How to Use a Juicer

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Juicers, also called reamers, are a standard kitchen or bar tool. Vintage juicers were constructed from glass and decorated with elaborate designs. While some modern juicers are still made of glass, most are manufactured from plastic. Professional kitchenware and bar accessories include small juicers mounted on a handle for quick juicing of small lemons to preserve fruit for cooking or add flavor to drinks. Countertop kitchen appliance offerings often include electric juicers, but manual, traditional hand juicers are easy to use and are also environmentally friendly.

Things You'll Need

  • Citrus fruit
  • Small paring knife
  • Trash bag
  • Glass or plastic juicer
  • Cutting board
  • Two half-gallon or gallon pitchers (glass is best)
  • Handled mesh strainer
  • Zester (optional)

Set up the work space. Juicing is messy business, so proper setup is essential to keep the counters and floors clean. Lay out absorbent paper on the counter where the reamer will be placed. Newspapers work well for catching any stray juice, especially if the operation will take place outside on a picnic table or bench.

Cut all of the fruit in half using the small paring knife. Cut around the center of the fruit so that the stem and the end of the fruit are on opposite ends. These elements make the fruit easy to hold when juicing.

Set up the juicing operation. Place the juicer in the center of the counter and have the freshly washed pitcher near the operation so that the juice may be easily transferred to the pitcher. Take half of one fruit and push it down directly over the pointed reamer. Don't push too hard, especially if the fruit has a thin skin, since this will break the fruit open and make it more difficult to extract the juices. Turn the fruit slowly and gently in one direction to continue draining the juices. Then turn the opposite direction and continue the same process. When all the juice has been removed, toss the fruit into a paper or plastic bag that will serve as the trash container. When all of the fruit has been through the reamer, don't take the clean fruit rinds to the trash. Use the zester to make a few curly fruit rinds to place on the glasses as a serving garnish.

Strain the juice from pitcher to pitcher. Place the strainer over the empty pitcher and pour the liquid from the full pitcher into the empty one. This will strain any seeds or large pieces of pulp from the liquid. Some citrus drinkers prefer their juice without any pulp and this is easy to do with a fine wire strainer. Pour the liquid slowly and empty the strainer if it becomes clogged with pulp.

Add back extra pulp. Take a bit of pulp from the strainer and stir it into the fresh juice in the pitcher. This step is optional, but health researchers at Texas A&M University found that eating pulp by itself increased the antioxidants and reduced the amount of cholesterol and plasma triacylglyercol in laboratory rats. They state the findings are a good recommendation for the human diet. If you enjoy a bit of pulp, go for the potential health advantage.

Tips & Warnings

  • Roll the citrus on the counter to loosen the pulp inside the fruit. This will make the process of juicing easier to accomplish. Involve the family in the juicing process. It's easy and there is limited change for injury during juicing. If children wish to try their entrepreneurial skills at a juice stand, check out the Sunkist Corp.'s Web page with hints for a successful lemonade stand (see resources). Fruit rinds work well in composting.
  • Some recipes suggest putting citrus into a microwave for 10 to 15 seconds before juicing. If this method is used, test the temperature of the variously sized fruit before juicing. The interior juice can quickly heat up and be hot to the touch as it is juiced.

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