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Should I juice with blender or juicer?

Juicing has become an increasingly popular way to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet. With the array of juicers and blenders on the market, it can be tough to decide which is best for your needs. This comprehensive guide examines the pros and cons of juicing with a blender versus a juicer to help you determine which is right for you.

What is Juicing?

Juicing refers to the process of extracting juice from fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens. A juicing machine separates the liquid from the solid fiber. The resulting juice contains most of the vitamins, minerals, and plant chemicals from the produce with less of the fiber. This allows you to consume a concentrated dose of nutrients.

Juicing makes it easier to ingest large quantities of produce that you may struggle to eat whole. It also breaks down produce to make the nutrients more bioavailable. This means your body can more easily absorb and utilize the vitamins and minerals.

There are some downsides to removing fiber from produce. Fiber helps regulate digestion, promote satiety, and feed the healthy bacteria in your gut microbiome. Still, juicing can be a nutritious addition to a balanced diet, especially when you juice produce with healthy fats and protein.

Blenders vs. Juicers

So should you buy a blender or a juicer? Both have pros and cons.

Blenders liquefy the entire fruit or vegetable, including the skin, seeds, and fiber. This makes a thick, smoothie-like beverage. Juicers, on the other hand, separate the juice from the solids, resulting in a thinner, more concentrated liquid.

Here is a comparison of blenders and juicers:

Blender Juicer
Pros
  • Retains fiber from produce
  • Versatile for making smoothies, purees, etc.
  • Typically cheaper than juicers
  • Extracts more juice and nutrients
  • Concentrated juice with less fiber
  • Juice has longer shelf life
Cons
  • Lower juice yield
  • Juice has shorter shelf life
  • Can’t juice leafy greens and herbs
  • Removes beneficial fiber
  • Not as versatile as blenders
  • Typically more expensive

As you can see, blenders are great for making smoothies and shakes, while juicers are better for extracting concentrated juice with more nutrients. Now let’s look closer at the pros and cons of each option.

Benefits of Juicing with a Blender

Blending produces a smoothie-like beverage while retaining all of the fruit or vegetable fiber. Here are some of the benefits of juicing with a blender:

Keeps Fiber Intact

Fiber offers many health benefits including improved digestion, heart health, and stable blood sugar levels. Blending keeps the fiber intact, allowing you to get both the nutrients and fiber from your produce.

Versatile

You can use a blender to make juices, smoothies, purees, nut butters, batters, and more. With a few accessories, some blenders even allow you to chop, grind, and mill ingredients. Juicers, on the other hand, are typically only designed for juicing.

Juices Leafy Greens

Blenders are great for juicing leafy greens like kale and spinach. The blender pulverizes the tough greens and breaks down the plant cell walls to release nutrients. Juicers often struggle when juicing greens.

No Wasted Produce

Juicers separate liquid from solids, meaning you miss out on using the fiber-rich pulp in recipes. Blenders use the entire ingredient, reducing food waste.

Budget-Friendly

You can find affordable blenders for under $50. High-end blenders still cost significantly less than most juicers. Juicers with advanced nutrient-extraction technologies can cost over $400.

Easy Cleaning

Most blenders consist of a pitcher, lid, and blades that you can quickly rinse or throw in the dishwasher after use. With some exceptions, juicers often have a more involved cleaning process.

Downsides of Juicing with a Blender

While blenders have some advantages over juicers, they do have a few drawbacks when it comes to juicing:

Lower Juice Yield

Blenders produce a lower yield of juice compared to juicers. Expect around 12-14 oz of juice per pound of produce blended versus 16 oz or more per pound of produce juiced. You may need to use more produce to get the same amount of juice.

Shorter Shelf Life

The juice from blenders has a shorter shelf life of just a day or two since the fiber content causes separation. Juice from a juicer can last 3-5 days.

Can’t Juice Herbs

Blenders aren’t effective at juicing herbs like parsley, cilantro, and basil. The blender won’t fully break down the herbs, resulting in unpleasant green flecks in your juice.

May Cause Gas and Bloating

The high fiber content in blended juices may initially cause gas, bloating, and digestive issues if your body isn’t used to consuming that much fiber, especially from raw produce.

