Can a blender be used as a juicer?

Blenders and juicers are both popular kitchen appliances that are used to process fruits and vegetables. However, they serve different purposes. Blenders are designed to blend solid foods into smooth purees or shakes. Juicers extract the juice from fruits and veggies while removing most of the fiber. So can you use a blender as a juicer? Let’s take a closer look.

How Blenders Work

Blenders use sharp blades at the bottom of the pitcher to finely chop and pulverize ingredients. The blades spin very fast, up to 300 mph in some models, creating a vortex that blends the contents into a smooth liquid or puree. Blenders are great for making smoothies, shakes, soups, sauces, dips and more.

How Juicers Work

There are a few different types of juicers. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Centrifugal juicers: These are the most common and affordable models. They use a rapidly spinning metal blade to grind ingredients against a mesh sieve. The centrifugal force separates the juice from the pulp.
  • Masticating juicers: Also known as slow or cold-press juicers. They crush and press fruit/veg to “squeeze” out the juice.
  • Triturating juicers: The most high-end and efficient. They have twin gears that rotate to extract juice without exposing it to heat or oxygen.

No matter the type, juicers are specifically designed to extract the liquid contents of fruits and veggies while leaving behind the fiber in a separate pulp container.

Key Differences Between Blenders and Juicers

Here are some key differences between blenders and juicers:

Blender Juicer
Leaves fiber intact Removes fiber
Makes thicker smoothies/purees Makes liquid juice
Best for smoothies, shakes, dips, etc. Best for extracting juice from produce
Requires added liquid to blend properly Does not require added liquid
Lower RPM speeds Higher RPM speeds
Less oxidation of ingredients Some oxidation can occur
Cleans up easily with soap and water Pulp can clog machine over time

Can a Blender Be Used as a Juicer?

While blenders and juicers are not interchangeable, you can make juice in a blender. However, there are some definite downsides to this approach:

  • You’ll need to blend for longer and strain the juice through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth to remove the fiber.
  • It will be a thicker, pulpier juice rather than a clear, pure liquid juice.
  • You’re more likely to experience foaming and separation of the juice.
  • It’s time consuming and messy to strain the juice.
  • You won’t get as much juice yield from produce compared to a juicer.

If you only want to make juice occasionally, don’t mind the extra steps, and can tolerate a pulpy texture, then using a blender as a juicer is doable. But for frequent juicing or a smooth, pulp-free juice, a real juicer is highly recommended.

Tips for Juicing in a Blender

If you want to try making juice in your blender, here are some tips:

  • Cut produce into small pieces so it blends more efficiently.
  • Blend produce with a little water or juice to get things moving.
  • Blend in batches and don’t overfill the blender.
  • Use a strainer bag and press out as much liquid as possible.
  • Mix different types of produce for better consistency.
  • Don’t blend too long or juice will get foamy and oxidized.
  • Chill juice quickly after straining for best flavor.

Best Fruits and Veggies for Juicing in a Blender

For the highest juice yields, stick to fruits and veggies with high water content. Some good options include:

  • Citrus fruits: Oranges, grapefruit, lemons
  • Melons: Honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon
  • Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
  • Pineapple
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Leafy greens: Spinach, kale, lettuce

Fruits and veggies with denser fibers like apples, carrots, beets and pears will be more challenging to juice and result in lower yields.

Should You Buy a Juicer or Use a Blender?

Here are some things to consider when deciding between a juicer or blender-strainer method:

Juicer Blender + Strainer
Cost $$$ – $$$$ $
Convenience Very convenient Time consuming and messy
Juice Quality Clear, smooth, fiber-free Thicker, pulpy, may separate
Juice Yield Very high Lower
Clean Up Pulp basket/bin to empty Blender pitcher and strainer to clean
Nutrients Minimal oxidation Some nutrient loss from heat/air

As you can see, dedicated juicers provide a much better experience compared to blender-strainer juicing. While blenders are cheaper, juicers will save you time and deliver higher quality, higher yield juice in the long run.

The Bottom Line

It is possible to make juice in a blender, but it will be thicker and pulpy compared to juice from a real juicer. You’ll need to blend produce and water, then strain out the fiber through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth. This can be time consuming and result in lower yields. For occasional juicing, a blender can work in a pinch. But for the best quality and experience, investing in a real juicer is recommended.

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