Blender vs Juicer – The best way to get your juice in

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According to recent data from 2017 published by the CDC, over 90% of American adults do not eat enough vegetables, while 87% don’t eat enough fruits. Fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies are a great way to quickly and easily add whole fresh goodness to our bodies. They should definitely be part of your new clean eating diet.

But here comes the dilemma: which one is best: clean juices or creamy smoothies? To help you choose which equipment would suit you and your family best, we’ve compared blender vs juicer and highlighted the pros and cons for each.

Difference between blending and juicing

Basically, a juicer will separate the fibers, while the blender keeps everything.

The preparation is the same, although some vegetables and fruits lend themselves more to one type of juice than the other. But in both cases, you have to wash your produce and chop it into smaller pieces that will fit nicely into your equipment. Preferably right at the last minute, to preserve the freshness.

The benefits of juicingFresh fruit juices
  • You’ll end up with just the water, flavor and nutrients. Without the fibers, and provided you have your juice on an empty stomach, those will be quickly absorbed for a quick health fix.
    You can pack more fruits and vegetables in your glass. So if you just need to cram your 5-a-day quickly, this is an easy option. I find I can more easily “hide” some vegetables in my kids’ juices than in a smoothie.
  • As fibers accelerate gastrointestinal transit, too much of it can cause diarrhea. Which means your body won’t have the time to absorb your precious nutrients. By removing the fibers, the vitamins and minerals stand a chance to be fully absorbed.
    For that reason, I, for one, would not be able to have my basic juice recipe in one sitting if I was blending the ingredients. I would have to spread my intake of raw food over the course of the day.
  • You don’t have to peel every fruit and vegetable you put in, as it will break the cells and extract the nutrients for you. Great for making the most of the vitamins and minerals contained in your fresh produce and saving time in prepping.
  • You can basically juice any hard fruit or vegetable, even leafy ones. Cheaper blenders might battle to give you a smooth texture with hard vegetables or leafy ones.
The benefits of blending
    • Rich berry smoothieFibers play a positive role in your digestive system. By feeding the good bacteria in your gut and keeping you full longer (soluble fibers). And by bulking up, flushing toxins and keeping you regular (insoluble fibers).
    • Even though too many fibers can accelerate your transit, the right amount of it will slow it just enough to ensure the nutrients are absorbed. It helps in particular with the absorption of minerals, like calcium.
    • They have a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels.
      You end up with less wasted products at the end, as most of your fruits and vegetables are being used.
    • They keep you full, so if you combine fruits and vegetables with some healthy source of protein or fat, you can turn your juice or smoothie into a full meal.
    • They are easier to clean than juicers, which will require you to dismantle and rinse various parts every time. With blenders, you usually only need to rinse the jug.
    • They take less space. Juicers tend to be bulkier and will take more space on your countertop.
      They are cheaper. You can find some affordable juicers, but a good reliable juicer will set you back $100. Whereas a decent blender costs half that price.


Which juicer to choose?

There are a lot of juicers out there, with prices ranging from $35 to $800. Why such a big difference? While all juicers remove the bulk of the pulp, some do a better job at it than others, meaning that you’ll get more juice for your produce.

Some juicers also do a better job of preserving the nutrients than others. The centrifugal ones will heat the produce up slightly as it works, destroying a fair amount of nutrients in the process, for example.
The higher end juicers are more quiet, more powerful, last longer and are more versatile. You can, for example, use them to make nut milk or nut butter.

Centrifugal Juicers
Ideal if you’re just starting with juicing or have a limited budget.

The juice is extracted through centrifugal force. These are among the cheapest on the market, but as the internal blade spins to separate the juice from the fibers, it destroys some of the nutrients.

They’re good level-entry juicers but might not be ideal if you’re aiming at juicing for optimum health benefits.

Masticating Juicers
This is my current type of juicer. Compact, powerful and easy to clean.

Also called slow juicers or cold press juicers. The fruit or vegetable is slowly squeezed to release the juice and separate the pulp, so there’s less loss of nutrients. You end up with almost pure juice, and each glass is guaranteed to be loaded with whatever vitamins and minerals.

They’re the ones to aim for if you need to juice for maximum health benefits. This is the one I have. I bought an Hurom HE series a few years back and have never had any issues with it. It’s a bit of an investment, but I wouldn’t (nor would my kids) be able to stomach the same amount of raw fibers in one go. You can read my review here.

You can also find twin-gear juicers, which are the Rolls Royce of the family. They extract far more produce and release more nutrients that the single gear version.

At the other end of the scale, you have hand crank juicers. They are like a bike. They’re cheap, and they will only take you so far: they’re usually specialized in one type of fruit, like citrus, or vegetable, like wheatgrass. But they can have their place in your kitchen. If you only want to juice that specific fresh produce, or if you need something portable and energy-saving.

