How To Bake a Potato In The Microwave

How To Bake a Potato In The Microwave - main image

How to bake a potato in the microwave? As with most things in the microwave, it’s pretty straightforward. Potatoes are one of those foods that seem to be particularly well suited to being cooked in a microwave.

Indeed once you’ve figured out how to bake a potato in the microwave you may find yourself opting for this method rather than the oven a lot more frequently than you otherwise would. This is mostly because when it comes to a baked (jacket potato – i.e. potato with the skin left on) it can be genuinely difficult to tell whether it’s been done in the microwave or in a conventional oven in terms of taste.

How To Bake a Potato In The Microwave

So let’s get to work on how to bake a potato in the microwave.

Firstly let’s quickly cover what you’ll need in terms of ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1x Potato
  • Your choice of seasoning
    • Pepper
    • Salt
    • Grated Cheese

Method

  1. As with any cooking method, the first thing you want to do with your potato is make sure it is clean. So give it a good wash and scrub it down.
  2. After cleaning, be sure to dry it well – this will help to avoid it steaming up too much in the microwave.
  3. Next you’ll want to poke the potato with a fork.
  4. Place it on a microwave safe open dish and place in the microwave on high power for 5 minutes.
  5. At this stage you may want to turn over the potato. Be careful when opening the door and dealing with the potato as it will be very hot. Use some microwave safe tongs or wooden cooking spoon to turn it over. If you need to remove the dish from the microwave, be sure to use suitable oven gloves.
  6. Microwave for another two minutes and then check to see if it is soft enough in the middle. You’ll know if it is soft enough as the middle should be piereced quite easily with a fork or knife. Be sure to use suitable goven gloves when removing the microwave safe dish out of of the microwave.
  7. If you find it is not soft enough, pop it back in the microwave for another 45 seconds to 1 minute at a time until it is soft enough for your liking. Be sure to use suitable goven gloves when removing the microwave safe dish out of of the microwave.
  8. Once you are happy with it, leave it to rest and cool down. You can then split it down the middle and add your choice of toppings e.g. salt, pepper, grated cheese or butter. Be sure to use suitable goven gloves when removing the microwave safe dish out of of the microwave.
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More Than One

The great thing with the steps above for how to bake a potato in the microwave, is that you can use the same method whether making one or more potatoes in the microwave.

You’ll just find that it will take longer of course to bake them as you need to in the microwave.

Baked Feel

One thing you may of course notice is that when it comes to potatoes baked in the microwave, they will not have that crispy and golden brown feel you’ll get from a conventional oven. If you want that golden brown look then you’ll need you oven handy for that.

One method that could still work well for you especially if you are in a rush but still want the traditional oven look is to cook your potatoes in the microwave and then finish them off in the oven or grill. This works particularly well if you split them after they’re cooked and then add your favourite toppings like grated cheese and paprika over the top and then place them in the grill or oven for a few minutes.

With this method, you get the convenience of the microwave but the look and feel of an oven made potato dish.

Poke Them Well

It may seem odd, but poking your potato before putting it into the microwave does help to make sure it cooks as you want it. It will allow steam buidling up inside the potato to escape during cooking. It also helps to avoid the potato popping in the microwave and leaving your appliance in very messy state.

Poke the potato all around with a fork for the best results.

Let Your Toppings Do The Talking

Just because your potato has been conveniently and quickly baked in the microwave, doesn’t mean its flavour has to be lacking. One of the best ways to jazz things up with a baked potato is to let loose with your favourite toppings. These could be:

  • Grated cheese (cheddar works well)
  • Melted butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Chilli
  • Crispy bacon or pancetta

What Are The Best Potatoes For Jacket Potatoes?

What are the best potatoes for jacket potatoes? The best types of potatoes for jacket potatoes are usually those labelled as “baking potatoes”. These tend to be reasonably sized and come with a floury but moist like texture. In terms of specific types King Edward and Desiree potatoes are said to work quite well for baked potatoes.

How To Make A Breakfast Smoothie

How To Make A Breakfast Smoothie
How To Make A Breakfast Smoothie?

How to make a breakfast smoothie? It really couldn’t be any easier. We regularly (4/5 times a week) make our favourrite breakfast smoothie in our house as its delicious, packed full of goodness and very easy to make.

Smoothies can be made to look complicated and sophisticated from the outside but really it’s just a mixture of your favourite fruits and a few other bits bunged together in the blender.

Our favourite breakfast smoothie is a wheat biscuit based (Weetabix) one but the beauty of the smoothie is that you can tailor it to your own needs.

How To Make A Breakfast Smoothie

How to make a breakfast smoothie? Let’s get to it. Below we’ll show you how to make a breakfast smoothie using our Weetabix breakfast smoothie as a guide.

Ingredients:

For this breakfast smoothie you’ll need the following ingredients

  • Weetabix Biscuits x 2
  • Branflakes x 1 handful
  • Banana x 1
  • Avocado x 1/2
  • Apple (royal gala; braeburn or your favourite) x 1
  • Your choice of milk (we use goats milk) x 1 glass
  • Grapes x 1 palm full
  • Mixed seeds x1 tablespoon

1 – Firstly grab your glass full of milk and tip it into the blender. It’s best to get started with the milk as it will make it easier for your ingredients to mix. Having said this we often put the milk in at the end as there’s less splashing to deal with but this is clearly a minor point.

2 – Next add the wheat biscuits, branflakes, banana, chopped apple, avocado and grape.

3 – Lastly add in the mixed seeds into the blender.

4 – Once everything is in, close the lid and then blend the mixture until it looks smooth and creamy. If you want to make the smoothie thicker you can add some more avocado.

Alternatively you can add some yoghurt. If on the other hand it’s too thick for your liking you can always add in some milk or even water.

That’s really all there is to it. The above recipe is just one way to make a hearty breakfast smoothie; you can always mix things up with your favourite foods.

As long as you have at least the following ingredients, your breakfast smoothie should be good to go:

  • A liquid (milk/juice/water) to help mix it all together
  • Cereal of some kind like Weetabix or oats to make it feel substantial so you don’t even up feeling hungry too quickly
  • Fruits like banana and avocado to thicken the texture and add some sweetness

Do You Put Milk or Water In Smoothies?

