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Is it better to juice in a blender or juicer?

Juicing has become an increasingly popular way to get more nutrients into your diet. By extracting the juice from fruits and vegetables, you can consume the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants without all of the fiber. This makes it easier for your body to absorb the nutrients quickly. But when it comes to juicing, should you use a blender or a juicer? There are pros and cons to both options.

How Blenders and Juicers Work

First, let’s look at how blenders and juicers actually work to turn whole fruits and vegetables into juice:

Blenders

A blender uses fast-spinning blades to finely chop and purée fruits and vegetables. This breaks open the cell walls to release the juices inside. The end result contains all of the fiber along with the juice in a thick, smoothie-like beverage.

Juicers

A juicer extracts the juice by squeezing or grinding fruits and vegetables. This separates the liquid juice from the solid fiber. The pulp is discarded and you’re left with a smooth, fiber-free juice.

Nutrition

One of the biggest differences between juicing with a blender or juicer is the amount of fiber that ends up in your juice. Here is a comparison:

Blender Juice Juicer Juice
Contains insoluble and soluble fiber from the pulp Contains very little fiber since pulp is discarded

Fiber provides many health benefits including improved digestion and heart health. However, the fiber can slow down your body’s absorption of the nutrients in juice. Juice without fiber is absorbed into your bloodstream quickly.

Convenience

In terms of convenience, blenders have a slight edge over most juicers:

  • Blenders are typically easier to clean with fewer parts and surfaces.
  • Blending is quick and simple with minimal prep and clean up.
  • Blenders can make juices and other foods like smoothies, dips, and soups.

Juicers have some convenience factors as well:

  • Some juicers have a wide chute that allows bigger pieces of produce to be used.
  • There is no need to chew or digest the solid fiber found in blended juices.
  • The juice extracted can be stored for a couple days in the fridge.

Time

Juicing takes more time with a juicer compared to a blender. Here are some timing comparisons:

Blender Juicer
Prep time 1-2 minutes 3-5 minutes
Juicing time 30-60 seconds 2-5 minutes
Cleanup time 1-2 minutes 3-5 minutes
Total time 2-4 minutes 8-15 minutes

As you can see, juicing with a blender is significantly faster. The prep work is minimal, it juices very quickly, and there is less cleanup. Juicers require more prep time, juice at a slower pace, and have more parts to clean.

Oxidation

Oxidation is a concern when juicing. Exposure to oxygen can damage nutrients in juice and cause it to spoil faster. Juicing methods impact oxidation in a couple key ways:

  • Blenders whip lots of air into the juice, exposing it to more oxygen.
  • The fiber in blended juices acts as a barrier to oxygen, providing some protection.
  • Juicers minimize oxidation by squeezing out juice quickly while separating it from the fiber.

Most experts agree that juicers produce juice with slightly less oxidation. However, both methods will lead to quality juice if consumed shortly after juicing.

Yield

Juicers remove the fibrous pulp from fruits and vegetables, leaving only the liquid juice. This allows you to extract more juice from your produce. Here is a comparison of approximate yields from 1 pound of produce:

Blender Juicer
Carrots 1 cup juice 2-3 cups juice
Apples 1 1⁄4 cups juice 2 1⁄4 cups juice
Spinach 3⁄4 cup juice 1 cup juice

As you can see, juicers extract about 1.5-3 times more juice from produce compared to blenders. This gets you more juice from the same amount of fruits and vegetables.

Easy of Use

Here is a comparison of blenders and juicers in terms of ease of use:

Blender Juicer
Assembly Very easy More parts to assemble
Prep work Minimal More chopping usually required
Juicing Add ingredients and blend Need to push produce through chute
Cleanup Quick rinse of container Multiple parts to rinse/scrub

Overall, blenders provide a very easy, user-friendly juicing experience for minimal effort. Juicers require a bit more work when it comes to prep, juice extraction, and cleanup.

Cost

Blenders are available at a wide range of price points, often less expensive than juicers. Here are some examples of blender and juicer prices:

Blender Juicer
$30 – $50 basic model $80 – $400 centrifugal models
$100 – $200 mid-range model $300 – $500 masticating models
$300+ high-power model $400+ twin gear models

As you go up in price, blenders gain more power and features while juicers gain more efficiency and juice yield. For occasional juicing, an affordable blender can work well. frequent juicing calls for a higher-end investment in either appliance.

Noise

Blenders and juicers both make noise when running, but blenders are significantly louder. Here is how the noise levels can compare:

Blender Juicer
Noise level 80-95 decibels 60-80 decibels
Quality High-pitched grinding Low hum or whirring

The high-speed blades make blenders extremely noisy when running. Juicers produce less noise thanks to slower rotating motors and gears. If you need to juice early in the morning or don’t want to disturb others, a juicer may be the quieter choice.

Types of Juicers

If you decide to invest in a juicer, there are a few main types to consider:

Centrifugal Juicers

Centrifugal juicers are the most common and affordable option. They grind produce using a rapidly spinning blade and strainer basket. These are quick and easy to use but produce slightly lower juice yields.

Masticating Juicers

Masticating juicers crush and press produce to extract juice. They operate at slower speeds but higher torque. This results in higher juice yields and less oxidation. They can juice leafy greens effectively.

Triturating Juicers

Triturating juicers, also known as twin gear juicers, have two interlocking gears that grind produce. They run at the slowest speeds but produce the highest yields with minimal oxidation. They are the most efficient for greens.

Citrus Juicers

As the name implies, citrus juicers are specially designed for juicing oranges, lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits. They extract more juice with less waste than standard juicers.

Pros and Cons of Blenders vs Juicers

Here is a summary of some of the key pros and cons when comparing blenders and juicers:

Blender Juicer
Pros – Quick and easy
– Minimal prep/cleanup
– Retains fiber
– Makes smoothies and other foods
– Extracts more juice
– Faster nutrient absorption
– Less oxidation
– Juice can be stored 2+ days
Cons – Less yield from produce
– More oxidation
– Have to chew fiber
– Juice only
– Slower process
– More prep and cleanup
– Discards fiber
– Lower nutrient absorption

Bottom Line

So when it comes down to it, should you use a blender or juicer? Here are some bottom line considerations:

  • If you want to occasionally make fruit/veggie juices, a blender is quick, easy, and affordable.
  • For frequent juicing or for leafy greens like kale and spinach, invest in a high-end juicer.
  • Get a citrus juicer if you mainly want to juice lemons, oranges, grapefruits, etc.
  • Choose a blender if you want to make smoothies and juices or don’t mind the fiber.
  • Juicers are best if you want higher yields and quicker nutrient absorption.

Both blenders and juicers can produce healthy, delicious juices. Evaluate your own needs and priorities to decide if a blender or juicer is the better choice for your lifestyle!