Juicing and blending have both become incredibly popular methods for getting more fruits and vegetables into your diet. But is it better to use a dedicated juicer or an all-in-one blender like the Vitamix? In this comprehensive article, we’ll compare juicers and Vitamix blenders across a number of factors to help you decide which is the best option for your needs.
Juicers are appliances specifically designed to extract the juice from fruits, vegetables, and other produce. They work by crushing and squeezing produce to separate the liquid juice from the solid fiber. Juicers come in a few main types:
- Centrifugal juicers: The most common and affordable type, centrifugal juicers grind produce using a fast spinning blade and then strain the juice through a mesh sieve.
- Masticating juicers: Also known as cold press or slow juicers, these crush produce through augers at slower speeds to get the maximum juice yield.
- Triturating juicers: The most high-end juicers that work at very slow speeds to extract juice delicately and efficiently.
- Citrus juicers: Designed specifically for juicing citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits.
In general, juicers are great for getting pure, concentrated nutrition and flavor from fresh produce. The juicing process removes nearly all of the fiber, leaving only the liquid parts behind. Juicers make it easy to consume large quantities of fruits and veggies quickly.
Vitamix is a popular brand of high-performance blenders. Vitamix blenders can juice fruits and vegetables, but they are better known for their exceptional blending abilities. The most notable features of Vitamix blenders include:
- Powerful motors – Vitamix blenders have powerful motors ranging from 2 to 5 horsepower for blending just about anything.
- Sharp blades – Aircraft-grade stainless steel blades pulverize ingredients in seconds.
- Large containers – Containers range from 32 to 64 ounces to blend multiple servings at once.
- Variable speed – Adjustable speed dials allow precise control over texture.
- Programs – Pre-programmed settings automate tasks like smoothies, hot soups, frozen desserts and more.
In addition to juices, Vitamix blenders can make smoothies, nut butters, flours, batters, frozen treats, purées, and more. The main difference from juicers is that Vitamix leaves all the fiber in, creating thick, full-bodied drinks and foods.
One of the biggest factors when choosing between a juicer and Vitamix is nutrition. Here’s how they compare:
Juicers remove nearly 100% of the fiber from produce, while Vitamix blenders retain all of the fiber. Fiber is an important nutrient that supports digestive health, heart health, weight management, and more. The table below shows the difference in fiber when juicing versus blending one apple:
|Juicing (8 oz juice)||0.5 grams|
|Vitamix (8 oz smoothie)||3.3 grams|
Winner: Vitamix retains significantly more fiber than juicing.
Juicing and blending provide slightly different nutrient profiles. Juices may contain more concentrated amounts of some vitamins and minerals. However, there are also essential nutrients directly attached to produce fiber that get lost in juicing. Vitamix helps retain more nutrients overall.
Winner: Vitamix preserves more nutrients, including fiber-associated nutrients.
Juices have slightly higher natural sugar content because the fiber has been removed. Vitamix smoothies have a bit less sugar due to the fiber balancing out the sugar. For people watching their sugar intake, Vitamix creates a beverage with a lower glycemic impact.
Winner: Vitamix smoothies contain less sugar than juices.
With the fiber removed, juices may be slightly lower in calories than Vitamix smoothies containing the same produce. However, both are nutrient-dense beverages that are great options for meal replacements or snacks.
Winner: Potentially lower calorie count for juices.
Bottom Line on Nutrition
While juices provide concentrated liquid nutrition from produce, overall Vitamix retains more fiber and nutrients in blended smoothies. Vitamix smoothies also have a lower glycemic impact due to fiber. For comprehensive fruit and vegetable intake, Vitamix blending is the winner.
Taste and texture preferences are also important factors when weighing juicers and blenders. Here’s how they compare:
Juices highlight the pure flavors of fruits and vegetables. They taste light and refreshing. The texture is thin and watery.
Smoothies made in the Vitamix have a thicker, creamier texture. Flavors are still robust but muted slightly by the fiber. Some find the thickness more filling and satisfying.
Winner: Taste and texture come down to personal preference. Juices are lighter and brighter, smoothies are richer and thicker.
Speed and Convenience
|Prep time||Chopping produce into small pieces||Cutting produce into chunks|
|Juicing time||Around 5 minutes for 16 oz||Around 1-2 minutes for 16 oz|
|Cleanup time||5-10 minutes scrubbing the basket||30 seconds to 1 minute rinsing or self-cleaning|
For time and convenience, the Vitamix is the clear winner. Its powerful motor blends most ingredients in under a minute with little prep needed. Cleanup is much faster than disassembling and scrubbing juicer parts.
Both juicers and Vitamix blenders represent significant upfront investments. Here’s how they compare:
|Centrifugal Juicer||$50 – $200|
|Masticating Juicer||$200 – $400|
|Vitamix Blender||$280 – $650+|
Masticating juicers and Vitamix blenders occupy a similar price range, while centrifugal juicers are more affordable. Vitamix offers financing options to help spread out payments over time.
Cost Per Use
When calculating the lifetime cost per use, Vitamix comes out ahead due to its versatility and durability:
- A Vitamix can replace both a blender and juicer
- Vitamix blenders come with long 7+ year warranties
- The powerful motors are built to last decades
- Vitamix machines retain excellent resale value
Over years of frequent use, a Vitamix provides excellent value for the investment. Juicers have a more limited lifespan, particularly affordable centrifugal models.
Some other considerations when choosing between a juicer and Vitamix include:
Juicers require more storage space for a dedicated appliance, whereas a Vitamix can replace a regular blender. Vitamix machines are bulky though.
Juicers and Vitamix both take up a decent amount of counter real estate. Vitamix machines are taller when upright but can fit under cabinets when laid down.
With their powerful motors, both juicers and Vitamix make noise when running. Vitamix blenders operate at higher speeds, producing more noise.
Juicers require large volumes of fresh produce to make normal serving sizes. You’ll go through produce faster compared to Vitamix recipes.
Vitamix excels at blending any ingredients together into smoothies and other recipes. Juicers can generally only process produce.
So is it better to buy a dedicated juicer or choose a versatile Vitamix blender? Here’s a quick summary of the key differences between the two:
|Nutrition||Concentrated nutrients and vitamins||More complete nutrition with fiber|
|Taste||Refreshing, light, bright juices||Thick, rich, creamy smoothies|
|Speed||Chopping and cleanup time||Ultra-fast blending|
For serious juice enthusiasts who want nutrient-packed juices made from large volumes of fresh produce, a dedicated juicer is the best choice. Masticating juicers provide the highest quality juice.
However, for most people looking to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables, the Vitamix is the winner. With its exceptional ability to blend produce into smoothies loaded with fiber and nutrients, convenience, speed, and versatility, the Vitamix is hard to beat.
Investing in a high-performance blender like the Vitamix rather than a juicer will give you more options for recipes and retain nutrition. But there’s still a place for juicing in moderation alongside blended smoothies and foods if you enjoy the light flavor and texture.