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Kitchen gadgets review: Philips self-cleaning juicer – like emptying a lawnmower’s grass bag

Gadgets

This new device promises to end the mulchy faff with a quick-clean mode. It effortlessly turns solid into a liquid, but can it covert The Lazy to juicers?

What?
The Philips Avance juicer (Amazon, £170.87) is a bicameral centrifuge, divided by serrated sieve. Shreds fruit and greens, siphons fluid.

Why?
Want to increase your moral fiber? Try talking about wheatgrass first thing in the morning and never shutting up.

Well?
Kitchen gadgets review: mini chopper – a tool to shred both prejudice and vegetables
Read more
Juice People are everywhere, agonizing over the merits of their machines as if choosing between grails. “You have to get on the juice train for the health benefits,” they preach, sounding like toddlers while discussing enzyme retention like gene therapists.

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The whole notion of juicing is alien to my people: you may know us as The Lazy. (We have our own beliefs and culture, sadly dying out.) I cannot be bothered with the mulchy faff, the soaking and scraping and unclogging that juicers demand. Which is why I’m drawn to Philips’ new model, boasting a one-minute self-clean mode. Clicking on the 1200W centrifuge feels like starting up the Large Hadron Collider. (Speed means heat so that enzyme purists will check out here, likewise, anyone who wants wheatgrass shots, only liberated by slower, cold-press machines.) The wide chute swallows entire cucumbers. Apple halves dance on the lethal floor before losing their footing and disappearing with a shriek. Spinach leaves are instantly obliterated, splattering the walls with their juice. It’s horrific but impressive. There are settings for clear or thick results.

 

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As for the quick-clean mode, it’s hypnotic; water is sluicing through the spinning mechanism like a violent colonic. Don’t imagine robot-butler nirvana though. Scooping the pulp trap is like emptying a lawn mower’s grass bag, while the sieve’s holes retain tiny green hairs, so it starts to resemble an immediately pre-metamorphic Hulk buttock, only harder to clean. After drinking an entire cucumber, two apples and a bag of spinach in two minutes, I’m not converted. It’s too much work, and I’m too centri-frugal to splurge my money on quantities of fruit and veg that would keep a greengrocer busy for a week. For once, I feel the device is judging me. I choose to be a bit less healthy so I can be a lot lazier. So what? Let my people go.

Who’s slurry now?
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Who’s slurry now? Photograph: Graeme Robertson
Any downside?
The product has its own “Healthy Drinks App,” three of the most ennui-laden words I have ever seen.

 

Counter, drawer, back of the cupboard?
Hulk Smash! No, maybe Hulk unfairly. Hulk try it, see if he like it. 3/5
What?
The suction-footed shaft is supporting a hand-cranked rotary coconut grater (£14.99, Coconutty.co.uk). Separates flesh from the shell within bisected coconuts.

Why?
If you’re loco for the coco, look no further.

Well?
Rhik tastes the ‘uniquely delicious’ coconut water.
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Rhik tastes the ‘uniquely delicious’ coconut water.
Did you know the coconut isn’t a nut, it’s a bloody nuisance? A fibrous boat containing a wooden bowling ball, which is full of water. Who would bother with ’em? Except they are uniquely delicious and more versatile than Meryl Streep on a yoga mat. Is it a seed? Nut? Fruit? Technically, coconuts are classified as a “dry drupe”. (Maybe they were tired at the time of testing or had a stressful week.) Whatever they are, I’m craving fresh coconut this week, all over my porridge. Think of the creamy bounty locked inside that desiccated husk, dying to shake down its dry hair.

How to emancipate these librarians of the fruit world? This gadget can help – but I have to get inside one of the damn things first. I turn to internet video tutorials. A survivalist bro in board shorts advises me to drop weight on my coconut “from the rocky part of the beach.” Honestly, this ding-dong in his Oakley sunglasses, you can smell the Bear Grylls pillowcase coming off him. As I’m not on a desert island, I make do with household tools. (Knocking a hammer along the equator of the shell opens up a hairline fracture, so I can pull it apart feeling like the Incredible Hulk. Recommended.)

Coconuts: more versatile than Meryl Streep on a yoga mat.
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Coconuts: more versatile than Meryl Streep on a yoga mat.
Once I’m in, it’s time for the grater to shine. Sort of. The suction base is made of grimy rubber and arrives looking old, while the revolving head’s eight serrated spokes might have been designed for trepanning a cow. Despite the shonky appearance, it works surprisingly well – turning over a lever pressurizes the suction base, fixing the device to the countertop while I whirl the blades against the coconut meat.

Nut or not, the shavings taste ex-seemingly good. The blades mince evenly, although fluffy shreds drift everywhere like a snowglobe scene. The resulting pile is creamy and fresh, ready to sex up curry or cake, ice-cream or fish fries. My porridge is through the roof. I’m happy to share a (breakfast) island with this coconut grater; it’s not much to look at, but the liberation of the flesh is its reward.

‘The shavings taste ex-seemingly good.’
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‘The shavings taste ex-seemingly good.’
Redeeming features?
Grater than the sum of its hideous parts.

Counter, drawer, back of the cupboard?
The Rocky part of the beach, where he raced Apollo Creed. 3/5