If you’re wondering whether you put milk or water in smoothies, it really depends on your preference and also what a recipe may call for. With our breakfast smoothie we typically use milk but sometimes also add some water if the mixture ends up to too thick.

With milk smoothies typically end up with a more creamy texture and perhaps a more interesting taste.

The thing is though when it comes to smoothies, you can simply experiment and see what works for you.

Can I Blend Banana and Milk?

Can I blend banana and milk? We definitely think you can blend banana and milk. We routinely do so and there lots of recipes available that call for milk and banana.

When it comes to making breakfast smoothies, banana and milk is a very common combination and provide an excellent base. Not only does banana help to thicken your smoothie mixture but it also ensures that it will also have a sweet taste.

How To Make Smoothies In a Blender

Smoothies can be a delicious and nutritious way to start the day as well a filling snack throughout the day.

In this article we’re going to look at how to make smoothies in a blender.

I regularly make breakfast smoothie and often end up coming back for the leftovers throughout the day as a snack.

How To Make Smoothies In a Blender?

How To Make Smoothies In a Blender?
How To Make Smoothies In a Blender?

Base Liquid: To get started it’s a good idea to have a liquid to act as the foundation of your smoothie. There’s plenty of options in this category anything ranging from milk; yoghurt; coconut water; alternative milks eg almond. The other option is fruit juice if you don’t mind the sugar levels.

Later on you can always top it with water to alter the consistency of your smoothie. To get started though try one of your favourite liquids.

Main Base: Next you want to add in something hearty to give your smoothie some real depth. This might be some substantial fruit like banana, mango or avocado.

For our favourite breakfast smoothie recipe we like to use Weetabix and Bran flakes as the main base to give the smoothie a real hearty and filling centre.

If you want to add in some greens like kale or spinach, now’s a good time to toss some in.

Fruits: Next add in any othe fruits that you feel could add something to your smoothie. At this stage in our breakfast smoothies we typically add in apple, grapes, blueberries or something of this nature to give it some more depth of flavour.

When adding in fruit it can be fresh or frozen. Indeed some people like to always have frozen fruit on stanby for making their smoothies. This is a good way to save your bananas from getting too ripe and spoilt in your fruit bowl. The riper your bananas are the sweeter your smoothie will be but you may not want it to be too ripe as the smell can be quite strong in your smoothie.

Nuts and Mixes: Lastly, you can add in any extras like chia or sunflower seeds at this stage. If you think it won’t be sweet enough for you, you could consider something like honey but the great thing with smoothies is that you can always try a bit at first and then alter it as you need to.

Blend It: Once you have everything in, blend it all together. With our blender we typically start on the lower speed setting to get the mixture going. At this stage make sure that you have enough liquid in the blender to allow it to get to work. You can add more liquid as you go.

Once the mixture has started to blend well, we typically kick it up to the high speed to really get at all the ingredients. Keep it running until you can see the consistency of the smoothie is nice and smooth.

If at this stage it looks too dense, add in some of your liquid. If on the other hand it’s too runny for your liking then you can try adding in something to thicken the texture and making creamier; bananas, avocados or yoghurt can work quite well for this.

What Is The Best Blender For Smoothies and Soups?

Blenders can work quite well for both smoothies as well as soup. The blender in our kitchen gets used 4 or 5 days in a week to make breakfast smoothies and blend our soup. The one we have is a simple but very reliable Philips similar to the HR2106/06 model here.

There are plenty of great options available on the market. Vitamix for example have some of the most well renowned blenders on the market for example their Vitamix 065860 E310.

NUTRiBULLET is another brand with some high quality options behind it like the NUTRiBULLET 600 Series.

Whichever blender you go with, try to get the best you can. This is especially important if you will be making use of the blender regularly. My breakfast smoothies for example are needed quite frequently so it helps that my blender is reliable and quite powerful. It takes me only a few minutes from beginning to end which is priceless when there are so many other things I need to do.

What Is The Best Liquid To Put In a Smoothie?

So now that we’ve covered how to make smoothies in a blender – what is the best liquid to put in a smoothie? This really depends on your taste preferences. As we’ve outlined above there a few good options we like to play with:

  • Milk – Cow’s milk or goats milk work well
  • Almond milk and other dairy alternatives
  • Coconut water
  • Coconut milk
  • Pressed fruit juice

Yoghurt is also another good one though bear in mind that you’ll typically need to add in something that’s runnier to allow your blender to be able to mix in all the ingredients.

The other liquid that can come in very hand is simply water. This can be useful if you need to make the mixture less dense though you may not necessarily want to just use water as your base liquid. It may not give your smoothie that creamy texture that can help make them so satisfying.

So what is the best liquid to put in a smoothie? You’ve got plenty of options – that’s the beauty of smoothies, you can make them based on your own unique preferences. They’re also so quick and easy that if one liquid doesn’t work out for you today, you can always try a slight variation another day.

With our breakfast smoothies we often use goats milk but can easily switch to cows milk if there’s none available.

What Ingredients Can You Put In a Smoothie?

When you’re first starting out you might wonder ‘what ingredients can you put in a smoothie?’. The simple answer pretty much anything you want that your blender can handle.

But of course you may want to make sure that whatever you’re putting in will work well as an overall recipe. Nonetheless you can definitely experiment with smoothies quite easily.

Generally speaking though relatively soft fruit and vegetables tend to work very well in smoothies. These might include

Fruit:

  • Apple
  • Avocado
  • Pear
  • Mango
  • Passionfruit
  • Banana
  • Melon
  • Grape
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple

Vegetables:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Mint

The other category that can work quite well with smoothies to give them a nice kick are nuts and mixes such as:

  • Chia seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Cashew nuts

The other main ingredients are of course the liquids described above and here the choice is as wide as your palette can stand. Ranging from milk to juice, yoghurt and simply water.

Are Smoothies Better With Milk or Yogurt?

When you are trying to decide on a base one question that might pop up is – are smoothies better with milk or yogurt? The answer depends on what type of texture and consistency you are looking for.

From what we find, our smoothies made with milk tend to be runnier and will need other ingredients like avocado or banana to give them a more creamy texture. With milk however, we will tend to find it doesn’t need another liquid like water to help the blender getting going. This is not always the case with yogurt especially the thicker variety like natural greek.

