Thursday, June 27, 2013

Juice vs. Smoothie

Maybe it's because it just seems like common sense to me or maybe it's because Im a bitch...I have lately found this topic extremely annoying.  When I was on my juice fast, people kept asking if I was using my Vitamix 'juicer'.  It appears that a large percentage of people have no idea what the difference between juice and smoothies is.

If you are one of those people, this post is for you!

Picture yourself buying juice.  At a store.  Any juice.  Got it?  Now, what does it look like?  What is the consitancy?  It is a thin liquid.  Bam!  Done.

OK.  Now picture yourself at a smoothie joint.  Smoothie King?  Something simliar?  What does the smoothie taste like?  Look like?  Feel like?  It is a thick liquid.  Often creamy made with yogurt or milk or ice if it's frozen.  Great!  We're almost done!

Juice is juice.  A smoothie is a smoothie.

A Vitamix is a blender.  A very powerful, awesome blender, but a blender nonetheless.  It does not perform magic and will not turn a pile of solid vegetables into a thin liquid.  Turning fruits and vegetables into a thin liquid, i.e. juice, requires that the solid parts of the vegetables be stripped away so that only their juice remains.

A juicer does just that!  Here is a basic run down of a Vitamix and the 2 types of juicers commonly available.

Vitamix Blender
A Vitamix is an excellent addition to any kitchen if you can afford to have one.  They cost about $400-700 depending on the model.  It has a motor that could probably power a lawnmower.  You use it to make smoothies.  You can also use it for sauces, soups, margaritas and dry ingredients like turning dry grains into flour.  If you can't afford a high end blender, other options are available.  See the image below for a chart of recommended blenders.  Buy a Vitamix HERE.
Centrifugal Juicer
A centrifugal juicer uses centrifugal force to finely grind fruits and vegetables through a mesh screen to yield juice.  The spinning motion forces the juice away from the pulp and the juice is poured into a container.  Meanwhile, the pulp is shot out of the back into another container.
Pros: Generally less expensive, faster, larger shoot to shove vegetable (means less cutting)
Cons: Not efficient with juicing greens; It is widely assumed that the heat from the juicer itself will kill the enzymes in the juice.
Recommended Juicers: Jack Lalannes is a good starter one.  I personally own this one.

Masticating Juicer
The term masticating literally means to 'chew'.  A masticating juicer, also known as a low or slow speed juicer, uses an auger that is in a tube to literally squeeze the juice from the vegetable.  Lower speed means lower heat from the machine so many people believe that a masticating juicer produces a higher quality juice.
Pros: Far more efficient juicing greens, low speed and low heat
Cons: Small shoot to insert veggies means more cutting.  So, it takes longer. Not a great idea for softer fruits like apples, pears, citrus.  The soft pulp will cause the juicer to back up.  Generally, more expensive.
Recommended Juicers: Green Star, Champion & Omega.  Mine also does wheatgrass (which other regular masticating juicers cannot do).  You can buy the one I have here.

So there you have it.  A smoothie comes from a blender.  Juice comes from a juicer.  The end.  =)

1 comment:

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