I bought myself an impulsive holiday gift last week: one of those turbo-charged juicers that can pulverize a whole apple into liquid, sans pulp, in mere seconds.
Though the juicing craze—with its plethora of websites, celebrity fans and a popular documentary—Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead—has been hot for months, the post-Jack Lalanne liquid diet only recently hit my radar screen.
Most people start juicing to lose weight, detox, increase energy or cure some sort of illness. Not that I’d be opposed to reaping any of those benefits. But my motivation for forking over $299 for an optional kitchen appliance was simply the latest in a long list of attempts to infuse nutrition into my and prepare quick weekday breakfasts without dirtying any dishes, pots and pans.
I heard about the marvels of juicing from a few friends. One swears it’s gotten her 5-year-old to eat kale without even realizing it. I spontaneously ordered a Breville Juice Fountain Elite model online when a former college pal and Facebook friend posted that it was her favorite juicer and even provided a link to the Williams Sonoma website, where it was on sale. A few days later, a gigantic box arrived.
Upon opening it, I was instantly intimidated. The 15-pound, stainless steel machine looked like a piece of equipment that should require protective goggles and a license to operate. Surprisingly, assembly was pretty simple. My husband eyed the handsome Elite put together on the counter and had only one question, “How much did that cost?”
Next, I selected a simple blend from the Fountain Elite recipe booklet. The one I chose combined cantaloupe, oranges, mangos and plain yogurt. My daughter likes all of those fruits, and yogurt—her much-needed source of protein—would be undetectably melded into all that fruity freshness.
Pressing the fruit through the shoot was fun, although I was struck by how little juice is extracted from so much fruit and worried that if this juicing strategy works out, I may have to purchase an additional refrigerator.
The cantaloupe, mango, orange, yogurt blend was delicious. My husband thought so too. My son said he wasn’t thirsty and politely declined a sample. But my daughter dived right in.
Immediately after, she said, “Gross! This is disgusting.”
This defeat is only momentary, though. It’s just a matter of finding the right recipe and there are literally hundreds of them online. In fact, right now I’m off to buy a head of romaine lettuce, spinach and carrots. The same Facebook friend just emailed me a recipe that combines these, plus raw cocoa and other ingredients. She insists it tastes just like chocolate milk, and my daughter loves chocolate milk.