Monday, January 21, 2013

Juicer vs. Blender

I've been making my own juices and smoothies for just about a year now, and I am often asked which is better to use, a juicer or blender.  Here is some information that I have learned over this past year that may be helpful for you.

Juicer - I use the Omega VRT

A juicer is great to extract all of the nutrients from fruits and vegetables.  The pulp (fiber) is extracted and you are left with the juice.  The juice is quickly absorbed into your system, so be careful if you are sensitive to sugar and you juice fruits high in sugar content, you will want to water those down before drinking.   You can also add back a little of the fiber to slow your digestion of the juice.  This is a phenomenal way to get your nutrients from vegetables.  With a masticating (or chewing) juicer, you can easily juice greens and get the nutrients that work to balance the pH in your stomach and aid your cell regeneration in your body.  If pure greens taste too "green" then juice your favorite sweet fruit with it to brighten the taste.

But there is more to juicers than the extracted juice.  You can use the pulp!   You can add the pulp to your baking recipes or add it to your soup stock.  It is just plant and fiber so works like rice and oatmeal to help fill you up.   Your body takes longer to digest it, so you stay satisfied longer.
I feed it to my dogs.  I mix in a 1/2 cup of pulp to a 1/2 cup of dog food.  Dogs need the nutrients just like we do.  If your dog ate straight dog food everyday, it's like us eating straight processed food.  No good!  My dogs love to eat the veggies that they would naturally seek out of my garden.  They also get my salad scraps. :)

You can make your own nut milk using a juicer.  Pre-soak the nuts for about an hour and rinse using filtered water.  Then in a container filled with 1 part nuts and 2 parts filtered water, slowly pour this into your juicer.   All of these juices and milks last about a week in the refrigerated if you put them in a sealed container.

Lastly you can use it to make "ice cream".  You can freeze your fruit and then run it through the juicer using the fine mesh strainer.  What comes out is very creamy.  It's a bit messy so it's fun to make as well. 

Blending - I use the Ninja

Blending is nice because it uses the whole plant.  It is a little easier to clean than the juicer and you don't have to store the pulp.  You drink it!  I definitely ingest more fruits and veggies than I juice so often I make my own juice to add to my smoothies.  Also, the smoothies take on the consistency of the fruit so you need to be wary of that while making your smoothie.
For silky smooth smoothies:  bananas or avocados
For thick smoothies: apple or pear
For thin smoothies:  berries
I love adding a handful of a leafy green to my smoothies.  They blend in so well, you barely know they are there!   If you are feeling adventurous, try blending a salad with tomatoes...add a little Tabasco and you get a Bloody-Mary without the vodka!  

My blender is not powerful enough to blend seeds, so when I do raspberries, strawberries, etc, those little seeds will be in the bottom of my glass.  More powerful blenders like the Vitamix or Blendtec will take care of the seeds.

Blending is also useful when you want to add things to your smoothies like superfoods, protein powders, nutritional yeast, etc.   You can also whip up some whole food soups and salsas with your blender.

So as you can see I use both my blender and juicer fairly regularly. There are so many things you can do with them both.

Now go make something yummy! 

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