The Champion Juicer – Grandaddy of Them All?

Most powerful juicerIf you’ve ever seen a juicer, the odds are in favor that it has been either a Champion Juicer or one that looks a lot like it. This is an item that defined what a category of kitchen equipment should be and revolutionized home juicing for years to come. With decades on the market and several improvements that have happened over the years, the Champion Juicer is in many ways the progenitor of every juicing machine available today.

 

The Beginning

The Champion Juicer was invented by Plastaket Manufacturing, Inc. The company itself was founded as a family-owned venture in 1950 when they just made plastic fruit baskets — hence the origin of the name.

The first juicer that Plastaket made was in 1953 and was a simple masticating machine. That being said, it wasn’t their juicer, but rather a design that they were building for a company in Galt, California, and the Champion Juicer wouldn’t hit the market until two years later.

What made the Champion stand out from its competitors was that for the first twelve years of its production, the company was constantly doing research and development to improve the operation of the machine. Between 1955 and 1967, the Champion system was able to extract more juice more easily with every iteration and soon it was far superior to every other juicer available in stores.

The most notable improvement was in the engine. The original Champion Juicer motors were purchased from General Electric, but researchers at Plastaket Manufacturing were able to re-engineer the original to not only run significantly cooler, but also to remove over two pounds of weight.

The Champion Juicer is still made by Plastaket Manufacturing today which bought out Big Valley Molds in 2006 in order to modernize the look and innovate the die and cutting operations to reduce weight, price, and damage. It is still one of the most well made and useful juicers available to consumers.

What It Can Be Used For

Part of what has made and continues to make the Champion Juicer such a great product is that it does more than simply juice fruits. From its earliest conception it could also be used to make your favorite ice cream or sherbet, butters made from almost any nut, or even just grated veggies, filling a number of common household desires for fresh food prepared in the home. In many cases, these could be customized to suit the tastes of the person or family using them, making it even more desirable.

In 1977, the company introduced a grains mill attachment for the Champion. This involved a series of steel cutting blades that could be used with almost any type of grain including wheat, oats, and rice in order to make homemade flour.

As late as 2011, Plastaket was still introducing new attachments to the Champion Juicer. In this case, it was the Champion Juicer 2000+ greens attachment, making it possible to get nutritious, homemade juice out of green vegetables such as kale, bok choy, broccoli sprouts, wheat grass, and a whole host of other healthy items.

What the Future Holds

Part of what has made the Champion Juicer so popular was how Plastaket Manufacturing embraced online communication and provided everything from recipes to cleaning tips on their website. It’s clear that they have made an effort toward reaching out to their customers to show them what the product they bought can really do. Nothing makes a product more long lasting than having more than one useful feature and having customers that know how to use it. Plastaket understands this, so they’re always on the lookout for new ways to use their signature item and let their customers know how they can take advantage of them.

There’s no telling what the makers of the Champion Juicer are going to come up with next, but you can be sure that they are always looking to improve on what they’ve made. The company is now a second-generation family-owned operation and you can be sure that they will continue their parents’ legacy in providing a high quality juicing experience for everybody from professionals to parents, children to adults, and those maintaining a healthy lifestyle to those just trying to start one.

How Popular is Juicing?

A top of the line juicerJuicing has been used for centuries in order to provide important nutrients and make consuming fruits and vegetables easier. That being said there has been a huge upswell in interest in the last few years alone. There are a number of reasons for this, and plenty of people are taking advantage of the incredible benefits juicing offers.

A Resurgence in Popularity

The first time juicing was really big in most of the western world was in the 1970s. During that period a number of households were consuming more and more kitchen equipment both to decrease the time it took to prepare meals and to encourage group eating experiences like fondue making and, yes, juicing. Juicing parties would usually involve a number of different fruits and vegetables that were cut in advance and people would congregate at a house to try different combinations.

Eventually the juicing craze slowed down through the 80s and 90s, especially with an increased emphasis on convenience and using disposable items. The culture had changed to the point that reusable devices like juicers were considered passe compared to single serving cartons.

That being said, an increased emphasis on re-usability and saving money by making things at home have made juicing once again incredibly popular. Combine that with a very fast world where people don’t always have the time to get proper nutrition, and you have the perfect setup for a return of juicing.

Who Juices?

Thanks to its increased popularity, all sorts of people are starting to juice these days for a number of different reasons.

