There are a lot of people focusing on their health. Juices and smoothies go hand in hand with a healthy lifestyle. The trend can easily be seen with the popularity of juice & smoothie bars, restaurants adding acai bowls to their menus, and health companies selling protein powders to put in both juices and smoothies. This popularity can also be evidenced by the dizzying array of juicers and blenders available to us for purchase. But which is best, Juicing vs. Blending? Let me break it down for you.
What’s In This Article?
What’s The Difference Between Juicing and Blending?
At first glance, juices and smoothies may seem the same. They’re both liquids that contain similar, if not the same, ingredients depending on the recipe. While this is true, there is a difference between juicing and blending beyond the equipment you use.
What Is Blending?
Blending is when you combine ingredients and break them down into a perfectly smooth mixture. This could be a smoothie, soup, dip, or sauce. The goal of blending is to physically break down the fibers in the ingredients to the degree that the resulting combination is completely homogeneous. The process of blending retains all of the components of the original mixture, like fiber, not removing anything but simply chopping it up into fine bits.
One of my favorite blenders is the Tribest Dynapro.
Blenders are the typical machines used to take fruits, vegetables, herbs, greens, and even soaked nuts and seeds into a more liquid state. They accomplish this with fast-spinning blades that shred the ingredients into very small pieces.
What Is Juicing?
Juicing, on the other hand, uses various mechanisms to chew up ingredients and then press or spin the mixture to extract the liquid juice. This process results in a thinner liquid that retains all the ingredients’ nutrients while removing most of the insoluble fiber.
Juicers are the typical machines used to make juice. There are several types of juicers out there that employ specific mechanisms of juice extraction. Read my Juicer Buyers Guide to learn more about juicers and which might be best for you.
You can make juice using a blender, which I talk about later in this article, but honestly, it’s not the best method. Kind of like using a block of wood instead of a hammer to set a nail…you can do it, but it’s not the best tool to use.
Juicer Test Kitchen Pro Tip: If you’re interested in a deep dive into juicing, check out this post: Why Juice? – A Beginner’s Guide To Juicing.
Is Juicing or Blending Better?
“Is juicing or blending better?” is a question I often get from my social media followers. My answer begins with their goals.
Are they looking to concentrate nutrients from a lot of produce into a small, drinkable package (hello juice)? Do they want to make a silky smooth soup for dinner? Perhaps their favorite breakfast place does amazing acai bowls, and they want to recreate them at home. The reason to choose juicing or blending is first about your primary goals.
Juice vs Smoothies – It’s All About the Fiber
When the discussion is juice vs. smoothies, it’s all about the fiber. As I said earlier, blending doesn’t remove any fiber. This includes smoothies. This can be great if that’s what you’re looking for. Insoluble fiber makes you feel full, so you may eat less, and it also helps you “stay regular” (aka. poop). There are also certain produce that simply can’t be juiced due to their low water-to-fiber ratio, like bananas and avocados.
Making pink almond milk using a blender.
Choose Blending When:
- You want to consume all the fiber, both insoluble and soluble.
- You want to make something that requires blending, like soups, dips, and smoothies.
- You desire the fullness and bulk that comes with a blended recipe.
- You’re using ingredients that can’t be juiced, like bananas and avocados.
Instead of retaining all fiber, juicing removes most of one type (insoluble) while leaving all the soluble fiber intact. This has its health benefits, particularly the ability to deliver highly concentrated nutrition in an easily digestible and absorbable package that’s super hydrating. Juicing also lets your digestive system rest, allowing your body to focus on other repair and maintenance activities (healing from disease, losing excess weight, and removing metabolic waste).
Choose Juicing When:
- You want to give your digestive system a break.
- You want to concentrate nutrition, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, etc., in a readily absorbable form.
- You want to empty the digestive system to facilitate weight loss & healing.
- You want to flood your system with super hydrating, nutrition-rich liquid.
Juicer Test Kitchen Pro Tip: When juicing, there is a lot of pulp left over (all that insoluble fiber). But don’t throw it away! There are all SORTS of things you can do with all that juice pulp!
For many, a combination of the two suits their lifestyle best. So, rather than juicing vs. blending it’s juicing and blending. If you’re new to juicing, snag a juicer and start with a fresh liter of juice for your first meal of the day, then graduate to only juice for a day, week, or month. Into smoothies? Have one for lunch, and use your blender to make soup for dinner. It all comes down to what supports your culinary and health goals.
Juicer Test Kitchen Pro Tip: While I do both, I am a huge fan of juicing. The benefits I get by implementing a daily juicing habit as well as periodic juice feasts where I consume juice only for extended periods of time, are incredible.
Juicing has helped me heal from past health conditions and supports my healthy lifestyle. I love the feeling of lightness and levity that comes with juice, an energy that is simultaneously pure, calm, and electric!
Can You Make Juice With A Blender?
You can make juice with a blender, but It’s not the easiest or most efficient option. It can work in the short term until you have some spare cash to invest in your juicer. As I said, it’s like trying to pound a nail with a block of wood instead of a hammer. You can do it, but it’s not optimal.
To make juice with a blend, break down the fruits and veggies in a blender, pour the mix into a nut milk bag, then squeeze the juice out manually. Here is a good nut milk bag for the job, which you can also use to make nut and other dairy-free milk (as the name suggests).
Juicing vs. Blending: What’s Your Decision?
There you have it! Now you have all you need to know about the differences between juicing and blending and why you might choose one over the other. We also touched upon the benefits of juicing and blending on your health. What will you choose?
Leave your thoughts in the comment section. I’d love to know if you’re making a smoothie or juice for breakfast tomorrow morning!