As home cooks, we rely on our instincts, our knowledge, and our curiosities -- but we also have to rely on our tools. Which is why we're asking the experts about the essential tools we need to make our favorite foods attainable in our own kitchens.
Today: Sure, a juicer is a good place to start, but a few other tools will help you make the best juice at home. Carly de Castro, co-founder of Pressed Juicery and co-author ofJuice, tells us about the essential tools she reaches for when she wants to drink her fruits and vegetables.
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If you have a juicer, Vitamix, or blender, in addition to a couple other kitchen items, juicing fruits, vegetables, and herbs can be an easy, exciting part of your daily routine. Here are the tools that I use when juicing at home:
1. Juicer For juicing at home, I don't think it gets any better than the Hurom HG Elite Slow Juicer. Hurom has always been a trusted brand in slow juicers, but their new Elite model is more efficient at getting even more juice pressed from your produce than before. Slow juicers are also called "masticating" juicers, which means that they crush the fruits and vegetables first and then press them, which yields more juice and also allows the juice to last a little longer in your fridge.
2. Vitamix I use my Vitamix every day, usually for smoothies. I also purée vegetables in the Vitamix and add them to dishes, like soups; it's an easy way to sneak veggies into kids' meals. And on nights when I have a lot of produce to use up, I sauté veggies with olive oil and a little broth and then pop them into the Vitamix for a nutritious, blended soup. You can't go wrong with this machine.
3. Indoor herb garden One of the most exciting parts of making your own juice is experimenting with different ingredients to create unique and original flavors. An indoor herb garden, like this one, allows you to easily grow herbs right in your kitchen so you always have some on hand to add to your favorite juice combinations.
4. Mezzaluna I love my mezzaluna, a curved stainless steel blade with two handles, because it chops herbs easily and efficiently. And while it may not be absolutely necessary for juicing, it's a great way to add freshly chopped herbs to juices or drinks, in addition to food (I like to use mine to make chopped salads).
5. Produce delivery networks Online produce delivery companies are the perfect tools to make sure you always have seasonal fruits and vegetables to make delicious juice. Summerland is a great Los Angeles-based service that delivers fresh produce right to your door. (Good Eggs is another that services Los Angeles and other cities.)
Carly de Castro, Hedi Gores, and Hayden Slater are the founders of Pressed Juicery, a Los Angeles–based chain of juice shops that feature more than forty organic, cold-pressed juices and a simple series of multi-day juice cleansing regimens. They have nearly twenty locations in Northern and Southern California (and many more opening soon).