"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

My trouble with juicing

by Julie on August 16, 2013

in Adventures in Parenting, Good Ideas Gone Bad

I’ve always been late to the scene. Downton Abbey. Game of Thrones. Zumba. By the time a mega-trend hits my radar, millions have moved on. I can’t decide if my lack of attention is good or bad. All I know for sure is that there was a multi-million dollar industry surrounding the juicing craze, and that it was practically a religion in some circles when I looked up and took notice.

Actually what happened was the boy has been nudging me for years to get a “real” juicer he could use for his many juice-related science experiments. But I was loathe to slap down the cash.

Then a friend offered up this:

Champion Masticating Juicer


This is a Champion Masticating Juicer. Thing weighs about 30 pounds and is terrifying to behold. Probably why Shan gave it to me in the first place when I told her I was interested in making juice. It’s a true beast of a machine. “It will juice body parts,” her husband told me as he schlepped it out to my car for me. “And rocks.”

I decided not to tell the 13-year-old boy these particular details.

So I managed to schlep this beast out of my car and onto my kitchen table, where it sat looking like some kind of World War I era weapon of mass destruction. Seriously, the heft and design of this thing scared me. What would happen when I turned it on? Would the motor blow? Would it shoot sparks? What if it jumped off the table? What if it masticated me?


Champion Masticating juicer

The Masticator…


Finally, with a deadline to meet, I gathered my courage, I cleared the table and turned the beast on.

To my great relief, it neither exploded nor jumped off the table to masticate me alive. The GM engine thrummed quietly. Who knew they still manufactured quality engines in America?

I cut up six apples and pushed them down through the chute. I don’t know if the Masticator originally came with any apparatus to catch the resulting juice, so I had to improvise thusly:

Working with what I have...

Working with what I have…

Six apples made about a cup of juice, which I first had to strain. It was fun. Like a science experiment. And took about 20 minutes, during which I pretended to be a factory worker operating industrial machinery.

Clean up, however, was not so fun. I had to disassemble the beast and soak the various parts to get the pulp out of the cogs, dry then and reassemble. It seemed like a lot of work for a cup of apple juice that tasted like, well, like apple juice.

But I continued on with the science experiment. Which you can read all about here. And in the end, I came to the conclusion that I’d rather just buy fruit and eat it whole than spend a lot of time turning it into juice. I don’t really buy the argument that more is better — Why is the juice of 1,000 strawberries better than a dish of 10 strawberries?

There was also the question of what to do with all the resulting pulp, which collected in a soup container in my refrigerator taunting me with its uselessness. I could put it in a compost bin. If I had one. I could also use it to flavor some sort of baked good if I were that kind of mom. Which long-suffering readers of this blog know well that I am not.

So. The masticating juicer sits now in my laundry room, unused. And we eat lots of fruits and veg anyway.

Who wants to try it next?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jamie August 16, 2013 at 1:08 pm

While I still have my teeth I’ll masticate the old fashioned way. Less cleanup. Is the juicer actually flesh-toned?


JulieR August 22, 2013 at 5:55 am

It’s a pretty great looking thing! But, that’s how I feel about juicers – they’re a lot of work…


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