The product: Jack LaLanne's Power Juicer Express
The Price: Internet promotion $119.96 (including shipping and handling) for one juicer: $149.95 (including S&H) for two juicers.
The claims: It can juice fruits and vegetables whole to produce a glass of juice in seconds.
The Buy-O-Meter Rating: 4 out of 5
Jack LaLanne's newest generation of power juicers -- Jack LaLanne's Power Juicer Express -- helps you down those fruits and vegetables that health experts say provide essential vitamins and minerals. Juicing is so fabulous, one of LaLanne's power juicer infomercials made a cameo appearance in the hit film, "Sex in the City 2."
I couldn't help but wonder if Jack's newest juicer is as good as it claims to be. So I agreed to try the avocado-green Power Juicer Express that Tristar Products Inc. sent to us at Consumer Ally, even though I'm not a fan of citrus and cellulose.
The Power Juicer Express, introduced in late 2009, is a more compact unit than the Power Juicer Pro, Classic or Deluxe models.
The little juicer that could is easy to assemble, features a capacious pulp collector and promises to juice most produce whole -- no slicing, no skinning, no seeding and no coring.
In fact, the feeding shoot can accommodate a small apple or pear, but you must cut up anything bigger. Although you can juice an orange with the skin, the result is bitter. And if you juice watermelon with its rind, the color is muddy, rather than a pretty pink.
Nonetheless, I had a ball juicing for the first time -- apples, pears, watermelon, celery, tomatoes, oranges, lemons, kale, blueberries and broccoli.
If it didn't move, I juiced it.
In a side-by-side comparison with my trusty KitchenAid mixer with juicing attachment, Jack's juicer yielded twice as much orange and lemon juice in half the time.
However, the juice seemed whipped, frothier than usual. The pitcher of lemonade I made with only two lemons tasted great but had an unusual, creamy yellow color.
In the end, the juicer's pulp collector was filled with the chopped up, fiber part of the produce, which I could have added to meatloaf and muffins, but just dumped in the compost pile instead.
Clean-up was easy -- just unsnap and rinse -- until I got to the filter/blade, which no amount of soaking, scrubbing or running through the dishwasher totally cleaned.
A little leftover pulp could be a deal breaker for some. Others have complained that Jack's juicers conk out quickly and frequently jam.
I've used the juicer every day for a month and have become a juicing convert. No fruit or vegetable is safe from extraction. My family runs when they hear the machine hum, fearing I'll thrust a celery-carrot-pineapple concoction into their hands.
The only glitch has been the few fruit flies that appear when I don't wash the machine immediately.
Jack LaLanne's Power Juicer Express usually costs $99.99 plus $30 shipping and handling, which is a comparatively low price for a juicer. An Internet promotion now doubles the offer -- two juicers -- for $149.95 including S&H, which makes this one of the few products that is better bought online than in retail stores.
I'm juiced about Jack LaLanne's Power Juicer Express. It may not be the last juicer you'll ever buy, but it could be the first.
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