Whether the drink du jour is green juice, watermelon juice or beet juice, juicing is clearly having a bit of a moment. Those who are drinking the Kool-Aid juice point out that it can be a fast, ultra-efficient way to absorb fruit and vegetable nutrients.
For the most freshly-squeezed juice possible, press your own juice at home. Making your own fruit juice at home isn’t hard, and comes out to be far less expensive than if you were to buy it freshly-pressed from the store. You can do this with a variety of juicers, including slow or masticating juicers, which extract liquid, or high-speed juicers, that separate juice through high-speed spinning.
If you don’t want to invest in a juicing machine, there’s one more way to make juice at home; all you need is a fine-mesh sieve and the right blender.
The Best Juice Blenders
When it comes to juicing, not all blenders are created equal. The key to creating your own juice is to start with a whole-food juicer (also known as a high-speed blender). Unlike other blenders, these machines operate at more than 1,100 watts—and often well above that. And while typical blenders can handle soft fruit and vegetables like tomatoes, watermelon and bananas, their motors often can’t handle firm fruits like apples or hard items like ice, while high-speed blenders tackle these with ease.
On the market for a high-speed blender? Here are some of the best juice blenders on the market.
Vitamix Ascent Blenders
Vitamix has been known for its high-performance blenders, both in home and commercial settings, for more than 70 years. The Vitamix Ascent collection, the company’s newest collection of blenders, is better than ever. It features variable speed control to customize texture, and also includes personal cup adapters and to-go lids, pre-programmed setting functions and self-detecting containers. The motor gets started with a peak 2.2-horsepower motor. Watch it break down an entire bushel of whole tomatillos, heat soup until steaming and more:
KitchenAid Pro Line Series Blenders
KitchenAid’s latest generation of professional blenders, the Pro Line Series, is its most powerful available. Thanks to its 3.5 peak horsepower motor, it has the most blending power of any blender. It’s ideal for tough greens like kale and chard.
If noise is a concern for you, then Blendtec is the high-performance blender for you. The Blendtec Professional 800 has an 1800-watt, 3.8-horsepower motor that’s so quiet, it’s designed to reduce blending noise to the level of normal conversation, thanks to a sealed sound enclosure that keeps noise to a minimum.
Juicing with a Blender: A Few Recipes
Store-bought juice is usually limited to just a few flavors: fruits like orange and pineapple, and vegetables such as carrot and beet. But with your own powerful blender and recipes, your juice options are unlimited. Try raspberry juice, pineapple juice, watermelon juice, even freshly-pressed tomato or spinach juice.
How to Make Green Juice with a Blender
Trust us: Green juice can be made without a juicer. Take the leap of faith and try it yourself with a combination of your favorite leafy greens (we like half a dozen leaves of stemmed dinosaur kale), three celery stalks, cucumber, green apples (to speed things up, chop them first), and for acidity and brightness, a half a peeled lemon and a one-inch piece of ginger. Blend for one minute, or until liquefied; strain through a fine strainer or a jelly strainer bag. (A nut milk bag will work, too.) To maximize the nutrients in the juice, serve it immediately.
How to Make Spinach Juice with a Blender
While they pulverize vegetables, blenders are generally not used for juicing because they don’t have the filtration systems that separate the solid plant matter from the juice. They also do not pulverize leafy vegetables well because the leaves can wrap around the blades and stick to the sides of the carafe. If you make juices in a blender using leafy vegetables such as kale or spinach, you must make some adjustments to ensure that the leaves blend properly, such as adding green leaves a little at a time and pulsing a blender several times to mince them. Once the leaves are minced, increase the speed to the highest setting to liquefy them before straining them to remove any solid matter.
How to Make Apple Juice with a Blender
Because apples are so firm, it’s essential that you use a high-powered blender to make apple juice. Place 4 apples that have been seeded, cored and chopped—any variety will work—with 1/4 cup water in a high-speed blender, starting at the lowest setting and gradually increasing variable speed. Blend for 45 seconds to 1 minutes, using a tamper or a spatula to push apples into the blades until well-pureed. Pass mixture through a fine-mesh strainer or chinois, and allow to strain for about 10 minutes.