Here are the most important features to consider before buying a juicer or smoothie machine.
Smoothie or Juice Machine
It's really not a question of one or the other. I like both. (To see the pros and cons of each click here.) Just know that an inexpensive kitchen blender doesn't work. Carrots, beets or other hard veggies become a gritty mess. On the other hand, your kitchen blender is very useful for adding avocados and bananas which clog non-commercial juice machines.
Unlike a blender, a juicing machine removes most of the pulp from fruits and vegetables. For smoothies (which create a smooth drink out of everything - skin, seeds, and all), again, an inexpensive kitchen blender will not do. For smoothies you want a high speed blender with at least 10,000 RPMs. Smoothie and juice appliances are available at kitchen stores, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Costco, and online. By the way, Bed, Bath & Beyond has free shipping.
Type of Machine
Centrifugal juicing machines grind produce and then strain the juice by spinning it using high RPMs – 10,000 or more revolutions per minute. High RPMs add oxygen which destroys many nutrients, especially enzymes. These machines are also noisy and do not juice greens very well. New “slow” juicers have a very low RPM - as little as 45 - creating far less oxygenation and nutrient loss. Slow juicers also do a great job with vegetable greens of any kind which, though bitter-tasting, should be included in all your recipes because they are so full of nutrients.
A small amount can be added to any juice or smoothie recipe without tasting bad at all!
There is really no need to purchase an "extended warranty" because the best juice machines have 10-year or better warranties. Look for machines with warranties that cover not just the motor, but all the parts as well.
Tools & Attachments
These are just not needed! They add to cleaning time and tend to get lost. Avoid them! The best juice and smoothie machines need no tools and attachments.
This is the part where you feed produce into the machine. If you have lots of small inquisitive children this tube should be long enough so little fingers can't get very far. The larger the feeding tube the larger the pieces of produce you can feed it thereby saving you time cutting produce.
You should be able to conveniently wash all the parts in your dishwasher.
I use a good slow juicer manufactured by Hurom. However their warranty is no longer the best which is why I now suggest the Omega - equally well made with an outstanding warranty. Breville is also a well-made machine. Subscribe to the online service of Consumer Reports for excellent reviews. My favorite resource for detailed and honest comparisons of all juicer brands is John Kohler. His Discount Juicers website is free and packed with informative advice, reviews, comparison videos and even a helpful chart - in my opinion he's the best resource for advice and discounts. The best smoothie appliance is the Vitamix, according to a majority of smoothie experts.
I use a NutriBullet for my smoothies that cost me $80 at Bed, Bath & Beyond - it's one of the cheaper smoothie machines and frankly it's just fine.
When you buy a machine it should come with a few simple recipes to get you started. This can be a helpful guide so you don’t waste time and expensive produce on terrible tasting combinations! There are recipes that boost your energy, help you lose weight, detoxify and cleanse your body, and target particular diseases.