Juicing Trend vs Smoothies

Blackberry, pineapple, strawberry, banana smoothie

Smoothies are cheaper and better for you

Juicing is not a new trend. It’s just caught the attention of lots of health nuts out there. Every time I hear about juicing I think of this episode of the Cosby show where the kids make a mess out of their juicer with grapes. We had a juicer too when we were kids. I also had this (political) uncle who was into juicing. He came over one time and made me some carrot juice. I was astounded at how many carrots it took to make a small glass. There was a period of a week when my Mom made us some fresh homemade juices, and then, just as it arrived, the trend was over.

I can’t help but feel nostalgic when this new trend hits my Facebook feed. Just last week my BFF and I went to pick up a juicer for her. I have cousins, friends, and Facebook acquaintances all juicing, but it wasn’t long ago that smoothies were the name of the game. I’m a big fan of smoothies myself, and decided to do a little research to find out if I should jump ship and fork over the dollars for a juicer.

Why juice?

The idea behind juicing is a good one. You can certainly eat up more fruits and veggies in a glass of juice than eating them. Plus you can make some awesome combinations that will help you get the vitamins out of veggies you don’t like to eat regularly. Throw some spinach in with strawberries and bananas and you can’t even taste the spinach. It’s a total win.Β  Cooking fruits and veggies can leach out most of the important nutrients, leaving you with only some of the benefits of having forced down those brussel sprouts. Stick those veggies in the juicer and you get all the vitamins. It’s a win!

Why not Juice?

The problem with juicing has always been three-fold. First of all the mess. The juicer we had as kids was a real pain in the tuckus to clean. You had to peel, skin, and pull out seeds, which took forever. Technology, however, has really taken that problem away. Modern juicers have an easy filter so you can just plop the fruit right in and voila–juice! They’re much easier to clean nowadays too!

The other two problems haven’t been solved by technology. First of all, it takes a good amount of fruit and veggies to make juice. So prepare to invest a significant amount of money in produce. That’s not a bad thing though. The juice does fulfill the sweet cravings in a healthier way. So you can just shift the cookies and candy money to your fruits and veggies. The other problem is the expense of the juicer itself. My BFF’s juicer, a Hamilton Beach, with a coupon, cost about $45, and they get more expensive with better features. I’ve heard of people spending an average of $300 on juicers, and some of the really super duper awesome ones can run you upwards of $2K!

The investment is really in yourself, and your health. If you know you’re not getting the fruits and veggies you should be, then it’s worth a little extra expense to make healthy lifestyle switches.

Smoother than a smoothie?

So what’s the difference between making smoothies and juicing? And which is actually better? I’m not surprised to discover that smoothies are actually better.

When you make a smoothie you can put anything in it. Protein powder makes a smoothie into a meal. Coconut oil turns a smoothie into a weight loss supplement. Anything you can imagine can be tossed into a smoothie and whirred away into a glass filled with vitamins and nutrients. Some vegetables hold most of their nutrients in the fibrous parts of them, including the skin, which you don’t get from juicing. The same flavor combinations can be achieved with smoothies, and you can blend them with other food groups to make a well-balanced glass of healthy.

The mess is a factor here. I’ve never actually seen someone put apples into a smoothie, but I imagine you’d want to peel and seed them first, which can be a serious PITA. The other two factors, however, are highly reduced. First of all you get more smoothie from less fruit, and the technology is much cheaper. You can use a regular blender, or, I love my emersion/hand blender ($17).

The one thing that is certain is that juicing is definitely for people who have texture issues with their food. If you don’t want blackberry seeds in your teeth, juice away. If you don’t mind the thickness, then grab a smoothie.

Here’s my favorite smoothie recipe for the smoothie pictured above:

6 strawberries

7 blackberries

1/2 banana

4 slices of pineapple

3 oz orange juice

3 oz. milk

1/2 small cup greek yogurt

Put it all in a glass and stick your hand blender in until you achieve your desired consistency. Add more OJ if you want to make it thinner. Add 1 tsp coconut oil if you want to curb your appetite for the rest of the afternoon.

 

 

What’s your vote? Juice or Smoothie?

 

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3 Comments

  1. I actually put apples in my smoothies XD Without peeling them, but obviously I take out the seeds. I have a simple single serve blender by Hamilton Beach, that does the trick. There are tiny bits of apple peel, but it’s no worse than the seeds left in a smoothie from berries πŸ™‚ Apple/pinepple/black raspberry is a great combo.

    I love the juicer trend too, because I won’t touch store bought juice — I should say “grocery store” bought. However, we don’t have a juicer right now, so I have to stay with the smoothies! My only issue with juicers is, since they do separate the pulp/seeds from the juice, you lose a lot of the fiber from fruit like apples πŸ˜₯ And goodness knows I love my fiber!

    Reply
  2. I had a whole thing typed up, and then wordpress tried to post under my word press account, in which I had made an account for Rags, so if that shows up, that was me.

    Anyway, because I’m lazy and the thought of typing all that over is daunting, I will sum it all up!

    I have put apples in my smoothies XD With the peel, but obviously with the seeds removed. It comes out quite fine! I only have one of those single serve hamilton beach blenders, and it does the trick. You get small pieces of peel, but it’s no worse than the seeds left in by some berries πŸ™‚ My favorite combo is apple/pineapple/black raspberry.

    As for “juicing”, I like it, but I just feel I lose a lot of the nutrients since the peel/pulp is separated. I like using the whole fruit and vegetable, so I’d definitely prefer smoothie over juicing.

    Reply
  3. Erica

     /  March 27, 2012

    I personally am a fan of smoothies. You’re absolutely right…with juicing, you lose out on some of the nutritional aspects of produce, but more than that you lose out on the fiber. Most of what you’re left with are the natural fruit sugars, which is fine when you eat them with the whole fruit (therefore getting more nutritional benefit that additionally helps to ward off the sugar spike). I also love putting yogurt in smoothies because the fruit completely masks the taste…I won’t eat it any other way, I find yogurt so revolting.

    Just a note about “textured” smoothies. Yes, of course you can make a smoothie with any blender, but if this is something you really want to invest in, the high-powered ones available are truly amazing. I have a Vitamix (I think I paid $700, but it also comes with a 10-year warranty), and it is magic. The blade speed is so much faster than your average commercial blender, so it takes whole fruit and completely pulverizes it. And yes, I mean whole fruit. When I put an apple in there, I just cut it into halves or quarters…leave the skin, leave the seeds, leave the core. It gets completely ground up. I’ve made fresh, completely creamy peanut butter just by throwing a handful of nuts in; I’ve made my own whole wheat flour by throwing in the whole seeds/rice.

    Just food for thought. I’m a very picky texture-eater: I don’t approve of solids in my liquids! With the right equipment, if you can justify the expense, smoothies can be just as smooth and infinitely healthier than juices (always thicker, though).

    And clean up, if you do it right away, consists of nothing more than putting some detergent in the blender with hot water and whirring away. πŸ˜€

    Reply

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