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Juicer Vs. Blender – How I Made the Choice For My Green Juices

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strawberry-basil-slushieI became addicted to the fresh, crisp, clean taste of juices when I was pregnant with my 3rd child last year. I had always loved smoothies and coffee drinks, but something in my body craved the tang, zing, and salty taste that only citrus and veggies can bring, so I tried my first “green juice.” A concoction of kale, spinach, cucumbers, apple, and lemon, one sip and I was hooked, and I continued to get my weekly fix long after I gave birth.

By the time my birthday rolled around, I had drank my weight in green juice and spent a fortune too, so I asked for help in acquiring my own juicer so I could whip up green juice at home on the daily. My family obliged, and I’ve now been holding on to a couple of gift cards for months, until I made a decision on the perfect juicer for me. In the mean time, I had been borrowing my friend’s low-end home juicer, and while I loved juicing at home, I hated the clean up, even though I tried to approach it with a positive attitude. The were no fewer than 6 different parts to clean each time I wanted to juice, but still I was committed to juicing at home, for the simple fact that I wouldn’t have to step into another hipster-filled juice joint again. Have you ever seen the way they look at you when you ask for a squirt of agave in your juice, and extra ice?

With the help of a friend, I had finally made a decision on which juicer to buy and was set to make the plunge. Then I stepped into my local Costco and watched the Vitamix dude make his presentation. I was floored. And I walked out of Costco that day with a fancy blender in hand, instead of a juicer. What helped sway this hard-core juice fan onto a blender versus an actual juicer? Well, here’s just a few reasons why.

- Practicality: The blender simply does more than a juicer. It makes smoothies, frozen treats, even hot soup! I can easily whip up weekly batches of baby food too, which is a bit of a chore in my 10 year old blender.

- Taste & Texture: There is of course an obvious difference in taste and texture between juice from a blender and from an actual juicer. You can push your juice through a fine mesh strainer, but it still has a level of frothiness you don’t get when you straight juice. Some juice purists may argue that juice from a blender isn’t even real juice, but the bottom line, the flavor is the same, it’s the texture that makes up the most difference. While I love the clean taste of a juice, I couldn’t reasonably justify spending hundreds of dollars on a juicer when I knew that a blender could yield similar results, yet offer so much more still.

- Extra Fiber: You definitely get more fiber when you juice with a blender because the whole vegetable gets blended up including the peel and the best fiber from leafy greens. You lose much of that beautiful fiber when you juice, which is what leads to such a difference in taste. Since I don’t mind the taste of the fiber, and a lot of it can be strained out if I really wanted to, I decided I could always benefit from extra fiber, plus it helps keep me feeling fuller longer!

- Less Waste: Because the entire fruit and vegetable is being used, there’s little to no waste in a blender versus a juicer. The amount of organic produce I was using to juice, and seeing how much of it was going to waste, was breaking my heart. With a higher quality juicer, I knew I would lose less, but it still made more sense to me to blend it up and use it all. Now, I literally go through half the amount of produce when blending versus juicing.

- Self-Cleaning: It’s like a space age robot the way my fancy blender literally cleans itself. I add a drop of dish soap, some warm water and turn it on. Give it a quick rinse out and I’m done. No parts to wrestle with, no scrubbing. It’s like serious magic.

- Margaritas(!): The fancy blender makes a darn good margarita, as well as other tasty blended drinks like daiquiris and mojitos. My juicer couldn’t do that.

- Gwyneth Approved: I would be lying if I said Gwyneth didn’t have a little bit to do with swaying me towards a blender versus a juicer. Throughout her cookbook It’s All Good she uses her “powerful blender,” which she notes is a Vitamix, to blend up her soups, smoothies, and salad dressings. And she even notes on all her juice recipes, “no juicer, no problem!” Each juice recipe comes with adaptations for use with a blender, instead of a juicer. I figured if Gwyneth isn’t a juicer versus blender snob, I shouldn’t be either.

Eventually, I would still love to get a nice juicer because I do believe both have a place in a healthy, clean-eating diet. But for now, my pocketbook and kitchen cabinets just couldn’t handle both fancy machines, and it just made sense to first buy the product that would be of more practical use to my family. We’re all enjoying the blender and I can easily get my kids to drink green smoothies rather than green juices.

So have you taken the plunge into the juicing/blending world, and if so, which do you prefer?

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