blending

To Juice Or To Blend – That Is The Question


The other day I was involved in a discussion comparing juicing to blending (aka smoothies) and which was best. I carefully considered both points of view and for me personally, I felt that blending was better. Let me tell you how I came to this conclusion and what thoughts I’ve had since that are maybe challenging my opinions.

I used to juice A LOT ! And I mean every day. I was a fruit-juice-aholic for a good couple of years about 7 or 8 years ago. My favourite juice involved apples & oranges with various other inclusions such as strawberries, melon or blueberries. I loved the creaminess that the pith of the oranges gave to the juice, and the juice was always a taste sensation, no matter what went into it. At the time I was struggling with irritable bowel issues and thought that juicing would help ease the symptoms by cleansing my colon. I think I would’ve juiced even more, had I not found the whole thing quite expensive, as you pack a helluvalot of fruit/veg into a single juice drink.

So the discussion the other day got me to thinking why I prefer blending my fruits & vegetables these days, and I argued that it was firstly so I didn’t lose all the fibre that is contained in the peel and the internals of the fruits & veggies, but secondly I argued that a lot of the nutrients were contained in or just beneath the skin of fruits, so I didn’t want to waste that. After having done some more reading into this, I still believe both these points to be true, but maybe juicing does actually extract the nutrients more than I thought, as it literally pushes all the goodness out of the produce, just leaving the fibrous pulp behind.

Since then I’ve been thinking about juicing more, and how lovely it is, the smooth, fresh juice, not a lump or bit of stringy pith in sight, so so pure. So what’s a girl to do when she longs after those juicing days again? JUICE! That’s what!

So today, I thought I’d make the most simple juice of all out of 2 small apples, 2 large carrots, an orange and half a lemon. Only the orange and lemon were half-peeled before being added to the juicer (I like some of the bitterness of the citrus peel to come through in the juice), and what I got was a sumptuous, deeply coloured juice, that tasted out of this world. Here it is.

But then I saw all the leftovers sat there, looking so colourful and perfectly finely shredded. I put them on the scales and weighed them. Guess how much? An unbelievable 300g (11 oz) of ‘waste’ to produce one 300ml drink!!! I felt uncomfortable at the thought of disposing of all this amazing fibre and vitamins. I pondered over them then thought, wait a minute, I can use these. So I modified one of my clean cake recipes and produced a lovely carrot and orange cake, using up almost all the ‘waste’ from the juicing. So I still get all my vitamins AND my fibre! Win win!

So maybe my opinion of juicing has shifted from being a somewhat wasteful process that loses lots of valuable fibre and nutrients, to one that embraces the whole of the foods and tries to use them in a way that gains the very most out of them. Maybe juicing offers the best of both worlds. I think if you can use all parts of the fruits & vegetables that you juice then you truly are getting one hell of a nutritious deal. I’ve watched a few YouTube videos of juicing recipes and juicer reviews, and the great thing is that you can literally put the whole fruit or vegetable in the juicer. No need for peeling. Even the seemingly tough outer of a pineapple can be just put straight through the juicer (after washing well!), so you really are getting the WHOLE fruit and all its nutrients. That can’t be a bad thing at all.

I think juicing may become more of a permanent fixture and maybe my beloved thick, green smoothies will have to make way for some more delicate but oh so delicious juices instead. I just have one dilemma now, which fruits & vegetables to buy next that will work well in the juicer… what are your favourites??? I do want to incorporate more vegetables so as to avoid a sugar overload, so I will be experimenting with a few in the near future. I might even post a recipe or two if I find a particularly amazing combo.

One last thing, apparently you get the most nutrients out of your juice if you drink it within 15 minutes of juicing, but I found a secret weapon to extend the life of my juices today, it’s a set of vacuum-seal containers, specially made for this purpose, that will keep the juice in it’s original condition for 2-3 days. This is perfect for me as I like to juice every couple of days and take one out of the fridge first thing in the morning to wake my system up. Here are those very containers. Click the picture to find out more on the seller’s website (UK site).

On a last note, keeping with the theme of fruits & vegetables… how’s everyone doing with Nutritious November? Are we all still hitting 10-a-day? I certainly am, and the juicing will only help me to achieve this further!

Enjoy a great, healthy week!

Janice.