Pros: Nice size, not too expensive, quick and easy setup, fast cleanup, makes the BEST juice
Cons: Loud.. but how else are you going to get such awesome power?!
This year, my favorite Christmas gift was a Breville Juice Fountain JE900 Juicer. I am a vegetarian, I love fruits and vegetables, and I try to be health conscious. This juicer is the perfect addition to my kitchen, and doesn't put too much of a dent in one's wallet!
The Breville Juice Fountain
You get an instruction booklet with the juicer, which guides you through the parts and use of the Breville Juice Fountain. There are also suggestions in the back for various types of fruits and vegetables, how well they juice, and suggestions for recipes.
Not only is the use of the juicer quick and simple, the design is simple and nice in appearance. The fountain is metal and plastic, with tones of dark silver and gray. There is the main part, which houses the motor. It has a screen that filters all the juices, and spins to centrifuge the juice into the holding container. On top is the guide, where you put in your fruits or veggies. It has a piece that you slide into the top to push the food in (rather than using your fingers and juicing your hand!).
There is a canister for the left side of the juicer, which I suggest lining with your cheap, everyday plastic grocery bag, prior to juicing. It is the catch container for all the pulp. On the right hand side is an open-top container, which catches all the juice. It has a piece that slides into it, which skims off the top "foam" when you're pouring the juice into a cup. It's up to you as to whether or not you want to use the skimmer part.
The cord is just the right length for a kitchen counter- not too short or long. And it has this great feature- the plug is molded into a loop, so that you can just grab and pull with a finger, minus slipping and the risk of electrocution!
The front has an on-off switch. When you turn on the Breville Juice Fountain, it almost sounds like a jet engine turning on. It's loud. Not as harsh as a blender, but a loud whirring, then plus the sound of fruits/veggies hitting the chopping unit. When you turn it off, the extremely loud whirring slowly stops, again, much like a propeller!
For our first juicer, this has been the easiest piece of machinery to use and maintain. It is attractive, not expensive, easy to set up, easy to take apart, easy to clean, and it is a great juicer. To juice, you turn on the Breville Juicer, and simply put fruits/veggies in the intake. You push down on the food with the plastic unit provided. The intake is big enough so that you can fit even smaller apples into it.
It doesn't take much strength, and if you're juicing something like grapes, you don't even need to push down. The juice pours right into the outtake container, and you're done. The outtake container holds about 16oz of juice, so keep some glasses or a pitcher on hand if you're planning on making a lot of juice.
Cleaning is a breeze. Honestly, the first time I did it, I was too lazy to read the directions and just did it all by what seemed to make the most sense, and I did it right on the first try, just by guessing. (It was the same with setup).
You rotate a metal lever off the top of the juicer, and pull off the top, which usually has a bunch of pulp in it. I scrape off the pulp and rinse this part of the unit. Below that is the mesh screen and a plastic unit, both which pull right off. The screen has to be rinsed and brushed off. The Breville Juicer comes with a little brush. This is probably the most work involved in the whole process - the brushing and rinsing, while taking care not to touch the small "grater" type blades built into the center of the mesh.
Lastly, I remove the bag of pulp, throw it in the trash. Then, when I'm finished pouring, drinking, or storing the juice, I wash out the juice container. It is all very simple.
I was thrilled each time we tried a new fruit or vegetable. Granted, I didn't like the cucumber juice, but it was something new, and the juicer did a great job of turning cucumbers into light-green water! We have made many types of juices, including apple, cucumber, carrot, grape, coconut, pineapple, pomegranate, and more. Each time, the fruit or vegetable is juiced well, with very very minimal pulp. Actually, I would have to say the juices are pulp-free, and that the juice has more of a "silty" content in it. Also, depending on fruit or vegetable youre juicing, you might get a layer of foam on the top of the juice (for example, apples). However, this gets left behind when you pour the juice into a glass from the outtake container, which will skim off the top layer for you.
It is amazing the difference between fresh fruit juice and store-bought juices. Fresh juice tastes amazing, and is different in color. Apple juice is very light before it begins to oxidize. Pomegranate juice is very bright red, and tastes much better, even from "Pom" juice. In that case, I think the difference is that we took care to remove all the pomegranate seeds, without getting any of the white pectin in the juicer. Pomegranate seeds are very sweet, and I'm guessing store-bought juices probably don't process out anywhere near as much pectin as we did, meaning a sweet, non-bitter juice. In fact, I didn't really like Pom, which is 100% pomegranate juice - but our fresh, homemade version was delicious! (Totally different).
We are always literally itching to drink the juice right out of the juicer, because it is such a treat, and amazing when fresh. The other times, it is the sheer curiosity of what the juice will taste like!
Vegetable juices are fresh, interesting, and not always good-tasting! I wasn't a fan of the cucumber juice, but you can guarantee it was healthy. Carrot juice hasn't been my favorite either, but the great part about the Breville Juicer is that it allows us to be creative, so we can try all different combinations of fruits and vegetables.
Not only can you make juice, but you can make juice for other things. For example, we juiced a whole bunch of apples around Christmas, and then simmered the juice with mulling spices. The house smelled great, and it was wonderful to have hot apple cider. Another thing that I'm wondering about is the pulp that is left behind. The apple pulp is just like apple sauce (although unpeeled, it does have bits of skin in it). I would be tempted to use the pulp as applesauce, especially if we peeled the apples first. Carrot pulp is dry and almost like powder, so I don't know if it would be usable in carrot cake, but looking at the various pulps often get me thinking that there are creative projects for which I could use it, rather than throwing it out!
The Breville Juicer has been an amazing machine. Other than the most likely required loudness of the juicer, everything has been perfect. The juicing capabilities are almost endless, the cleanup is simple, and it is a healthy addition to my lifestyle.
This juicer doesnt take up a lot of time or work. The intake is large enough so that I dont have to put a lot of time into cutting up fruits or veggies. And the cleanup is fast, so its not a major pain to use this. Ive even cleaned up between two consecutive juicings, so that we dont get a mixture of flavors.
We have had a blast using this juicer, and I think we've "entertained" just about every guest with a demonstration and a glass of juice. Everyone has been impressed, and with the price tag on this thing, I'm sure others will be getting their own.
As for portability, this juicer is a little on the heavy side, at least for the main base. But that won't stop me from taking it with me when I go to visit relatives to show off the new juicer!
I love being able to exercise my creativity with the Breville Juicer. There are just some things I have no idea what they will taste like when juiced, or what they will look like. And it is great to create combinations of juices. There are even vast differences between types of apples when juiced, and I'm not talking about red vs. green. I'm talking about Empire vs. Gala, etc.
Because I have seen how quickly juice oxidizes, I don't like to make a lot of juice and then store it. I like the fresh, just-made taste of things like apple juice, and I would imagine that it is healthiest, before it oxidizes and the nutrients start to break down. Plus, the "silt" starts to settle out a little bit, and I really like it when it is in that first suspended state.
It is really hard to go back to store-bought juice after using the Breville Juicer. It is probably a little more expensive to buy fruit in large quantities and then juice them, but it is worth knowing that I am getting the highest quality juice, with no additives, preservatives, or water. This machine is economical, fun, functional, and very healthy!