With yogurt on the other hand you may find your smoothie is creamier than it would be with milk depending on the type of yogurt. Our breakfast smoothies with yogurt in them always taste like they have a bit more depth in terms of their texture. Yogurt can also work quite well if you want that creamy texture but don’t necessarily have all of your favourite ingredients for the job at hand .

With some yogurt based smoothies do keep in mind that you may still need to add in another liquid to make sure the consistency is not too heavy. Sometimes with some types of yogurts you may find the blender needs a bit of help from some additional water or juice to help it move.

So, are smoothies bettwer with milk or yogurt? That very much depends on your taste preference and what you are looking for in terms of consistency. In some instances, it may even make sense to mix the two together.


How To Make Smoothies In a Blender: Tell Us Your Thoughts

Do I Really Need A Microwave?

You’re thinking about getting a microwave or perhaps replacing one but every so often you catch yourself thinking “do I really need a microwave?”.

It’s a fair question and one that deserves to be asked before spending money on what is essentially a luxury. Microwaves seem to have been around for so long that you might start to think its an automatic choice to have one.

Below we’re going take a look at our own view as to whether or not you really need a microwave by looking at a few critical reasons on both sides of the argument as we see it.

Do I Really Need A Microwave? – Yes

DO I Really Need A Microwave? Photo
Do I Really Need A Microwave?

Here’s why we think you might need a microwave.

#1 – It Will Be Quicker To Warm Up Meals

Perhaps the main benefit of having a microwave is the fact that it will be quicker to warm up your meals when you need to.

Rather than having to rely on the stove heating up or conventional oven coming on, you can just whack your food straight into the microwave and a minute later (depending on the food), it will be piping hot and ready to eat.

When you have a busy life, this convenience can be quite helpful when you are trying to squeeze in as much as you can.

#2 – It May Save More of Your Leftovers From the Bin

Another potential bonus of having a microwave is that it may result in more of your leftover food actually being consumed rather than being thrown away.

It is estimated that 70% of the 9.5 million tonnes of food wasted each could have been eaten. Part of the issue with food being thrown away at least in our own household is that leftovers aren’t always quick and easy to warm up. For example a lasgna ideally needs to be warmed up in the oven if you want it to maintain its feel from the night before. However, this is where having a microwave can prove to be useful as it can potentially help save more of this leftover food waste.

#3 – It Gives You A Quick Way To Make Food If You’re Tied For Time

As well as saving you time with reheating leftover or cold food, a microwave can also help you make food quickly and conveniently when you need to.

This can be particularly useful if you’ve forgetten something e.g. peas with your dinner.

It can also serve as an extra cooking appliance when you’re stove is fully loaded. Some foods such as jacket potatoes and rice are particularly straightforward to cook in the microwave.

Do I Really Need A Microwave? – No

Here’s why we think you may be just fine without a microwave.

#1 – It’s Ultimately A Luxury

Let’s get it straight – a microwave is a luxury good. It might not seem that way but from our perspective a microwave is most certainly an appliance you can certainly live without and not feel it.

Perhaps if you’ve had one before and no longer have one you may miss the convenience but there are plenty of people around the world who’ve never used one and get on just fine.

If you have a conventional cooker and oven you’ll be able to cook and reheat your food. Perphaps where you’ll miss a microwave is when you need to quckly reheat your food as you’ll need to more than likely pan heat your leftovers but the point is it is possible.

#2 – Saves You Money

If you don’t already have one, choosing not to buy a microwave can save you some money.

Rather than spending that cash on another appliance using what you already have in place at home can save you money.

The trade-off you may need to consider is how much money are you saving vs the additional time you’ll spend reheating food in a different way but the point is there may be an opportunity for you to savecash.

Conclusion: Do I Really Need A Microwave?

So, in our view there’s plenty of good reasons on both sides of the debate if you are asking yourself the question ‘do I really need a microwave?’.

A microwave can offer you convenience and the potential to save you time when it comes to reheating food however, it is certainly not an essential item.

There are plenty of people who get on just fine without one and if you decide it’s not for you it’s money that you are not having to spend.


Do I Really Need A Microwave? Tell Us What You Think.

What Is Better Juicer Or Blender?

What Is Better Juicer Or Blender? Title Image
What Is Better Juicer Or Blender?

When it comes to kitchen appliance battles the juicer versus the blender is right up there alongside microwave vs oven and kettle vs pot. They both offer some great features but what is better juicer or blender?

That’s what we want to try find out as we delve into:

  • Functions
  • Types of Fruits and Vegetables Can Be Used
  • Pricing
  • Ease of Use and Cleaning

What Is Better Juicer Or Blender?

So what is better juicer or blender? To help us make that call let’s take a look at some of the main distinguishing features between juicers and blenders as we try to understand which may be best for you.

Functions

When it comes to functions there some key differences between juicers and blenders.

Juicers are designed to extract as much liquid as possible from fruits and vegetables to give you great tasting juice.

They are typically categorised into 3 types; (i) centrifugal (ii) masticating and (iii) citrus. They are designed to seperate the fruit fibres (so the bits or flesh) from the actual liquid.

Blenders on the other hand are specifically designed to turn everything that goes into them into liquid form by breaking them down with their rotor blades. Whereas juicers separate, blenders combine everything together.

What will work better for you depends on what you prefer in terms of liquids.

The key advantage of blenders in terms of functions is that they allow you to make use of pretty much the whole fruit or vegetable. Whereas juicers will typically leave a chunck of your produce as waste pulp after the liquid has been extracted.

The other advantage of blenders is that as well as making smoothies they can also be used for a range of other tasks in the kitchen including making soup whereas only some juicers can do so.

Winner: Tie – In terms of function, it is difficult to call a winner because it really depends on what you’re after. If you want a smooth liquid beverage then you are best going for a juicer. However, if you like the idea and textures of smoothies as well as being able to make other things like soup all in one machine then a blender could be best in this regard.

Types Of Fruit and Vegetables They Can Take

When it comes to the types of fruit and vegetables juicers and blenders can handle, there are some key differences to note.

A lot of juicers can take both hard and soft fruit and vegetables to give you the ability to mix together all kinds of produce. For example you could easily make a juice with apples, carrots, ginger and spinach. Some even have the capabilty to take slightly harder food like nuts.