Perhaps the most common juicers in the 21st century are young professionals. As mentioned above, we live in a very fast world where it’s not always possible to sit down and have a balanced meal. But that doesn’t prevent our bodies from needing certain nutrients to run at its optimal efficiency. That’s why juicing is great for people always running around: they can get their daily nutrient requirements in liquid form, even while on the go!

Parents are embracing juicing for their families as well. Fresh juice is a great thing to have in the house, especially for young children. It’s a fantastic alternative to store-bought juices that are loaded with sugars and preservatives that can actually be worse for a child’s health than soda in some cases, and it also encourages kids to choose fresh food options rather than pre-packaged ones.

The growing community of “foodies” also has taken to juicing. Since the introduction of the Food Network and the increased popularity of unique foods from around the world, more and more people have found that cooking and enjoying their own meals is a wonderful hobby. Part of that has been the embracing of juicing as a good way to experiment with different flavors, textures, and colors that adds to the eating experience.

These are only some of the people that have found the benefits of juicing both in terms of their health and their enjoyment of eating.

What Else Juicers Can Do

While it’s great to be able to make juice with your juicer, modern equipment can do more than just liquify fruit. There is a whole spectrum of attachments that are available for many juicers that allow different functionality.

For example, some juicing devices can also be used to make homemade nut butters out of peanuts, almonds, cashews, or all sorts of other legumes. These can be sweetened to your specifications as well as have just the right level of crunchiness.

Another thing that has become very popular recently has been juicing leafy greens rather than just fruits and whole vegetables. These can contain a lot of nutrients and beneficial elements that improve health in a lot of people.

Juicing Keeps Getting Stronger

Because of all of the benefits of juicing, both to health and your finances, even more people are discovering it every day. And with the Internet available to share recipes and ideas, even more people are able to really get the most out of their juicer.

This is a fad that doesn’t look like its going away soon. It has the rare combination of being good for your body and your wallet.

Five Delicious Juice Recipes Low in Sugar

Juicing vegetablesJuicing is great and can be really healthy for you. The problem is that so many juice recipes are based primarily on fruits, many of which are high in sugar. For people trying to avoid sugar for their diets or who are diabetic, this can be a major problem and stand in the way of really getting the most out of juicing.

That’s why it’s a good idea to try out some of these incredible recipes to be able to get all of the tasty, nutrient-filled goodness the comes with juicing without having to worry about the high sugar content.

Alkalizing Juice

Combine the following ingredients in your juicer:

1. 2 stalks celery
2. 1 cucumber
3. 1 green apple
4. 1 carrot
5. 1 cup spinach

Part of what flavors this drink is the spinach, which can also contribute to a smoother texture. The green apple is tart rather than sweet, adding flavor without a ton of sugar. If you want to remove even more sugar, you can either get rid of the carrot or replace it with a baby carrot.

Energy Booster

1. 4 leaves lacinato kale
2. 1 cucumber
3. 3 cups spinach
4. 5 stalks celery
5. ½ bunch parsley

The greens are what give this drink the energy boosting properties that it should have. If it’s not sweet enough, you can add a green apple or a beet to put in a little sugar without going overboard.

B6 Increasing Juice

1. 10-12 brussels sprouts
2. 2 cups string beans
3. 1 cucumber
4. 1 peeled lemon

Vitamin B6 is great for your body and helps stabilize blood sugar, so adding foods high in it like brussels sprouts and string beans can improve your natural regulation. The lemon gives it a distinctive, delicious flavor.

A Truly Unique Veggie Juice

1. 2 stalks celery
2. 1 medium red pepper
3. ½ bunch cilantro
4. 1 carrot
5. ½ cucumber
6. ½ fennel bulb
7. 1 cup spinach
8. 1 lime (squeeze into finished product)

Make sure that cilantro doesn’t taste like soap to you since the flavor is strong. If it does, leave it out. You can also try adding a clove of garlic to the mix for a little bit of spice.

Low Sugar and Heart Healthy Juice

1. 6 sprigs watercress
2. 1 handful parsley
3. 2 tomatoes
4. 2 green apples

Not only does this taste great, but apples, tomatoes, and watercress all have compounds that have been known to lower LDL cholesterol, often referred to as “bad cholesterol.”

Bonus Juicing Tips

Once you get the hang of these recipes, use the fundamentals you’ve learned from making them to try and make your own low sugar drinks. Also, keep these little tricks in mind to make your creations that much better!

1. Fruits and vegetables that are high in manganese are really good for you, especially if you’re diabetic. The reason is that manganese can lower insulin resistance, making it easier to keep your blood sugar under control.