Which blender to choose?

The blender’s job is basically to liquidize everything you put in the bowl. If you don’t want to taste some of the peels, like peaches or carrots, you might want to peel them off first.

The price tag for blenders is not as high as for juicers. The most expensive ones will give you a much smoother consistency, last longer, tackle most food and have some nifty features.

Jug Blenders
Whether it be for smoothies, soups, or purees, every kitchen needs a blender.

These are your standard blenders. They’re affordable and a bit of a must in most families, for blending soups and pureeing. An entry model might not be able to tackle harder fruits and vegetables, like carrots, dried fruits or even nuts. They will accommodate soft fruits, yogurt, nut butter without issues.

 

A sturdier model will allow you to blend virtually anything, including seeds and nuts. The larger jug makes it the perfect blender for a family or blending in larger quantities at a time.

 

Single-serving Blenders
The NutriBullet, aka the Superfood Nutrients Extractor

These have appeared in recent years and offer a quick and portable solution.  The Nutribullet is the market leader. The bowl is smaller and will usually only blend one serving at a time. A nifty system of tight lids means you can just blend, add the lids and go. Perfect for a takeaway smoothie.

These are great to turn your smoothies into a whole meal, adding proteins or fats to make them more filling. Some are even battery-operated, so you can blend your smoothie at the last minute at work.

So…?

Which one is best, a blender or a juicer? Which contains the most nutrients, a cold-pressed juice or a smoothie? Which option is best, with the fibers, or without? This could go on forever but is not particularly useful.

Forget the debates, just load up on juices and smoothies

It is far more useful to remember this:

  • If drinking juices or smoothies allow you to consume more fresh fruits and vegetables, in their raw state, just do it. We don’t consume enough of the stuff anyway, and when we do, it’s mostly in processed form, at least for most vegetables. Get some great vegetable juice recipes here.
  • If you do mind creating more waste, and your digestive system can stomach it, blend it. We have to go for juicing and find clever ways to use the leftover pulp. I make mini-quiches with it when juicing vegetables, and the fruit pulp goes straight to our worm farm.
  • If the price is an issue, go for a blender, as expensive as you can afford. They are a useful tool in the kitchen for a variety of other dishes, so you won’t feel like it’s wasted money if you don’t do smoothies for a while.
  • Fruits and vegetables are the only foodstuffs that can be consumed with no or minimal processing. They’re the perfect clean food and allow you to save energy along the way. They also have the lowest water footprint, so any way to increase your intake is good.

Almost forgot, my basic juice recipe is:

My basic juice recipe

This takes care of most of my 5-a-day of raw fruits and vegetables. I don’t need to peel anything, just to wash them and chop them to fit.

If this recipe doesn’t quite tickle your fancy, feel free to check my other vegetable juice recipes.

What’s your favorite juice/smoothie recipe? Please share in the comments below!

18 Comments

  1. TREVOR

    May 2, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    You have introduced me to the hard work of Blending and Juicing, I am the lazy type who has until now only bought my blended and juiced veggies and fruit ready made. I wonder based on what you said am I losing out, am I being robbed if I don’s do it myself. You’ve left me wondering

    1. Isabel

      May 3, 2018 at 7:01 am

      Hi Trevor, it’s a good question. Typically smoothies and juices will start oxidizing within hours, if not minutes, so I’m always a bit wary of smoothies that are sold pre-prepared. Some nutrients might also be lost then, unless they add some preservative of sorts. For me, the biggest issue is that I don’t have control over what’s inside! If you blend/juice yourself, you decide exactly what goes in, how filling it’s going to be, etc. Food for thought… 🙂
      Keep well,
      Isabel

  2. Stella

    May 2, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    Hi Isabel,
    I did like your article. As a healthy eater I do agree with you, it should be in everyone’s diet even if they’re not going clean. I went to check out your page in general and there’s a lot of content, it’s just the light blue letters on a white background tend to hurt my eyes. It’s a little bit hard to read. That’s all from me 🙂
    Stella

    1. Isabel

      May 3, 2018 at 6:54 am

      Hi Stella, thanks a lot for your comment! Yes, this is a great way to just stay healthy, full stop. And they’re so versatile, everyone is bound to come up with a recipe that works for them. 🙂
      Thanks also for mentioning the light blue font, I’ve tweaked it now, hopefully, it’s easier to read for everyone!
      Keep well,
      Isabel

  3. William

    May 2, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    My wife and I got a nutribullet last year and love it. We can even get our kids to drink vegetable smoothing provided they don’t see us make them.

