Best Overall Juicer
Breville Multi-Speed BJE510XL
Versatile and easy to use with minimal preparation
Smooth, powerful motor turns out quality juice
The Breville Multi-Speed BJE510XL
won our Editors' Choice award thanks to its ease of use, compact footprint, high-quality performance, 5-settings for maximum processing of different types of produce, intelligent design and add-ons, and most of all, its smooth, creamy juice quality. While we didn't find too much of a difference between the Multi-Speed and the slightly less expensive Breville Plus JE200XL, ultimately its multiple speed settings and slightly easier set-up had us favoring this model instead. It makes juicing easy and fun, and also makes it easy to get into the habit. This is a key factor, as no one wants to use an appliance that's a pain to set-up, use, and clean. Its powerful motor will extract your juice in seconds, and while it's not a cheap investment at $200, if you are regularly buying retail juice at $6-10 a glass, this machine will quickly pay for itself.
Read full review: Breville Multi-Speed BJE510XL
Best Bang for the Buck
Hamilton Beach 67601A
Easy to assemble and clean up
Superior blade and motor
Light weight makes it unstable while in use
The Hamilton Beach 67601A
is a great deal. For $70 you get a powerful machine that topped our yield charts and still produced a decent quality glass of juice. It's not the least expensive model out there, but it hits the sweet spot of affordability and quality output - there's no point in buying a juicer, even a cheap one, if you aren't going to like the juice. It's a compact machine that takes up minimal storage space and requires very little food prep thanks to its wide feed chute and mouth. It does have a few tics, namely its loud operating noise and tendency to hop around your counter when in use, so if you think that might bother you then try out the Breville Compact BJE200XL instead for $100. Otherwise this is a great starter model for anyone who wants to try regular juicing without breaking the bank.
Read full review: Hamilton Beach 67601A
Top Pick for Masticating Juicer
Durable and stable
Food requires extra prep
Juicing takes longer than with other models
The Omega J8006
is hands down the most versatile machine we tested and it seemed to do everything well. From juicing to sorbets and pastas, this machine is a star. Low-speed compression juicing isn't for everyone - it takes more time and effort and it requires more food prep, but if you know this is the style of juicer you want, and you plan on juicing copious amounts of greens, then the Omega J8006 is the way to go. It's considerably cheaper than its competitors, like the Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer B6000S and the Omega VRT350, but does the same things just as well, if not better. It has a quiet and powerful motor, is easy to set-up and clean, and best of all, makes a great glass of juice. If you want to give slow juicing a try, this is a great choice that will more than pay for itself down the road.
Read full review: Omega J8006
Analysis and Test Results
Juicing fruits and vegetables is not a new thing, but it has gained significant popularity in recent years, thanks in part to the popular documentary Fast, Sick, and Nearly Dead
, which follows an overweight Australian, Joe Cross, on a 40-day juice fast/tour of America. Along the way he convinces a lot of sick people to start juicing and they all, himself included, experience weight loss and a lessening of whatever their ailments were. It's pretty compelling stuff. Annual sales of home extractors are now approaching $300 million in the U.S. alone, and the choice of products is staggering, from $40 budget models to some that retail for over $1,000. We're here to break down some of the confusion and mystique when it comes to this latest health trend and help you figure out which, if any, is the right one for you. We ranked each model's performance, design, and end product in order to determine our overall rankings, as well as our award winners.
Our side-by-side comparison juice testing. After months of research, and juicing, we've never felt so healthy!
The different categories on the market can make an already difficult task utterly overwhelming. Is a masticator the same as a low-speed compression model? Does it matter if it claims to keep juice fresher, longer? If I have a blender, do I even need one of these things? We break down the facts for you, so you can best determine the right machine for your lifestyle and needs, and debunk the marketing hyperbole to the best of our abilities. You can also refer to our buying advice article for a thorough look at the factors you need to take into consideration before purchasing one of these machines and how to best determine what your needs are.
Juicing carrots with our Editors' Choice winner, the Breville Multi-Speed BJE510XL.
Types of Juicers
We tested the three main categories, each of which offers a slightly different methodology of juice and nutrient extraction. According to their manufacturers, each category has benefits that the others might not. While we ourselves were unable to verify some of the scientific claims, say that one style results in greater vitamin extraction than another, other groups have, and we'll refer to their research along the way as well.
