Juicing vs. Blending – What’s the Difference?
I know this may be obvious to some, but I get a ton of questions about this. Some of the questions I get often:
- What’s the difference between a juice and a smoothie?
- What’s better for you – juices or smoothies?
- What is a Vitamix? Can it make juice?
- What’s the difference between a juicer and a blender? What can I make with each?
Believe me, there was a time when I didn’t know the answers to these questions. Whenever I heard someone talk about a Vitamix, I thought it was like…some contraption that helps you…mix vitamins?
But now I’m here to break it down for you. Here’s what you need to know.
Juicing is the method of extracting juice, and only juice, from fruits or vegetables. All of the pulp and fiber is removed, which allows the nutrients to assimilate very quickly into your body and bloodstream – this gives your immune system an immediate boost and feeds your cells quick, healing nutrition.
A smoothie is a blend of whole foods. Nothing is removed (except for non-edible things, like the peel of a banana). Smoothies are generally more of a thick, creamy texture than juices.
Juices and smoothies are both fantastic for different reasons.
When you juice, you can drink the nutrients of TONS of fruits/vegetables in one glass, since the pulp/fiber is left behind. I’ve made juice with 3 full heads of kale, which is way more than I could ever drink in a smoothie! Your digestive system gets a break because there are no solids to break down.
Smoothies leave nothing behind – you drink the whole food. You can load smoothies up with yummy things like almond butter for healthy fats. Smoothies are more rich and filling. While smoothies are easier on your digestion than solid foods, they are not as cleansing/detoxing as juices.
If you really feel your digestion needs a big cleansing break and you want to drink boatloads of nutrients at one time, go with juice.
If you’re looking to ease up on the intake of solid foods but still have “meals” that incorporate all of the fiber, healthy fats etc – smoothies are your ticket.
Now that we’ve got that covered – what equipment do you need for each? (And what the heck is a Vitamix?)
To make juices, you will generally need a juicer. Juicers come in many shapes and sizes (and price points) so do your research and decide what’s best for you. I have a Breville Elite juicer which is great, but it’s also the only juicer I’ve ever owned so I can’t compare it to anything else. I’ve heard great things about the Omega, Hurom, and Champion juicers as well. Check them out, see what meets your needs.
How does a juicer work? Well, each one works a little differently. In my Breville, I feed the fruits and veggies into a spout. The pulp is removed and the juice shoots out into a cup.
To make delicious smoothies, you’ll need a blender. Any blender will do, really, but I use a Vitamix. Yes, a Vitamix is a blender. The Vitamix blender is so high-powered, that it turns everything into an super-smooth liquid with absolutely no bits and pieces. It’s IDEAL for making green smoothies. You only need to blend for a few seconds and you’re done!
BUT – no, you don’t NEED a Vitamix to make smoothies. Any blender will do! You probably have one sitting unused in your cabinet right now.
OK – so now the ultimate equipment questions:
CAN I USE A BLENDER TO MAKE JUICE?
Yes, technically, you CAN use a blender to make juice. You’ll have to blend all of the ingredients and then strain the mixture through a cheesecloth.
Hot tip: Judge me all you want, but I think a (new, clean) sock works way better than a cheesecloth if you really want to get only liquid out! :)
CAN I USE A JUICER TO MAKE SMOOTHIES?
I don’t think so. Unless you want to make juice first and then add other stuff to it afterwards, but a juicer itself won’t make a blended smoothie.
I hope that answers some of your burning questions when it comes to juicing vs. smoothies. Please let me know in the comments section below if there’s anything I haven’t answered!
Cheers to drinking nutrients, in whatever form you choose!