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It's Juicer vs Blender And Smoothie vs Juicing - Why The Controversy? Plus Smoothie Recipe

Do you also find the controversial juicer vs blender debate to be totally confusing? Why is it that these machines seem to have become adversaries, rather than each one making its own, unique contribution to healthy nutrition? Why are there so many differing opinions about which one you should use for optimal nutrient intake?

Questions about this topic pop up in my inbox time and again...

  • What is the difference between a juicer and blender?
  • Is juicing better than blending smoothies?
  • Should I buy a blender or a juicer?
  • What about the newer super-blenders? Do they have the same function as a juicer?
  • Which one is more nutrient-rich - a smoothie or a glass of juice?
  • Isn't a smoothie better because of all the fiber in it?
  • What about all the fiber lost with a juicer?
  • What about juicing vs green smoothies?
Do any of these questions sound familiar to you? In this article I will try to clear up some of the confusion.

In my book, there is clear a place for both juices and smoothies in any healthy nutrition plan. It doesn't have to come down to a choice between a juicer and a blender! It's not a case of either the one or the other.

These are two totally different machines with different functions, but both can provide you with extremely healthy, nutritious, filling and delicious drinks!


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"I was very pleased with the quick response from Rika and her extensive knowledge about greens and how to make good tasting juices. I look forward to visiting the site in the future as I juice my way to good health."
- Gail S
Rika Susan



The Difference Between A Juicer And Blender

A blender basically uses rotating blades to chop and slice the ingredients you add to the milkshake or smoothie recipe. Nothing is discarded. The end product contains the broken down skin, seeds, and flesh of the produce. All the insoluble and soluble fiber is retained.

A blender produces a liquid that is of a much thicker consistency, as all the fiber is retained. It won't have the appearance or texture of a juice.

In contrast, a juice extractor uses centrifugal, chewing or pressing power to separate the juice from the fiber. This is the secret behind the process, leading to the unique benefits of juicing.

All the nutrients are extracted from the fiber and plant cells and are made available for immediate and complete assimilation by your body. A vegetable juice can be taken up almost instantly, while smoothies don't have this advantage.

A glass of juice is a bit like intravenous feeding for your body!

Some fruits do better in smoothies. These are the ones with a lower water content, such as bananas. They don't juice successfully in a juicer. They are the base that give smoothies that thick, creamy consistency.


The Top Benefits Of Juicing

Can dramatically increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables

With juicing you are more likely to try new fruits and veggies

You may be able to juice vegetables you don't like to eat

Juicing can help you to ingest a greater variety of fruits and vegetables

Juicing makes super-easy for your body to access the nutrients[1], as it doesn't have to digest insoluble fiber or break down tough cell walls

All the soluble fiber is retained in the juice

Juices may reduce acidity in your body

Juicing gives you a more concentrated dose of nutrients, as the juice isn't dilute with other ingredients as in the case of a smoothie

A glass of juice contains more goodies than you would ever be able to eat in one go!


The Main Benefits Of Blending Smoothies

No fiber is lost

You can use fruits you can't add to your juicer

A smoothie can be a delectable, healthy snack food

A blender can easily processes fruits that don't do well in a juicer

Smoothies can add extra fruits and vegetables to your diet. You can easily make a green smoothie, by adding some leafy greens to your regular fruit smoothie

You can blend in vegetables you don't like to eat

A smoothie can be turned into a balanced meal with ease, by adding some healthy fats and protein (such as ground nuts, ground flax seed or protein powder)

Can be a great way to help kids to make the transition to juicing


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The Main Misconception About Juicing Busted!

One of the main misconceptions about juicing is that you are losing all the valuable fiber when you juice. Many research studies show clearly that the soluble part of the fiber is not lost!

The soluble fiber include pectin and gums. What happens is that these form a gel-type substance in your gut, which plays a crucial part in lowering your 'bad' cholesterol. In addition, soluble fiber also helps to reduce the rate at which sugar is absorbed by your body. So, it has a role in blood sugar control.


The Nutrients Are In The Juice, Not In The Juicing Pulp!

Until fairly recently it was also assumed that you lose out on a substantial percentage of nutrients when juicing, due to all the pulp that is ejected in the process.

However, the US Department of Agriculture has done tests on a range of fruits. They found that the juice has around 90% of the antioxidant activity of the fruit! So, very little nutrient value remains in the fiber. If you want to add insoluble fiber to your juice, you can always try stirring some of the pulp back into the juice.

I have also written an article with tons of other ideas for using the leftover pulp. Be sure to check out my delicious Apple And Carrot Pulp Muffins Recipe!


Now on to the really good stuff! Here is a recipe for a smoothie, where you are combining the best of both worlds by adding some fresh veggie juice as part of the smoothie fluids. This gives the smoothie mix valuable extra nutrition oomph!

Meal-In-A-Glass Smoothie

1/2 Cup low-fat milk or almond milk
1/2 Cup vegetable juice of your choice (or another 1/2 cup milk)
3/4 Cup Greek yogurt
1 Frozen banana (peeled)
1 Cup blueberries (or other berries)
1/2 Cup pineapple chunks
1 Tbs. ground flax seed or flax oil
2 Tbs. ground almonds
1 Tbs. natural peanut butter
Few drops vanilla essence
Optional: Honey for sweetness, if required

Method:
1. Combine all the ingredients in your blender.
2. Blend on a low speed until smooth and frothy.
3. Serve over crushed ice.

Servings:
3 Medium


10 Juicing And Smoothie Tips To Keep In Mind

  1. Smoothies are often higher in calories than vegetable juice
  2. I usually recommend that you have no more than 8oz to 16oz of freshly made juice per day (roughly 2 glasses)
  3. Smoothies can also be higher in sugar than juices, depending on your ingredients. Try to stick to lower GI fruits. Dates can be used as a sweetener, but will also add calories
  4. Shredded coconut can be used to sweeten juices, without adding too many calories
  5. As a rule, try to have around 70% to 80% veggies in your juices and only a smaller quantity of fruits, to keep the sugar content down
  6. If you can add leafy greens or other veggies to your smoothie, the calorie count should come down
  7. Be very careful with store-bought smoothies. These can be absolutely laden with calories, sugar and fat. Make sure you know what is in them
  8. In the end it is all about balance, not about following a new 'fad'. Work juices and smoothies into your healthy, balanced nutrition plan in a way that can be sustained for life
  9. If you have any ailment or are pregnant, check with your doctor before adding juices or smoothies to your diet. You may need to limit certain fruits or veggies
  10. Don't drink medication with your juice or smoothie, as certain fruits can interfere with the absorption of the meds.

So, in the juicer vs blender debate, I would say that they both deserve a spot in your kitchen. For a quick and concentrated nutrient boost, juicing is superb. But as a special, filling and yummy treat, a healthy smoothie can't be beaten!


> From the juicing for health desk of Rika Susan

Reference:
1. Nutrients in Vegetable Juice Easily Absorbed



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