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 whole fruits and veggies into smoothies and purees. Juicers extract the liquid juice from produce, leaving behind the fiber-rich pulp. While you can make juice in a blender, there are some disadvantages to using a blender instead of a proper juicer. In this article, we’ll compare blenders and juicers and look at the pros and cons of using a blender as a juicer.
How Blenders and Juicers Work
First, let’s take a look at how blenders and juicers work:
Blenders use fast-spinning blades to finely chop and pulverize ingredients. The blades are positioned at the bottom of the blender jar andspin at high speeds to liquefy contents. Blenders are designed to blend whole fruits, veggies, ice, dairy, nuts, and more into smooth purees. The resulting smoothie contains all the fiber from the produce.
Juicers work by crushing produce and then separating the juice from the pulp. There are a few different types of juicers:
- Centrifugal juicers have a spinning blade that grinds produce. The juice gets filtered through a strainer while the pulp stays behind.
- Masticating juicers use an auger to crush and press produce. The juice gets squeezed out while the pulp remains.
- Citrus juicers are manual presses designed specifically for juicing citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits.
Juicers extract the liquid parts of fruits and veggies, leaving behind the fiber-rich pulp. The resulting juice contains vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients without the fiber content.
Pros and Cons of Using a Blender as a Juicer
Now let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of using a blender instead of a true juicer:
- Convenience: If you already own a blender, it can be more convenient to use it to make juice than having another appliance.
- Cost: Blenders are generally less expensive than buying a dedicated juicer.
- Simplicity: Juicing with a blender is very simple. Just add your ingredients and blend!
- Fiber: Smoothies made in a blender contain all the beneficial fiber from the whole produce used.
- Versatility: Blenders can be used to make many recipes beyond just juice, like smoothies, dips, purees, batter, etc.
- Pulp: Blender juice will contain pulp that gives it a thicker, less juice-like consistency.
- Oxidation: Spinning blender blades introduce air, causing juice to oxidize faster.
- Heat: Friction from blending can heat and damage nutrients in juice.
- Small batches: Blenders have smaller capacities than most juicers, requiring juicing in multiple batches.
- Difficulty: A blender may not fully break down tougher produce like celery or kale.
- Cleaning: Blenders often require more cleaning since the pulp is not automatically separated.
Juicing Tips for Blenders
If you want to use your blender as a juicer, here are some tips to help make it more effective:
- Cut produce into small pieces before adding to the blender. This helps the blender break it down.
- Add some liquid like water or coconut water to help liquefy the juice.
- Juice soft fruits and veggies first, then add tougher items like kale or carrots.
- Use a fine mesh sieve to strain out excess pulp for a smoother juice.
- Don’t overfill the blender jar to prevent overflow and leakage.
- Stop and stir periodically to keep ingredients moving through the blades.
- Blend in short pulses rather than continuously to minimize oxidation.
- Serve juice immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Best Fruits and Veggies to Juice in a Blender
Some fruits and vegetables are better suited for juicing in a blender. The best options include:
These fruits and veggies have high water content and tend to break down more easily in a blender. Produce like carrots, beets, and ginger may require a little more pre-chopping before adding to a blender.
Blender vs Juicer Nutrition
One of the biggest nutritional differences between blending and juicing is fiber content. Here’s a comparison:
|Fiber||Contains all fiber||Removes most fiber|
|Calories||Higher in calories||Fewer calories when fiber is removed|
|Vitamins & Minerals||Contains nutrients from whole produce||Juice contains most vitamins and minerals|
|Enzymes||Blending may damage some enzymes||Pressing protects heat-sensitive enzymes|
|Texture||Smooth and thick||Thin, light, and watery|
|Satiety||More filling due to fiber||Does not fill you up as much|
While juicers remove beneficial fiber, blenders retain all the nutrients from whole pieces of produce. But juicers may be better at protecting delicate vitamins, enzymes, and phytochemicals that are damaged by blending.
Is it Worth Investing in a Juicer?
Whether or not you should buy a dedicated juicer depends on a few factors:
- How often you plan to juice: If juicing will be an occasional thing, a blender may suffice. For daily juicing, a juicer is worth the investment.
- Types of produce you want to juice: Juicers can extract juice from leafy greens and tough vegetables better than most blenders.
- Your nutrition priorities: Juicers are better for carb restriction like keto where fiber needs to be limited. Blenders retain fiber.
- Your budget: Juicers range from $50-$400+ for high-end models. You can spend less by using a blender.
- Counter space: Blenders take up less space. Juicers require room for the appliance and pulp container.
- Time: Juicers can juice faster than cleaning and re-blending in a blender.
For maximum juicing benefits and efficiency, a quality juicer is the better investment if it fits your lifestyle and budget.
While it is possible to make juice in a blender, using a dedicated juicer is a better option if you want to juice frequently. Juicers efficiently separate pulp and yield a higher volume of pure, quality juice compared to blenders. But for occasional juicing, blending can get the job done, especially if you don’t want to buy another appliance. Choose based on your personal preferences and juicing needs.
Focus on making primarily vegetable juices over fruit juices to get the most health benefits without excess sugar. Drink your juices shortly after making them to maximize nutrient retention.