We love to blend, and we are 100% green smoothie advocates because it’s an easy and healthy lifestyle to maintain— especially with super busy schedules. But we also know green smoothies are not the only way to live an awesome, healthy life. So we asked one of our favorite holistic nutritionists (and registered dietician) to break it down for you.
Written by contributor Angela Stanford, MBA, RD, RYT of Vital Nutrition & Wellness
As a nutritionist people are always asking me, “Angela, which is better, blending smoothies or juicing?” And I answer, “Well that depends on why you want to blend or juice and what you blend or juice.”
Both smoothies and raw, fresh juices are very easy and delicious ways to infuse your body with lots of healthy nutrients, and to ingest those 5 servings of veggies and 3 servings of fruits we’re recommended to eat daily.
Which is better: Juicing or Blending?
Whether you choose to blend or juice, you are gifting your body improved health by using these nutrient packed drinks to get more health giving, healing veggies and fruits into your body. Regularly drinking smoothies or fresh, veggie-based juice will:
- increase your veggie intake dramatically
- make it easier and quicker for your body to absorb nutrients because the blending and juicing allows the foods to become somewhat “pre-digested”
- curb appetite and reduce cravings for sugar and processed foods because you are nourishing your cells with what they are asking for – micronutrients. You body no longer craves the “carbs” (macronutrient)
- You can blend more than just veggies – along with your veggies, you can add fruits, milks, ice, nuts, seeds, avocado, nut butters, oils, protein powders and crushed up supplements
- Fiber helps fill you up – Since you are blending the whole veggie and fruit, the added fiber from the peels and flesh help fill up space in your stomach giving you a comforting feeling of fullness
- Cost of the blender is minimal – most people already have a blender in their kitchen
- Kids are more inclined to drink/eat smoothies – In my experience, kids love smoothies more than veggie-based juice because you can thicken them up to look and taste like a frozen dessert. Just add a little frozen fruit, banana, ice or ground chia seeds to your veggies to help thicken up the drink.
- Less quantity of nutrients per serving than juicing – Because the fiber remains in the drink, you need to drink more smoothies than juice to get the same amount of vitamins, minerals and phytotnutrients per glass
- Some produce is not good for blending. Root veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips and beets are packed full of nutrition, but don’t taste so good in smoothies. They come off chalky and bitter. They are more suitable for juicing.
- More veggies per serving – Since the fiber is removed, more veggie juice fits in the glass versus a smoothie
- Easier to digest nutrients – Unlike blending, juicing extracts nutrients and most of the water from veggies and fruits leaving behind plant fibers in skins, peels and seed hulls. This allows your body to absorb the nutrients quicker without having to expend energy to digest all the bulk of the fiber too.
- Quicker energy boost – Juice has a higher concentration of veggies (and therefore nutrients) per glass versus a smoothie, and is in an even more pre-digested format than smoothies for quicker nutrient absorption.
- Less heat damage. Blades run at high speed on blenders that can slightly heat the smoothie which could kill off some of the beneficial enzymes. To counteract this, add ice to your smoothie to cool it down.
- Juicing machines sometimes more difficult to clean – Juicers usually have more parts to clean and take a little longer to clean than blenders
- More refrigerator space required – Juicing requires more veggies and fruits per serving than blending, so you need to have more refrigerator space to store them
- Veggie costs are more than blending – because you are using more veggies per serving, you need to buy more
Along with SimpleGreenSmoothies.com, I’m fond of a book called The Juicing Bible by Pat Crocker. It is a great resource for blending and juicing for both newbies and veterans. It offers dozens of recipes for raw, fresh juices, blended drinks and homemade frozen treats made from these nutritious beverages.
So now that you know the pros and cons of blending and juicing, you make the choice….or why not do both?! And below are some awesome machines to get you started:
This is the juicer Joe Cross used in the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, and it’s ideal for first-time juicers. It’s a centrifugal juicer with an extra-wide 3-inch feeder chute that accommodates large pieces of fruit or vegetables, eliminating the need for chopping vegetables. You can buy it on Amazon here: Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus 850-Watt Juice Extractor
This juicer is easy-to-use and clean, and perfect for leafy greens. The Omega 8006 model is a masticating juicer, known as a low speed juicer, which protects and maintains healthy enzymes, prevents oxidation, and even turns nuts into nut butters. Check out the 4.5 star reviews on Amazon here: Omega J8006 Nutrition Center Juicer
The Blendtec is known for it’s sleek and sexy design. Very easy to clean, and it’s one touch “smoothie” button makes blending green smoothies super easy. Save even more money with the Reconditioned Blendtec. Both type of blenders offer a 3-payment plan option. Click on any of our Blendtec links, then enter your zip code at checkout to get free shipping.
The most affordable way to buy a high-speed blender with an awesome 5-8 year warranty is to buy the company refurbished blenders. Jen bought and uses the Reconditioned Vitamix. You can own one for $259 with free shipping. Buy it here: Reconditioned Vitamix.
Best blenders on a budget
Many people are happy with their Ninja Blenders. It’s a little tougher to blend kale to a smooth texture, but with a little pre-blend of just your leafy greens and water, it can be done. The newest Ninja blender now has a single serve blender option. Definitely a great starter blender that you can get on Amazon: Ninja BL660 Professional Blender with Single Serve
The single serve Nutri Bullet blender is great for a single person, or someone who needs a travel blender. My mother-in-law prefers this blender over the fancier blenders because of how easy it is to use. Just make sure when using a single serve blender, you adjust the recipes, since you won’t be able to fit a whole lot inside. Buy it on Amazon here: Nutri Bullet Hi-Speed Blender/Mixer System
**If you’re debating between the Vitamix vs Blendtec, check out our side-by-side comparison by clicking the link here: BATTLE OF THE BLENDERS: BLENDTEC VS VITAMIX
Do you juice or blend?
Share in the comments below if you juice, blend, or both. Let us know what machine you use too…