    1. Isabel

      May 3, 2018 at 6:50 am

      Hi William, I know, right? My girls got clever at picking on the taste of veggies, so I have to let them pick what they put in, on the condition that they add one vegetable! Smoothies are more forgiving than juices for that, as you can add filling ingredients like nuts, milk or yogurt. Feels more like a treat then!
      Please share your favorite recipe with us! 🙂

  4. Chryssius

    May 3, 2018 at 3:21 am

    #teamsmoothie over here! I tried juicing but got really over having to clean it, haha! And I agree, smoothies do feel much more fillling. Great comparison post!

    1. Isabel

      May 3, 2018 at 6:46 am

      Hi Chrissy, yeah, I had to get clever with the cleaning of the juicer: I fill up a small bucket with warm water, no soap, while my Hurom is going. When the juicing is finished, I run the juicer with a glass of water to remove most of the pulp, and I just rinse all the parts in my warm water. Now and then, I need to give the parts a proper scrub, but at least, my daily rinsing routine takes seconds!
      Thanks for stopping by, and keep blending!
      Isabel

  5. Henry

    May 3, 2018 at 4:28 am

    I knew a lot of Americans didn’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. But I didn’t know the percentages where so high!
    I personally prefer blending because I like the idea of most of the fruits and vegetables being used. But I also agree with you that ingesting the right amount of fiber is important, to guarantee that our transit will slow just enough to ensure the nutrients are absorbed.
    I like the self-serving blenders concept. And I have heard very good reviews concerning the NutriBullet. I think I have made up my mind.
    Thank you very much for this post. I appreciate reading the benefits of both: blending and juicing.
    Thank you also for your basic juice recipe! I’ll try it as well! 🙂

    1. Isabel

      May 3, 2018 at 6:41 am

      Hi Henry, thanks for the comment and glad I could help you make up your mind. I agree with blending using up the whole of the fruits and vegetables, it’s far less wasteful. The NutriBullet is useful to fit your nutrients and fibers in a busy lifestyle, I must admit. If you do try my basic recipe in a blender, let me know how it comes out!
      Cheers for now,
      Isabel

  6. Wendi

    May 6, 2018 at 11:11 pm

    I loved this article. It just made me so hungry that as soon as I leave you this comment, I am going to get up from this crazy computer and go make my husband and myself a smoothie. Sorry, but we prefer the smoothie. 🙂
    Your recipe sounds great. I’m going to give it a try. You did a great job with the comparison. I learned a lot. Thanks again.

    1. Isabel

      May 8, 2018 at 7:02 am

      Thanks! Hope you enjoyed your smoothie… 🙂 Please tell us what your favorite recipe is! And let me know how that juice recipe turned out in a smoothie format, I’d love to know.

  7. Jeff

    May 8, 2018 at 1:11 am

    You know God must have lead me to your post for the information I was needed about juicing and blenders, I have for a long time been debating which method I would prefer with not much but more confusion. I think there is a place for both of these methods in our healthy diet, now all I need to do is figure out which juicer is the best purchase for me?

    Jeff

    1. Isabel

      May 8, 2018 at 6:59 am

      Hi Jeff, glad this post could help you! Yes, I don’t actually believe one is better than the other, but everybody is different and it’s more a case of finding the right one fitting your body and your needs, at the end of the day. With regards to juicers, I highly recommend the Hurom upright ones. It’s a slow juicer and, as such, preserve more nutrients, but it’s not as expensive as some of the top-of-the-range ones (Omega etc.). It also takes less space on the counter (a big plus for me). But feel free to check other juicers out, to make sure you buy the right one for you.
      Let us know how you get on, please!
      Isabel

  8. sam

    June 2, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    Hi Isabel,
    I think I’ve bought enough juices from Juicing stores that I could’ve bought one. Or Five. Your article has motivated me to finally get one now that I can make a more informed decision about which one to buy. Your Basic Juice celery will be the first thing I try when I get my juicer too. Thanks.

    1. Isabel

      June 4, 2018 at 7:15 pm

      Hi Sam, you’re most welcome, glad I could be of help! These days juicers are more and more versatile as well, which means you don’t have to choose between a juicer *or* a blender. And I like my Basic juice because it’s a good mix of vegetables with just enough fruits and sweet-tasting vegetables to make it taste great. Let me know what you think! 🙂

  9. Linsey Thornton

    June 10, 2018 at 5:44 am

    Nice article, I wondered about the difference in blending vs juicing. I see juicing becoming a popular thing where I live, but I never feel full after juicing. I like blending personally, it provides a more full satisfaction and I am usually making a smoothie as a snack or breakfast replacement so this is why I prefer blending.

    1. Isabel

      June 13, 2018 at 6:28 pm

      Thanks, Linsey. I think it’s more a question of personal choice or lifestyle, I don’t believe one is better than the other. It’s just different ways of adding fruits and vegetables to your diet. I like the latest juicers which are more versatile and let you choose whether you want a smoothie or a juice, depending on whether you need more of a meal replacement or a snack, or just a drink. For me, it’s the best of both worlds! Go well, Isabel

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