Juicing and blending are two popular ways to get more fruit and vegetables into your life. Both mean you have to invest in some equipment, both deliver up something to drink and both will improve your health.
But what’s the difference and if you have to choose one, how can you decide?
Below we take a look at juicing vs blending and why they aren’t the same. Apart from why they differ, we’ll make it easy for you to decide the best option…or if there is one.
What Is Juicing
Juicing is a process of extracting liquid from the fibers of raw fruits and vegetables. Whether done by hand (the hard way) or machine (a juicer), the result is a liquid full of vitamins and minerals. All solids are stripped away leaving you with pure juice and a strong flavor.
Fruit and vegetables get broken up one piece at a time with the juice separated from the pulp via a filter. Juice is a thin, non-aerated liquid with little or no fibrous pulp.
There are different types of juicers and which is best for you will depend on a variety of factors.
Masticating juicers crush and grind produce to slowly ‘squeeze’ the juice out. In contrast, centrifugal juicers cut and chop then ‘spin’ the juice out with centrifugal force. You can read more about centrifugal vs masticating here.
There are also specialty juicers like citrus juicers and steam juicers. These tend to be for a specific purpose, not everyday juicing of a variety of fruit and veg.
What Is Blending
Blending involves chopping and mincing ingredients until they combine, or blend, together. All the ingredients go in together and get blended at the same time.
Not only fruit and vegetables get used in blending. Other ingredients work too, including nut butters, milks, yogurt, nuts, powders and seeds. This gives a great range of options for being creative in flavor and nutrition.
Unlike juicing, there is no separation of pulp and liquid. Nothing is removed – all the fiber and pulp remain. Everything combines to give a creamy, aerated and thick drink, or ‘smoothie’.
To blend, you need a blending machine or blender. There are many sizes and styles to choose from. Some run at a higher power and these are the best to produce the smoothest drink possible. There is nothing worse than chunky bits in your ‘smoothie’.
Pros and Cons of Juicing vs Blending
A great way to think of juicing vs blending is this. Your mouth acts like a blender, chopping and chewing food all at once. In contrast, your stomach functions as a juicer. It filters nutrient dense liquid from fiber, sending the liquid one way and the fiber another.
Here is a great video with Joe Cross discussing juicing vs blending.
The main difference when comparing blending to juicing is pulp. For juicing it is removed, for blending it remains giving a juice versus smoothie.
To summarize, here are the key points between juicing and blending:
- pulp removed
- produces thin, non-aerated juice
- use a juicer – masticating or centrifugal
- no pulp removed
- produces thick, aerated smoothie
- use a blender
Removing only one thing (pulp) definitely makes a difference to texture. But how else does it matter? To help understand this, below are the pros and cons of juicing vs blending.
Pros of Juicing
- Nutrient dense – high concentration of vitamins, minerals and loads of micro-nutrients.
- No insoluble fiber – nutrients absorbed faster into bloodstream.
- Hard & fibrous produce – easy to extract nutrients from produce like carrots, apples, celery, beetroot.
- More servings – delivers more servings of fruit and veg per glass versus a smoothie.
Cons of Juicing
- Prep and cleanup – in most cases juicing requires more time in prep and cleanup.
- Blood sugar spikes – if only juicing fruits, the quick absorption can give rapid spikes in blood sugar. It is best to make sure you include lots of vegetables.
- Soft fruit and veg – juicers don’t handle these well and you can get waste e.g. berries, bananas, avocados, leafy greens.
Pros of Blending
- Insoluble fiber – makes smoothies more filling and reduces blood sugar spikes.
- Healthy additions – easy to add other ingredients to boost nutrition and flavor.
- Soft fruit and veg – easy to handle in the blender, including leafy greens.
- Easy prep and cleanup – throw everything in and cleanup is just a rinse of the jug.
Cons of Blending
- Sugar overload – easy to do this with smoothies, particularly if using sweeteners.
- Added liquid – necessary to get a good texture, but less fresh produce means not as many nutrients.
- Hard fruit and vegetables – most blenders will not be able to ‘smooth’ hard produce e.g. carrots.
Is Juicing or Blending Better?
Neither is bad. Both will increase your intake of fresh produce which is a good thing.
It is also possible to do both for different reasons.
But which is better for you depends on a couple of factors.
The first is texture. Some people don’t like the thick texture of smoothies and prefer the smooth liquid of juice. If the thought of pulpy smoothies makes you gag, stick with juicing.
Next, think about why you are considering juicing or blending in the first place.
Is it to lose weight? Fresh juices (particularly vegetable) are lower in calories than eating the whole fruit and veg. At the same time, they will inject a high dose of vitamins and minerals into your body. Juicing is the best choice for weight loss.
If you suffer from digestive problems, juicing will be more favorable. No fiber means that digestion becomes a lot easier.
Want to get more protein into your diet without eating meat? Adding protein powders and nuts to smoothies can help with this.
Adding more leafy greens and all the nutrition they have to offer is very easy with smoothies. Some juicers (these ones) can be used, but ‘green smoothies’ are better. Smoothies are also a great way to get leafy greens into kids.
Do you just want to get healthier? Then juicing or blending can help. Make sure to use lots of fresh produce, mix up your ingredients and make it a daily habit.
Juicing or Blending? – The Verdict
Juicing and blending both have their pros and cons. And both are worthy of inclusion in your diet for different reasons and at different times.
Juicing delivers a smooth, nutrient packed shot straight into your system. It is a great investment in your health. If you want to lose weight, increase energy, improve health or detox, then juicing is the way to go.
Blending can make adding extra nutrition and fiber to your diet super easy. Smoothies are great to improve your all round health and as a filling snack or breakfast.
If you choose to juice, you win. If you choose to blend, you win. So it’s a win-win, you can do both.