Juicer or blender – juice or smoothie?
We all know that we should be eating our five a day but it´s not always easy when we lead such busy lives. Grabbing a piece of fruit or veg for a snack instead of a chocolate biscuit to help get through that afternoon slump might take a bit of will power, but most would agree that it´s worth it.
We all know that we should be eating our five a day but it's not always easy when we lead such busy lives. Grabbing a piece of fruit or veg for a snack instead of a chocolate biscuit to help get through that afternoon slump might take a bit of will power, but most would agree that it's worth the effort.
Blending or juicing provides a great way to introduce all those nutrient-rich fruit and veg into our diet. But what is the difference between the two methods and what are the benefits?
Blenders work by liquefying whole fruit and vegetables at high speed, including the skin, pith and pips. This means the all the nutritional value of the fibre from the fruit or vegetables is contained in your soup or smoothie. The Kenwood kMix is a popular choice, and is available in multiple colours.
The blending process breaks the fibres apart making it easier to digest and allows your body to regulate the pace at which the sugars are released into the bloodstream. This avoids sugar spikes that the sweeter fruits produce.
Smoothies and soups made in a blender are more filling than juices and therefore a great way to start the day for breakfast or for a healthy replacement snack during the day.
Including all the fibre in your smoothie increases the volume, meaning you use fewer servings of fruit and veg - reducing the nutritious value compared to the same quantity of a juice.
Juicers extract the water and nutrients from fruit and vegetables by chopping with a flat blade, then spinning at high speed to separate the pulp, thus discarding all the indigestible fibre. One of the best selling juicers in the range is the Nutribullet, which is available in multiple colours.
Juicing breaks down fruit and vegetables, leaving you with their liquid and a high potency vitamins and minerals. Many believe that extracting juice can help ward off degenerative diseases, depression and illness. Juicing also extracts much of the fibre so you're left with lots of pure, hydrating liquid that can be absorbed more quickly into your bloodstream for a quick boost.
It can take a lot of veg and fruit to make one glass of juice, so without a doubt you will be getting more of these into your diet in one go. This can be very helpful especially if you don't really enjoy eating fruit and vegetables.
Juicing fruits can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, which can lead to energy loss and mood swings. Because they are so concentrated, juices can also be quite calorific, so be careful if you're watching your weight.
Juicing and blending tips:
- Follow the 60/40 formula (60% fruit, 40% leafy greens) when mixing ingredients for your green smoothie or juice. This will ensure it is not too bitter or sweet.
- Drink your juice or smoothie straight away or freeze it immediately. After 15 minutes light and air will destroy many of the nutrients.
- Use frozen fruit and ice to chill a smoothie*
- Add the liquid first and the ice last in a blender.
* A great way to chill your smoothie is to add ice or frozen fruit, but if you want a blender to crush it for you, you'll need a model with a powerful motor - for example the 900w Ninja Nutri
Leafy greens: spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, bok choy, water cress, pea shoots, swiss chard.
Vegetables: carrots, celery, beetroot, parsnips, radishes, broccoli, cucumber, fennel, courgettes
Fruit: bananas, mangos, berries, oranges, tomatoes, grapefruit, avocado, peaches, apples, pears, pineapple, grapes
Liquids: water, coconut water, coconut milk, almond milk
Flavours: ginger, turmeric, honey, mint, lime juice, lemon juice
Healthy boosts: chia seeds, hemp seeds, coconut oil, flax seeds, acai powder, cinnamon, spirulina, wheatgrass
Source: Food matters, Knowhow, Simple green smoothies