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My first experience with juicing was my first year of college when my silly 18-year-old self decided to do a juice cleanse. (Here are some reasons why juice cleanses are bad for your health and why you shouldn’t try them, but I didn’t know all this back then.)
This was 2016, before cold-pressed juice was readily available everywhere, so I got a cheap juicer on Amazon. I then proceeded to cut pineapples with a plastic knife in my shared dorm kitchenette, which was messy and laborious. The juicer was also a nightmare to clean. Needless to say, only one juice was made, and the juicer soon died in that sad, tiny kitchen.
I’ve had an aversion to juicing ever since, which is unfortunate. I enjoy a nice, fresh glass of juice and struggle to find juices that are an ideal balance of fruits and veggies, tart and sweet, and at a price I can rationalize. But then I entered a phase where TikTok had convinced me to make my own alt milks, including almond milk — so when I got the chance to try a juicer that could make those, too, I couldn’t say no.
As soon as my Nama J2 juicer arrived, I was excited to get back into making fresh juices and smoothies and finally testing out homemade nondairy milks.
I followed the instructions for assembly, and it was fairly easy to put together. It comes with a decent number of parts, but they all connect pretty intuitively. Some are just extras to keep on hand, like a giant toothbrush for cleaning the device and a filter with larger holes if you’d prefer to make a thicker smoothie.
Although this product comes with a little recipe booklet to guide you on your juicing journey, I ignored that and went rogue.
My first concoction was a mix of what I had in the fridge (golden kiwi, ginger, cucumber) and items I randomly grabbed at the store (coconut, spinach, pineapple). It was honestly delicious. Subsequent recipes were not all winners, given my chaotic ingredient combinations, but regardless of taste, I can say that every single one was shockingly easy to make with this juicer.
You just chop the bigger types of food that need it, like apples, melon, or ginger, throw that in with any leafy greens, and turn the knob. The Nama pamphlet does offer some guidance on the order in which you should add ingredients, but I did not follow it every time and it still worked perfectly.
It was surprisingly satisfying to watch the filtered juice come out one side and the pulp on the other, which you can also use to make ice pops, granola bars, or mix into your dog’s food like I did. What’s more, it’s surprisingly quiet while running, which I consider a huge plus as someone who is sensitive to grating appliance noises.
After my weeklong juicing extravaganza, I decided it was time to try an almond milk. Since this felt like a more delicate endeavor, I used the recipe on page 57 of the booklet.
It’s pretty straightforward — you just soak your almonds overnight before draining, rinsing, and adding them to the machine. You then add a few soaked dates for sweetness and enough filtered water to cover the almonds. I also added a bit of vanilla extract because why not?
I will say that it wasn’t the smoothest almond milk I’ve ever consumed, but I also don’t think I’ve ever had almond milk this fresh. It tasted fine, though it was grainy and started to separate when I added it to my coffee. This has happened to me even with store-bought almond milks, but I often drink my coffee black anyway, so it’s not a huge issue to leave it out.
I would definitely use the milk for smoothies or baking, (basically any recipe where it’s being more thoroughly incorporated into something else). But I probably wouldn’t recommend it for those looking to lighten up their cup of joe.
All in all, I would say the J2 has helped me officially conquer my fear of juicing. I’m having visions of serving remarkably fresh grapefruit juice at sunny Sunday brunches and getting more cute bottles to hold all of my creative creations.
There are some cons. It takes up a decent amount of countertop or storage space, and cleaning the juicer is kind of annoying, as is the case with really any multipart kitchen gadget.
But the fact that I’m still using it every day despite having to hand-wash it says a lot. The giant toothbrush also helps make the filter feel much cleaner than it would with a sponge alone, and it’s kind of satisfying to use the smaller brush end to scoop out any stubborn debris.
This juicer is not cheap, but if you’re a juice aficionado looking to splurge or if there’s someone you’re buying a gift for who deserves the best, I would confidently recommend the Nama J2.
You can buy the J2 juicer from Nama for around $550.