Blenders can also take both hard and soft fruits but only up to a point when compared to some juicers. For example you could make a smoothie with apples and spinach but you may struggle to get something a smooth as you might like when you toss in the carrots and ginger.

But on the other hand most juicers would not be able to take a fruit such as bananas as they’re fibres are too soft to be able to extract any juice from them. These are perfect for blenders and indeed tend to offer a great way to make smoothies sweet without adding sugar.

Winner: Juicer – In this regard although blenders offer great versatility, we think

Price

When it comes to price you have a range of options for both blenders are juicers though at

You can get a hold of well rated juicers from around £40 – £50. There are various models available with varying features all the way up to £500+. These come in different capacities and lots of different colours as well.

Blenders start off a lot cheaper with some very highly rated models coming in from around £20 – £30 from some well known brands like Kenwood and Morphy Richards. Blenders also have significant range with some going well north of £500.

Winner: Blender – In terms of offering cheap but well rated options as well as a range of different price points, we’d have to say blenders are better. However, it’s pretty close as juicers are not far off in terms of the range of budgets they cater for.

Ease Of Use and Cleaning

With any appliance you want to know how easy it is to use it. If you’ve ever bought something with good intentions to use it and make it a part of your daily routine, you’ll know how disheartening it can be if it turns out to be difficult to use. A key factor to consider from what we’ve seen from using both a blender and juicer consistently now for over 5 years is how easy it is to clean.

Juicers are typically fairly straightforward to use. Most just require the fruit and vegetables to be chopped and dropped into the feed chute after switching on the machine. The juicer we use is a single speed and has one button, for on/off control. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Where a lot of juicers, including ours, fall short of blenders is how tricky they can be to clean. A juicer can have as many as 5 different parts to its system, most of which will need to be cleaned after use. This is one area that may put some off when it comes to regular usage. Thus looking out for how easy it is to use and clean when searching for a model is something to think about.

Blenders on the other hand typically have very few parts (blade, jug and lid as well as the motor base). Crucially they are normally quite easy to clean especially the jug. Though the base of the blades can sometimes be tricky to reach especially if it has bits stuck to it, they are typically not as difficult as trying to clean strainer in a juicer.

Winner: Blender – For ease of use and especially ease of cleaning the winner for us has to be the humble blender. Though both juicers and blenders are very straightforward to use, the extra bit of effort needed to maintain a juicer means in this regard they come a close second.

Conclusion: What Is Better Juicer Or Blender?

So, what is better juicer or blender? In reality despite the blender taking 2 out of 4 categories and tying one, what is better will really depend on your own preferences. There are benefits and drawbacks to both appliances.


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What Are The Best Juicers?

Let’s take a brief look at some possible juicers to consider.

Philips HR1836/01 Viva Collection Compact Juicer

The Philips HR1836/01 Viva Collection juicer offers a sleek and attractive design alongside an easy to use system. Boasting a 1.5litre juicing capacity as well a nice wide feeding chute, the design of the Philips HR1836/01 means you can juice straight into your glass as well as a dedicated jug.

Sage BJE520UK Nutri Juicer Plus

The Sage BJE520UK Nutri Juicer Plus looks a classy and a highly user rated act when it comes to juicing. With an 84mm wide feeding chute you’ll seldom have to worry about chopping up your fruit and vegetables saving you time and effort in your juicing endeavours. With a variable speed system, the Sage BJE520UK Nutri Juicer Plus will help you make the most of both soft and hard fruits and vegetables.

What Are The Best Blenders?

Let’s take a look at some of the best blenders around.

NUTRiBULLET 600 Series

One of the most popular blenders around the original NUTRiBULLET 600 Series is a compact and effective blender that comes highly rated by users. Perfect if you need to blend in a hurry, the NUTRiBULLET 600 Series offers welcomed convenience and a 600W motor that can process soft and hard fruits, vegetables and nuts.

Tefal BL435840 Blendforce II 

The Tefal BL435840 Blendforce II offers a classic and highly user rated jug blender that would make a great addition to the kitchen. With a variable 2 speed system as well as a pulsing option, the Tefal BL435840 Blendforce II offers versatility as well as convenience.


What Is Better Juicer Or Blender?: Tell Us Your Thoughts.

Is It Worth Getting A Juicer?

Juicing seems to be more popular than ever these days and having had an excellent Philips juicer for 5 years now we can understand why.

But it is yet another appliance to spend your money on. So is it worth getting a juicer?

If you know you’ll be using it regularly then it’s definitely worth considering.

Below we are going to take a look at some of the pros and cons of getting a juicer to help you decide whether it makes sense for you.

Is It Worth Getting A Juicer?

Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of getting a juicer.

Is It Worth Getting A Juicer? - Decorative photo with juice glass.
Is It Worth Getting A Juicer?

Is It Worth Getting A Juicer: Pros

Great Way To Get More Fruit and Vegetables

The first major advantage of getting a juicer machine is that juicing is an excellent way to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet. As you can combine pretty much whatever fruit and vegetables your juicer will take into a juice, you are able to get a wide range of fruits and veg quickly and easily.

For those who try to get their 5 fruit and veg a day this represents a great way to cut to the chase and get that done first thing in the morning or as a snack during the day.

Juice hard and soft Fruit And Veg

Unlike most blenders and smoothie makers, typically juicers can take hard as well as soft fruit and vegetables. This gives you the option of turning vegetables such as carrots, beetroot and ginger into ingredients for your juice.

Lots of Choice of Machines

A major plus for juicers in general is the wide range of choice you have when selecting a model.

There are three main types of juicers (centrifugal, masticating and citrus) as well as those that come with a number of added features and technology.

Good Way To Get Kids Drinking Healthy Juice

One of the best things we’ve found with juicing is that it is a great way to introduce tasty yet healthy beverages to our young children. They enjoy the fresh taste of a carrot and apple juice as well as being fascinated with the actual process of making the juice.

It also means from a very young age they now know what high quality, fresh and healthy juice looks and tastes like hopefully showing them what a good alternative it is to the processed options available elsewhere.

Is It Worth Getting A Juicer: Cons

Some Can Waste Fruit and Vegetables

One of the drawbacks of juicing is that it typically takes a lot of fruit and vegetables to get a decent amount of juice. This is primarily because the juicer has to extract the liquid from the produce and so how much juice is squeezed out will depend on its efficiency. It also depends on how easy it is to actually extract from a given fruit or vegetable.

