water.  I bring the water to a boil and then lower it to a simmer.  I let it simmer for about an hour and add in any additional herbs I like.  (I often choose homey herbs like thyme, rosemary, and basil.)  Once it has finished cooking, I run the broth through a fine mesh sieve to catch all of the pulp.  I use it in any recipes calling for broth or when I want to add more color and nutrients to my cooked grains.  (Most people stay away from using green vegetables for broth because of the color, but I don’t mind it.)  If it’s more broth than I want to have on hand, I pour it into an ice cube tray, freeze it, and then I can use just as many cubes as I need at a time.

Another way I’ve used the pulp is by incorporating it in smoothies.  I don’t have a high-speed blender yet (see aforementioned Vitamix yearnings), and so my blender can use all of the help it can get!  After I’m done juicing, I mash the pulp into an ice cube tray and store it in the freezer.  When I’m making green smoothies, I just add a few extra cubes for extra nutrition, flavor, and texture.

Now some questions for you: If you juice, what kind of juicer do you use?  Are you happy with it?  Do you use the pulp?  If so, how?  And most importantly, what do you think would be the best thing about having a treehouse hideaway?

(Update:  Lately a lot of people have been searching for the juicer used in Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead and ending up on my blog.  The juicer used in the film is a more expensive juicer than the one shown above, also from Breville.  It’s the Breville Juice Fountain Plus.  Happy juicing!)

15 thoughts on “Pulp NonFiction: Thoughts On My Breville Juicer

  1. I did my research as well and wanted a leafy green juicer. As well as a wheat grass and regular carrot, apple etc juicer. The key is you need a slow auger type. I have the vertical auger in a Hurom juicer. It’s slow speed makes sure not to burn any vitamins with heat. It’s too is very easy to clean. Extremely quiet. And very powerful. The part I like is pulp comes out one spout and juice the other. So when you are done you just empty the container of pulp into garbage or into another recipe. It’s sits in less space then a standard blender. Comes with cleaning brush. I got a very nice certificate for williams Sonoma to pay for most of it. It’s 359. But worth every last penny. It’s new to the Williams sonoma. But the company makes a bunch of them under different names. Search you tube and you find it beating most machines head to head. Just had carrot, apple and ginger juice this morning. Yum.

    • That’s good to know about the Hurom. It sounds like a fantastic machine, but the price tag was a bit higher than I wanted to spend. I will keep it in mind for the next time I get one of those William Sonoma certificates… Maybe it’s time to renew my wedding vows! ;)

  2. I have that exact juicer! Like you, I find it really easy to clean and assemble etc, which surprised me. It sat in the box for a few weeks after I bought it, such was my trepidation towards the whole assemble/disassemble aspect.

    I’ve been pretty happy with it, so far. As for the greens, do you put them in one by one or in a big clump? I usually stuff a whole handful in at once and it seems to go through pretty well.

    Someday, maybe I’ll splash out for a better juicer, but for now, it’s ok for me.

    I think the best thing about a treehouse hideaway would be hanging out there with a blanket and a good book during a rainstorm…that is if the hideaway has a roof. If not, then definitely the good book part, but not in a rainstorm. :)

    • That’s funny that it sat in the box for a few weeks before its first use. I’ve had that experience with other kitchen gadgets. Although, not with the juicer. I used it within the first ten minutes of its arrival. :)

      I usually stuff the greens into the chute in a clump, but it didn’t seem like enough juice was produced for the amount of leaves. Maybe I just love kale too much. I want to get maximum enjoyment out of it. :) I’ve heard of other people putting the greens into the crevice of a bell pepper and that it helped the juicer to produce more juice because of the extra time it took to get through the blades.

      I totally agree with you about the major selling point of a treehouse hideaway. Cuddling up with a warm blanket and good book would be the best.

  3. I have a breville juicer as well, though a different one than yours. I absolutely love it. I’ve only had mine since February but I wish I’d purchased it sooner. We have had pretty good success with leafy greens like kale, though I have found that Dino kale produces the most juice.

    I haven’t used the pulp yet, but I am totally inspired by your idea to use the veg pulp to make broth! Brilliant. I hadn’t thought to juice all the veg first. Thanks for that tip.

    • That’s good to know about dinosaur kale! Thanks, Amanda! I’ve only tried curly kale in the juicer. I didn’t think it would make a difference. I did notice that the juicer does a pretty good job of juicing the stems of collard greens.

  4. Glad to have your insight on this juicer because I just received this exact one for my birthday a few days ago! Very excited to try it. I love your ideas for juicing veggies separate so you can freeze them or make stock out of them. So smart!

  5. I am thinking about getting this juicer but am worried about the kale aspect. I need to be able to juice kale but I can’t really afford to buy the 250-300 juicer (This is on sale at C&B)

    Do you juice the stems of kale as well or just the leafy green part?

    Thanks for your help

    • At first I juiced all of it – the leafy part and the stem, but I didn’t think I was getting enough juice out of it. So now I use the leafy part in raw salads or sauteed with garlic, and then I save the stems and juice them later. When it’s just the stems, I get a decent amount of juice. (Although, the juicer does just toss some parts of the stems to the side without pulverizing them.) I’ve heard of some people stuffing the kale leaves into the cavity of a bell pepper. They said that the juicer had an easier time breaking up the leaves that way. Hope that helps!

  6. I have this same juicer, so I appreciate your tips for maximizing it’s use. I love fresh juice but it’s hard for me to justify using all that produce if I’m just going to throw it out…thus, I love your creative types for re-purposing the pulp!

    • Great! I’m glad they’re useful for you! I agree, it’s disheartening to see all of that useable fruit and vegetable material left over. That’s a lot of money and nutrition to go down the disposal!

      At some point I could see myself getting a wheatgrass juicer, so that I could juice wheatgrass, leafy greens and pea shoots as well. Or maybe when I get to that point, I’ll get a higher end juicer that can do all fruits and vegetables with less leftover and wet pulp.

  7. I also cut out the stems of dino kale usually and use the leaves for cooking and the stems for juicing. I have the compact breville as well and I like it a lot. I have never tried another kind and maybe someday would spring for the Hurom. I do have a Vitamix, one of the best splurges I ever made. I bought it on QVC home shopping network and was able to get a discounted rate, not interest and paid it off over 5 months. That made it completely affordable. I love the idea of throwing the cubed frozen pulp into the smoothies. right now I basically compost the pulp but want to try broth. However I am less inclined to juice in two steps and may try the broth with the apples I usually use for sweetness.

  8. I, too, spent a lot of time yearning for a juicer and still yearn for a Vitamix. My family went in on a juicer for my birthday a few days ago (the one in Fat, Sick…) and I just about died of happiness. I’m still in shock!

    I love the idea of freezing pulp in ice cube trays and adding cubes to smoothies. That’s brilliant! Definitely going to try :) I hate throwing all that fibre away, even if it is into the compost.

    • Happy belated birthday! A juicer is such a great idea for a birthday gift. Hopefully all of those fruits and vegetables will give you many more healthy years! :)

      I agree that it’s hard to throw away the fruit and vegetable remnants, especially knowing how expensive organic produce can be. I feel so much better repurposing it!

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