These popular, lower-priced machines are vertical in design, and work by pushing food into a spinning disc that is equipped with cutting blades, or teeth. The produce is shredded, and the centrifugal force generated by the disc forces the juice from the fiber and pulp. These disks will rotate anywhere from 6,500 to 13,000 RPMs. All of the Breville models we tested are in this category, including our Editors' Choice winner, the Breville Multi-Speed BJE510XL
. Occasionally, a centrifugal model might be referred to as an extractor, like our Best Buy winner, the Hamilton Beach 67601A
Big Mouth Juice Extractor. This can be confusing, however just remember that if you see any type of combination of a filter basket with a cutting disk on the bottom (see photo below), then it is most likely a "centrifugal" machine. In our testing we found that these models aren't as adept at processing leafy greens and soft produce, but are better for harder fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots and beets.
The disc and filter basket from the Breville Plus JE98XL. The teeth at the bottom shred the produce - the juice escapes down through the filter and the pulp is ejected out the top.
These models have an auger that uses a combination of crushing and squeezing to extract the juice from your produce. They operate at a much lower speed, typically 80 RPMs, and are therefore quieter than most centrifugal models. They can be either vertical or horizontal in design, and were most adept at juicing leafy greens. These machines tend to be on the pricey end of the spectrum, and heavier and bulkier as well. Their manufacturers claim that this style, also referred to as "low-speed compression" retains more nutrients than the centrifugal design, because they don't produce as much heat as those models. However, in our own testing and the work of others, we noticed that a centrifugal model barely raises the temperature (1-2 degrees) and that this claim is most likely exaggerated. The great thing about a masticating model is that many of them come with different attachments that allow you to juice and blend, make frozen fruit sorbets, nut butter and milks, and even extrude dough into pasta. Our Top Pick for Masticating Juicers, the Omega J8006
, does all this and more and is a truly versatile and well-made kitchen appliance. For a more in-depth discussion on the differences between centrifugal and masticating models, check out our How to Choose the Best Juicer
The Omega VRT350's auger. Produce is slowly squeezed lower and lower to the auger, which crushes the fruits and vegetables to release their juice.
Electric citrus juicers have a cone that sits in a sieve. When the machine is activated, the sieve and cone spin; you place the halved fruit atop the cone and press gently, which enables the cone to excavate the pulp and juice from inside the peel. These machines do one thing only, and that's citrus, but they are a good choice if that is your main juicing category. The Cuisinart CCJ-500 was our testers' favorite model from this category
The adjustable spout allows you to juice directly into different size glasses.
Criteria for Evaluation
Ease of Use
While you'd think these small kitchen appliances would operate with just the flip of a button, that's not always the case. Many are simple to use and so intuitive they don't even require studying an instruction manual prior to use, but others are far more complicated than they need to be. We ranked the models that we tested on several key factors: intuitiveness, amount of prep required (this is related to the size of the feed chute/mouth, and power of the motor/RPMs), the number of components required in addition to the machine motor base, and how basic or complicated they were to operate, from the "on" switch to the final product. While some machines are basic, others have enough add-ons, bells, and whistles to make the task either easier, or considerably more complex. Stand-outs in this category were our Editors' Choice winning Breville Multi-Speed BJE510XL and its sister, the Breville Plus JE98XL
, thanks to their smooth, powerful motors, wide feed shoots, and intuitive user interface. Our Best Buy pick, the Hamilton Beach 67601A, was also relatively easy to use, however its powerful motor was too much for its light weight, and you have to hold it down when juicing otherwise it jumps all over the place.
The masticating models that we tested, like the Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer B6000S and the Omega VRT350, did not score as well in this category due to slower juicing time and the necessity for more food prep. Our individual reviews provide additional information on the amount of food prep required and other ease of use specifics related to each machine.
Most of the machines that we tested are easy enough for a child to use (with parental supervision, of course!). Here Liam goes to work on the Breville Compact BJE200XL.
If we learned one thing while testing all these machines, it's that not all juice is created equal. The quality varied quite a bit, from smooth, creamy, and well-blended concoctions, to thin and bitter brews with insipid flavor and visible sediment. On the centrifugal side of the spectrum, we found the best tasting juice came from the Breville models, which tend to be more expensive, however the $100 Breville Compact BJE200XL delivered a similar quality juice to its pricier relatives at half the cost
. Our least favorite juice came from the Black & Decker JE2200B; even though this machine only costs $50, we just wouldn't recommend it since the quality is so poor.