With our juicer, we like using carrots and apples as a base because we know the juicer does quite well with getting a lot of liquid out of those.

This is in contrast to a blender or smoothie maker which can take whole fruits and turn them into liquid form.

Lots of Parts and Can Be Tricky To Clean

One of the main drawbacks of a juicer, especially when compared to blenders, is the fact they can be tricky to clean. They typically have lots of different parts that combine to carry out the function of the juicer and cleaning these can be bothersome. This is especially the case for the main extractor section of the juicer which can end up with bits of pulp.

Keep a look-out for juicers that offer machine washable parts to make things a bit easier for yourself.

Best Juicers

Now that we have an idea of some of the pros and cons of getting a juicer, let’s take a brief look at some of the best available.

Sage BJE520 Nutri Juicer Plus Centrifugal Juicer

If you want a truly high end juicer that will juice first and ask questions later, then the Sage BJE520 Nutri Juicer Plus centrifugal juicer is worth looking at. The extra wide 84mm chute means there’s less need to go chopping up your fruit and vegetables before you get started.

Philips HR1836/01 Viva Collection Compact Juicer

The Philips HR1836/01 Viva Collection compact juicer comes highly rated by users and offers a great way into the world of juicing. Simple to operate as well as offering up to 1.5litre of juicing capacity, this juicer offers some great features from a well respected brand.

Braun J500 Juicer

The Braun J500 offers another feature packed juicer. Offering the capability to juice both hard and soft vegetables as well as a dedicated jug, the Braun J500 is certainly one to consider if you’re in the market for a new juicer.

Blender Or Smoothie Maker May Work Better

If you’re main driver is getting more whole fruit and vegetables into your diet and you don’t mind whether this is in a smooth juice form or more a smoothie then you may be best to consider getting a blender instead.


Is It Worth Getting A Juicer? Tell Us Your Thoughts.

What Is The Best Juicer For Carrots?

Carrots make for great juice options. They’re full of vital nutrients and vitamins. But it’s not always easy for juicing machines to process them, some do a great job others not so much.

So, what is the best juicer for carrots? We’ve taken a look around to find the best juicer for carrots and presented the top contenders below.

What Type Of Juicer Is Best For Carrots?

There are two main types of electric juicers on the market (i) Centrifugal and (ii) Masticating.

Centrifugal juicers are machines that work by slicing through fruit and vegetables at high speed. Whilst masticating juicers grind down fibres slowly and drawing juice under pressure.

When it comes to carrots, both types are capable of doing a good job so you will have plenty of options. The fast spinning blades of the centrifugal machines means even the toughest of fibres can be shredded efficiently. Whilst the grinding power found in many masticating models is perfect for celery sticks.

What Is The Best Juicer For Carrots?

With types of possible juicers now clear for a our carrots, lets now take a look at the 3 top models we have selected.

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1 – Philips HR1867/21 Viva Collection Juicer – Best Value

Equipped with a powerful motor perfect for shredding tough fibres and two speeds, the Philips HR1867/21 would be a great choice for juicing carrots

With a comfortably large 7.5cm loading tube, there’s little prep needed for your fruit and vegetables. This will mean you can fit juicing into even the most tight of morning schedules.

For even more convenience the sieve has smooth surfaces al round which makes it easier to clean the leftover fibres after your finished.

At 3.47kg this machine is easily moved in and out of cupboards.

Take a look here for a full review of the Philips HR1867/21 Viva Collection Juicer

2 – J500 CENTRIFUGAL JUICER BY BRAUN – Best All-Rounder

This Braun Juicer is a great all-rounder and will do the job of juicing carrots perfectly. With 2 speeds capable of tackling even the hardest of fruit and vegetables, this will make light work of most recipes.

The large 7.5cm feeding tube ensures you never have to do much to your carrots before dropping them in. It also means you can use this machine if you’re short of time in the mornings. The anti-drip and anti-spray features will also help with quick clean up.

This juicer is capable of producing a glass within 15 seconds which is great if you’re in a rush. It also comes with 1.25m jug.

The only real issue for you to consider with this machine is the 6kg weight which could make it tricky to move around the kitchen.

Otherwise, we think this is a great pick if you’re looking for juicer for your carrots and more.

Take a look here for a full review of the J500 Juicer

3 – Sage BJE520UK the Nutri Juicer Plus

If you’re looking for a more high-end option for your carrot juice then this may be it. This Sage machine will extract every last bit of goodness out of your carrots and whatever else you stick inside it.

An extra large 8.4cm feeding tube means you can insert most fruit and vegetables whole which saves time on prep.

This machine comes with an impressive 2 year repair and replacement promise plus a 5 year motor warranty. The motor is a 5 speed model meaning you’ll easily be able to process those carrots and more.

Weighing in at 7.5kg however, this machine is quite heavy so you will need to consider whether that would be an issue for you.

All things considered however, we think this is a great addition to any kitchen and one the best juicers for carrots.

Take a look here for a full review of the Sage Nutri Juicer Plus Juicer


What Is The Best Juicer For Carrots?: Tell Us What You Think

What Is The Best 2 Slice Toaster To Buy?

There are not many better things in life than 2 perfectly cooked slices of toast. No matter what style you need to fit into your kitchen there’s probably a brand and model out there for you. But what is the best 2 slice toaster to buy?

We’ve worked to compile our list of the contenders for the best 2 slice toaster to help you decide on which machine would be best for you.

What Is The Best 2 Slice Toaster To Buy?

Let’s take a look at what is the best 2 slice toaster to buy.

1 – Dualit Classic 2 Slot Toaster

As well as getting an excellent toaster with the Dualit Classic 2 Slot toaster you are also adding a beautifully hand-crafted piece of design to enhance your kitchen.

Each Dualit Classic is hand made in the UK (you can find the name of the engineer at the bottom) and it really shows in the quality and sophistication of the finish.

This model combines excellent functionality and high-end design to give you perfectly crisp toast on the outside but fluffiness on the inside with every use.

Dualit have over 60 years of experience in making high quality toasters and it definitely shows with the Classic. Your toast will come out evenly cooked especially once you’ve figured out how long you like yours done. To toast your bread you turn the mechanical dial to the time you want and wait for it to rotate.

