Juicing my way to local, organic and healthy heaven
Dubai: I LOVE my healthy Philips AirFryer…chilli and curry coated chunky chips with a dollop of tomato chutney are a regular fixture in FooDiva’s abode. So when Philips’ latest kitchen appliance, the Avance juicer rocked up on my doorstep with a fruit hamper*, I couldn’t wait to start juicing…even though am not big on this craze, despite the Juice Master, aka Jason Vale’s transformed life and boundless enthusiasm. If am gonna be healthy, I much prefer eating my fruit and veg whole and raw, or when cooked, lightly steamed.
But anyhow, the Avance looked so slick and sexy it deserved a few rounds of juicing. So armed with a few tips from Jason at Taste of Dubai, and many a veg from the farmers’ market outside the new Baker & Spice at Marina Promenade where local, organic produce is sourced from UAE farms, I’ve been juicing myself to healthy heaven the last couple of weeks and here’s FooDiva’s verdict…
- Assembly is pretty easy – you don’t even need to refer to the manual (and FooDiva’s a gadgetphobe).
- No need to cut up your fruit or veg – but do remove any stones or thick skins from citrus fruits. Throw them into the feeding tube as is, with pips and all.
- Two speeds for soft and hard fruit and veg.
- If like FooDiva you love cloudy juice with a layer of foam, remove the lid of the 2.5 litre jug with its integrated foam separator.
- A nifty little spout accessory can channel juice directly into a glass should you wish, rather than into the 2.5 litre jug.
- And now for the bit none of us like, and am pretty sure deters most of us from juicing – cleaning. I may be a diva, but I have no maid so this factor is crucial. The juicer has an upside-down sieve that has been electro-polished, which makes it easier to remove tricky fibres caught up in the mesh after juicing. The real difference from other juicers is two-fold: 1) the pulp container is positioned right under the sieve to collect all the pulp, making it easy to dispose and 2) all removable parts, sieve included, can be chucked into the top shelf of the dishwasher. What more could a diva ask for?
- The small recipe book comes in handy if you need a little juicing inspiration. Thanks to the farmers market, FooDiva’s fave combo is more veg than fruit (with summer beckoning, the UAE harvesting season is nearly over) – some very seasonal beetroots and carrots from a farm in Sharjah, with apples and ginger (sadly from the supermarket). Note, Golden Delicious apples are the best for extracting juice. For maximum vitamin and mineral benefit, drink the juice immediately. If you do have to refridgerate, squeeze in a few drops of lemon.
- A couple of quibbles: 1) Avance won’t juice starchy fruits like bananas, papayas, avocado, figs and mangoes – you need a food processor or blender for that. Thankfully my Braun Multiquick comes to the rescue. 2) Once you remove the jug after juicing, excess juice dribbles onto the kitchen counter – perhaps Philips should consider incorporating an anti-drip spout?
FooDiva’s making a conscious effort to juice now – more a weekend ritual. If you’re thinking of buying a juicer then do consider Philips’ Avance – it’s certainly a very competitively priced appliance – and it may just encourage you to eat more fruit and veg. As the Juice Master says, “if you can’t eat it, drink it.”
The Philips Avance juicer is available at all major hypermarkets in the UAE for AED 899.
Baker & Spice runs the farmers market at Marina Promenade on Saturday and at Souk Al Bahar on Friday (9am – 2pm) – get there quick before the summer heat engulfs us. Otherwise make sure to order the North African shakshouka breakfast in a pan – it’s just as heavenly at the new location.
So FooDiva Friends, are you into juicing? What’s your favourite fruit and veg combo?
* As always, this review reflects my opinion alone – more here in FooDiva’s editorial policy.