Juice or smoothie? Which do you prefer? Personally, I love both. But I’ve been making a hybrid lately since my current needs require the two step approach to get the nutrients I need these days. More on that later.
You can google the difference between the two ways of making drinks from veggies and fruits and you’ll get consistent answers about the pros and cons. There is no arguing that there are benefits to drinking green drinks but the differences between the two are definitive. And my conclusion of which is better is, ‘it depends’ on what you are trying to achieve. I know that’s a cop out but which one you should drink really depends on what your health goal is.
I used to make smoothies and rice milk in my blender (affiliate) and green drinks too. It’s easy – just throw everything in the blender and blend away. A smoothie is hearty and it fills me up until lunch. I can also blend seeds, nuts, add frozen berries and even make frozen slushes or ice cream. Clean up is much MUCH easier with a blender than the million parts of a juicer. Just watch the sharp blades at the bottom of the blender (trust me. I’ve had my fingers nicked and sliced more than I want to admit) and you are done! A juicer is such a pain in the butt to clean!
But I recently dusted off my juicer (affiliate) and started juicing more. I started my kids on GAPS diet (more on that on future posts) for food allergies and Eczema and I needed to give them the nutrients that they need but make it gentler on their GI system so that they can digest easier. I didn’t want to give them all that fibrous bulk from veggies and all the foam filled with air that smoothies create. They love it better and I don’t have to chase them down to make sure they finish their veggie drinks.
But if you are still asking which better, read on.
Juicing vs. Blending? Which is better?
I had a serendipitous encounter on Twitter with the green juicing diva Crazy Sexy Wellness diva Kris Carr. She is my “shero” when it comes to green drinks. She is thriving from a rare cancer she has and her green juicing/blending has something to do with her phenomenal health. She let me use her pretty and informative infographic about the differences between juicing and blending and I am tickled green! She is the green drink ninjadiva. She has a cookbook too so check it out.
If you are trying to get the most nutrients in a little cup of powerhouse, you should juice. If you want “a meal” type of a drink that’s more filling, then, go for the smoothie. Both are packed with nutrients but smoothie will take you longer to digest with all the fiber you are drinking. But if you have digestive issues, then, you need to drink juice and not the smoothie. It’ll be gentler on your stomach.
What to juice and blend?
In general, you can juice or blend any veggies and fruits BUT there are better vegetables for juicing and blending. Some veggies don’t juice well. Stay with vegetables with high water content like cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, even broccoli for juicing. Obviously, hard root vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes don’t juice OR even blend well. So skip those. Beets are ok when you blend but you have to have a high power blender to blend. I love beets in my green drinks but the difficulty of juicing it was one of reasons why I started making the hybrid “smoothjuice”. Also, I can add seeds or nuts to my drinks too if I make smoothjuice.
Here is my latest smoothjuice recipe. Obviously, you can substitute with any veggies you’d like. But the important thing to remember is to vary the veggies. You shouldn’t drink kale or spinach everyday. Just like everything in food, everything in moderation AND add variety.
Clean all veggies well and scrub gently with a brush but don’t peel them if you don’t have to. Of course, check for dirty dozen and buy organic fruits and veggies if they are on the dirty list.
Karen’s Daily Green Smoothjuice
2 scrubbed and cleaned large carrots
1 celery stalk
1 cucumber (size of a kirby cuke)
1 med tomato
1/2 sweet pepper – red or yellow or orange
1 fruit – kiwi, orange, 1/2 cup of pineapple or 1/2 apple etc. Don’t add if you don’t want any sugar.
2 large dark leafy greens (i.e. kale, broccoli, swiss chard, spinach, etc)
Juice all the veggies and fruits (if using). Then, pour the juice into the blender, add seeds or nuts or any frozen fruits you want to add in the blender. (I buy organic frozen berries from Costco in the winter but now with fresh berries in season, I probably will juice the berries). I also add any oils at this point, like coconut oil, omega-3 fish oil, fermented cod liver oil, etc.
I hope you enjoy your smoothjuice!
P.S. You don’t need a super blender to make a smoothie. You can check out Ninja (affiliate) or Nutribullet (affiliate) that are smaller and powerful. The motor might not last as long and I’m not sure about their warrantees,