You’ve been just going about your business making your fruit and vegetable drinks in your blender, and feeling pretty good about it. Hey, they taste good and they are good for you! One day you start telling someone all about how you’ve been juicing, and how you love including bananas and sometimes avocados into your blended drinks.
As soon as you say those last words they stop you…”You say your juicing bananas and avocados?” You tell them, “well I blend them, but it’s the same thing right?” They go on to tell you that you aren’t juicing, and that those drinks your making aren’t juices. Those are smoothies, and your blending not juicing them.
You reply, that you didn’t know that, and ask them is there really that much of a difference?
YOU BET THERE IS!
This is one of the questions we get all of the time! In fact we have had many people tell us how they have been juicing or juice cleansing, and then go on to describe how they put the ingredients into their blender, and how much they love banana and avocado in them. It’s completely understandable to be confused. It’s not like their is a billboard hanging up in every neighborhood explaining the differences for you! 🙂
I decided to clear it all up! Let’s get started!
How Juice Is Made, And How Smoothies Are Made
Juice is generally made using a juicer, not a blender (although there are ways to make juice with a blender and I cover that later on). Blenders can include a Nutribullet, a Vitamix, a Ninja, or any other machine that blends all of the ingredients together without separating the pulp. These are not juicers! These make blended drinks or smoothies.
A juicer separates the juice and most of the nutrients from the pulp. The pulp left behind does retain some of the nutrients, but retains less and less depending on the efficiency of your juicer. If you are interested in finding out more about juicers, you can follow this link right here. That page covers which juicers are the most efficient, the pros and cons of the juicer types, and which one may be best for your specific needs.
Some say that %10 of the nutrients remain in the pulp after juicing, but this is just an estimate and again varies depending on your juicer. What’s left behind after being extracted from the pulp is a concentrate of liquid and straight up nutrition. This is what juice is.
So Why Juice If Some Of The Nutrients Remain In The Pulp?
When I first began juicing I was wondering the same thing. You are probably thinking since some of the nutrients remain in the pulp, that you might as well just blend and make smoothies instead of juices. It is a logical line of thought to follow since you would be getting everything inside of the vegetable and fruit, and not leaving any of it behind.
The thing is, you simply can’t get as many vegetables and fruits into one smoothie as you can in one juice. One glass of juice takes pounds of vegetables and fruits to make, and is incredibly nutrient dense compared to a blended drink (smoothie). I’m definitely not saying this is true with every single juice, and every single smoothie. Some smoothies (green smoothies especially) can be very nutrient dense, while some juices contain mainly fruit.
While fruit juices and fruit smoothies contain lots of nutrients compared to many other foods or beverages, they still don’t compare to their greener counterparts. Let’s check out a little bit about why, and see how green smoothies and green juices stack up to each other.
Green Smoothies Vs Green Juices
This is where some really big differences take place. Green smoothies are definitely great, and they are even more so great because people will actually drink them a lot. If you mix the right amount of fruit in, they taste pretty good, and on top of it you get a lot of fiber in you at the same time. If fiber is something you are needing in your diet, and you have a hard time getting it through eating enough vegetables or fruits, then green smoothies might work for you! They also contain more nutrition from the green ingredients inside.
People add all kinds of different ingredients to green smoothies, some of them which might not taste so great in a green juice. On top of this you can include ingredients like bananas, and avocados in them. You can’t really juice a banana or avocado through a juicer. You can get really creative and make some amazing and extremely healthy green smoothies!
As you can see i’m definitely not knocking green smoothies one bit, and I like them myself. In fact mixing green smoothies into our diet is a great way to keep things fresh, and get some nutritional goodies at the same time! What really separates green smoothies from green juices the most though, is the amount of nutrition that each of them contains.
Green Juices Are One Of The Most Nutrient Dense Beverages (Foods) On The Planet
When it comes to the amount of nutrients that are inside of a green smoothie compared to a solid green juice, there is a huge difference! Green juices generally speaking contain a whole lot more produce than green smoothies.
While some green smoothies may have a few leaves of kale or another green, some green juice recipes can have an entire bunch, or even two entire bunches of kale or something else! Even with the small amount of nutrients that may be left in the pulp we are talking about a huge difference here!
