SMOOTHIES AND JUICES ARE DIFFERENT
When I ran my juice bar, I noticed many customers used the words juice and smoothie, interchangeably. However, while freshly made juices and smoothies are both health drinks, they are quite different.
JUICING VS BLENDING
The act of juicing separates the liquid nutrition, the juice, from the pulp of the produce. Most of the pulp is removed from the juice. However to make a smoothie, the liquid and produce are mixed together, with the pulp remaining, making a thicker drink. The consistency of juices is much thinner than smoothies. Typically, juices are made in a juicer and smoothies in a blender.
Depending upon the ingredients you want to use, you may be better off making a juice or a smoothie. For example, I personally don’t like to blend carrots, oranges or apples to make a smoothie. So if I want to use any of these ingredients, I’d use them to make a juice.
A classic juice recipe is carrot, orange & ginger juice. So imagine that’s what we are going to make. You peel your carrots and chop the ends off, you cut off the orange skins and peel a small chunk of ginger. Imagine we have 1lb of peeled carrots and 1lb of peeled oranges and a little piece of ginger. If you use this to make a juice, you’ll end up with between 16-20oz of juice. But if you had made a smoothie, you would have a 32oz smoothie!
So what’s the difference? The answer is fiber. With juicing, we are getting rid of the fiber. But when we drink a smoothie, we are drinking the fiber.
A carrot, orange & ginger juice tastes amazing! But I wouldn’t drink this recipe as a smoothie. For me, carrots make smoothies too sludgy, unless you add water which for me, makes the taste too weak. The danger of blending oranges is that you have to make sure to remove all the pits or they can give your smoothie a bitter taste.
Sticking with this example, it takes nearly double the produce to make the same volume juice as it does a smoothie. So there is an argument to be made that juicing can be more expensive. Although it does depend heavily on the ingredients you use.
A 32oz juice has most of its fiber removed while a 32oz smoothie has all the fiber of its ingredients. Since more produce is necessary to make the 32oz juice, it is going to have more water, vitamins and minerals than the 32oz smoothie. But, it is lacking in fiber.
I’m not here to say either juices or smoothies are better. I drink them both. That said, I drink more smoothies than juices these days. The reasons for this are that I consider fiber to be an important nutrient and with smoothies, there is less food waste.
WHAT ABOUT A NUTRIBULLET?
I love my Nutribullet but the marketing is somewhat confusing. They claim it’s not a blender (it is) but an “extractor” (whatever that is). Basically, it’s just marketing talk. The Nutribullet is a great product. You can make all the recipes on this site using one. But essentially, it’s just a mini-blender.
One thing I really love about the Nutribullet is that it is so easy to clean. As long as you wash it up straight away, all you have to do is rinse it under a warm tap.
A WORD OF CAUTION
As we have already discussed, the difference between juices and smoothies is the fiber content. With the fiber removed, juices are absorbed by our bodies more quickly. In some instances, this may be a good thing and others, less so. For instance, a juice made with lots of fruit can cause a spike in blood sugar. This could be of potential concern to diabetics.
Processed foods are often seen as the opposite of health foods. It’s worth remembering though that juicing and blending are both ways to process food. If you want to consume produce that hasn’t been processed, it might be best just to eat raw fruits and vegetables!