Fast Juicing With A Centrifugal Juicer

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Top centrifugal juicers worth buyingThe older we get the more we realize just how valuable being in good health is worth.  This is one reason why the juicer is showing up in a lot more kitchens.  It is a convenient way to improve the required daily nutrient intake requirements for your body.  Rather than spending all day eating various fruits and vegetables, juicing allows you to get the vitamin and minerals found in nature and condense it down into an easy to consume glass of juice.  For people who are constantly on the go, this is a terrific option.  If saving time is an important factor for you, then getting a centrifugal juicer is the best option to maximize the benefits that juicing has to offer while less hassle.  Masticating juicers generally will give you a better quality juice, but they take a little longer to get the job done and for anyone with a hectic schedule, this will not be an ideal juicer to own.

Centrifugal juicers offer a simple to use, easy to clean, and super fast juicing experience.  This is why they are some of the most popular juicers on the market.  While not perfect, they do have many advantages that make them rather appealing for people on the go.  Below are just some of the pros and cons of this type of juice extractor.

Advantages

Speed – Centrifugal juicers typically operate a cutting disc that spins at thousands of RPM.  This high rate of speed is great for juicing hard vegetables.  Produce like carrots, apples, cucumber, and beets will be no match for this type of machine and any juicing recipes that contain any hard veggies will be a breeze to make.  Compared to masticating machines, centrifugal extractors are significantly faster when it comes down to juicing time.

Feed Chute Size – These types of juicers also tend to have bigger feed chutes.  Why does this matter?  Well, having a large feed tube means that you can drop larger sized produce into the machine.  You do not have to spend extra time cutting them up into smaller pieces just to fit into the juicer.  This can be a huge time saver, especially if you are juicing a lot at once.

Easy To Operate – Not that masticating juicers are hard to operate, but they do jam at times.  Centrifugal units on the other hand do not have clogging issues.  You simply choose your speed, high or low, and drop your food into the machine.

Simple To Clean – This is an extremely important factor when considering a juicer and it is something that some buyers tend to overlook.  Having a juicer that quickly washes clean will go a long way to making your juicing experience a positive one.  Most of the models being sold today come with dishwasher safe parts and take very little time to get looking like new.  The best way to minimize this work is to clean your juicer immediately after using it while everything is still wet and the pulp has not had a chance to dry.

Price – Centrifugal machines are typically found at lower price ranges than masticating models.  They can range from $100 for a quality budget machine, up to $400 for a high end juicer with all of the bells and whistles.

Disadvantages

Noise – This is one of the major turn offs for some people while using a centrifugal juicer.  The power motors that move the cutting disc at such high rates of speed also make a lot of noise.  On the high setting, it can sound like a jet engine in the kitchen.  Even though it does not take long to juice, the sound of the juicer will most likely wake up anyone who happens to be sleeping in the house.

Juicing Leafy Vegetables – Centrifugal juicers tend to shred leafy greens into tiny pieces without getting a whole lot of juice out of them.  You may have to run the pulp back through the machine a couple of times to get the desired results from this type of produce.  If you like to juice spinach, kale, wheatgrass, or cabbage, you will be better off using a masticating juicer.

Centrifugal Juicer Recommendations

There really is just one brand name that you should consider when buying one of these machines, and that is Breville.  There is no other maker that comes close.  Breville’s line of juicing machines are some of the best built, modern, and efficient juicers that you can buy.  They get amazing reviews from owners who love how well they perform and how easy they are to use.  They are designed to be simple to clean, sturdy, and fast which makes them the only choice for a centrifugal juicer.  They have several different models for just about every type of budget.  From the BJE200XL, which is their least expensive model, to the 800JEXL, which is perhaps their best selling juice extractor.  If this type of juicing machine is one you think that would best suits your needs, then a Breville is just about the only brand you should consider.


Top 3 Convection Toaster Ovens For Everyday Cooking

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Best rated convection toaster ovens

If  you love to eat and really like to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible, then getting an oven with a convection cooking feature is probably the best way to go.  Now instead of replacing your full sized range with an oven with this cook setting, you can just get a toaster oven with convection capabilities.  Not only will this save you money, but toaster ovens have their own advantages as well.  Being easy to use, simple to clean, convenient, and using less energy are just some of the benefits that having a countertop oven can give you.

