Smoothies and juices seem pretty similar—they’re colorful, delicious, and pack a lot of nutrients into a pretty palatable form—but there’s more than a few differences between them. Here’s what you need to know.
The Difference Between Juicing and Blending
Juicing and blending require different tools, and you end up with a different result at the end. For juicing, you need to invest in a juicer. Electric juicers are ideal unless you’re only planning to make orange juice. Hand squeezing juice, even from a lemon, isn’t easy and you miss out on a lot of the juice you could get with a motorized gadget. Smoothies require a blender.
- Juicing: Removes the pulp, so you’re left only with liquid.
- Blending: Turns every part of the fruit or vegetable into the thick drink.
Of course, you need to remove seeds, core apples, and peel oranges and other citrus fruit. There is some prep with both. You wouldn’t want to throw a whole kiwi in your smoothie or your juicer, fuzz and all. That might not end up being the best tasting juice. Of course, with that food you generally eat the skin of, like apples and cucumbers, you’ll have a little less prep.
Juices: Delicious but You Toss a Lot of Good Stuff
Homemade juice is full of nutrients. There’s no added sugar (unless you sweeten it yourself). You can combine fruits and vegetables, and it’s an easy way to get more servings of each. However, you’re missing out on fiber.
The positives of juicing are that you get a concentrated serving of vitamins and nutrients, it’s easier for your body to absorb the nutrients, and you’re getting the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables over something that has been overly processed and sitting on a shelf for weeks—fresh juices are also pretty refreshing.
The negative is that juices lack fiber. Fiber is essential for the digestive system. It also helps lower your risk of heart disease and helps control blood sugar levels. That faster absorption we just mentioned as a positive also means the sugar is absorbed faster too.
If you prefer juice, making fresh juice at home is healthier than buying juice in the store, which often has more sugar in it than soda. You’ll know it’s 100% fruit juice, and you’ll know exactly what ingredients went in it.
Smoothies: High Nutrients, High Fiber
Smoothies are popular as meal replacements. It’s because they contain a lot of much-needed nutrients and fiber that they make great breakfast or lunch alternatives. There is less waste when you put your fruits and vegetables in a smoothie. With juice, you’re feeding all of that pulp to your garbage disposal or tossing it in the trash.
When you’re blending produce into a smoothie, you’re getting all of the fiber from those fruits and vegetables. Not only that, but the fibrous parts of your produce contain antioxidants, which are good for your skin, heart health, and more.
Some people avoid smoothies simply because they don’t have the right blender to pulverize produce to a good consistency. Buying a blender like a Ninja or Magic Bullet will help you get smoother smoothies.