Unlike many other toasters on the market, this model has a manual lever which allows you to lift the toast and check its progress without interrupting the process.

Quite usefully the toaster also has bagel setting in a addition to reheat and defrost functions.

To save you on energy, you can opt to only have one slot on.

We like the copper finish on this model but it also comes in silver, black, white, red and cream.

Adding to the unique characteristics of this toaster is the fact it is specifically designed for easy self-maintenance. The screws are located in easy to reach areas meaning DIY repair is relatively straightforward. Quite helpfully Dualit also sell spare parts on their website should you need them. The idea being that your machine should last a several years without you needing to replace it entirely.

At £126 (on Amazon at the time of writing) it is certainly not the cheapest option on the market however, if you’re budget can stretch that far then you’ll be getting a highly durable machine that should last you many years.

Key Features

  • Manual lever allow you to check progress without interrupting cycle
  • Bagel setting
  • Defrost setting meaning you can toast from frozen
  • Reheat function allowing you to warm up toast if needed
  • Dimensions: 26 x 25.5 x 25 cm

2 – Morphy Richards Dimensions 2 Slice Toaster

We love this Morphy Richard Dimensions 2 slice toaster as it combines an excellent product that looks expensive at a great affordable price.

The controls are nice and easy with a 1 -7 setting meaning you can easily get your toast to the perfect level of brown for your needs.

The defrost function makes a great addition to this model meaning you can make your toast straight from frozen. This is particularly useful as it means you can afford to freeze your bread when you buy it – handy if your bread tends to go off before you finish it.

This model is also equipped with a reheat function, great if you ever need to warm up your bread quickly if you didn’t get a chance to eat it whilst it was hot.

Usefully the Dimensions Black 2 also comes with a cancel button allowing you to interrupt a program part-way through; this is really useful when you want to get your bread to specific shade of brown.

To make your life as easy as possible, this toaster has a crumb collector at the bottom making clean up as stress free as can be.

As well as being easy to clean, the Dimensions 2 slice toaster comes with cord storage leaving the machine with a real clutter free look on your counter.

This excellent Morphy Richards appliance is available in black, white, grey and cream. It can also be partnered with a matching kettle.

Key Features
  • Defrost bread straight from the freezer with the defrost function
  • Reheat toast whenever you need to
  • Cancel button for interrupting cycles
  • Variable browning control to cook your bread just right
  • Dimensions: 25 x 22 x 18.5 cm

3 – Breville VTT529 Impressions 2-Slice

The Breville VTT529 Impressions 2 slice toaster delivers quite a punch for the price you pay.

The high gloss finish with chrome detailing gives this toaster a real high-end feel to it. To make things even better you can pair this up with a matching kettle to complete the look and upgrade in your kitchen.

The VTT529’s looks are easily matched by the functions it offers. With settings between 1 to 9, you will always be able to find the perfect browning level for your toast.

A cancel button which is always a must is included with this model giving you the opportunity to easily abort your cycle whenever you need to.

Another feature you would expect to find is its reheat button which is quite handy if you ever forget your toast and need to warm it up quickly.

What makes this toaster an extra edge over many at this price range is its Lift and Look lever allowing you to raise the slices to monitor progress without having to cancel the cycle.

In addition, its high lift facility means smaller slices of bread can be pushed out without having to risk burning your fingers.

It also comes equipped with a defrost button allowing you to take slices straight from the freezer and keep your bread for longer saving you money along the way.

To make cleaning a hassle-free affair, this toaster comes with a pull-out crumb tray.

Another nice bonus with this model is the variable width bread slots for both thick and thin slices.

Key Features
  • Lift and Look lever to check progress without cancelling
  • High lift facility for taking smaller bread out without burning your fingers
  • Easy pull-out crumb tray to make cleaning easy

4 – Dualit 26205 2-Slot Lite Toaster

Dualit toasters are nothing short of iconic in the world of toasters. It is not just the superior nature of their designs but also the durability of their machines which is so admired.

The Dualit 26205 is no exception. Its sleek chrome gloss finish gives it a sleek look. The classic look is combined with several modern features meaning you get a lot of value for what you pay.

The peep and pop function means you can easily check up on the progress of your toast without stopping the cycle.

One of the features that really sets this toaster apart is its patented browning technology. This will essentially ensure your toast is perfectly golden brown every time by calculating cooking time by checking the temperature of the toast and its surroundings. This removes the trial and error involved with a lot of toasters whilst you try find your perfect cycle.

As well as bread, this model also has a bagel setting. In addition due to its extra wide slots it can also toast thicker slices and great toasties in a Sandwich Cage (sold separately). This extra capability is a real bonus and means you potentially do not have to spend extra for a toastie maker.

The removable bread crumb tray makes it really easy to clean the machine whenever you need to.

A high lift lever means you can avoid burning your fingers when you want to take out smaller items like crumpets. Whilst the defrost function allows you to defrost items straight from the freezer which is great for keeping your bread fresher for longer.

Key Features
  • Peek and pop function means you can check up on your toast without stopping your cycle
  • Extra wide slots meaning you can toast thicker slices
  • Bagel setting for the perfect bagels
  • Dimensions:17(w) x 27(d) x 20(h) cm

What Features Should I Look Out For?

Keep Warm: A useful button to keep your toast at a warm temperature and ready for your butter when you are. This is usually a 30 second or one minute cycle to heat your cold bread.

Defrost: A great feature if you like to keep your bread fresh for longer by freezing it. This feature will defrost your bread and depending on the model get the process of toasting started.

Reheat: This is handy when you get distracted and come back to cold toast.

Cancel: A fairly standard setting that will allow you to cancel a cycle mid-way, quite helpful if you need to add just a little bit of brown after a first run.

Bagel: This will typically toast your bread on one-side, useful for bagels, English muffins, crumpets and the like.

High Lift: This can be particularly useful if you’re not toasting full length bread as it will bring the bread well above the rim of the toaster saving your from burning your fingers.

Crumb Tray: A crumb tray will catch the bits of bread that fall off during the process. They can prove to keep very useful when it comes to cleaning the toaster.

How Much Should I Pay?

Spending in the range of £25 – £60 should comfortably get you a functional as well as sleek looking toaster. Of course if you are able and willing to spend more there are lots of options on the market for high-end toasters that would your house look great.


