I recently decided to become one of those people who starts every morning with a tall glass of fresh-squeezed juice. You know the type—the ones who have overflowing baskets of produce on their counter, seem so together, like they floss twice a day and all of their white socks are immaculate and lint-free, and who are almost certainly hitting the coveted 100% meter on all of their daily recommended vitamins and minerals. But smug as it may sound, there are a lot of legit, scientifically backed reasons to drink fresh juice every day: A single glass of juice can cram lots of nutrients into every serving. The American Heart Association suggests four servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables a day, which, speaking as an adult with a lot of things to do, is not always easy to achieve. Plus, fruits and vegetables taste great, especially when you buy based on what's in season. What’s better than a perfectly ripe watermelon, a brilliantly sour apple, or a bite of succulent pineapple? (Maybe a homemade pizza covered in bubbling mozzarella cheese, but let’s stay on track here.)
So, hoping to both add more diversity into my diet (and turn back the clock on my metabolism a little bit), I decided to buy the Omega Vertical Slow Masticating Juicer—a.k.a. the Lamborghini of home juicers—and begin my juicing journey. My deeper motive, of course, is that on some level I believe that if I drink juice every day, I will never die. So far, so good!
When picking out a great juicer, you first have to choose between the two main kinds of juicers: centrifugal and masticating. Centrifugal juicers use fast-spinning blades to annihilate their contents quickly. They tear up whatever goes in, filter it through a screen, and spit out room-temperature juice. Masticating juicers, on the other hand, use a slow-spinning auger to slowly press their contents, which keeps whatever you’re juicing cold, but takes a bit longer. Centrifugal juicers often run from 6,000 to 12,000 rotations per minute, while the masticating juicer I chose—be patient!—runs at a slower 43 RPM. However, the lower RPMs aren’t a bad thing: When you blast your produce through high speeds, it heats things up and can compromise some of the enzymes you’re ostensibly trying to preserve. Slow juicers won’t wreck your enzymes, and will also usually have a higher juice yield, since you’re pressing the produce and breaking down the cells more thoroughly.
So, after snagging the Omega Slow Masticating Juicer and working it into my morning routine, I set out to become a mas(tica)ter of all things juice. Here’s what I learned.
Juicing is a practice that you have to settle into; it’s almost meditative when you do it every morning. And, it’s easier when you have a great juicer that you legitimately enjoy using. My favorite part of juicing with my Omega so far is finding my own fun combinations of fruits, veggies, spices, and herbs. The other morning, I broke down a whole pineapple and did a basic juice with pineapple, apple, and carrot, and it was mind-blowingly good. Today, I did watermelon, apple, basil, and ginger; tomorrow, I’m going to try making a huge, fresh orange juice. I’m enjoying making different blends of green juices, and am finally incorporating celery into my diet, which I acknowledge is very healthy, but also, in my opinion, is deeply unpleasant to eat raw (sorry, not sorry). Hiding it behind some tastier, sweeter ingredients lets me fool my body into tolerating it. Two hacks I recommend for finding good juice builds are 1) studying the menus of your favorite local juice spots, and 2) picking up this literal juice bible, which has over 300 recipes.
With the Omega, the juicing process itself is actually less time-consuming than the process of deciding what to juice. Unless you’re making a 44-oz. Super Big Gulp-sized beverage, you should be able to juice all of your fruit in just a few minutes. The size of your glass will vary depending on what you’re using; veggies like cucumber and celery are mostly water and thus yield a ton of juice, whereas denser items like sweet potato, ginger, and kale put out considerably less. Clogging can be an issue with many juicers, but with the Omega it’s very uncommon, at least in my usage, though the reverse button makes it pretty easy to time-travel back 10 seconds to before you stupidly pushed too many apple slices down the hatch. That said, I generally recommend bigger pieces of fruit fed slower, rather than dumping in a ton of diced bits at once. (On that note, prep is especially fun and quick if you use this sweet Chinese cleaver that I recently wrote about.)
Unlike the pulpy, inconsistent juice I used to get from my centrifugal juicer, Omega’s is velvety, smooth, and clean, and I rarely find bits and pieces in the final product. The juicer is also very quiet—I regularly make juice before my girlfriend wakes up, and she’s never heard the machine running. Finally, the Omega just looks damn handsome on a countertop, with its stainless steel design and simple interface; expect curious questions (or a request for a demo) from guests.
The biggest misconception around juicers is that they’re a pain in the ass to clean. Having previously used a cheaper, $40 centrifugal juicer for years, I concur that this can be true. I read and heard varying accounts of the Omega’s cleaning situation, ranging from “it’s easy to clean” to “between prep and cleaning, juicing takes me at least an hour.” Naturally, I was a little scared that in addition to my produce, this juicer would consume my entire morning routine. Fortunately, that was not the case at all—once you finish using it, you basically just take the juicer apart, remove whatever pulp remains inside, rinse the pieces, and then soak them or pop them in the dishwasher. (No dishwasher? No problem.) I timed myself from the moment I started breaking the juicer down to getting it into the dishwasher, and I ended up being able to do it all in about five minutes. It’s honestly easy as hell, and I really don’t know what people are talking about when they say this is prohibitively time consuming. At a fairly leisurely pace, I can prepare produce, make juice, wash the juicer, brew coffee in a Chemex, and make avocado toast in about half an hour.
If you blew all your money on camping chairs and sex toys and can’t spring for the Omega Slow Masticating Juicer right now, you can always invest in a more affordable masticating juicer, such as this affordable horizontal Omega with a bit higher RPM:
This sleek Hurom bad boy, which is also a vertical slow juicer, gets stellar reviews, and can also make homemade nut milks:
or the widely praised Nutribullet, which is a VICE editor fave:
Though each model has different stats, less expensive juicers are typically faster (i.e. slightly warmer, and can possibly result in less juice output from some fruits); they can also be louder and more difficult to clean. All-in-all, a well reviewed $100-200 masticating juicer should absolutely get the job done, and with solid results. But if you can swing it, the Omega I got is quiet, quick, thorough, easy to clean, and beautiful—a great investment through and through.
TL;DR: Is it worth it?
If you’re already hitting the juice bar six times a week, or if there’s a kale-shaped hole in your diet that you’re looking to fill, OR if you’re well on your way to becoming this guy, I highly recommend the Omega. We hear so often to eat more fruits and veggies that it can go in one ear and out the other, but it can be a game-changer for your morning routine that's energizing in a totally different way than a double espresso. And if you can make it happen with the style and ease that the Omega brings to the table, you might actually be proud to be one of those Juice People. And hey, cramming a bunch of carrots into a juicer and watching them get pulverized into delicious liquid is a truly wholesome form of stress relief.
The Omega Slow Masticating Juicer is available at Amazon.
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