Note: we paid for our juicer fair and square. Omega is not paying me to write this post. This is me, spewing mad love for my Omega VRT350HD since so many people have emailed and Facebooked me about what’s what and what kind of juicer they should get.
I don’t know if it’s just because we’ve been juicing for a few months now or if it’s the new year or if I’ve always had a bunch of friends interested in juicing and just never realized it, but I’ve had an influx of emails and Facebook messages and tweets about which juicer to get and why we chose the one we did. I figured I’d write a post about why we went with the Omega VRT350HD over the others and talk a bit about the pros and cons of the juicer, now that we’re almost two months into this journey.
Why Did We Choose This Juicer?
When we got to Lake Elsinore, we met two fellow skydivers/staff members that would bring juice to work with them. They talked about it in the mornings and it was fascinating to me. I love juice but I’ve never enjoyed the store-bought stuff because it’s so processed or sugary or full of sodium. When I started changing my lifestyle in August, my doctor recommended a nutrition plan and said that if I ever found myself in a plateau, to do a day where I drink only juice or a day where I eat only protein, nothing else. This worked, and I’d do one protein-only day a week when I needed a metabolism boost. She recommended buying a juicer but I couldn’t justify it at the time, so I supplemented with Bolthouse Farms Carrot Juice, Green Goodness juice and the Vanilla Chai protein shakes.
Given the availability of fresh produce year round here, as well as knowing people (besides my doctor) who had juicers and swore by them, I started doing research. Both of my coworkers recommended a masticating juicer versus a centrifugal juicer, and that is where I started as a basis for the research.
When comparing a centrifugal juicer to a masticating juicer, there are a couple of variables to consider:
- Volume of juice produced
- Dry pulp vs. wet pulp
- Quality of juice produced
- Speed at which the juice is produced (Higher RPM = more heat)
- Noise level of the juicer
- Oxidation of the juice after it is made
We started watching videos, there is site called Discount Juicers and it is full of different information and their YouTube channel is full of comparison videos between different brands and styles of juicers. Some of them show how much volume can come from the same amount of produce using the different machines, and some of them just highlight how they work.
This is the video that got us interested in the Omega VRT350. It’s 30 minutes long, so it’s a bit extensive, but we watched several of these after watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. (In case the video doesn’t load below, click here to view it)
The juicer used in Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead is the Breville Juice Fountain. No doubt an awesome juicer, but after doing research so we didn’t go into the purchase blind, the quality of the juice, the yield and the dryness of the pulp was what sold us. We knew that this could potentially be a big investment, to add juicing to our lifestyle, and to dryer pulp = more juice = more bang for your buck. Obviously the difference isn’t THAT much, because John still lost a ton of weight and is super healthy now, but there are little nuances to what kind of juicer works for what you need it for.
The price is high. We ended up choosing the VRT model over the Omega J8000-series because of the counter space issues. They’re essentially the same juicer but counter space is a hot commodity at our house.
A masticating juicer is also called a slow juicer. Slow juicing = more nutrients because it is squeezing the juice, not cutting it = lower RPM = less oxidizing = more nutrients. And it’s much more quiet than the centrifugal juicers. You can see in the video that a centrifugal juicer sounds like a blender. Not a huge deal, and we definitely didn’t weigh this heavily when deciding what to purchase, but if you have roommates that would be pissed if you were blending all the time, it might be a factor for you.
I think the only thing we would change is that it cleans itself. But, cleanup is done in 5 minutes or less. You disassemble it, rinse the parts, and there’s a brush that looks like an oversized toothbrush that comes with the machine to help clean the basket.
Some pro-tips for the Omega VRT350HD:
- It comes with two baskets that help filter the juice from the pulp. Use the basket with the smaller holes unless you like REALLY pulpy juice. If you don’t like pulp at all, you’ll need to filter it and your volume will decrease significantly. I consider the juice produced by this juicer to be a “well-bodied” juice – similar to the consistency of V8.
- To speed up cleaning time, fill up a glass of water and pour it through the juicer before you take it apart to clean it. It helps speed things up and clear some of the debris from the basket.
- Rotate greens, softer vegetables or fruits and harder vegetables or frutis to prevent the basket from clogging. For example, start with spinach, then do a cucumber, then a carrot, etc.
Things we’ve juiced & they juice well:
- Greens: Kale, spinach, chard, parsley, cilantro, romaine, etc
- Veggies: Carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes (a fruit?), parsnips, bell peppers, beets, jalapenos, serranos, garlic, zucchini, ginger
- Fruits: apples, oranges, grapefruit (a whole one is way too bitter for my taste), satsuma, lemons, limes, kiwi, pineapple, grapes, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries
Things you can’t juice: mango, avocado, banana. But, you can juice whatever you want to juice, then add the juice and the soft fruits to a blender and blend it up. But don’t put avocado or mango or banana in a juicer. We haven’t tried it but I hear it’s a disaster.
One of the biggest things I was concerned about was how everything would taste. This blog helped me figure out what the different flavor profiles are of various fruits and veggies. The formatting on Juicing for Health is enough to give you a headache, but you can cure that headache by clicking through the fruit juicing and veggie juicing links and seeing what the healing properties are of each on the right hand side of the screen. Pretty interesting stuff!
Now, if the peeps from Omega are listening, I definitely wouldn’t mind having a juicer to give away to someone… 😉
Do you juice? What kind of juicer do you use? What are some of your favorite recipes?