Benefits of Juicing with a Juicer

Now let’s look at some of the advantages of using a juicer:

Maximizes Nutrient Extraction

Juicers are engineered to efficiently extract juice and nutrients from produce. Specialized juicers like twin gear and cold press models generate high juice yields and preserve heat-sensitive vitamins.

Concentrated Nutrition

The juice from juicers contains concentrated amounts of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytonutrients from produce without the fiber. This allows for quick nutrient absorption.

Juices Leafy Greens and Herbs

Juicers effectively break down tough greens like kale as well as leafy herbs to produce a smooth, pulpy juice. Blenders often struggle with herbs.

Longer Lasting Juice

The juice from a juicer can last up to 72 hours in the refrigerator since there is less separation from fiber. Juice made in a blender only lasts for about 24 hours.

Higher Antioxidant Levels

Studies show juice from a centrifugal juicer had 10-15% higher antioxidant levels than juice from a blender. The juicer extracted more antioxidants like flavonoids.

Can Juice Wheatgrass and Sprouts

Wheatgrass and sprouts require the grinding and crushing action from a juicer to break down their tough cell walls. Blenders aren’t able to effectively juice these ingredients.

Downsides of Juicing with a Juicer

While juicers have some clear advantages, they do come with a few downsides:

Removes Fiber

Juicers strip away the fiber from fruits and veggies. This makes the nutrients more bioavailable but requires you to find alternate sources of fiber in your diet.

Produce Waste

You miss out on using the pulp leftover after juicing for recipes. The pulp contains fiber, protein, and some nutrients.

Time Consuming to Juice and Clean

It takes more time to juice produce in a juicer compared to tossing ingredients in a blender. Juicers also have more parts that require cleaning after each use.

Oxidation and Nutrient Loss

The heat and oxygen produced while juicing causes some nutrient loss through oxidation. Blending minimizes this issue.

Expensive

Juicers are a pricier investment than most blenders. Expect to spend at least $100 for a decent juicer, with high-end models costing over $400.

Choosing the Best Machine

So should you buy a blender or a juicer? Here are a few key factors to consider when deciding:

Types of Ingredients

If you plan to juice mostly hard fruits and veggies like apples, carrots, and beets, a juicer is likely the better option for extracting higher yields. For leafy greens and herbs, blenders and some juicers can both work well.

Fiber Needs

Are you getting enough fiber from other sources in your diet? People who require more fiber may benefit from juicing with a blender. Those looking to limit fiber or suffering from digestive issues may prefer a juicer.

Convenience and Cleaning

Blenders are generally quicker and easier for juicing on-the-go. Juicers require more prep work and involved cleaning. Choose a blender if you’re short on time.

Budget

Inexpensive blenders can be found for under $50, making them the budget-friendly choice. Expect to pay over $100 for a decent juicer, with high-end models costing $400 and up.

Best Blenders for Juicing

If you decide a blender is the right juicing machine for you, here are some top options to consider in different price ranges:

Blender Price Key Features
Ninja Professional Blender $99 1100 watts, total crushing blades, 64 oz pitcher
Blendtec Classic 575 Blender $279 1560 watts, Wildside+ jar, 6 pre-programmed cycles
Vitamix 5200 $449 2+ HP motor, aircraft-grade blades, variable speed
Cleanblend Commercial Blender $199 1800 watt motor, BPA-free jar, 8-year warranty

Best Juicers for Juicing

And if a juicer seems to align more closely with your juicing needs and preferences, here are some top-rated models to consider:

Juicer Price Key Features
Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain $149 850 watts, centrifugal juicing, 2 speed options
Mueller Austria Juicer $69 1,100 watts, 3″ feed chute, stainless steel blades
Tribest Slowstar Slow Juicer $499 200 watts, masticating cold press, duo blade
Omega NC900HDC Juicer $379 2 HP motor, 5 adjustable settings, dual-stage extraction

Conclusion

Both blenders and juicers have their pros and cons for juicing. Blenders retain valuable fiber and are more budget-friendly and versatile. Juicers extract higher juice yields with more concentrated nutrition but remove fiber. Consider your ingredients, budget, and lifestyle to choose the best juicing machine for you.

Focus on buying organic, quality produce and drinking your juice shortly after making it to maximize nutrients. Enjoy experimenting with juice recipes and cheers to healthier habits!