Do I Need a Juicer or Blender?

This entry is part 2 in the series Juicing 101

 (Originally published March 15, 2013. Updated 3 May, 2017)

I am often asked this question:

What’s the difference between a juicer or a blender?

Let’s spend some time looking at this topic. We will look at

  • What is a juicer?
  • What is a blender?
  • Which is better?
  • Food for Baby
  • Feed Your Growing Child
  • Early Morning Pickup Breakfast in a Glass

Disclosure: This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

What is a Juicer?

When you use a juicer, you extract the juice, and only the juice, from the fruit or vegetables. The pulp and fiber remains behind.

The resulting liquid contains 100% juice including all the vitamins, minerals and other healthy nutrients. This can then be easily taken into the body.

It requires almost no digestive process and gives the immune system an immediate boost.

The above model is virtually identical to the one I use although mine is a different brand-name (bought in South Africa). I highly recommend the style as it is much easier to clean than all the other models I’ve used.

Juicers (also known as juice extractors or juicing machines) are designed to produce fresh juice from a wide assortment of fruit and vegetables.They are easy to use, although often difficult to clean. For this reason I always advocate would-be purchasers take a good look at a machine before buying.

It is worth paying a few extra dollars, pounds, rands or yen, to ensure you won’t spend ages trying to clean the machine each time you use it.

What is a Blender?

Blenders are versatile appliances for use in the home. They can crush ice and liquefy softer food ingredients such as fruit and some vegetables. It can be used to create wonderful, creamy soups, as well as the most delicious smoothies.

This very well-priced model has the following attributes.

  • 14 oz. capacity
  • Great for fruit smoothies, icy drinks, shakes & more
  • Travel lid lets you drink from the jar
  • Blend and drink in the same jar for less mess
  • Compact storage, jar stores upside down and cord wraps around base

If I didn’t already have one, I would be tempted to get this one. I love the compact storage and the travel lid.

The main difference between the juicer and blender is that the blender, also known as a liquidiser, removes nothing. It emulsifies whatever is put into it. So you get the nutrients, plus the pulp and fibre.

In some cases, this is what you want. This makes for a more filling drink, and thick nutritious soup. You wouldn’t want to make soup in a juicer.

And if you’re wanting to make a real thick delicious smoothie, the blender is what you’re looking for. It crushes ice and blends it into your drink with no problem at all, whereas the juicer may battle with big pieces.

Which is Better?

Both are fabulous additions to your kitchen. If you have children or elderly or frail people who need a soft diet, they are both indispensable. If you use a juicer, you can drink a huge amount of fruits and veggies in one glass as it does not contain bulk, and is therefore not so filling as a drink from the blender.

With the juicer, your digestive system has almost no work to do, as there are no solids to deal with.

However, with the blender, you can make wonderful smoothies, soups, and even delicious peanut or almond butter. If you’re wanting to make healthy, creamy soups for a cold winter’s evening, you need the blender. If you’re wanting to give your digestive system a break and still take in plenty nutrients, the juicer is the way to go.

Food for Baby:

If you have a baby starting out on solids, please avoid the food in jars. That is ideal for travelling, or for the occasional snack. The fruit is especially tasty and I love to keep small jars of puréed apple to use as apple sauce with meals. But try eating the meat and vegetable mixes and tell me they taste the same as the real thing. They have a different flavor, consistency, and appearance.

Babies that are weaned using food in jars often give major problems when their parents try to move them on to normal food.

Use your blender, and use some of the veggies or fruit you are eating yourself. Add a drizzle of gravy, and your baby’s palate is well on its way to enjoying the same food as Mommy and Daddy. You won’t face the challenge of having a three-year-old who won’t eat food that doesn’t come out of a jar.

Picky eaters are often children who have been fed too many convenience baby foods, and haven’t learned to enjoy their food before they knew they didn’t like veggies!

Feed Your Growing Child:

Juicing is a great way to tuck things into kids’ diets that they would never eat whole — but things we know they need for their growing bodies,” says nutritionist Cherie Calbom, author of The Juice Lady’s Guide to Juicing for Health. “You can tuck something like parsley into a juice. It’s one of the greatest foods on earth, but there’s not a kid around who’s going to eat parsley unless he’s trying to show off.”

Great Early Morning Pickup:

  • A Sample Drink Using Your Juicer
  •  Start simply with a combination of carrots, apples and beetroot (aka beet). This makes a juice which is sweet and tasty. It is also a purply red which kids love.
  • Scrub the fruit and veggies well.
  • Remove the core from 1 small apple (per person) and juice it. (The machine will take care of the skin)
  • Add 4 carrots and a 1/2 medium-sized beetroot (per person) cut into wedges, feeding them alternately into the machine.
  • Serve over ice.

Delicious and Filling Breakfast in a Glass:

A Sample Drink Using Your Blender: Feed this to your kids (and hubby) as they rush out the door, and they won’t be hungry for hours. Plus, you know you have stocked them up with health-giving nutrients to build their immunity.

  • Scrub the fruit well, peel and chop where necessary.
  • Toss as many of the following as you have into the blender:
  • grapes, apple, banana, orange, kiwi, pear and strawberries.
  • Other possibilities” mango, pineapple (instead of orange), pawpaw (papaya).
  • Add a few blocks of ice to chill and thicken the drink.

Yummy!   

Do you have a juicer or blender?

Do you have both? Which breakfast suggestion appeals to you? Please leave a comment below. 

Click on an image above to read more or to purchase.

 

After reading this post, reviewer Elizabeth Reynolds had this to say: 

“After consulting with nutritionists and kitchen experts, we found three juicers — one which produced the most juice, one that made the least pulp, and one that was budget friendly.

“We would be so thrilled to have our research mentioned as a resource on your post.”

Here is her link if you are interested in studying this more. The Best Juicer of 2017

 

Please click here:

4 comments on “Do I Need a Juicer or Blender?

  1. Shirley,

    Sometimes I think I’d like to get a juicer but not having the needed counter space poses a problem. I do have a blender that I keep put away until I need it for a specific job. When our kids were little I made all their baby food. It was an economical and a better way to feed our children. I found it no big deal to prepare their foods ahead and they enjoyed the same dinners that we had minus the spices. I hadn’t thought about making nut butter in the blender before. Have you done this? This is something I’d like to do. I love almond and cashew butters but it’s so expensive to buy in small jars from the store. I know blending and juicing is a healthy way to get a lot of good nutrients in one shot depending on your digestive needs and abilities. Thanks for pointing out the benefits and importance of both appliances.

    • Hi Cathy, yes we have very little counter space too, but I just shove the juicer back against the wall when not using it. My blender, like yours, sits in the cupboard until I need it. I haven’t made other nut butters, but I’ve made peanut butter very successfully. Thanks for the visit.

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