Monday, September 5, 2011

Welles People's Press

  When we started the SCD diet, I was making coconut milk from the nutshell. See my very first post, How to bust and milk a coconut. Well, after a few weeks I got tired of wringing the cloths by hand, and looked into getting some kind of press. The most affordable press I could find online is the Welles (People's) press (a very similar one costs over $2K and is apparently heavily marketed to cancer patients).  It works like a car jack, you pump a lever that raises a platform fitted with a juice catcher until it presses against a fixed plate. One reviewer gave it a 1 star (worst) review, and the first time I tried the press, I wholeheartedly agreed! BUT... I found a solution. If you buy one, read this BEFORE YOU EVER USE YOUR PRESS! 

  The big problem is that there is no easy way to get the platform back down after you've jacked it up and pressed out the juice. Instructions say, go ahead, don't hesitate to use force to push it down. Great. Thanks. There is absolutely nothing to grab hold of! Only fingernails fit in the narrow space between the juice catcher and the top plate, the juice catcher is plastic, so you do hesitate to apply force, and the pressed cloth with the residue are in the way of anything you might want to try to use as a wedge or lever.  You get two cloths with the press, so you don't want to damage one of them the very first time you use it. My fingernails took a beating that night. One hundredth of a millimeter at a time, I nudged the platform down. It felt like it wasn't going down at all. IT TOOK ME OVER AN HOUR to get the contraption far down enough to be able to remove the bag and residue.  Then I wedged a screwdriver wrapped in a kitchen glove into the space.  After that it came down pretty fast. Oh, boy was I sorry I'd bought that thing!  Only buyer pride (and anger) kept me going. I went to bed two hours after everyone - had to finish cleaning up. During the night, I came up with a solution.

SOLUTION: Cut a piece of cotton cloth (an old pillowcase is just right) into a 20 inch square.  Fold it in three.  Before you place the juice catcher on the platform, drape the folded cloth across the platform so that the long ends hang down to the right and left of the platform.  This will give you something to hold on to. Then place the juice catcher on the platform.  It holds the fabric in place. BEFORE YOUR FIRST PRESSING, practice jacking up the platform (NOT ALL THE WAY UP), turning the release knob a 3/4 turn, and pulling the platform back down. Turn the knob back, jack up.  Repeat. At least you won't have a sticky mess to deal with like I did.

The instructions say this stiff release gets better over time, well, mine is still pretty stiff and I will always use the cloth. Can't see any reason not to.

The instructions are pretty badly written, but do read them, so you'll know not to turn the release knob too much. I find that 3/4 of a turn is enough.  You can hear a "sigh" when the hydraulic pressure is released. 

See a photo of my press at  And recipes.

CONCLUSION: Not sorry I bought it now. The press is otherwise easy to use and does a great job.

RECOMMENDATION TO THE MANUFACTURERS: ADD HANDLES BELOW THE PLATFORM!  Or, at least, add this solution to your instructions.  

2. The juicing cloths: two cloths are included in with the press. The fabric is strong, thick and non-absorbent, which is good, because you don't want half your precious juice to be retained in the cloth. But the edges are not stitched, so they fray, and really, for some uses, you want a bag. Like coconut milk the way I make it, in the Vitamix. Too much liquid for folding. So I stitched one of the cloths into a bag. If you do this, make the bag slightly smaller than the platform part of the juice catcher, with a widening opening for easier filling. Use it with the stitching outside (for easier cleaning). The other cloth, I zigzig stiched along the edges.

3. Keeping the cloths clean: Rinse the cloth out thoroughly and store it in the freezer in a ziplock bag, like the instructions say. You don't have to dry it. If you've sewn it into a bag, turn it inside out while washing to be sure to remove all the residue. Just before using it, microwave it for one minute to kill any bacteria the freezer may have missed.


1. To make almond and other nut milks and coconut milk - that was my main reason for buying the press. Vitamix one to two cups nuts with twice as much water on High for one minute, with a date or two if you want it slightly sweetened (nutmeg, vanilla...).  Pour onto the juicing cloth or bag placed in a strainer over a bowl deeper than the strainer.  After letting most of the milk drip out, fold the top of the bag 2 or 3 times, or fold the cloth over the pulp, place on the juice catcher, load into the press, and jack it up!

