Shall I blend or juice? This is not a trick question! Whether you are a pro in the kitchen or want to create a healthy drink, the problem is still – shall I blend or juice?
In this blog post, I will unravel the differences between juicing and blending. You will find easy pointers on how to choose the best blender for juicing.
Selecting a blender that can also juice is the perfect solution as you have the best of both options at your fingertips, making you feel like a real MasterChef.
We all know that drinking fresh fruit juice, smoothies, and other exotic blends are great for health and vitality. But, as I did, you may have decided that making these drinks at home sounds like a lot of hard work and effort.
It isn’t! I have discovered that with some perseverance and knowledge, buying the right blender that can also juice is a simple solution, helping you easily create these excellent drinks. As a working Mum with kids and a hubby, I feel super excited sending everyone off to school and work with fresh, healthy, tasty drinks in their lunch totes.
On relaxed weekends as a family, we have fun whipping up exotic tropical island style fruit drinks for friends around the barbecue. I serve them in tall, icy glasses complete with colorful miniature umbrellas!
Juicing vs. Blending – What’s the Difference?
The first (and self-explanatory) question for me was – What is the difference between juicing and blending if any? And, I have discovered that there is a difference.
Very simply – The juicing extracts the liquid from the fruit or vegetable, leaving behind the pulp and fiber. Do you remember those childhood days of using a manual squeezer?
You would twist and squeeze the half orange on the reamer. Then you would tip the juice out of the base container where it had collected. After what seemed like a lot of hard work, you ended up with half a glass of juice and some fatigued arm muscles.
Today’s mechanical juicing machines will either spin or crush the ingredients, separating the juice from the pulp into different compartments. The juice is what you keep, and the pulp usually gets thrown away.
As you cannot do blending easily by hand, you do need the help of a machine. Blenders will chop up your ingredients using multiple blades.
Throw in chunky or whole pieces of fruit or vegetables, turn on, and the machine whizzes away, creating a thick mixture. All the components, including the juice, pulp, and fibers, remain inside. Today this has become the latest health fad – known as a smoothie!
Why Should You Juice?
So, why juice? For starters, it is the perfect way to create healthy, nutritious, and delicious drinks. Take them on-the-run, pack some bottles for the kids to take to school, and enjoy a drink during your office lunch break.
Have you ever looked carefully at the ingredient list on the back of a so-called 100% pure juice drink in the supermarket? You will be astounded at the preservatives, stabilizers, flavor-packs, and colorants that are added. They are certainly a far cry from real fresh fruit juice.
Juicing uses only pure fruit of your choice and gives you loads of essential vitamins, minerals, nutrients, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds. Juicing is fun and creative. It is not difficult to do and adds variety to meals, snack times, school, and office lunches.
Drinking a fresh glass of juice is an instant energy booster. Fresh juice is rich in compounds that boost the immune system, a great way to keep colds and flu at bay when winter approaches.
Which Blenders Can Be Used for Juicing?
When looking for a standard blender that can also juice, you need to ensure that you are buying a high wattage blender with powerful blades.
Low wattage blenders won’t be able to break down the ingredients into a fine enough consistency to pass as a juice. Many blenders can multi-task and offer an array of setting from juicing to blending, chopping, grinding, and more.
Making a Juicer with a Blender: What are the Options?
If you have not yet bought a blender, you may want to consider buying a blender with a juicer attachment. You can also find the option of purchasing a juicer-blender combo.
If you already have a blender, don’t despair, there are ways to use your existing blender to juice. I will discuss each option here for you:
Blender with a juicer attachment
Some blenders come with extra juice extracting attachments. You will need to read the instructions on how to attach the fittings to your specific machine. Essentially, these attachments allow you to blend the pulp of the fruits and veggies into one container and the juice to seep out and extract into another.
High-level kitchen appliances that can both blend and juice are the ultimate choice. Reading the specifications, you will see that they can grind, pulp, liquefy, chop, crush, and more. For the best option of both, choose a machine that is a combo, and states that it can blend and juice.
Using your existing blender
If your blender can only blend (which is what it was designed to do!) you can turn it into a juicer with a bit of innovative thinking. One way is to buy a Universal Juicer Attachment. This attachment is a strainer core that fits into many types of blenders.
Place it into the center of the mixer and fill it with your fruit or veggies. As the blades turn, the pulp is captured inside the strainer, and the juice seeps out through the small holes.
Turn on, blend for a few minutes, stop the machine, pour out the juice, and repeat. You will end up with a near-perfect juice extract separated from the pulp.
You can also create much lighter and smoother juices from the thicker mixture in a blender by adding water during the blending process. This will create a juice-like consistency similar to a juicer.
If you have time (and patience!), you can blend, tip the contents into a strainer and squeeze out the juice. It may be hard work, but you will end up with the juice and not the pulp.
What should You Consider Before Buying a Blender for Juicing?
Like most kitchen appliances, there are a few key factors to think about. I will review them in more detail in the next section. For now, keep in mind.
- Blenders that are suitable for juicing should be able to run at very high speeds. They also should have extra sharp blades. That is what allows them to chop up the ingredients into an excellent, drinkable consistency
- The size of the container that holds the juice or smoothie blend are you a single person or a large family
- How much are you prepared to spend
- What sort of warranty makes you feel comfortable
- Do you want a blender with many features or are you happy with the basics
- Ease of use
- Ease of cleaning
What to Look for Before Buying a Blender for Juicing?
Not all blenders are made equal, and not all blenders are good for juicing. Here are some facts you will need to be aware of before setting off to buy one.