2. You can use low sugar fruits to sweeten drinks without adding the up to eight teaspoons of sugar you get from stuff like mango or pineapple. Instead, try green apple, kiwi, or any number of berries that might also include antioxidants.

3. High water content vegetables like celery and cucumbers made a great base for juice. They add some extra volume without additional sugars and can help dilute the sugars added through other fruits.

4. Don’t be afraid to use herbs and spices to help improve the flavor of your drinks. Cilantro, garlic, and fennel all add an interesting new flavor to what might otherwise be a boring drink. In some cases, you can do double duty by getting a spice that provides additional benefits. For example, regularly consuming cinnamon can help stabilize blood sugar.

While none of these should replace medicine and an appropriate diet, it is possible to have good tasting juices that are going to be beneficial for you without having to worry about too much sugar. These all taste good, are full of nutrients, and come with plenty of healthy bonuses.

How To Make Juicing Less of a Chore

easy juicersJuicing can incredibly enjoyable and really good for you, but like everything that is done on a regular basis, it can be tedious after a while. Preparing the juicer, slicing the fruit and vegetables, cleaning up after you’re done. Everything that goes with the process can be frustrating if you feel like you have to do it.

Here are some tips that will help you get past the hard part of juicing and get right to the many awesome benefits.

Getting the Right Juicer

One of the easiest ways to make sure that you won’t have to worry as much about cleaning your juicer is to start by getting a juicer that is easy to clean. There are a number of options out there with only a few moving parts that can be removed, washed, dried, and put back with very little effort.

Another way to make things easier is to clean the juicer immediately after you’re finished with it. While you may not want to right that minute, you’re far more likely to get it done right away rather than waiting until later when you’re no longer in “work mode.”

Finally, when you’re buying your juicer, make sure that you get one with a wide mouth to put your fruits and veggies in. The larger the opening, the less chopping you have to do to get your ingredients small enough to be juiced.

Buy and Prep All of Your Ingredients At Once

Much like how it’s easier to clean your juicer immediately, it’s also easier to get your fruits and vegetables prepared right after getting home from the store than trying to wash and chop everything every day.

Start by planning what you intend to juice throughout the week. Make a list and buy all of your ingredients in one trip. That way you don’t have to add “go to the store” to the list of things you have to do for fresh juice.

Wash everything as you unpack it and separate it out based on what you’ll need in each juicing session. Do all of your pealing, slicing, and chopping at this point so that you don’t have to worry about it later and will only have to clean your knife and cutting board once.

You can even split the ingredients for different drinks into separate zip top bags or containers. That way, when it comes time to make a particular juice, all you have to do is take the assembled ingredients out of the refrigerator where they have been measured and prepared, then put them through the juicer.

Keep Your Juicer Convenient

While you don’t have to keep it on the counter, if you plan to use your juicer on a regular basis, then storing it in the back of a floor-level cabinet that is difficult to access is not a great idea. Simple things like the idea of having to struggle to get at your juicer can be huge roadblocks to actually breaking it out and using it.

Try to pick a place where you can see it easily, like a corner of your counter or in a cabinet that you access regularly where it will be at eye level. The front of a pantry is also a good place to store your juicer since it will remain at the forefront of your mind and you’ll remember to use it. Mostly, make sure that it take you less than 30 seconds to access if at all possible, otherwise you might be inclined to not bother.

Mix Up What You Make

Maybe the juicer isn’t the problem, maybe you just don’t want what you’ve been making. With the exception of people who are significantly comforted by routine, eventually people get bored with the same thing over and over again. Sure, you might be great at the kale-based smoothie that is so good for you, but maybe mixing up the flavors, trying a new recipe, and looking for another combination of ingredients that gives you the same results will make you excited to be juicing again.

Juicing is good for you and can help you make some delicious drinks while having fun, but only if you don’t feel obligated to do it.

Benefits of Juicing for Elderly Folk

elderly people juicingAs you grow older and your body changes the way it processes foods, it’s a good idea to have a plan to ensure that you’re getting the vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial things that you need from your meals. In some cases, that might mean that you take up making your own juice so that you can better control what goes into your body.

Whatever your reason, there are plenty of benefits that you might not even be thinking of to juicing if you’re a senior who wants to keep themselves in good health and on the move for a long time to come.