While you can juice citrus in a centrifugal model (left), the result is prone to separation, but creamy and delicious. The masticators deliver a more typical "fresh squeezed" style of juice (right).
As for the masticators, our favorite was made by the Omega J8006. It made the most consistently delicious juice with the least amount of chunks and foam. Both of the vertically oriented masticators that we tested had slightly chunkier juice and more foam. Manufacturers claim that foam is considered a sign of lesser-quality (even if you like it, and if you do, hey, that's okay by us). Foam is simply incorporated air, and the theory is that if a juicer has a lesser-quality filter and/or too much heat application or power, it will result in a foamy product. This is one reason low-speed models get hyped - they allegedly produce less heat, and the low RPM/wattage keeps the juice from foaming up. We did find that juices from the masticating machines were usually low-foam, except when it came to greens. Although the masticators extracted the most juice from greens, like kale, they often produced even more foam than juice! Though the foam is easily scooped away, it seems as though the layers of marketing hype are more difficult to wade through.
This model is supposed to excel at juicing greens, and even though we got a high yield of juice, look at all the foam!
Not only did we compare the juice quality between similar styles of machine to each other, but we also compared masticator juice to centrifugal juice. This really is like comparing apples to oranges, as the two styles of machines deliver very different products.
We ran the exact same recipe through each of our top award winning machines: six carrots, half a bin of spinach, one apple, a thumb of ginger, and half a lemon went through the Omega J8006 and the Breville Multi-Speed BJE510XL. The resulting Omega juice was much greener, with a brighter taste, and the spinach and ginger really came through. The Breville juice tasted more of carrots, and was creamier and sweeter (we'll explain why in the "Yield" section below). We then had four people drink the juice; our two main juicing testers and long-time juicing veterans, and two newcomers to juicing. The results were evenly split, as one of each group preferred the Omega juice and same for the Breville. We can't definitely say that masticating is better than centrifugal, or vice versa, only that they are different and it really comes down to a matter of taste.
The same recipe produces a much different juice depending on if it is run through a masticating or centrifugal model. The Omega J8006 does a much better job of extracting greens, hence the difference in color.
As for the citrus models, the juice from the two that we tested was fairly similar, however the Cuisinart CCJ-500 has the ability to adjust the amount of pulp in the final product, unlike the Epica Citrus Juicer
, and our testers appreciated this feature. The "fresh-squeezed" orange juice produce by these citrus models is similar to what is made by the masticating models. Oranges run through a centrifugal model are a different product entirely. What comes out is a creamy whitish-orange blend which doesn't even look like "regular" orange juice and starts to separate immediately. While we did enjoy the flavor of the centrifugal orange juice, we noted that it was better from the Breville models, and that the Black & Decker and Hamilton Beach "orange juice" ended up on the bitter side. We also think it's something you would have in conjunction with your vegetable juice (i.e. throw an orange in with the carrot/beet/spinach combo you've juiced to sweeten it up a bit) but not something you would really serve on its own, unlike the orange juice from a masticator or dedicated citrus machine.
While you can juice citrus in a centrifugal model (left), the result is prone to separation, but creamy and delicious. The masticators deliver a more typical "fresh squeezed" style of juice (right).
This category allowed us to get slightly more scientific than the subjective metrics like "Ease of Use" and "Juice Quality" and determine how well these different models were able to extract juice from a set quantity of different types of produce. While there is still some variability in our results (we can't guarantee that one leaf of kale didn't have a higher water content than another) we can generally conclude that some machines are indeed better at extraction than others.
Our first test was to run 1 lb of carrots through all of the centrifugal and masticating models. The centrifugal models clearly beat out the masticators by several ounces, with our Best Buy winning Hamilton Beach 67601A even outperforming the more expensive Breville machines by half an ounce. The high RPM speed of these machines seems to do the trick for maximizing the yield from a hard vegetable like carrots. The resulting pulp was fine and dry, unlike the masticators' pulp which was chunkier and wetter.
Centrifugal models produced a higher yield for carrots - a vegetable with a higher water content.