What Is The Best 2 Slice Toaster To Buy?: Tell Us Your Thoughts.

What Is The Best Citrus Press?

Juicing is one of the best ways to get the daily nutrients you need found in fruits and vegetables. Citrus fruits are very popular way to get great juice. There are many options on the market for citrus pressers. But what is the best citrus press?

We’ve picked the best citrus pressers we could find and highlighted them below.

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What Is The Best Citrus Press?

What is the best citrus press? Here’s our top 3 favourites.

1 – Philips HR2744/41 Viva Collection Citrus Press

In a crowded field of citrus juicers, the Philips HR2744/41 Viva Collection Citrus Press stands out for its excellent performance and ability to let you choose the amount of pulp you want in your juice. It also offers brilliant value for money.

The most impressive feature of the Philips HR2744/41 Viva Collection Citrus Press is the pulp selector which will let you vary the amount of pulp in your juice according to your tastes. You can enjoy smooth or pulpy juice depending on your preference.

The Philips HR2744/41 Viva Collection Citrus Press is presented in a simple yet attractive design. It looks small and feels compact whilst also quite helpfully offering cord storage to keep things neat.

All the usual parts you would expect are dishwasher safe meaning you don’t have to worry about getting the juicer messy as you use it.

To add to the ease of use, the press comes with an ample 600ml jug which you can detach for serving.

This unit is also equipped with non-slip feet meaning you won’t have to worry about it sliding on the counter as you use it.

So, what is the best citrus press? Overall the Philips HR2744/41 Viva Collection Citrus Press is a brilliant option if you’re looking for a citrus press that’s easy to use, lets you select the amount of pulp you want and offers great value for money.

Key Features

  • Select the amount of pulp you want
  • 600ml juice jug
  • Built-in cord storage
  • Non-slip feet
  • Colour: White

3 – Sage 800CPUK the Citrus Press Pro – Silver

There are many things to admire about this beautifully crafted Sage 800CPUK citrus presser. The design is sleek and compact with a real high-class feel to the finish. Simply put this juicer will look great on your counter.

The power-assisted lever arm makes the actual process of juicing really easy; you simply cut your citrus fruit in half and squeeze it under the arm. The fruit is squeezed evenly and the arm gets out as much juice as physically possible.

This process is assisted by the juicing cone which can take citrus fruits of varying sizes from large grape fruits down to tiny limes without needing to change it.

The stainless steel filter means you can easily choose whether you want your juice smooth or with bits which is perfect for giving you some variety.

A pour spout, also made of stainless steel, makes it easy to tip your juice straight into a glass.

One of the best features of this juicer is the quiet motor meaning you won’t wake up the whole house if you need to juice early in the morning.

As you would expect for a product from Sage, this model comes with a 2 year repair, replace or refund guarantee as well as a 5 year motor warranty to give you peace of mind.

Final Verdict: This won’t be the cheapest citrus juicer on Amazon you can find but it is certainly one of the most high-end.

Key Features

  • Power-assisted arm lever for easy pressing
  • Quiet motor for noise free pressing
  • Flexible stainless steel filter for juice with bits or smooth
  • Dimensions: 18 x 45 x 20 cm

3 – Braun CJ3000 Citrus Juicer

The Braun CJ300 Citrus Juicer is number one on our list as it offers great value for money and a fantastic juicer.

This juicer is perfect for that quick glass of orange juice first thing in the morning. The machine is equipped with automatic left and right rotation meaning you can squeeze every last drop from your fruit.

An automatic stop/start system makes this a very easy machine to use. It also comes with an adjustable pulp control.

The built in 350ML jug means your juice can go straight into the glass when you’re done or stored in the fridge for later.

As if all that wasn’t enough, the machine also has dishwasher safe parts making it really easy to clean up after your done.

For added convenience you can also store the power cord under the base giving the unit a real compact feel when it’s not in use.

Although the 20W motor is not the most powerful, it does the job perfectly and means the machine is not too noisy.

Final Verdict: The Braun CJ300 Citrus Juicer has everything you need to make the perfect OJ. When you add in the fact it is only £16.88 on Amazon (at the time of writing) it is hard to find a better proposition

Key Features

  • Automatic stop/start
  • 350ML built-in jug for easy storage
  • Left and right rotation for maximum extraction
  • Dimensions: 16 x 15 x 16 cm
  • Available colours: white

What Is The Best Citruss Press?: Tell Us Your Thoughts.

What Are The Best Juicers Out There?

Juicing is a great way to get more fruit and vegetables into your diet without too much effort. With a few minutes worth of effort and the push of a button you can have a fresh batch of juice ready to kick start your day or give you a healthy beverage.

But what are the best juicers out there?

Below we have searched far and wide to bring you the best juicers on the market today.

What Are The Different Types Of Juicers?

There are two main broad types of electric juicers on the market (i) Masticating and (ii) Centrifugal.

Masticating: Masticating juicers work by chewing and grinding fruit and vegetables fibres slowly before extracting the juice under pressure. There are many who state masticating juicers produce better juice than centrifugal machines. This is because the slow juice or cold press process means that less heat is transferred to the ingredients during the squeezing process resulting in high levels of nutrients in the final product.

Centrifugal: These are high speed machines that use spinning blades to slice through fruit and vegetables and then straining them against metal mesh to extract the juice. Often fitted with large feeding tubes these types of juicers are great for cutting down on prep time as you can fit in whole fruits and vegetables. The fast spinning blades also mean that this type of machine is well suited to hard ingredients.

Given the power and speed they often have, centrifugal juicers can often be noisy. In addition due to the juicing process air is added to the mix which can result in discolouration and a short life-span.

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What Are The Best Juicers Out There?

So now that we know the main different types of juicers. But what are the best juicers out there? Let’s take a look.

1 – Philips HR1867/21 Viva Collection Juicer

This versatile Philips juicer comes equipped a powerful motor. This means even the toughest fruits and vegetables can be turned into liquid.

An extra large 7.5cm feeding tube allows you to juice large fruits and vegetables such as apples without any pre-cutting. Whilst the QuickClean sieve, with smooth surfaces all-round, means you can easily wipe away pulp fibres with a kitchen brush.

This machine is fairly quick and easy to assemble. It boasts a 2Litre jug for juice which could cater to even a large family. Its brushed aluminium finish gives it a sleek feel. It only weighs 3.47kg meaning its easy to move around the kitchen.

