As far as kitchen appliances go, juicers have one of the worst reputations of all. They’re assumed to be difficult to operate, a pain in the you-know-what to clean, and generally just not worth the investment unless you’re a hardcore juice fan.
I used to think that, too. But after experimenting with the HH Elite Slow Juicer that Hurom graciously sent me to try, I’ve let go of my juicing stereotypes and become firmly pro-juicer.
No, I’m not yet a kale-infused green juice convert (it tastes like grass, TBH), but I have discovered that there’s a lot more you can make with a juicer than its name implies.
From the smoothest hummus ever (promise!) to fruit sorbets, here’s why you should make some room on your kitchen counter for one of these multitasking marvels. Sure, juicers are still kinda annoying to clean, but the results are well worth it.
1. Almond Milk
After an overnight soak in water, almonds transform from crunchy to creamy and can be sent through the juicer to create homemade almond milk free from the additives found in many store-bought brands. Leave it plain, or liven it up with vanilla, sweetener, or spices. Here’s a basic recipe.
2. Tomato Sauce
For the freshest, most tomato-y tomato sauce, use your juicer. Start by juicing tomatoes, then gather the juice and any pulp and set aside. Sauté some garlic in olive oil, add your tomato juice and pulp, and reduce it by half. Stir in chopped basil and salt, and never go back to the jarred stuff again.
Stop paying six bucks for a measly pint of fruit sorbet. Make your own 100 percent pure fruit sorbet by sending frozen fruit straight through your juicer. Enjoy immediately or freeze for a firmer texture.
To get the swirl effect seen above, layer raspberry, mango, and pineapple sorbet in a container, freeze for a few hours, then dish it out.
#SpoonTip: This method also works great for creamy, one-ingredient banana ice cream.
As a self-proclaimed hummus fanatic, I’ve been known to go to great lengths to get smooth homemade hummus. Rather doing crazy things like spending 30 minutes peeling each individual chickpea (been there, done that), send a can of drained chickpeas through your juicer.
After, you’ll be left with a chickpea purée that — when blended with garlic, tahini, lemon, and a pinch of salt — makes for a smooth-as-silk hummus that trumps any store-bought brand.
The possibilities for juice aren’t just limited to that green concoction you drink for breakfast. Fruit or vegetable juices spiked with booze make for a flavorful, healthy-ish cocktail. Skeptical? Start with a classic Bloody Mary, then branch out to one of these creative cocktails.
Similar to the Italian-style juicer tomato sauce described above, you can also take your juicer south of the border to make zesty salsas. Just like for the tomato sauce, start by juicing your tomatoes. Transfer the juice and pulp to a pan and cook over medium heat until reduced by half. Then, add in chopped onion, jalapeño, and cilantro, plus lime juice and salt to taste.
If you like a chunkier salsa, as shown in the photo above, add in diced tomato as well.
7. Nut Butter
Once again, the juicer proves itself the hero of kitchen appliances with its ability to turn nuts — either raw or roasted — into nut butter in no time flat.
After a run through the juicer, the nuts will resemble fine crumbs. But stir in a little coconut oil and flavorings (I used maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt), and you’ve got a healthy spread perfect for slathering on toast or scooping up with apple slices. #WIN.
8. DIY Dole Whip
As it turns out, this iconic Disney dessert can be easily made at home with a little help from your juicer. Simply add frozen pineapple chunks to the juicer to make sorbet, then mix in coconut milk for that unmistakable tropical flavor. Take that, Mickey.
#SpoonTip: Feeling frisky? Add some rum for a frozen treat reminiscent of a piña colada.
Instead of sipping your juice, slurp it up in the form of soup. A mix of juiced veggies creates an incredibly flavorful base for a nutritious vegetable soup. Or, highlight just one vegetable, like in these juicer tomato or corn soups.