When we switched to kale, the tables were turned and the masticators outshone the centrifugal machines. Here we ran .5 lb of kale though all the machines; our Top Pick for Masticating Juicer, the Omega J8006 produced 5 oz of juice, which is an ounce more than the Breville Plus JE98XL. While an ounce might not seem like much off the bat, it is 25% more and that will add up over the lifetime of the machine.
The Omega models gave us the highest yield for kale.
Finally, we switched to oranges and included our citrus models in the testing. Interestingly enough, the dedicated citrus models had a much lower yield than most of the other machines. They just aren't as efficient at extracting the juice as a masticating model, which again topped the yield charts. The Hamilton Beach model also made great work of the oranges and gave a very high yield. The Breville Multi-Speed BJE510XLand Breville Plus JE98XL have variable speeds to help maximize extraction from softer fruits. If a softer fruit or vegetable lands on the cutting disk going at 13,000 RPMs, it has a tendency to be ejected into the pulp bin before being extracted, and so those models are able to slow down to 6,500 RPMs to avoid this. The Breville Compact BJE200XL has only one high-speed setting, and it did not extract as much orange juice as a result.
The masticating models yielded the highest amount (and best tasting) orange juice, 4-5 ounces more than the dedicated citrus models.
Finally, there are a few ways that you can maximize the yield from your machine. Often there is residual juice left in the housing mechanism. You can try to tilt the machine a little to get the last drops out, or, if you leave it running and add a splash of water, you will get a bit more juice out without much dilution.
The Epica model comes with two different size cones; one for larger citrus like grapefruit, and the other for smaller versions like tangelos and lemons.
We ranked this metric based on several factors: the machine's ability to extract a variety of fruits and vegetables was one and then the ability for it do things beyond juicing, as some of these machines are capable of much more. Our citrus models naturally scored poorly here, as they are good for one category of juicing only. However, the Epica model did have a small leg up on the Cuisinart CCJ-500 due to two different size juicing cones which allows you to more easily juice small and large citrus.
The Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer B6000S can also make smoothies and frozen sorbet. This feature was a big hit with the little ones, and their parents, who are happy to find a no-added-sugar dessert that the kids love.
The Breville Multi-Speed BJE510XL earned some versatility points as well, as its variable speeds allowed us to more efficiently extract different types of soft and hard produce. The only models that we tested that truly had multi-function capability were the Omega J8006 and the Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer B6000S
. Both come with "blank" screens that allow you to make smoothies and sorbets, nut butters and milks, and baby foods. The Omega model also comes with different nozzles for extruding pasta dough, though we didn't get that far with it … yet!
If you are looking for a juicer that has multi-function capabilities, then a masticating model is definitely the way to go; however, be careful which one you choose. While the Omega J8006 and Kuvings model have this capability, the Omega VRT350 does not - and with its $380 price tag that is kind of a shame.
Kids are happy with a little frozen fruit and some plain yogurt for dessert.
Ease of Set-up & Clean-up
We ranked the set-up of each machine based upon how intuitive they were to assemble for use and if they had any repetitive glitches. Some easy to set-up stand-outs were the Breville Compact BJE200XL, though since it was a bit more of a chore to clean it lost some points overall in this metric. In general, the centrifugal models were easier to assemble than the masticators, though we did have some trouble fitting the topset on the Breville Plus JE98XL each time we used it. Both of the vertically oriented masticators that we tested had some set-up challenges, as we had to set and re-set the auger in the Kuvings and Omega VRT350 several times before the topset would close.
The vertical set-up on the Omega VRT250 is great if you want to leave your juicer out and have limited counter space, however we did find it tricky to properly fit the auger and topset on the machine.
The ease of clean-up was ranked according to how many removable components the machine had, whether they were dishwasher safe, if they came with specialized cleaning tools, the effectiveness of said tools, and how much of a mess the juicing process made of the machine, components, and our work surface. Finally, we assessed how much elbow-grease had to go into hand-washing the various pieces. In particular, we looked at how clogged the filters were, and how much effort was required to clean them.
The cutting disk/filter baskets on the centrifugal models would all end up with pulp in them, but usually it wasn't too laborious to scrub them clean, particularly if the machine came with a good quality scrubbing brush. It's relatively easy to rinse pulp off the Omega J8006's parts, but it has a few more parts than the centrifugal models and it can be tough keeping them all straight. The Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer B6000S and the Omega VRT350 have rotary cleaning brushes for their filters, and can actually self-clean after use. You just plug the juice spout, add water and run the machine. However, in both cases we found that pulp was clogged in the pulp-ejector spout, and with the VRT in particular it was difficult to get it out.