That little bit of juice that you see coming out of the leaf of kale, or many other of the leafy greens you juice is extremely rich in nutrients. It is literally an extract of many of the nutrients housed inside of the pulp.
Think of it like this. The pulp (fiber) is a housing for the liquid and nutrients inside. The fiber cells of a vegetable or fruit are like containers. Juicing extracts these liquids and nutrients by breaking open these containers. What pours out into your glass is some of the most nutrient rich stuff on earth!
Vegetables and fruits are good for us, but green vegetables, and especially leafy green vegetables contain some of the highest concentrations of nutrients. When making green juice you are using a lot of vegetables, and using fruit as a flavoring.
Some green juices don’t use any sweet kind of fruit at all, and instead rely on cucumber, or celery to water down the stronger flavors of the other ingredients. Some people come to love the flavor of greener juices (like me!), because they know how incredibly nutrient dense they are.
If you do your research you will find that on top of being a huge dose of multi-vitamin, green juices contain specific nutrients that cannot be found in any other food source. Among these are enzymes, and powerful antioxidants (phytonutrients) that only specific vegetables and fruits contain.
A smoothie contains some of this awesome stuff also, but I repeat…
Green Juice is one of the most powerful elixers of nutrition on the planet earth!
If that isn’t motivation enough to drink more, I don’t know what is!
Here is a little more though, just in case you need it.
The green juices that use less fruit contain less sugar, and much less calories than a green smoothie (unless that smoothie uses just as much green ingredients vs fruit also). This means that not only are these green juices lower in calories, but they contain more nutrients for less calories.
If one of your goals is healthy weight loss, then this is perfect for you. You can get a load of nutrients and not be taking in that many calories.
What About The Fiber?
There is a difference between the amount of fiber you will get from a smoothie vs a juice. Since smoothies blend up and include every part of a vegetable or fruit, you do get all of the fiber from these. If fiber is something you personally need more of in your diet, then smoothies may be a good option for you.
For most people If you eat a decent amount of vegetables and/or fruits on a daily basis you are going to get a load of fiber. It is even likely that a lot of you will get more than your body really needs.
One of the biggest reasons people have problems with not getting enough fiber into their diet is because the food of our modern world doesn’t have enough of it! Most people aren’t eating many vegetables and fruits, so when you hear all of this craze about getting enough fiber it is usually because people aren’t eating the right kinds of foods to begin with!
Eat more vegetables and fruits on top of juicing them and you should get plenty of fiber. Or if you want you can make smoothies, drink juice, and eat more vegetables and fruits! You can’t go wrong there!
I do want to something loud and clear, because I think this is a point of confusion for many…
YOU DON’T NEED FIBER IN EVERY SINGLE MEAL OR BEVERAGE YOU TAKE INTO YOUR BODY! 🙂
I know fiber is good for you, and we do need a certain amount of it, but way too many people act like your going to fall over dying if you don’t eat chunks of fiber constantly, or get it from every single meal you eat!
If you are concerned about this and want to be sure you are still getting some fiber, but really want to juice a lot more, then add some back into your juice. It’s that simple!
You can take some of the pulp that got separated from your juice, and stir it back in. Heck if you separate the pulp of each vegetable and fruit from each other as you juice it (masticating juicers make this much easier than centrifugal juicers) you can even choose the pulp from the specific vegetable or fruit that you add back in! 🙂
Fiber can be a good thing to get into your body, but focusing on the fact that juice doesn’t contain a lot of it is very much like not exercising because you sweat and lose water from your body. I assume that after or during your workout your planning on hydrating yourself by consuming some kind of liquid? You aren’t going to exercise, lose all of that water, and then never drink any liquid again right?
It’s the same with juicing. It doesn’t need to be your only source of consuming vegetables and fruits. You can also make smoothies, eat some, or as mentioned above stir some of the fiber back into your juice. Viola, problem solved!
There is one case where this is different, and where you actually don’t want to be consuming the fiber from your vegetables or fruits.
Do I Need Fiber During A Juice Cleanse?
If you’ve been coming to this site, or reading any of the articles from here for any period of time, you’ve probably come across Liisa or myself talking about juice cleanses. If you haven’t, not to worry. You can click the links below which will open in another tab, and then you can either read some of them now, or come back to read them once you are done with this article.