What users might not appreciate is the lack of an anti-drip feature. However, this juicer packs enough positive features to make it a great purchase for those looking to get more healthy options into their daily routine.

So, what are the best juicers out there? We think the Philips HR1867/21 is definitely one of the very best options out there.

Key Features
– Powerful motor perfect for hard and soft fruit and vegetables
– Extra large 7.5cm feeding tube
– Easy clean technology
– Weight – 3.47kg
– Size: 45.7 x 26 x 25.5 cm

2 – Philips MicroMasticating Juicer

This sleek Philips MicroMasticating juicer would not look out of place in the Jetsons kitchen. One of the best slow juicers around, this machine’s major claim to fame is being able to extract 90% of the fruit and vegetables meaning more juice and precious nutrients in your glass. An innovative fully integrated anti-drip function allows you to stop juicing mid-flow whilst leaving your kitchen counter clean.

What helps it to truly stand out from a crowded field is the small footprint and low weight (5.86kg) meaning it could feel at home in even the smallest of kitchens. A slight drawback with its compact design is the narrow size of the feeding tube which sometimes means you’ll be left to chop the ingredients into smaller chunks. With an easily detachable design, this juicer will allow you to clean it quickly once you are finished. Certainly a machine that could claim to be the best juicer on the market, this versatile beauty can process juice, smoothies as well as soups making it a perfect addition to any kitchen.

Key Features
– Sleek design
– Small footprint
– Versatile settings
– Weight: 5.86kg
– Size: 50 x 40 x 16 cm

3 – J500 CENTRIFUGAL JUICER BY BRAUN

This ultra slick Braun Juicer is hard to beat on many fronts. With 2 speeds suitable for soft and hard fruits, you’ll never be short of potential recipe options. The ultra wide 7.5cm mouth means you can fit all sorts of fruit and vegetables into the chute without too much preparation – great if you’re juicing in a rush before work in the mornings. The anti-drip and anti-spray system mean you won’t have to deal with a messy worktop after you’re finished, perfect for busy households.

Capable of producing a good glass of juice in roughly 15 seconds and a litre in under a minute, the machine also comes with a 1.25m jug equipped with a foam separator. The main drawback of this sleek J500 may well be its weight coming at just over 6kg which is not the most practical for lifting in and out of kitchen cupboards. Its anti-slip feet however, mean you never have to worry about moving the weight around on the kitchen counter.

Key Features
– 2 Speed 900W Motor
– Wide 7.5m chute suitable for whole and large fruits
– Anti-drip and anti-spash systems
– Fast processing speed (15 seconds for 1 glass/one minute for 1 litre)
– Weight: 6kg
– Size: 30 x 21 x 42 cm

4 – Sage BJE520UK the Nutri Juicer Plus

The Sage Nutri Juicer Plus has all the features you would expect of a high-end machine. Its key offering is centred around extracting the maximum amount of liquid with the least possible effort. An 8.4cm extra wide feeding chute means there’s no need for too much prep time as you can easily juice whole fruits and vegetables.

The machine boasts a variable 5 speed motor meaning you’ll always have plenty of options for the type of fruits and vegetables to juice.With a 2 year repair or replacement promise and a 5 year motor warranty, the Sage Nutri Juicer Plus comes with added peace of mind.

The Nutri Juicer is a great all-rounder with the ability to produce juice as well as smoothies. The “Froojie™ Disc and Insert technology ensures you get the most of our soft fruits and vegetables like strawberries, mangoes and bananas resulting in high yield fruit juice smoothies, ice creams, soups, sauces and dips.

Weighing in at 7.5kg however, this model is seriously chunky. This may not be the best option if it will need to lifted in and out of cupboards frequently.

Equipped with a 1.2L jug complete with a froth separator, the juicer is easy to take apart for cleaning when you’re done. Crucially its parts are dishwater safe.

Key Features
– Extra wide 8.4cm feeding chute
– 2 separate discs for hard and softer fruits and vegetables
– Dishwasher safe parts
– Weight: 7.5kg
– Size: 27 x 43 x 19 cm

5 – Smeg SJF01 Slow Juicer

Immediately eye-catching due to its sleek yet functional design, this Smeg masterpiece is one of the best slow juicers available. Packed with so much style you might be worried it ignores functionality. However, that is certainly not the case. A 500ml juice collector prepares fresh cold pressed juice to enjoy as a healthy kick start to the day or a snack.

A particularly special feature on this machine is the juice density regulation lever which allows you to adjust the thickness of your juice to your desired consistency. Dovetailing a 150W motor with a slow moving squeezing system, this juicer squeezes out all the nutrients and vitamins it can manage at the time of compression. As you might expect at this price range the Smeg SJF01 comes with a range of accessories (e.g. fine & coarse strainer, recipe book and cleaning brushes) and a 2 year product guarantee.

A minor drawback for this accomplished juicer is the slightly narrow feeding chute which will mean you may have to spend longer prepping your fruit and vegetable. At 9.28kg this machine is one of the heaviest on our list though given its aesthetic appeal it is unlikely you will need to keep moving this in and out of the cupboard.

The Smeg SJF01 is available in red, pastel blue, cream and black.

Key Features
– 150W Motor
– 2 Year Product Guarantee
– 500ml juice container
– Available in a range of colours: red, pastel blue, cream and black
– Weight: 9.28kg
– Size: 17.1 x 26.9 x 41.2 cm

6 – Magimix Le Duo Plus XL Juicer

The plush design of this wonderful juicer is only surpassed by its versatility. As well as making delicious heathy juices, the machine comes with an accessory for turning fruits into smoothies.

The Le Duo Plus XL also comes with a citrus press for juicing oranges, lemons and grapefruits. An extra large feed tube means you can use whole fruit and vegetables reducing the prep time needed to get juices made. For added peace of mind this machine comes with a 3 year manufacturer’s guarantee as standard. It also includes an impressive 30 year warranty on the motor.

Weighing in at 7.5kg, the Magimix may be somewhat of a challenge to get in and out of cupboards frequently. However, with such a sleek look its likely to be a permanent feature on your kitchen counter. Dishwasher safe parts mean you’ll never spend too long cleaning up after your done.


What Are The Best Juicers Out there?: Tell Us Your Thoughts