What Is Convection?

Before we get to the the best toaster ovens with this feature, it is important to understand what it is and the advantages that it offers.  Convection ovens have a fan inside of them that circulates the hot air and cooks food evenly and at faster speeds.  This alone is worth the money, but there are some other pleasant benefits and some tips that you can use to reap the full rewards of this technology.

Top 3 Convection Ovens

We have some experience with one of the ovens on our list, and of course we have that rated on top.  But we also consulted with some of the expert sites that do toaster oven reviews and used Gouverneur Times toaster oven rankings to not only see how other owners rated our oven, but also to see which other convection ovens rate best with customers.  Here is what we found:

Breville Smart Oven BOV800XL

Breville makes a great line of toaster ovens, but not all of them make use of the convection cooking technology.  The BOV800XL is the perfect size to cook whole chickens and larger family meals.  We have used this oven in our own kitchen and have cooked up some of the best tasting dishes over the years.  A lot of our friends are often suprised that their meal was prepared in a toaster oven since they often get a bad wrap.  But that is based on old technology, and in fact, today’s countertop ovens are more than capable of making some mouth watering recipes that used to be reserved for our full sized oven.  Now we store our pots and pans in there and just use our Breville for everything.

The BOV800XL has a slick looking digital display that looks like something the Jetson’s would use.  It has automatic temperature adjustment which saves on a lot of the guesswork.  Its heating elements are made of quartz which drastically reduces the amount of time needed to preheat the oven.  We also love the design of this toaster oven as it fits in nicely with the rest of our stainless steel kitchen appliances.  The only thing missing from this machine is a light on the inside.  We love it and we are sure you will too.

Kitchenaid KCO273SS

This is a very non-descript model number for what appears to be a very robust and versatile toaster oven.  It brags very fast start times and  it brings the temperature up quickly.  It also has 9 presettings for just about every type of dish you intend to cook.  It can roast, broil, bake, and toast with the best of them.  Its convection cooking capability also gets high praise from owners.  From the pictures, it is also another modern toaster oven that would look fantastic in any kitchen.  It is a little less expensive than the Breville and can go for between $200 and $240.  After reading up on this particular oven, if we did not already own the BOV800XL, this is one we would definitely be considering.

Cuisinart TOB-195

We have a couple of Cuisinart appliances in our kitchen (food processor and bread machine) and have found that they make some really dependable machines.  We have no hesitation about recommending a Cuisinart toaster oven for this reason.  The TOB-195 is also a convection countertop oven that has gotten some very nice customer reviews.  What we like about this unit as well is where the controls are placed.  They are up front and we can see how this would help save some space in the design of the oven.  While it is not as futuristic in its styling as the other two ovens above, the stainless steel is a nice look.

Convection Advantages

Faster cooking times, energy savings, and more evenly cooked food is what cooking with convection can offer you in the kitchen.  The downside to this is that now many of the recipes that you currently use may need to have their times adjusted.  Going through this learning curve, however, is fully worth it as you will end up spending less time in the kitchen preparing your food and more time with the family enjoying it.  Hopefully some of you will find our list helpful and pick yourself up one these ovens for your own home.  It really has changed the way that our family spends time in the kitchen….for the better.


Palate Pleasing Pastry Recipes

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tastey pastry

For all those that love to bake we have got a few pastry recipes that might tempt your tastebuds. Perfect for parties, bake sales or just to surprise your family, there is nothing as putting a smile a someone’s face as you offer them some freshly prepared pastry dishes.

Muffin Madness

Sizzle up your everyday muffins with these great mix of flavors.

Ingredients:

470 gm Wheat flour
450 gm Sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp Baking powder
250 gm Water
130 gm Sunflower oil
1 tsp Vanilla essence
2 Zest of limes

[Raspberry Butter cream]

500 gm Icing sugar
220 gm Margarine
3 tsp Raspberry pulp
3 Almonds (sliced)
9 Raspberries (whole)

Instructions to follow:

For the cake add wheat, baking powder and sugar in a bowl. Mix the ingredients thoroughly to make a mixture of all the dry ingredients. In another bowl, mix sunflower oil, vanilla essence, zest of limes and water to make a solution of all the liquid ingredients. Next, pour the dry mixture slowly into the liquid mixture while beating continuously until a smooth and even texture is reached.

