If you’ve spent any time researching either juicing or blending (chances are you’ve looked into both), you no doubt came across the following debate: juicing v. blending. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this so I decided to put together a list of the top 5 reasons I chose blending over juicing:
1. Time: juicing is a bitch, there is not getting around it. Blending is easy.
Between cutting up larger produce so it fits into the juicer, physically juicing each piece of produce, discarding the pulp/fiber, and cleaning the machine once you’re done (literally one of the most thankless tasks ever), I found myself pretty frustrated. To the point where I didn’t really feel like juicing that often, which to me was a big issue (I generally like to remove as many barriers to keeping habits going, as should you). Blending in the Vitamix, on the other hand, is incredible simple. While I do sometime roughly chop things like cucumbers or beets (beets especially can get stuck under the blade if they are put in first, or the pieces are too large), there is basically no other prep work. Once you blend up all the ingredients, that’s your finished product right there: no pulp/fiber to get rid of, as its all contained in the smoothie. From here, just rinse off any of the residue from the jar, top, and tamping stick (let’s start calling it the “wand”), and let them dry until next time. There will be evenings where I definitely would not spend the time to juice, but because I know I can just throw things together in under 5 minutes, I’ll go ahead and blend. That, ladies and gentlemen, is why this was my number one consideration.
Expense and nutrition are certainly tradeoffs when it comes to blending and juicing. For example, juicing takes more volume of produce to get the same volume of finished product “juice,” but by volume it has more micronutrients. Put another way, juicing and blending will cost the same $$ to turn X volume of produce into a consumable drink (duh), but per volume of finished product blending is cheaper. This really comes down to preference. I don’t really like going to the grocery store that often (ideally once a week if possible), so having my produce last all week, while still blending 4-5 times is important to me. Again, because expense and nutrition are in some ways tradeoffs, see #3 for the flip side of this argument.
Per volume, juicing is better for you in the sense that you are consuming more nutrients, and your body is not working as hard to assimilate those nutrients. However, one major advantage of blending (and the reason why your body doesn’t assimilate the nutrients when you drink something blended as it does when you drink something juiced) is the fiber content that you consume when blending but throw away when juicing. I personally didn’t feel that I was getting enough fiber in my diet, so blending has been a great way to ensure that I am. If you are good about blending consistently, your shits will be great—just saying. And apparently your poop says a lot about you. In the end, I was OK with sacrificing the reduced amount of nutrients for the fiber content in light of the expense and time needed to a certain quantity of finished product.
As I noted, my experience is limited to lower-end juicers. Both were centrifugal juicers and not very large. However, BOTH of the juicers eventually stopped working. Its really a matter of design: you have this metal dish set in plastic housing, spinning extremely fast. If anything throws it off, the speed is just going to destroy the components. Moreover, the motors in these juicers don’t seem that strong, and would get bogged down by thicker veggies like beets and carrots. I’ve never used a masticating juicer before, but my sense is most of my concerns related to the reliability of juicers wouldn’t apply to this type. Read some reviews on Amazon and see for yourself.
The Vitamix, on the other hand, is a beast. The version I bought only has High and Low settings, but both are more than capable of destroying anything and everything I’ve put in (though I still haven’t tried anything crazy like making nut butters—post to follow). Moreover, even the re-conditioned version I bought has a 2 year manufacturer warranty, so I’m not overly concerned with how it is going to hold up to regular use.
Although I definitely haven’t explored all the things you can do in a Vitamix (nut butters, soups, ice cream, etc.), I have already benefited from the fact that a blender is just inherently more versatile. For example, I can toss frozen raspberries into the jar to add a little flavor—not sure how a juicer would handle frozen fruit. I can also adjust the consistency of my smoothies by adding more or less water or ice (and can also therefore have a cold smoothie). As a mentioned in a previous post, blending also opens up the possibility of other add ins like protein powder, MCT or fish oil, or even something like a peeled avocado.
Hope this list helps you figure out whether blending or juicing is right for you! And if you are looking for the best blender reviews, take a look!