The other week I posted on Facebook asking if I could borrow a juicer from someone for a week or so to test and see if I’d like it before making a rather expensive appliance purchase. Someone who I met two years ago volunteering with Keep the Midlands Beautiful told me that she had one that I could have because she had no use for it, and hadn’t even opened it. I arranged to pick it up from her on a Sunday and she was as glad to get it out of her attic as I was to get it. Upon opening the box I couldn’t believe what was actually inside- a brand spankin’ new Jack Lalanne Power Juicer Pro.

It didn’t take long for me to make a grocery list based on the juicing recipes from the magazine issue that first got me interested in juicing. Green Lemonade was my first foray, and it was incredibly refreshing. I could taste the crispness of the cucumber and the brightness of the lemon and very little if any of the spinach because the sweetness from the apple covered it up. Since I had just bought groceries I still had the receipt and did a cost analysis. This particular recipe cost me $4.34 to make (mostly because of the higher price for organic apples). The clean taste made it feel like it was scrubbing my intestines, but that was probably just my perception more than reality, or maybe not.

I also branched out and tried some other juice combinations from the recipe book included with the machine. I’d bought a huge five pound sack of carrots and wanted to see how carrot juice would taste, but thought it it would be smart to tamp down the earthiness of the carrots with sweetness. Enter carrot-apple-ginger juice. Thanks to the ginger, this was a spicy little sucker!

Unfortunately, sometimes experiments go horribly wrong, like the other night when I picked up a grapefruit thinking that even though I don’t like grapefruit (mistake #1) that maybe mixed in with other things it might not be so bad. So into the juicer went some kale that needed to be used ASAP, then a half a head of romaine lettuce (mistake #2), a cucumber, then the grapefruit. The taste was so dry and funky, so I added an apple for sweetness, all it did was make it slightly less worse. But so much produce had already suffered for the cause and I bottled up the two pints of juice anyways and decided to choke them down. I definitely poured them out. Win some, lose some.

So far in juicing I’ve learned that if you don’t like it whole, you (probably) won’t like it’s juice either, so no more grapefruits for me.

There are a lot of things to know and learn about juicing, and people are very curious about it so here’s a quick Q&A on some things about it.

Q: How long does the juice last and stay nutritious? A: It may vary depending on the juice recipe, but I asked the folks at the Good Life Cafe how long theirs last and they advise that their juices last up to a week, refrigerated. Of course, fresher is better, so you may need to experiment a bit. So far I make one or two at night and drink them over the next two days.

Q: What do you do with all of that pulp? A: so far I mix it with water and throw it in our compost pile. But there are a lot of people who are using it to make smoothies, breads, crackers and more. I just haven’t gotten there yet.

Q: Why waste all of that fiber? A: In a non-dietician nutshell, to give your digestive system a break. If it isn’t digesting for a little while, your body can work on healing other areas of your body more efficiently, is what I am reading and have been told by people who have studied it far more than I. And that is the benefit I am using it for as well.

Q: Can I juice frozen fruit? A: I tried it, and found that it worked a LOT better in the Jack Lalanne when I defrosted the frozen fruit first.

Q: Do you recommend the Jack Lalanne Power Juicer Pro? A: Well, I’ve only had it for two (maybe three?) weeks and though I’ve juiced a bunch of different types of produce so far, I don’t want to comment yet, though I won’t be trying any other kinds anytime soon. But so far I’m a huge fan of this centrifugal juicer. It’s not too loud, easy to wash, and easy to assemble and disassemble. What more can you ask for?

In addition to the green lemonade recipe above, this cucumber pear juice and pineapple spinach juice are my next ones to try!