Getting Your Nutrients

The most obvious and most common reason for juicing is that it helps you get the most out of your food. As you grow older, some people’s bodies have a harder time processing food that used to be easy to digest. Often this manifests in stomach ailments, heart burn, or similar reactions to no longer being able to break down what you’re eating. This can start as soon as not being able to chew the way you used to and can continue through the whole digestive tract.

Other than the more direct reactions, there are some subtle results of growing older. Your body may not be able to integrate nutrients consumed in solid food as well, making it much more difficult to actually receive the benefits of even regular meals that include fruits and vegetables. In some people, even taking vitamin pills isn’t enough. Juicing, on the other hand, makes it much simpler for the body to take nutrients from the food and use it to benefit you.

Digestive Help

Remember those stomach problems mentioned before? Juicing may be able to help with those as well by promoting more regular digestion.

Often what ends up happening is that gut bacteria that helps digest food starts to die off and isn’t replaced as quickly, making it harder for the body to process the amount of food that it used to. Combine that with a less efficient system across the board and you can have serious digestive problems.

Getting the right kind of fresh juice means that you can replace a lot of the function that gets lost over time. Added fiber can help keep you more regular and foods with antioxidants prevent cells from dying prematurely, getting as much life as possible out of them.

It’s even possible to add things to your juices like pro-biotic formulas that will replace those gut bacteria as well as add beneficial microbes in your body with every glass.

Immunity and Energy Boosting

Juicing does more than just keep your guts in good working order. The right combination of ingredients can help support your immune system, encouraging the production of white blood cells and lymph to get them where they need to be, keeping your body regulated so that threats are more easily detected, and fighting off infections as they develop.

Juicing is just one thing that can contribute to a healthy immune system, but it does so indirectly as well. Regular exercise is great for keeping the immune system in good shape, and extra energy makes working out a lot easier. Getting the right juices in your system can give you the exact kind of energy boost that you need to get up, get out, and get to work on keeping yourself in great shape.

Further, that extra energy will help you live a more active life. There is no reason you should have to slow down just when you have the time to actually enjoy yourself. Regular juice drinks formulated to boost energy can keep you out of doors and having a good time well into your senior years.

You Can Start Any Time

There is no reason why you can’t start making your own juice today. It takes very few ingredients, it’s easy to find recipes online, and you have the chance to experiment and find what works best for you.

Don’t wait to start juicing. Get yourself a juicer and you’ll soon be feeling the benefits of high-nutrient drinks that can help hold back some of the effects of aging.

Benefits of Juicing for Children

juicing for kidsIn order for children to grow up healthy and strong, they have to get proper nutrition. However, as any parent knows, it’s not always easy to get your kid to eat right, especially when it comes to consuming fresh fruit and vegetables. That being said, there is a solution that can help: juice!

Kids love juice and if you make it yourself you can control what goes into it and change up the recipe to suit their tastes. But these are only some of the many benefits of juicing for children.

Added Nutrition

It’s almost cliche to suggest that kids don’t like eating vegetables. Whether it’s the texture, the color, or just because they heard someplace that they weren’t supposed to like them, far too many children hate the very idea. Unfortunately, it’s those very items that provide them with the nutrients to build strong bones, develop healthy eyesight, improve their immune system, and a host of other things that happen as a body is developing.

While they may get over the vegetable issue as they grow into teenagers, then there’s the time issue to consider. Getting teens to stay put long enough to eat three full meals is almost impossible. Most parents are happy with just one. So how can you be sure that they’re getting the vitamins and minerals they need to get through puberty, handle growth spurts, and have enough energy to do everything they need to in a day?

In both cases,the answer is “juice!”

Young children usually love juices of various types because of the sweetness. If you make it yourself, you can be sure that it’s not only naturally sweet but also contains a number of other ingredients that your kids won’t necessarily taste, but can provide them the nutrition they need to grow up healthy.

For teens, keeping fresh, healthy juice in the house means that you can be confident that they are drinking the kinds of things they need to help their body meet its potential and make sure they’re awake in class, able to do those extracurriculars, and get good sleep at night.

Bonding

Because of the nature of juicing, getting your kids involved is a lot easier than with other types of food preparation and can help you bond with you children. More and more parents are realizing the social benefits of cooking with their children especially from a young age. It helps them learn to follow directions, makes them feel like active participants in their own eating, and of course teaches them how to cook.

Juicing can have the same effect, but with fewer hot stovetops for little hands. Instead they can help put the ingredients in the juicer, prepare the container for the juice, choose what goes into the mixture, and even peel vegetables with a safety peeler.

