Friday, July 13, 2012

Smoothies vs. Juices. What's the difference?

Smoothie vs Juices.  What’s the difference?

Of all the questions I often get, this one has to be the most common. Closely followed by ‘do I start with buying a juicer or a blender?’ or ‘which is the best for my health?’ or ‘which is more filling, more soothing, more energizing, most tasty, takes least time to clean…’ etc, etc. So as you can see all of these questions belong in the same box and today I'm hoping to crack it open of you.

A Popular choice.
So, the most common is the blender. This machine consists of just a jug and a motor stand, is easy to use, easy to rinse, quick to put away and takes the least amount of time and effort. The juicer is a little more complex with various parts to it, so requires a little more time for assembly and cleaning.

Preparation and outcome.
A blender/ smoothie maker requires whole fruit and vegetables to go into the jug for whizzing up. The outcome is a smooth, creamy, thick and filling shake, equivalent to a meal. The juicer involves a liquid extractor and separates both the juice and the pulp into different compartments, so the outcome is a thin and liquidy drink, nutrient packed and more hydrating than filling. 

The fibre.
Since blending requires whole food, you are going to consume all of the fibre from whatever you are putting into your shake, while juicing takes this pulp/fibre away and you are left with just the liquid component. Fibre is important for elimination and if you’ve been consuming a ‘standard’ diet (don’t even get me started on SAD- 'Standard American/British Diet'), then you are likely to be in need of this fibre to help you move things along. ‘Regular’ is going after every meal, not once every couple of days, but the unfortunate fact is that pretty much all of what the majority of population consumes contains little to no fibre at all.

Nutrition density.
Let’s look at how much produce you’d require to get a pint of green smoothie versus a pint of green juice. [Pint is 1/2 Litre]. For the smoothie- you’d be looking at say 1 whole pear, 1 celery sprig, 2 kiwi fruits and a handful of spinach topped with pure water. If you were to take those ingredients (less the water) and extract the juice out of them, you’d be left with just over half a pint glass of juice, so naturally you’d be looking at adding more of the spinach, maybe another celery sprig, a cucumber, and already you have loaded the glass with almost twice the amount of nutrition.

Nutrition absorption.
The amount of nutrients in your drink is one thing, but whether you can properly assimilate and make the most out of them is another. If you’ve never done a detox, done one a long time ago or consume heavy or processed food on a regular basis, chances are your gut lining is going to be pretty polluted, would have a thick wall of toxins to get through and would require the fibre to clean it out before you can properly begin to absorb the goodness from your food. So smoothies may just be the answer for you. Once the system has been purified, you will not only get the best out of your food, you can consume juices and rest assured that they will travel to your bloodstream quickly and efficiently converting into all the energy you can handle!

The decision.
So the difficult (or perhaps easy) part is deciding which is for you. In my case, I love both and go by the mood, etc. I do tend to make more smoothies when I’m home as they fill me up and are quick to make. You’ll have to have a good think about which are right for you and your health based on the above, especially when you must decide on what investment to make first.

There’s also a HUGE difference between the machines. I explain further my personal favorite juicer and blender and why they are my favorites. 

THE JUICER.  Breville Juicer Juice Fountain features a patented micro-mesh filter that spins at over 14,000 RPM'S, separating the juice from the fiber and seeds of the fruit and vegetables to extract even more juice.  And if you’re in a hurry….This Juicer can juice an 8-ounce glass of juice in five seconds. For quick, easy clean up, all parts of this juicer are dishwasher safe except for the juicer motor. This juicer will receive up to 50% more juice than standard juicers, and have the ability to juice everything! Strawberries, Grapes, Citrus, Watermelon, Pears, Kiwi, Apples, Oranges, Grapefruit, Melons, Cantaloupe, Cherries, Pineapple, Carrots, Tomatoes, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, Fennel, Mangoes, Nectarines, Peaches, Pineapple, Plums, Raspberries, etc... Although this Breville juicer is not good for wheat grass, it performs very well getting 8-10oz of juice out of 1lb of anything that you run through it! This is one ultimate juicer, with fast juicing and easy cleanup making it one of our best juicers we’ve ever owned.

As for the blenders out there, the cheapo ones just swirl the produce around without releasing any of the nutrients to be available for assimilation, while the high powered blenders will break through the cellulose (wood like substance) which hold the precious chlorophyll and vitamins and make them available for us to digest.

You may probably know I am a massive fan of the Vitamix! I can’t even imagine a life without it- the smoothies, the nut shakes, the soups, the ice creams, salad dressings, sauces, pastes, cheesecakes, etc etc. So if I had to make a choice for you, I won’t even think twice on my answer. I know it’s pretty pricey though, but once you use it for the very first time, you’ll already know every penny has been worth it.

For now, here's another smoothie recipe for you to enjoy...

Green Machine Smoothie
1 pear
1 banana
3 kiwi fruits
3 handfuls spinach
2 tsp Vitamineral Greens
1-2 cup/s pure water

Blend in Vitamix and serve