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Q: Which is a better healthy living tool? A juicer or a blender?

This is a tricky one. Everybody has their own opinion on the subject, but the truth of the matter is that both blending and juicing have a multitude of health benefits, which is why we have chosen to carry the most efficient models of both. Our family is passionate about juicing, and we have seen first-hand the wonders it can do for your health. However, we also know that with the blenders available on the market today, you can receive many of the same health benefits you get with a quality juicer with the use of a quality blender. Each has a separate use and purpose. You aren't going to get silky smooth, pulp-free, nutrient-rich juice from a blender, but you aren't going to be using your juicer to make hummus, chunky salsa, or grind wheat into flour. For the most complete healthy living kitchen, we recommend getting one of each.

Q: What is EPT?

EPT refers to Enzyme Protection Technology, and it is a feature of many of the juicers, blenders and dehydrators we carry. Essentially what it means is that your appliance has been specially designed to retain the important enzymes and nutrients found in your produce. Often times, these enzymes can be lost in food processing and juicing by tearing down the produce and only extracting the sugars and less desired benefits of the food. Since it’s the nutrients that we're after, retaining them while juicing is the goal! Enzyme Protection Technology works by making sure that your food doesn't get overheated while being processed, instead taking a gentler approach to ensure that all essential nutrients are extracted. It is a temperature gauge inside your machine to protect the food (and the enzymes that reside within) that you are about to consume.

Q: When it comes to dehydrators, why does horizontal drying matter?

The problem that many people have with food dehydrators, is that they don't heat and dry food evenly. Often one part may dry out quickly, while another retains moisture. Such dehydrators usually require a lot of rotation and attention, and can result in food waste. By utilizing a horizontal dehydrating system, air is circulated evenly throughout the machine. The air is pulled in through the back of the dehydrator and slowly works its way towards the front, where it is finally released through the front vents. This ensures that there is always fresh air evenly circulating throughout your dehydrator, making for more hygienic and more efficient dehydration. It also means that you won't have to worry about checking your food constantly or rotating it to make sure that you won't be throwing any out when the process is over. Especially with the added benefit of a digital timer and adjustable thermostats, horizontal drying makes for worry-free, simpler than ever food dehydration.

Q: My water tastes fine. Why would I need a water filter?

While it's true that water filters are used to improve the taste of drinking water, they do a lot more than that. Town water supplies often carry a lot more than just water. When you turn on your tap, it isn't just water that you are letting into your home, but also chlorine, heavy metals like mercury, pesticides and herbicides used in farming, lead, VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and even MTBE (methyl tert-butyl ether - an additive used in petrol). Much like all these things are known to wreak havoc on the planet, they can wreak havoc on our bodies as well. Do you really want to drink something that contains a petrol additive? These common water foes have potentially dangerous side effects, but can easily be filtered out with the right water filter. In addition, if you have sensitive, irritated skin, it could be a result of the water you are showering in and washing your clothes in. Pesticides are not exactly skin-friendly. If that is the case, you may want to consider a whole house water filter, so you can be sure that all the water your body comes in contact with is chemical-free.

Q: Can I make my own nut milk with a juicer?

The answer to this question depends on what type of juicer you have. Centrifugal juicers are great for fast juicing of hearty vegetables like apples, carrots and celery, but if you throw nuts in there, it will likely just spin them around and shoot them back out. A cold pressed juicer (also known as a masticating juicer), on the other hand, is slow and gentle enough to be able to process nuts and seeds while retaining their nutritional value and getting maximum extraction. For making your own nut milk, we recommend first soaking the nuts overnight, thoroughly rinsing them, and then adding the soaked, rinsed nuts to the juicer simultaneously with water. How much water? That depends on how thick you like your milk. Try starting out with a 1:1 ratio, and increasing the amount of water from there until you find your desired consistency.

Q: I want to do a green juice detox, but I worry I'm not getting all the nutrients from my leafy greens I'm putting in. Is my juicer right for this?

Here, you're in a similar situation as the nut milk question above. If you have a centrifugal juicer, unfortunately you aren't getting a lot of extraction from spinach, kale, wheatgrass, and other popular green juice ingredients. Again, you need a slower juicer. Horizontal and twin gear models are the best for processing leafy greens. That's because they slowly grind the produce at a low temperature, making sure that your produce isn't just getting spit out into the pulp bin, and also making sure that all the important nutrients and enzymes you are seeking in your detox are released. For more information on the best juicer and all the different types available, please see our article Which Juicer? for a complete buying guide.