More Juice Cleanse Information– This is our category with many different articles about juice cleansing. To see all of them be sure to click next on the bottom of the page. There are multiple pages of articles there.
You don’t need or want fiber during a juice cleanse, and the fact is that doing a juice cleanse only lasts for a period of time. It’s ok if you don’t get fiber into your body for a period of time. It wont kill you! We have done several juice cleanses and are just fine!
Now if your health care provider has specifically said that you need more fiber in your diet, then you should talk to them about juicing before you begin. For the average person this most likely wont be a problem, but we do recommend that you should consider consulting your health care proffesional before doing an extended juice cleanse.
A lot of (but not all of) the benefits that you receive during a juice cleanse come from not taking in solid foods for a period of time. This gives your digestive system and many other systems in your body a break, which allows them to focus on other tasks. On top of this you are pouring large amounts of nutrients into your body for it to work with on these other tasks.
Among the benefits that people receive during a juice cleanse can include quick and healthy weight loss, cholesterol levels lowering and becoming normal, freedom from medications for many different health disorders, healing of health complications and disease, increased energy, glowing healty skin, and more!
Many people have received these benefits, and some of their stories are amazing! If you haven’t yet and are interested in juice cleansing, you should definitely watch a few of these stories which take place in a movie called Fat Sick and Nearly Dead.
You can also read my personal story about how I healed my psoriatic arthritis through a combination of juicing, diet, and lifestyle change if you are interested.
To sum this part up you don’t want fiber during your juice cleanse, because a lot of the benefits you receive during one come from not consuming any solids.
The Cost Of Juicing Vs Blending – (Juices vs Smoothies)
Generally speaking making smoothies is probably going to cost you less than making juices. It’s just a matter of fact, because you are using more ingredients in general to make your juices, and if you are going green some items can cost a bit more than others.
There are exceptions of course, and a lot of it depends on what ingredients your using in your juices and smoothies, and if you are purposefully trying to save money while putting them together.
For example right now where I live romaine lettuce is on sale for $.99 a head. Celery is around $1.50 a bunch or so, and I could get a few apples for pretty cheap also. You combine all of this and you have a pretty sizable green juice.
Finding items when they are on sale can save you some money, and juicing can be done on a budget, you just have to be mindful of how you go about it.
If I on the other hand am putting together a smoothie that is using costly ingredients like berries (which I know can be found on sale sometimes also, but generally speaking cost a bit more than other produce items) then the price of my smoothie may cost more, or at least be close to the same price as my green juice. In general though juicing will cost a bit more overall than blending.
I’m not saying it can’t be done, but if your goal is to juice a wide variety of green ingredients then it will most likely cost at least a bit more to make your juices vs your smoothies. Depending on your goals this might be worth it to you. I enjoy both juicing and making smoothies, so it really depends on my mood, what my goals are at any time, and my budget to decide which one I will have more of.
Short and Sweet Infographic About Juicing Vs Smoothies
You Said You Can Make Juices With A Blender, So How Do You Do It?
Before I answer this I want to say one thing. You will save a lot of time if you just buy a juicer to juice with! However, I completely understand that you may be on a budget, and a juicer just isn’t in it right now! If that’s the case, or you just want to make juices with your blender here we go.
What you will need:
- Your blender, a large container or pitcher, and a filter of some kind.
You can use a sieve, or a cheese cloth to filter the juice from the pulp. Some people get creative and use other things such as a panty hose, or old shirts. Be sure that if you do this to wash them first! The last thing you want to do is to be wringing out some dirty juice into a glass. Doesn’t that sound appetizing? Hahaha… I recommend going the sieve or cheese cloth route if you can.
#1. Blend all of the ingredients together.
#2. Then take your filter and place it over your container.
#3. Pour your blended ingredients through your filter. (Do this slowly, because if you don’t you might end up with a huge mess. If your using a sieve you can move it around over your container to get as much juice through as possible.)
- If you are using a cheese cloth or another cloth filter then you will need to squeeze it until as much of the juice is out of it as possible. This can be a little messy, so be prepared with paper towels or something to wipe up a possible mess. 🙂
Voila! You have juice!
Juices And Smoothies Are Both Healthy
I wanted to repeat that both juices and smoothies of are healthy, and can be included into your diet. They are just different. I hope this article helped to clear up any confusion about this, and if you have anything to add or any questions let us know!
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