Well, to kick things off as we mean to go on here at QVC, our New Year's Day Today's Special Value is a fabulous Jack Lalanne juicer! I've had mine for a month now, so I thought I'd share my experiences with you.
Opening the package…
The first thing I notice is the amazing colour. I went for the Orange option, but it also comes in funky Yellow, vibrant Red and also classic choices of Black and White. I was pleasantly surprised at how simple it all looked, nothing complicated at all. Just give the juicing elements a quick rinse in some warm soapy water and you're good to go.
I've juiced before, but never with a machine as good quality as this one. You don't have to cut your fruit and veg up into slices because the big feeding spout is large enough to get a whole apple in, in one go! The first juice I had a go at making was apple, carrot and ginger (see my recipe for 'Craig's apple & Carrot Zinger' below). The result was wonderfully refreshing and it's great to know you're getting so many fresh vitamins and minerals. Being healthy has never tasted so good!
The common myth is that you need a bag full of fresh ingredients to make one small glass of juice – but it's just not the case with this juicer. It extracts nothing but the juice and leaves the pulp and peel behind – you can even use this in a pudding or pie, so there's very little waste. I've used the pulp in my apple crumble and my friend swears by using the carrot pulp from her juicer in her carrot cake.
Now this is the clincher for me. It could be the best juicer in the world, but if it's going to take an age to clean then I'm not interested. I'm delighted to say that this machine is a breeze to clean – it comes apart easily and everything can be rinsed under the tap or even popped in the dishwasher. I found if I was juicing woody stemmed veg like broccoli and spinach I needed to use a brush to really get the pulp extractor nice and clean, but again, this took seconds – not minutes!
Because this juicer looks so good I keep mine on the work surface. It has a nice compact size, so it doesn't take up too much room, and also makes it easier to stow away in the cupboard. It feels nice and sturdy without being too heavy or cumbersome.
The accessory kit is really handy and I like the fact that the base gives a bit of extra height when you're juicing. I love the fact that the jug that's included is big enough to hold juice for the whole family.
Here are a few of the combinations I've tried – all the quantities are per person. Do let me know what you think to them!
Craig's Apple & Carrot Zinger
A wonderfully refreshing and zingy juice, great if you've got a bit of a cold
Half an inch of ginger
Craig's Pear & Cue Cooler
A light and reviving thirst-quencher
Quarter of a large cucmber
Craig's Spicy Tomato Tempter
This is a kind of salsa that you can drink, it's brimming with vitamins and cold-busting properties and tastes great into the bargain!
Half a red onion
Half an inch of ginger
Half a lime
Craig's Sexy Strawberry shake
The strawberries give this a lovely creaminess – if you want an extra special treat then blend this with ice cream
A handful of strawberries
A good sprig of fresh mint
Craig's Booze-Free Mulled Wine
This is great if you fancy something warming and are still loving the taste of Christmassy spice – but without the alcohol content
A handful of mixed frozen or fresh berries
A pinch of finely grated nutmeg
Juice all of the ingredients above, add a cup of boiling water and stir, top up with hot water and add the nutmeg
Craig's Magical Minty Vodka
OK, so this is a bit naughty when you're trying to be healthy, but it makes a great cocktail!
A good handful of fresh mint
1 or 2 shots of vodka
A squeeze of fresh lemon