The downside to all this juicing - cleaning up afterwards! In most cases the pulp was easy to rinse or scrub off, but on the Omega VRT350 the pulp would get stuck in the ejector spout and had to be scraped out with the included special tool.
Ease of Storage
The two most important factors in this category were weight and bulk, although the height and design of the topsets were also important. Before purchasing a machine, be sure to consider whether you'd like to keep it out on the counter or whether you want to pull it in and out of storage every time you use it. If you want to get into the habit of juicing regularly, keeping this appliance out on the counter is a great way to encourage that habit.
The Breville Multi-Speed and Plus models each have attractive style lines and look great out on the counter. Even if you're limited on counter space, you can consider a model with a smaller footprint, like the Hamilton Beach 67601A or the Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer B6000S. If you're really stretched for counter space and need to pull the machine in and out of the cabinet for every use, it may be best to consider something more compact, or a model with a handle like the Omega J8006.
Easy storage! The best thing about the Black and Decker model is that the full unit is fairly compact and should easily fit in most cabinets.
Ask an Expert: Jean Redle
Six years ago, Jean Redle got a surprise diagnosis that changed her life completely. She was in her 30s, living what she thought was a healthy lifestyle, climbing and guiding in Yosemite Valley. Bouts of fatigue and some other unexplained symptoms had her making the rounds to different doctors' offices trying to find the problem. When the culprit was found, it was the 6-letter word that no one wants to hear: cancer. Jean incorporated juicing into her cancer treatment, and now is not only healthy but just climbed El Capitan for the 11th time!
We've shared her story and expertise here below because she truly is an expert on juicers, however we want to caution against using her testimonial as a basis for your or anyone else's treatment. Jean conducted her treatment under a doctor's supervision and we recommend discussing any ailments that you want to treat via juicing with your own medical professional.
Can you tell us about your cancer diagnosis and treatment?
I was diagnosed about six years ago with Stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I did not initially have any interest in doing chemo and so I started researching every way possible to reduce cancer and inflammation in the body - as basically all disease is inflammation. I discovered that cancer cells feed on sugar (and in my opinion stress as well) and so right away I went on a low glycemic diet and started drinking green juice every day. With basically just a high-alkaline, green-based diet, in two or three months I got rescanned and saw that the cancer had reduced about 30%. So this was encouraging and I kept with it. I did a nine day green juice fast, went to an alternative cancer treatment clinic in Mesa, Arizona, run by a medical doctor that specialized in healing with raw foods, and I just really learned how to change my diet and lifestyle to a healthier way of living. I did some alternative therapies as well, like mega high doses of vitamin C and hydrogen peroxide therapy, and they injected my cells with a very low dose chemo.
With all of these alternative therapies, and changes in my diet and lifestyle, a year and a half later the cancer had reduced by 80%. When I was Stage 4, I had cancer in 26 lymph nodes, my spleen, and liver, and the PET scan showed that it was already in my bones. Once I had reduced the cancer 80% there were only 6 lymph nodes that had any sign of cancer activity and it was gone from my other organs and bones. After that, my results kind of plateaued. I could have probably lived a long life still at that point but I decided that I did have a curable form of cancer and so I did three months of chemo instead of the normal six months of treatment for this disease. So far, I am four years cancer-free.
What was your motivation for seeking these alternative therapies? Often they are used as a last resort when a standard chemotherapy has failed, yet you sought it out first.
To me, chemo just seemed liked poisoning the body and the path that I've chosen over the last decade is to live as naturally as possible and not put medication in my body. I wanted to first try alternative therapies because chemo is so hard on your system. I do think that it has changed my life forever. I now understand the importance of eating a lot of greens and vegetables, handling stress in a more manageable way and also completely cutting out sugar from my life.
How often do you juice now?
I'm just coming off my summer working up in Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park, where I just don't juice near as much due to a lack of abundant produce there, but in the winter I will do it around two or three times a week. When I was sick I was juicing two or three times a day.
What brand and model do you use?
