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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.  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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