The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
Some time ago a friend of ours lost quite a bit of weight and I asked him how he had achieved it. Juicer, he said. He had become a vegetarian and made lots of juices. I put the idea into the back of mind and thought …. maybe but never actually got around to do anything about it.
However, on purchasing Dr Gillian McKeith’s book “You Are What You Eat” (please see separate review) I realised that ‘juicing’ was actually very healthy. My daughter had bought the Russell Hobbs Juicelady and really extolled its virtues.
So, I decided that I must have one too and I could make myself fresh juices each morning and take them to work in a flask. It would be a welcome change from sandwiches and salads – I rarely visit our company restaurant now because the food is just so tempting (and is partly the culprit of my weight gain!).
I eventually found this product at Currys and immediately bought it and couldn’t wait to get it home and start juicing.
On the way home, I decided to pop into the supermarket to buy more vegetables as I knew I would be needing lots more especially carrots which seem to form the base of many juice drinks.
The Juicelady is well packed inside quite a large box and I must warn you to be careful when unpacking just in case you break the plastic clamps. You must also be careful to remove all packing between the bottom of the feed tube and the grating sieve.
You should also give all the components (apart from the base) a quick wash to remove any dust from the packaging – after all, who wants to have a juiced drink with unwanted extras?
I had to assemble some of the parts and actually found it quite difficult to get it put together. Whether I was being stupid, I don’t know, I’m not normally stupid! Once assembled the machine is quite large but looks very sturdy. The main parts are stainless steel-looking with the tops and feed tube being see-through plastic.
7 parts make up this appliance:
• The base comprising: Switches – on/off, low speed, high speed 2 plastic clamps situated one either side Drive spindle 4 ‘pips’ but really these are small crevices for the grating sieve holder to rest on • Stainless steel bowl with spout • Grating sieve holder with outlet feature • Grating sieve • Transparent cover with feed tube and clamp slots • Pusher which forces the food down into the feed tube • Large white plastic pulp container
To assemble you have to fit the stainless steel bowl on top of the motor unit and place in the 4 hollows or ‘pips’. Switches need to be at the front and the spout section can be placed either left or right. Sieve holder goes on top of the bowl the outlet opposite the spout and fitting into the cut-out in the top of the bowl. Grating sieve then goes on top of this and you need to rotate it until it catches on the drive spindle. (I think this is where I went wrong – it wasn’t ‘caught’ properly). Transparent cover then goes on and clamps fitted around it. Pulp container then gets placed towards the Juicelady under the sieve holder outlet. Put the pusher into the feed tube and away you go! Or not, as in my case!
As mentioned earlier, I initially had a problem trying to assemble it. It all seemed in place but I couldn’t get the plastic clamps to close properly and without this action the machine just will not work and of course there is the safety aspect too. The clamps need to be securely fitted.
I must admit that there is a knack to putting this together and eventually I assembled it correctly, ready to start my juicing.
So, don’t do as I did on my first juicing session – I take back what I have said previously about not being stupid because on this, my first session, I was totally brain dead!
I had cut my carrots, celery and apple into small pieces and pushed some down the feed tube until it was nearly full then put the pusher in. I then switched the machine on to high speed and was eagerly looking into the large plastic pulp container for my juice. All I could see was mushy bits of carrots etc and thought yuk that’s not very nice. Yes, I hadn’t put a container underneath the spout and my juice was flowing all over the kitchen bench!
Ideally, low speed is for soft produce and high speed is for hard produce and as the containers of juice and pulp start filling up then switch the machine off and empty the containers. If the Juicelady vibrates violently then you must switch it off immediately and remove then clean the grating sieve but be careful as you could scratch your fingers on the sieve.
You shouldn’t run your machine continuously as it may overheat so always switch it off when not juicing.
Anyhow, mistake over, I tried again and kept topping up the feed tube with the prepared small chunks of vegetables etc.
The juice began to flow and what a pleasant sight at last! The waste part of the vegetables goes directly into the pulp container and it is actually quite surprising to see how much ‘waste’ there is. A small amount of actual juice is produced from quite a lot of veg/fruit. Granted, we are getting all the natural vitamins etc. from the uncooked food which is very good for us but, in my opinion, there is always unnecessary wastage of the pulp. For example, normally I don’t waste anything from carrots apart from cutting the very top/end from the carrot. I scrub the skin so it is clean and eat the skin with the carrot.
Juice drink prepared – now for the dismantling and washing up. It is easily dismantled thank goodness and all the removable parts are really dirty and need washing. Always remember to release the clamps in order to dismantle the parts. and always take care when handling the grating sieve.
Whatever you do, never put the motor unit into water or allow liquid inside of it. Just wipe it over with a damp cloth.
If the grating sieve gets clogged up (as it does) just keep it held under a running tap and gently brush the surface to remove particles. If you try to poke things through it then you could cause damage and your machine will be ruined.
The pulp container can be placed into a dishwasher. The stainless steel bowl, sieve holder and transparent cover can be washed in the top tray of the dishwasher but Russell Hobbs don’t really recommend you doing this. They also don’t recommend using metal brushes, metal pads or any harsh cleaners on the machine.
As well all know, carrots or the carotenoid family can stain products which sometimes may be hard to remove. If this happens then try this solution (as recommended by Russell Hobbs):-
• 1 part white vinegar to 2 parts warm water • half a packet of baking soda in warm water to cover the affected parts.
You should try and buy organic produce if possible to reduce your intake of insecticides and fertilisers and always wash all your fruit and vegetables.
Please note that you should core apples first as the seeds are no good for you. Bananas should never be put in the juicer as they clog the machine. Peel citrus fruit as the oil in their skins is bitter and quite difficult to digest – shame because I love orange peel! Also worthy of note is that rhubarb leaves are poisonous and must never be eaten or juiced! Apparently the skin of water melon contains many nutrients and if you leave it out of the juicer then you can miss out on their good value.
The Juicelady is very powerful and therefore can cope with raw beetroot, melon (skin on), pineapple (skin on) but you should always remove stones from fruit and other big seeds. Small seeds such as those found in strawberries, raspberries and kiwi can be left in. Who wants to deseed strawberries anyway?
Here is a sample recipe:
Savoury Cocktail: 2 carrots 3 tomatoes Spinach or watercress 1 stick celery Half red pepper Small bunch of coriander or basil Dash of Tabasco sauce Prepare vegetables and slice the tomatoes into quarters. Feed the carrots, tomatoes, spinach or watercress, celery, red pepper and herbs together through the juicer and pour into a glass. Add a little Tabasco sauces (or Worcestershire sauce) to taste and stir well before serving.
I prefer spinach fresh and I hate it cooked. It tastes so much better uncooked.
I paid approximately £80 for this juicer and I do think it is good.
It took me a while to get used to being able to assemble it quickly but I have now got the ‘knack’ but I do find it still takes quite some time to prepare the food, assemble the machine (I keep it in one of my cupboards and it won’t fit in the cupboard as a whole machine), make the juice then wash it up and put it away. I like to make my juice fresh and so I don’t take juice to work anymore because I just don’t have the time to do this every morning.
Also, you must be prepared to use a lot of vegetables to make one glass of juice.
I mentioned to my consultant at Slimming World that I had purchased this juicer and he advised me that Slimming World don’t recommend them because you are actually intaking more food than you would normally do so because of the amount you need to use to gain one glass. Personally, I don’t understand this because all the ‘food’ is what we class as ‘free’ food on the eating plan. Apparently, the body isn’t working as hard either to digest the food. The food used is fresh, uncooked, nutritious and healthy so what harm is actually doing?