I currently use the Super Angel Juicer 5500
(not reviewed here). I also have the Omega J8006
. Both of these are masticating juicers. I started off with the Omega, and then I went ahead and upgraded to the Super Angel, which retails for about $1,000. Due to the high cost, I hardly ever recommend this model unless juicing is your life. I chose the Super Angel because it is all stainless steel - there are no plastic parts in it, and the twin augers are very long, so they really squeeze the liquid out of the fruits and vegetables that I am juicing. The pulp ends up so much drier that the Omega, but when I am using the Omega I just stick the pulp down through the juicer and run it again, and then the pulp comes out about as dry. So you can spend only $300 and get the same results as a $1,000 dollar machine, it just takes a little more time to get the juice out. But the Omega still does a really good job.
What fruits and vegetables are you using primarily?
Kale goes in all my creations, and usually I'll put some other greens in there, like broccoli stems and cilantro. Also celery, cucumber, spinach, and a couple of carrots to help sweeten it, and I usually squeeze a fresh lemon into it - the lemon really helps cut the bitterness of the greens, so some lemon or lime is really key to make it palatable. And I always put a half thumb of ginger in there as well.
Do you prefer a masticating juicer over a centrifugal model?
I use a masticator over a centrifugal because it processes greens much more efficiently. Centrifugal models tend to get off balance with greens, or sometimes they just spin around inside it. Centrifugal ones are more for fruit or vegetables with a lot of water content, while masticators are so much better for greens. Masticators also break apart really easily and are quick to clean, where as I do find that centrifugal models are more time consuming to clean afterwards.
What features do you look for in a juicer?
I really want something that is going to maximize the amount of liquid I can get out of my vegetables. That's why I use the masticating models. In my experience, centrifugal juicers don't do as good a job, and the pulp tends to come out pretty wet, but you can just run it through a couple of times to get more out of it. Centrifugal models tend to be more affordable and are a great intro into juicing, so if someone is just breaking into it I say go for it - spend $100 and get a centrifugal juicer, and see if this is something that they like and are going to use.
What are your thoughts on the blending vs. juicing debate? Do you think that removing the fiber from the juice is bad for you?
When I tell people that I juice a lot of them tell me, "But your body needs the fiber." And yes, absolutely, your body needs fiber. I think the whole benefit to is that the nutrients are so much more condensed that they can go right into your system and your bloodstream to help start the healing process. Digestion actually takes a lot of energy and if your body does not have to expend energy to digest and break down the fiber, then your body can absorb the nutrients more easily. That's the main theory behind juicing.
I enjoy greens and I enjoy the taste of juice - so while I don't do it as my main source of food these days, I know that it definitely helped me reduce cancer cells in my body. I was basically my own science experiment for a year and a half, and because green juice was such a main part of my treatment and I saw those cancer cells retreating, I think there is something to be said for your body being able to absorb the nutrients.
I've also learned that chewing helps release enzymes that break down the food and helps your body absorb the nutrition from it, and so you hear all the time people saying "chew your juice" or "chew your smoothie," because your body needs to produce those enzymes.
You are also juicing mostly vegetables as well and not a lot of fruit, so I'm assuming that it's a lot different than drinking straight orange juice, and it probably doesn't have the same sugar content as processed fruit juice?
It's funny because a lot of people are like, "Why don't you just go buy one of those bottled juices." But how long have those been sitting there? The whole point behind juicing is that it is super fresh, and I feel like anything that sits in a bottle in a store is going to lose a lot of its nutrients. I do use more vegetables than fruit, though I'll add one piece of fruit for a little sweetness. In general, I'm not a heavy fruit drinker because it's too high-glycemic for my body and my history.
Who would you recommend start juicing?
Anyone and everyone! But really, anyone who wants to reduce inflammation in their body. Even exercise can cause inflammation in your system, so people who are into the outdoors and are really physically fit could benefit from it. And then, the more we age, the more inflammation we have, so it's a healthy habit to get into.
Any last tips?
You can make the most amazing frozen banana ice cream with the Omega J8006. You just need to cut up a ripe banana, put in in your freezer, and then run in through the machine and mix whatever other flavors you want in there. You can add nuts right into the machine to give it a nutty flavor, or ginger or mint and cacao beans. You can make mint chocolate "ice cream!" Kids will not even know the difference between it and regular ice cream. You can run any frozen fruit run through a masticating model and it will make a delicious sorbet with no extra sugar.