Blend It or Juice It?
Smoothies first came on the scene in the 1960s and with each decade since, these popular blended beverages have evolved and recreated themselves.
Even today smoothies continue to be considered a quick meal alternative filled with health benefits and good vibrations. More recently, juicing has jumped on the scene. Still, when people hear that I “juice,” they usually ask, “You mean you make smoothies in a blender?” Um, nope. Juice in a juicer.
So, here are some of the most common questions I get asked about the two:
What is so great about juice?
It is so much dang goodness in a glass. I know I covered this a bit already in the cleanse piece, but you don’t have to do an extended cleanse to get the benefits of FRESH-pressed juice. You can get some goodness every day. There is no way I could eat as much FRESHNESS as I can juice. For example, a morning green juice might contain 2 cukes, 2 apples, 2 big broccoli stems, and 4 kale leaves. That’s more than a pound! No way am I eating that. Ask yourself: Are you one of the half of all adults (revealed in a recent study) that has less than a serving (one piece) of fruit per day and no vegetables? If so, lemme tell ya, you can pack a whole lotta produce into a glass. Why do you want all that produce? Because our cells and our bodies are happiest and healthiest when we feed them nutrient-dense, alkaline-boosting goodies, like fruits and veggies. (more alkaline=more oxygen=less disease)
What is so great about smoothies?
Similarly, you can pack so many wonderful things into a blender and not only will they taste dreamy together, but they will also fill you up (less snacking), consist of whole, FRESH goodness, be loaded with nutrition, and be great as a meal on the go. Another thing I love about smoothies are all the superfoods and supplements you can toss in and blend like maca, spirulina, goji berries, chia seeds, hemp seeds, chlorella. More to come on all of those...
What is the difference between juices and smoothies?
Basically, juicing takes all of the liquid out of the fruit/veg, but leaves the fiber behind. The great thing about this is how quickly the nutrients can assimilate into your bloodstream because little, if any, digestion is needed. Smoothies, of course, include the whole fruit/veg, including fiber.
Which is better for you, a juice or a smoothie?
Both of these are great for keeping your immune system strong and your cells singing. As wellness warrior Kris Carr says, “Think of your green juices and smoothies as your personal booster shot in a glass.” Some days, I really crave a smoothie. Other days I thirst for the repair and renewal of a big juice. You decide what works for you.
What do you use to make juice?
I have a Breville Elite Juicer, which I’m pretty happy with. It’s fast, not too terrible to clean, and gets the job done. It wasn’t the cheapest option at $250, but it wasn’t the most expensive either. If you are considering buying a juicer, there are lots of choices and reviews to match online. Select what complements your lifestyle and budget.
What do you recommend for making smoothies?
I have heard wonderful things about the VitaMix Blender. Sadly, I can’t comment on this first-hand because I’m still using a $30 Oster from Target! And, honestly, it works just fine. My understanding is that the VitaMix blends everything so smoothly that you don’t have any “pieces” of fruit/veg left, which is nice for a real smooth smoothie. I just let my blender blend a bit longer (like 45 seconds) and it’s okay. Try to remember not to blend for too long (or on high) so that the heat from the blades doesn’t break down the enzymes in the ingredients too much.
Do I have to use only raw vegetable?
While FRESH, vibrant, perky-looking produce from Mother Earth is always best, you can get many of the same benefits from frozen. I prefer using organic especially when I juice or blend otherwise I feel like I’m grinding up pesticides, but that’s just me...you can definitely use conventional. Check ewg.org/foodnews for a list of foods with the most/least pesticides and simply peel those that appear on the dirty list.
What if I’m still scared of a big mug of green?
They look scarier than they are, I swear it! Once you get past the wacky shades, they taste great. And they should! I mean who wants to drink gross stuff? Not me, baby. There are so many combinations for both juices and smoothies. You just have to be willing to play.