2. To make Ginger Juice. Cut a whole hand of fresh ginger root into chunks. Put in Vitamix with water to cover. Process on High for 30 seconds. Proceed as for nut milks above. Use the GJ in soups, sauces, in hot water for tea, or cold water for a Ginger Ale type drink. The residue is so dry it looks like cardboard. Let it dry out in the sun or on a radiator (or dehydrator) and hang it up like a car deodorizer (you might want to cut it into a pine tree shape).

3. To press fresh juice out of vegetables. Grate zucchini, carrots, and press out the juice. Or chop vegetables in a food processor until mushy, then juice in the press.  Use the not completely pressed residue of vegetables to make "latkes", i.e., add egg, chopped onions, seasoning, and fry like pancakes.  

That's all I've done with my press so far. Let me know if you have a press and how you use it.


  1. I'm wondering if, at any point, you considered buying a masticating juicer instead of the Vitamix/press combo? Were there any cons you found with the juicer? Or perhaps other uses and benefits of the Vitamix? I'm still thinking about what I need to make fruit, vegetable and nut juices/milks. The Vitamix/press combo sounds like a lot of work and about 2-3 times the expense of a good masticating juicer. What do you think?

  2. Well, I had the Vitamix before I ever heard of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (and practically shook with anxiety about the cost as I was buying it) and I use it two to ten times a day, so that purchase stands on its own. The original motivation was to get my husband's soups pureed to velvety smoothness, because of his Crohn's disease. About 3 months ago I found out about the SCD and started making coconut milk, to replace the dairy milk that is not allowed on the diet. I was wringing the milk out by hand, which was messy and time-consuming, as described in my first post (it was great for the skin on my hands, though!). When I realized I was going to have to go for a juicer or press, I looked at the videos on youtube and saw that after juicing in a regular juicer, the Welles press got a significant amount of extra juice out of the residue from the juicer. So I figured I'd go with that. I'm not excluding ever getting a juicer, but for now that's what I've got. I also like the fact that the Welles press doesn't use electricity. I did have a juicer years ago which was such a pain to clean I seldom used it. That may have played a part in my decision.

    Other uses of the Vitamix: fantastic smoothies, make one every morning. I'll make the smoothie for everyone, then without cleaning the jar, I'll make that night's dessert - usually something like a smoothie turned into a Bavarian by the addition of unflavored gelatin. My standard SCD dessert is chocolate pudding ("Sinless Silk" recipe at Then I might rinse the jar and liquefy a few dates into coconut milk, to have sweetened milk on hand for hot chocolate, cold chocolate, or whatever.

    I don't know how well a regular blender would liquefy dates, which is our basic sweetener. the Vx does a great job.

    I use the Vx for pureeing soups of course, and for making almond bread straight from almonds. Almond flour is expensive!

    Thanks for the great question!

    Checked out your blog - I like the reason for your blog!

  3. Thanks for looking at my blog but I'm a little embarrased I haven't updated it in so long! I actually started it for a school project. This is the first time I'm hearing about the SCD diet. I spent the better part of last night reading everything I could about Gerson Therapy. I don't have cancer but I've had digestive difficulties for over 10 years. Originally I was diagnosed with dairy, garlic, shrimp and citrus allergies. I avoided those foods for 10 years and did fairly well, although I would get extremely sick anytime I inadvertently ate some of those foods. I recently went to an allergist to be rechecked and was told I'm not allergic to dairy and IBS is suspected. I also have problems with potatoes, sugar, and apples. I believe my problem is leaky gut syndrome. Incidentally, all my problems started after travelling in India for 9 months and contracting various diseases like giardia, cryptosporidium, amoebic dysentery, and a few other things requiring repeat doses of heavy antibiotics.

  4. Wow, classic story. Antibiotics killed all the good bacteria in your gut while doing its job on the bad bacteria. The good bacteria are vital to our gut. They create the mucous lining that protects the intestinal wall. When the lining is gone, you have leaky gut syndrome. Then you have problems digesting more and more foods as the condition worsens. I strongly recommend this article:

    Along with an explanation of the cause of leaky gut and its consequences like food allergies and autism, it describes the Specific Carbohydrate Diet in a nutshell.

  5. 3 Researches SHOW How Coconut Oil Kills Fat.

    This means that you literally get rid of fat by consuming Coconut Fats (in addition to coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 researches from big medical magazines are sure to turn the conventional nutrition world upside down!