Blending and Juicing

I was originally going to title this “Blending vs. Juicing” but that implied that one was better than the other. Over the last three weeks I learned that they both have their pros and cons, yet they can both can be used in a real food diet. I’ve also noticed that many people use the two words interchangeably, when in fact they are two totally different things.

Blending is taking the whole fruit or vegetable and putting it into a blender with some form of liquid or ice to turn it into a smoothie. You’ll get the skin (if it is edible), pulp, flesh, juice, seeds (again, if edible) everything. Jamba Juice is an example of blending. Juicing is extracting the juice from the fruit or vegetable, and the skin, pulp, flesh and seeds are discarded (or put into a compost pile or turn them into soup or bake with them). Odwala is an example of juicing.

I admit that I always looked down on juicing. I thought it was inferior to blending because with blending you get the whole fruit or vegetable. I also looked down on juicing because juice causes your blood sugar to spike. I stopped drinking orange juice for this reason. Now I understand that when making your own juice at home you can create a blend that contains two or three veggies for every fruit to help prevent a blood sugar spike.

As I mentioned, they both have their pros and cons. I find it easier to drink a smoothie full of fruits and vegetables than to chew the same amount of food. Plus, because the smoothie has the pulp and flesh, it fills me up and keeps me full longer. Since I stopped eating wheat, I rely on fruits and veggies for my fiber, and this is a great way to get fiber. One of the cons is that you don’t get as much of the nutrients with blending as you do with juicing. From what I’ve read, this is because with blending, our bodies have to break down the fruits and veggies, but with straight up juice, our bodies immediately absorb the nutrients. Plus, there are some veggies that I’m just never going to blend, like beets or cucumbers, and some veggies don’t blend well, but they do juice well.

I’m still learning so much about both, and I’m looking forward to getting the e-book Crazy Sexy Juices & Succulent Smoothies by Kris Carr. It came highly recommended from one of my yoga teachers, and the author is supposed to do a good, unbiased review of the pros and cons of both to help people figure out which works best for them.

Edited to add: One of my friends correctly pointed out that Jamba Juice is not true blending because they use sorbets in a lot of their smoothies. I do not recommend Jamba Juice on a real food diet and was merely using them as a visual example. šŸ™‚

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