A Healthy Respect for Health

More than anything, juicing for children helps them learn early in life to prefer fresh, homemade, healthy options to pre-packaged foods. Showing them how the juicer works, what goes into making juice, and how easy it is to make healthy choices if you’re willing to put in a bit of effort teaches kids that convenience doesn’t have to mean eating horribly. Instead, it can mean planning for something that not only tastes better, but is better for you.

Instilling a respect for healthy lifestyle choices early in a child’s development means that they will be much more likely to live healthy lifestyles as they grow older, contributing to longer, happier lives.

Get Your Kids Juicing Today

It doesn’t take much to start juicing. Not only can you get started immediately for your child’s health, you can make them active participants in the process. Let them help you choose the juicer, discuss the pros and cons, look through recipes together, and try to figure out what kind of drinks you want to make.

Not only is juicing a healthy thing to do for children of all ages, but it also is a good way to teach about health, the human development cycle, why we need certain nutrients, and innumerable other lessons that will inspire their curiosity while building their bodies.

Three Shocking Myths About Store Bought Orange Juice

We’re all trying to eat more healthy foods, and a good many of us are watching our weight. Common sense says adding orange juice to your diet is an easy way to get lots of benefits in a fast and simple way. What could be better than a big glass of 100 percent orange juice to start your day or as an energy-boosting snack?

Unfortunately, that glass of orange juice may do less good than you think and may actually be undermining your efforts to a healthier lifestyle.

1. Your 100 Percent Orange Juice May Be Modified

Even if the label says that it’s 100 percent juice, that doesn’t mean that your morning juice hasn’t been modified. You’ve probably noticed that your brand of juice always tastes the same regardless of the time of year. That’s because producers have developed a great way to preserve their juice.

This method of preservation is called deaeration. Raw juice is stored in huge aseptic tanks where the oxygen is removed from and it’s pasteurized. This processed juice can be stored for up to a year before it’s packaged for the grocer’s shelves. This is great for efficient storage and production, but it renders the juice flavorless.

To compensate for this, producers add flavor packs to give the customers the taste they demand. Yes, manufacturers of these products use the oils and essence of oranges to create the additives, so they can legitimately use the 100 percent juice moniker on the label. That’s the main reason your orange juice always tastes the same. If you visit another country, the orange juice you drink there may taste significantly different. That’s because various countries have different preferences and flavor packs have been developed to suit a variety of tastes.

2. Orange Juice Isn’t A Great Source Of Vitamin C

We’ve been led to believe for years that oranges are a great source of vitamin C. While they do have a substantial amount of this vitamin, they are far outpaced by vegetables as the leading source of dietary vitamin C.

One cup of orange juice contains between 75-90mg of vitamin C.

According to the USDA National Nutritional Database, one cup of the following vegetables has loads of vitamin C:

• Sautéed Sweet Green Pepper – 203.6mg
• Raw, sweet red pepper – 190.3mg
• Canned tomato juice – 170.3mg
• Vegetable juice cocktail – 13i7.9mg
• Kale – 87.1mg
• Raw broccoli – 81.2mg
• Cooked Peas – 76.6mg

When you factor in the calories and sugar you consume when drinking orange juice, you’re much better off with veggies for boosting your vitamin C intake. There’s a wide variety of vegetables high in this vitamin, so you’ll never be burned out eating just a couple of foods to get your daily dose of vitamin C.

3. Orange Juice Has As Much Sugar And Calories As A Can Of Coke

You may not want to believe it, but your good-and-good-for-you orange juice is just as sugar laden as a can of your favorite soda. It’s also full of carbs, for those of you trying to cut down on your carbohydrate intake.

A 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola has:

• Carbs from sugar – 40 grams
• Sugar – 10 teaspoons
• Calories – 145

A 12-ounce glass of OJ has:

• Carbs from sugar – 39 grams
• Sugar – 8 teaspoons
• Calories – 165

There’s not a lot of difference between the two as far as carbs are concerned, and orange juice has more calories.

You may have cut out Coke if you’re trying to lose weight, but make sure you don’t replace high-calorie sodas with even higher calorie orange juice because you think it’s a healthy substitute.

When it comes to healthy eating, there’s a lot of fallacies mixed in with the facts. A lot of nutrition lore is just that – statements that are taken as the truth because they have been repeated for so long.

However, modern science and medical research is continually uncovering more information about the food we eat. We’re continuing to learn about the chemistry of food and how our bodies utilize it. Discover the real facts before you start a new healthy eating program so you’ll make healthy and economical choices for you and your family.