"Juicing" is slang for many things in different places around the world, including some things much ruder than "using steroids" - which is the commonest meaning I'm aware of in North America right now. But it also means, literally, "extracting juice." And that's what this blog entry is about.

I make Cherry Brandy. After the cherries sit in the brandy for a few weeks, you want to get all the alcohol and juice you can out of the cherries before discarding them. Initially I did this by hand, which isn't easy or effective. Pressing the cherries through strainers, or putting them in ziplock bags and squeezing ... it doesn't work well. About four years ago I got a centrifugal juicer for free from my apartment building laundry room. It pulped the cherries and sprayed them all over, and made a hell of a mess without extracting much juice - at least it was easier to strain the remaining juice out of the pulp. But I was on the lookout for a better solution.

About a month ago I found another piece of equipment in my laundry room. I didn't even know what it was, but before I assembled it I could already tell it had a seriously high-powered motor on it (it's big). I put the pieces together and realized it was a slow speed masticating juicer, a Moulinex "Infiny Press Revolution." I could tell by the design before I ever used it that this would do a far better job on the cherries, so I carried it home.

Having acquired this, I decided I should at least test it for its intended purpose, because it was otherwise going to sit around until August (a month after cherry season) before it saw any mileage. I went online, looking for simple juice recipes, and came across this page: https://wholefully.com/8-easy-juice-recipes-to-get-you-started-juicing/ . I tried this one:

Ginger Zinger Juice

  • 2 medium apples, cut into eighths
  • 6 carrots, peeled and chunked
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 lemon, peeled and segmented

(If you compare this to the original, you'll find I've already updated it to my taste.) When I first made it, I was prepared to be underwhelmed: the whole "juicing" thing seemed a little silly to me. Despite which, I loved it. My second reaction was that it was terribly wasteful: it looked like I was producing two cups of juice and five cups of fruit and vegetable pulp. And to get those two and a half cups takes half an hour, and $5 of produce. Many of the testimonials online praise the Infiny Press for its ease of cleaning: compared to the old centrifugal unit, this is true. But if you're new to juicing, it's still a pain: there are several parts and a lot of corners that need to be cleaned. The whole thing about waste bothered me, so I ended up weighing both the liquid and the pulp. It turned out I was being deceived by the bulk of the waste: 590g of waste, 500g of liquid. Not great, but not awful.

I also realized that probably my favourite thing about the juice was the ginger. I've since juiced a couple large pieces of ginger, and kept the ginger juice in the fridge for several days, adding it to my daily orange juice: it doesn't take much to add kick to a drink. I also found out that ginger is incredibly fibrous, and has a knack for clogging the juicer's relatively small waste output hole ...

I admit to being impressed by any piece of equipment that can get juice out of carrots or ginger. This strikes me as only being a small step away from extracting juice from a pine log ...

In the end, I probably won't be using the juicer all that much - mostly because of the time involved. But I love that juice, and I can see that things like ginger and onion juice could be really good in marinades (although the thought of a kitchen full of pulped onion fumes is already producing sympathetic tears).