POWER – you need super-strength wattage
Power is measured in wattage. For the best blenders that can juice, choose a machine that has a wattage of over 1000. If you want something smaller, consider a blender between 650 and 1000. Anything below 650 wattages will probably not cope with harder ingredients and may even end up getting damaged.
VARIABLE SPEEDS are a handy extra feature
Once you get started with the juicing/blending craze, you will undoubtedly want to be more versatile and experiment. Many blenders have automatic settings that adjust to the contents in the machine. However, it certainly sounds exciting to be able to pulse, blend, stir, grind, liquefy, chop, ice crush, grate, self-clean, go high, and go low.
Why miss out on these variable settings? They allow you to create any consistency from excellent delicate drinks, to smooth purées and thick chunky soups.
BLADES must be sturdy and powerful
Blending fruits and veggies into chunky pieces is one thing, but turning them into a juice requires extra strength, powerful blades. The blades have to spin tremendous speeds and be able to reduce a solid into a liquid. Stainless Steel blades are the best choice as they are firm, long-lasting, and durable.
Stainless Steel is a material that will never tarnish or lose its shine. It does not rust and will not retain odors. Checking for the word ‘aircraft-grade’ blades will ensure that you are getting the strongest blades available. If the blender claims to be able to crush ice and nuts, you can also be sure that the blades are super strong.
PITCHER CAPACITY depends on the size of your family
Are you blending in your trendy bachelor pad, or are you blending in a large family kitchen? You will find that the capacity of benders varies quite substantially.
You can get a mini 14oz (0,4 liter) blender that is ideal for a single person on-the-go. Many even have a lid, so you can blend, grab the container, snap on the cover and you have a travel cup to take along.
Larger blenders offer anything from 24oz (0.7 liters) up to 64oz (1.8 liters) capacity. Make sure you choose a pitcher size that suits your requirements. You don’t want to have to blend or juice multiple times to get the quantity you need.
SELF-CLEANING makes your life so much easier
Washing up dirty appliances is no fun. Look for a blender with a self-cleaning setting. All you do is put in a drop of washing-up liquid, add warm water, turn to the self-clean setting and run.
Depending on the type of blender, it can take anything from 10 to 60 seconds. Empty and rinse. This function ensures that your machine is always hygienic, clean, and ready for use, saving you the hassle and time.
BPA-FREE is an added perk
I find that as one becomes more and more health-conscious, choosing BPA-free containers for your food makes sense. Why allow toxic chemicals to leach into your fresh fruit juices after you have taken all the trouble to make something healthy? Look out for blenders that offer BPA-free containers. It is an added perk.
PRICE – decide on your budget first
Cheap may not be good, but expensive doesn’t always live up to its promise. Like most appliances in your kitchen, blenders come in a wide range of price points. You can pay from $20 to over $200 or even more, depending on the brand, functions, and quality of the machine.
Blenders with smaller capacity generally cost less, as one would expect. Don’t pay excessive amounts for a top of the range blenders, when the middle of the range option will probably do just as well.
When shopping, decide on your from-to budget and stick with it. Don’t be tempted to cut corners and purchase a cheapie. Read the online reviews given by genuine users and make a decision based on their experiences. You do want your appliance to last for a good many years, and you certainly don’t want to have to return it after using it once.
WARRANTIES puts your mind at ease
Always buy an appliance that comes with a warranty that will put your mind at ease, knowing that you will get support if something goes wrong. And, you can even get a full replacement if necessary. The more extended the warranty, the more superior the product usually is.
Many manufacturers also offer tech support as it is excellent for those of us who may need help with the initial set-up or who may get confused by the many options and settings when you are ready to start.
What You Should Know About Juice and Smoothies Extracted From Blenders
Here are some of the key points to know about juice and smoothies made in a blender. Because you are making a fresh, healthy drink (either by juicing or blending), the pros certainly outweigh the cons. Check out my quick list in point form that gives you the most critical facts.
- A juicer separates the fiber from the fruit or vegetables extracting the juice as a drink
- The juice is a light, excellent consistency
- One con of pure fruit juice is that the sugar content is high. You may want to start with a smaller glass size, allowing your body to get used to the sugar content
- The extract from juicers eliminates fibers. This is ideal for people who want to follow a low-fiber diet
- If you want a healthy diet, you would need to ensure that you are getting enough fiber from the rest of your food
- The nutrients in a juiced drink are absorbed very quickly into the body and offer an instant energy pick-up
- Juicers are great for a refreshing drink, but you should not use it as a meal replacement
- A blender processes whole fruits or vegetables including the pulp and fibers
- Blenders make a thicker drink
- Blending offers more variety, allowing you to create fine to chunky beverages, soups, dips, smoothies, sauces, shakes, and even waffle batter
- Blenders will also chop up ingredients that you cannot easily juice like avocados, bananas, nuts, grains, and ice
- The nutrients in a blended drink are processed more slowly by the body
- Mixed smoothie-type beverages can be used as meal replacements as they are packed full of healthy ingredients including the fiber
After becoming somewhat of an expert on juicing and blending, I can say that buying a blender that can also juice is the best choice. It gives the versatility of both options in one machine. This suits me great, as my kitchen is not that big, and having two separate machines will take up unnecessary space.
Using a blender that can juice, I have all the choices. I can decide to make refreshing, fresh fruit juices to sip on a summer day. If I don’t want to cook up a big meal, we can enjoy blended smoothies as meal replacements. On a cold winter’s night, nothing beats a hearty, delicious soup to warm up the family.
Best blenders that can juice come in a range of prices with many different features. Each machine has its unique pros and cons which I will highlight which should help you decide on the one best suited for your needs.