There is actually a difference between a juice and a smoothie and it is best if you can include both of them in your everyday life, as they both have amazing benefits!
Juice is obtained using a centrifugal juicer or a masticating juicer. In the process, the juice of the fruit is separated from the fibres. The final result is pure juice.
- Made from fruits and vegetables which have a higher water content.
- Juice can be obtained from green leafy vegetables – spinach, lettuce, arugula.
- Drinking juices allows for good body hydration – the product is super rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes that will reach each body cell.
- Allows you to absorb different kinds of fruit and vegetables without overloading your stomach.
- Almost no energy is required to digest the juice in the stomach. The body then uses that energy to cleanse and heal itself.
- The juice does not contain any fibres and is immediately absorbed – the whole idea behind juicing – which allows for the maximum percentage of vitamins and minerals to be retained.
- The aim of juicing is not to absorb fibres, but to heal the body.
In a blender, put different fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and add water, nut milk, or juice in order to prepare a smoothie, which is much thicker than a juice. This method of preparing a smoothie is called blending. During blending, the mixture also mixes with some air and the product becomes “fluffier”.
- Liquefies whole fruit and vegetables.
- Allows the liquefying of fruit which cannot be juiced – avocado, banana, and frozen fruit.
- Can liquefy leafy vegetables – spinach, arugula, lettuce.
- Allows you to add nuts, seeds, coconut butter, and dried fruit.
- The smoothie is rich in fibres.
- Aids digestion by discharging toxins from the body.
- More energy is required to digest the smoothie. It is slightly more similar to normal eating – the body produces enzymes in order to absorb the vitamins and minerals from the food.
- It is more satiating – we can eat less fruit and vegetables than we would other food.
- Less nutrients are absorbed.
I personally join juicing and blending together. I believe they are both super healthy and can be included in our everyday lives quite easily. Drinking juice could very well fit in between meals – it is advisable that the juice is not prepared only from fruit but from vegetables too.
Smoothies are a great breakfast substitute. Since they are heavier and more satiating, you won’t be hungry before it is time for lunch. A good option is to combine both juicing and blending. Instead of adding water to the milk or smoothie, you can squeeze some juice and add it. It is also a good idea to add juice when blending avocados or bananas as they are thicker.
Tips & Tricks for Preparing Better Juices And Smoothies
Here I offer you some tricks and advice to help you in preparing and drinking juices and smoothies. It will be great if you can learn to associate freshly squeezed juice with something delicious, healthy, and exhilarating, rather than only thinking about clean-up afterwards.
Before you start preparing your juice or smoothie, if needed, cut all fruit and vegetables so that they easily fit in the juicer or the blender. This will hugely facilitate the process, and you won’t need to constantly stop the juicer and cut the products inside. It is also advisable to cut all the ingredients immediately before blending or juicing. If you do not have the time to do that, you can prepare them the previous day. Wash all the fruit and vegetables, cut them, and put them in re-sealable plastic bags (to keep the products fresh), or in plastic boxes, and then put them into the fridge. On the following day, you just need to put everything inside the juicer or blender and your drink will be ready quickly.
- Juicing and blending
- If your juicer has a separate trash container, you can put a plastic bag inside to collect all the leftovers from fruit and vegetables, including pulp (in another post I will share with you an idea of what the pulp can be used for).
- If you are making a juice to which you want to add avocado and other ingredients, (such as “superfoods”) then before juicing, put the peeled avocado into the blender together with the other additives. In this way, when the juice is ready, you just have to pour it in the blender. This will save a lot of vital vitamins and nutrients.
- If you are using a centrifugal juicer, fill the duct before using it.
- If you are using a centrifugal juicer and you are going to “slice and dice” green leafy vegetables – first put an apple or another solid fruit or vegetable, then add the leafy vegetables, and on top of those put another solid fruit or vegetable. This will allow you to get all the juice from the spinach.
- If you are using a centrifugal juicer, once the juicing has started, push the products to the middle and continue adding more.
- Juice the pineapples at the end – they have many fibres and can hinder the juicer.
- If using a slow press juicer, put in the different ingredients in turns to ensure better function of the juicer.
- If using a slow press juicer, juice all the celery-type vegetables and then all the fruit from the pineapple type because those can clog the machine.
- After you have juiced all the ingredients, let the machine work for another 15-20 seconds. You will then see more juice pop out.
- If you are blending ingredients and none of them are frozen, you can add some ice cubes. This can make your juice taste refreshing and potentially more delicious!
- Drink the juice or the smoothie as soon as you have prepared it
The more time the juice or smoothie sits out after it has been prepared, the more nutrients it will lose as a result of vitamins fading away. Hence, it is best when juices and smoothies are consumed within 15 minutes. If you want to store the juice for later use, you can put it in a glass bottle or a vacuum bottle and put it back in the refrigerator. Fill the bottle to the brim in order to have as little air as possible inside. Juice squeezed with a centrifugal juicer can last in the refrigerator between 5 and 7 hours without losing too many nutrients. If you are using a masticating juicer, you can store it up to 48 hours, depending on the juicer, with minimal loss of nutrients. Another way of storing it is to put it in an appropriate bottle and freeze it.
- Drink your juice slowly and chew it
Do not underestimate this point. The juice is a food and it should be chewed in order to produce saliva which is essential for digestion. This is helpful for a better absorption of the nutrients.
Why is it important to drink your juice slowly? A juice contains many different fruit and vegetables. It is advisable to introduce them to our body slowly, so that it can gradually digest and absorb them in a more efficient way. Imagine swallowing a handful of spinach, an apple, and half a cucumber all at once. Impossible, right? Eating slowly and chewing will help greatly with digestion.
- Machine cleaning
A good idea is to build a habit to clean the juicer/blender immediately after you have used it because it is so much easier this way, and will keep your equipment cleaner. You can wash the blender/juicer with water, or with dish soap as needed. If you are in a hurry, you can fill the sink with water and dish soap and put everything in; this will keep the sugars from drying onto your equipment, and as a result it will be so much easier to rinse later.