This blog post was written by Lisa Craven, author of Juice It! Blend It!
With party season upon us, and the increased opportunity to indulge in snacks and alcohol that this entails, you might want to give yourself a pre-emptive health boost by packing more nutrients into your day. And whizzing a whole bunch of fruit and veggies into a drink is a great way to quickly get a massive hit of goodness.
But should you juice or blend? Juicing and blending are both great, but for different reasons. Juices are made using juice extractors and smoothies are made in blenders. Although some think they are the same, they are in fact quite different. They taste different, have a different consistency and different health benefits. You can have a few juices in one day, but just one smoothie will fill you up.
Juices are made in a juice extractor, a machine that works to separate the liquid from the pulp of the fruit and vegetables. Juicing actually extracts the liquid juiciness from the fruit or vegetables leaving the indigestible fibre behind. This is what allows you to consume lots of vegetables! And, because juices don’t have any fibre, your body can quickly assimilate the vitamins and minerals. This gives your system a quick energy boost. Juicing machines do the work for you. Once the pulp is discarded from the juice, you can use the pulp in many different ways including giving it to the neighbour’s chickens, composting it or baking muffins with it.
Blending, or smoothie making, keeps everything intact, including the fibre. This takes the cake on digestion. This requires using a blender and some preparation of your fruit and vegetables, like peeling, pitting or slicing, before tossing them in the blender. The blender also requires liquid to be added to the mixture, such as coconut water, filtered water or nut milk, and keeps all the delicious flavour and texture. Smoothies are full of fibre and take longer for the body to absorb the nutrients. A smoothie can be equivalent to a meal.
Should I juice or blend?
The short answer is to do both, juice and blend, but at different times during the day. Juices are a great addition to a meal, but a smoothie can be the meal itself. Just keep in mind that the ingredients, preparation and recipes are different and not always interchangeable. You can also juice vegetables and add them to your smoothie instead of another liquid, giving you the best of both worlds. For example, make a mean green juice and then add that to your smoothie – and ‘voila!’ – you have a nutritious drink and blend of juice and smoothie. While this is delicious and healthy it requires both a juicer and a blender.
It’s great if you can have both a juicer and blender, but that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. If you can only choose one, my suggestion is to go with a juicer if you are looking to add vegetables to your diet and want the vegetables to be assimilated quickly, giving you loads of energy. However, a note about juicing fruit: if you plan to juice a lot of fruit, be aware that consuming a lot of fruit juice can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar, which often leads to energy loss rather than gain. If you are looking for extra yummy fibre with slow absorption of food and a snack or meal replacement, go with a blender.
Hydrate with Banish the Bloat Juice
2 cups chopped watermelon, rind removed
1 handful mint
1 knob ginger
Feed all the ingredients through a juicer. Pour into a glass. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Love Your Greens Juice
This one is a great afternoon pick me-me-up!
1 handful kale
1 handful spinach
1 small cucumber
4 stalks celery
1 knob ginger
Remove the peel and pith of the lemon and cut to fit in the juicer. Feed all the ingredients through the juicer. Pour into a glass. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Leafy greens such as kale and spinach are rich in vitamin B and a great mood enhancer.
Grapefruit Kale Juice
1 handful kale
Cut the grapefruit in half, then peel and remove the pith and cut the grapefruit to fit into the juicer. Feed the ingredients through the juicer. Pour into a glass. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Lisa Craven is a juice devotee from New York City, but now living in Sydney. Passionate about wellbeing and keeping life in balance, she is a life coach, yoga teacher and a champion for wellness in the workplace. Lisa is the author of Juice It! Blend It!