Next, take a muffin tray and grease it with butter. Divide the muffin batter into equal parts onto the tray and insert it into a pre-heated oven at 180 degree. Let the muffins bake for 10 to 15 minutes if you are using a mini muffin tray or 20 to 40 minutes if you’re using a jumbo muffin tray. Once done, insert a toothpick into the center of the muffins. If the toothpick comes out clean the muffins are done, otherwise, bake them for 5 more minutes. Let the muffins cool before applying the icing on top.

Raspberry Butter Cream

In a blender, take the margarine and pour in sugar slowly while beating at medium speed. Then add in pulp of raspberries gradually while beating continuously until the mixture is smooth. With the help of a pasty bag decorate the muffins and top it off with sliced almonds and whole raspberries.

Mini Cheesecake

Very easy recipe to make before guests arrive.

Ingredients:

Crust

1/3 cup Graham cracker crumbs
1 tbs sugar
1 tbs Margarine (melted)

Filling

8 ounce Cream cheese (softened)
1 Egg
1/4 cup Sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp Lemon juice
1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 Lemon zest (grated)

Instructions to follow:

In a bowl, mix the crackers, margarine and sugar until properly mixed. Grease a muffin tray with butter and put one heaping tablespoon of the resulting mixture into each cup of the muffin tray (press firmly on the mixture so that it goes completely flat). Insert the tray into a pre-heated oven at 325 degrees and let it bake for 5 minutes.

While the crust cools, mix the cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla essence until the mixture gets fluffy. When that’s done, mix in the egg slowly. Pour this mixture into the muffin tray (fill it up to 3/4th of the cups on the tray). Bake it for 25 minutes at 325 degrees. Let it cool while it’s still in the tray. Once cooled, remove from tray and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Blueberry Cheese Danish Pastry

It can be a bit of a hassle to make but the results are worth the effort.
Ingredients:

5 tsp Active dry yeast
2/3 cup Sugar
1 tsp Salt
3 Egg yolks
2 tsp Vanilla essence
2/3 cup Milk
3 and 3/4 cups Flour
1 and 1/2 cup Butter (unsalted)

Filling

8 ounces Cream cheese
1/4 cup Sugar
1 Egg yolk
1 tsp Vanilla essence
1/4 tsp Salt
2 tsp Orange zest (grated)
1 tsp Lemon zest (grated)
2 tbs Flour

Glaze

1 and 1/4 cup Confectioner’s sugar
3 tbs Lemon juice

Instructions to follow:

Dough

In a large bowl pour 1/4 cup of warm water and add sugar and yeast to it. Let it sit for 5 minutes. When it gets foamy, stir in salt, yolks, vanilla, and milk. Next, add flour to the mixture until it turns into a soft and sticky dough. Cover this dough for an hour. Make sure to keep it somewhere cool.

Butter mixture

Take the butter on a cool surface, roll it with a rolling pin until it softens. At this point add 1/2 cup of flour while blending the mixture until it’s fully combined. Take this butter mixture and cut into 6 inch squares; wrap it in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Proceed to take the dough and roll it into 12 inch squares. Put the butter mixture diagonally in the middle. Enclose the butter mixture using the dough like an envelope. Seal it by pinching the edges of the dough. Roll it from the center and do it in such a way that is forms an 18 by 8 inch rectangle. Fold the dough like a book and refrigerate it by wrapping it in a plastic wrapper for 1 hour before rolling it out again. Repeat this procedure twice or more to make the pastries crispier.

In a bowl mix in all the filling ingredients until it smooths and refrigerate it for an hour or more. Take the refrigerated 18 by 8 inch rolled out dough and cut it into 4 inch squares. Stretch two corners of the square (that are opposite to each other) to form flaps.

Take one heaping tablespoon of the filling and put it in the middle of the square. Top it with blueberries. Brush the flaps with egg wash and seal the filling carefully within the square by overlapping the flaps. Brush the entire pastry with egg wash.

Put the pastries on a baking sheet (3 inches apart) and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until the pastries turn golden.

For the glaze, whisk in sifted confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice until thickened. Serve the danish pastry with drizzled glaze on top.

Buttercrust Dough Recipe

Want to see how to make the perfect buttercrust pastry dough?  We found this video below that gives easy to follow directions and provides a great illustration of the steps involved.