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To Blend or Juice: That Is The Question

06 Feb

Most people that know me well know that I am a fan of juicing. Although it’s recently become quite the phenomena, I’ve been a fan of the lifestyle for several years. Admittedly, I don’t do it as often or as consistently as I should, but it’s something I’m definitely a proponent of… despite what critics say.

What never ceases to amaze me is the overwhelming amount of questions I get regarding the difference between fresh juice and smoothies, as well as the confusion between juicers and blenders. Another question I get asked all the time is, “which one is better?” My belief: Juices and smoothies both play an important role in any wellness program and I believe that both juicing and blending are very beneficial, just in different ways. The objective is to finally get in the habit of cleaner eating and to do/use whatever works for your taste buds.Image

Juicing

  • Equipment needed: Juicer – For those new to juicing I recommend a Breville because they come in a range of prices, are available at most major department stores as well as online, and are a solid name brand among the juicing community. For more detailed info, check out this juicer-buying guide.
  • Fresh juice is basically a smoothie without the fiber. Juicing is the process of extracting water and nutrients from produce and discarding the indigestible fiber; without all the fiber, your digestive system doesn’t work as hard thus making the nutrients readily available and quickly absorbed into the body.
  • Texture generated from juicing fruits and veggies results in a pure liquid form.
  • Be aware: When fiber is removed from produce, the liquid juice is absorbed rapidly into your blood stream so if you are only juicing fruits or high glycemic veggies (i.e. carrots), this can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar. To combat this, I suggest that your juice includes an even mixture or 1 parts fruit, 2 parts vegetables (i.e. kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, beets, etc.).

Blending (i.e. Smoothies)

  • Equipment needed: Blender
  • Unlike fresh pressed juice, smoothies consist of the entire fruit or vegetable, which mean smoothies are packed with fiber. Blending them makes the produce much more easier to digest than eating the whole fruit/veggie.
  • Texture generated from blending fruits and veggies results in a slushy or milkshake-like consistency.
  • Be aware: Although, smoothies are more filling than juice, they can be a trap for unnecessary calories. Many vendors use lots of high-calorie fillers in their smoothies (i.e. frozen yogurt, regular yogurt, sherbet, ice cream, sugary frozen fruit, milk, etc.). Therefore those extra great tasting milk-shake concoctions that you are getting from your local juice/smoothie-bar are less than ideal. Most are a whopping 500 calories or more… you might as well have had a Big Mac and fries. Your best bet is to make your own using fresh organic produce, thus ensuring you’re getting more vitamins and minerals and less processed crap.
 
For juice/smoothie inspiration, recipes, and fruit/veggie combination ideas, click the photo below, visit and follow my “iJuice” board on Pinterest. 

Image

WARNING: Pinterest board contains excessive amounts of wonderfully delicious content; you may feel compelled to never eat solid foods again!

 

**Juicer vs. Blender photo courtesy of our friends over at Real Foods Witch**

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12 Comments

Posted by on February 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: ,

12 responses to “To Blend or Juice: That Is The Question

  1. datecity

    February 6, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    Hi Nekesha,

    Thanks for the clarification and detailed information! I’ve been told by friends who juice that it’s a good idea to do it at least once a week to relieve your body of solid foods. As an active participant, have you noticed a difference in your body or digestive system as a result of juicing?

    Also, I juice lemons in the morning sometimes. I understand its a good antioxidant. Is it a good idea to juice this with the peels or without. Oftentimes, articles mention that lemon peels produce greater benefits for the body, such as http://justjuice.org/2012/juicing-tips-to-peel-or-not-to-peel-should-you-juice-the-peels/.

    Look forward to hearing from you!
    Aikeem

     
  2. Nekesha (@GreenMile08)

    February 6, 2014 at 10:48 PM

    I’m not that active of a participant, but when I am, I do notice better run performance, deeper sleep and clearer skin.

    I’m not sure what you mean by juicing lemons with peel on or off? I have a Breville Juice Fountain which doesn’t process citrus fruit rinds. I peel all melons and citrus fruits before putting them through the juicer. One suggestion I have for you is to immediately stop drinking straight lemon juice if that’s what you’re doing. Lemons are VERY acidic and drinking the juice straight strips enamel off your teeth. You should dilute the lemon juice and consume lemon water instead. It’s very healthy this way. Here’s more info on that: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/11-benefits-lemon-water-you-didnt-know-about.html

    Thanks for the reply!
    Nekesha

     
    • datecity

      February 7, 2014 at 11:37 PM

      I blend water with the lemons as you and the article suggested. Also, I brush my teeth prior to drinking it, which is another tip provided by the article.

       
      • Nekesha (@GreenMile08)

        February 8, 2014 at 5:53 AM

        Brushing teeth prior does nothing. You need to brush teeth afterwards to get the acid from the lemon juice off the enamel.

         
  3. ncentinaro

    February 7, 2014 at 3:51 AM

    Nekesha – you have no idea how helpful this post is! Jarrett and I had the ‘juicer vs. blender: which is one is better?’ debate recently when we were registering and this will definitely clear up a lot of confusion. We settled on the Nutribullet which is actually a blending AND juicing system. It seemed like a good compromise since it’s (hopefully) the best of both worlds. Are you familiar with this product at all?

     
    • Nekesha (@GreenMile08)

      February 7, 2014 at 1:43 PM

      Nicole,
      Unfortunately the NutriBullet’s claims to be a blending AND juicing system is Marketing ploy. The nutribullet is a blender ONLY. In order for it to be a juicer, it would have to have a spout that spits out the pulp, skin, seeds, etc of the produce so that the only thing remaining is the “juice” of the fruit/veggie. Nutribullet doesnt do that, its blends everything together and gives you a smoothie as your final result. In order to get a “juice” out of that, you would need to invest in a cheese cloth, nut milk bag (link below), or strainer and strain the smoothie. A real juicer does all of that for you. I think the reason people mistake the bullet for a juicer is because it is very high powered and blends ingredients to very fine textures. But when you are drinking something that’s all blended/smashed/grated together, that is considered a smoothie. Again a juicer spits the indigestible fiberous materials out (of the machine); Nutribullet doesnt spit anything out, it grinds it all up into those fancy little cups LOL. Heres’ more info on that: http://www.blenderorjuicer.com/nutribullet/

      Nut Milk Bag: http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=nut+milk+bag&tag=mh0b-20&index=aps&hvadid=3480368747&ref=pd_sl_39aqvmvtuf_e

      Hope this helps!
      Nekesha

       
  4. ncentinaro

    February 7, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    Oh, noooooo! I am crushed! But thank you for all the info, its so helpful! I’ll have to check out the links this weekend.

     
  5. alyssummadat

    February 9, 2014 at 1:50 AM

    Lots of helpful information! I got a juicer about a year ago and even though I’ve gone through kicks where I use it a lot, I haven’t used it as much as I’d like…Which is why I need to get off the couch right now and juice the bag of oranges I have waiting in the fridge.

    I have a really basic, inexpensive Hamilton Beach model but for my needs I’m happy with it. In the booklet that came with it there are some tips. One of them is to save the pulp from fruit and use it to tenderize meat. Have you ever tried that? I rarely cook meat but I’m curious about that.

     
    • Nekesha (@GreenMile08)

      February 9, 2014 at 4:03 AM

      Nope never heard that and the only meat I eat is fish and some chicken at times. I have some recipes to use the pulp in baked ingredients (cakes, muffins, etc) but haven’t ever used the pulp yet. Maybe good idea for future blog though!

       
  6. alyssummadat

    February 9, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    Yeah, it is something I will need investigate at some point. I know that one of the secrets of good Korean barbecue is marinating the pork in kiwi juice because there’s an enzyme in kiwi that breaks down the meat fibers.

     
  7. Nity31

    February 10, 2014 at 6:31 AM

    Hey Nekesha,

    We meet again Nity31…

    I’m a BlendTec user love it!!! In my personal opinion it’s number one on the market money well spent. The cost of a basic BlendTec is a little over $300.00 with a 10 year warrantee. The clean up is a simple rinse. You don’t have to throw away any unused pieces of fruit or veggies. It also comes with a 300 delicious recipe book. I try to use my Tec every day but if I don’t I make enough for two days. I recommend the BlendTec to any one thinking about juicing or blending.

    Helpful blog!!!

     

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