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January 30, 2012

Gettin’ Juicy with it!

Gettin’ Juicy with it!

Alright, it’s time to lay down the law of juice vs. smoothie, so listen up. Juice is juice, and smoothies are smoothies y’all! They are two very different things with different purposes and benefits. Can you tell the differences? Read on…

Let’s start simple, smoothies are made with blenders! They are a substantial, complete meal and are spectacular vehicles to pack full of high quality, heart healthy ingredients that have longer lasting forms of energy like nut butters, oils, avocados and seeds. Additionally, these healthy forms of fat help to absorb vitamins like A, E, D & K that are fat soluble which means they cannot be absorbed without the consumption of healthy fats.  Smoothies also contain all the wonderful fibers from fruits, veggies and greens you pack into them. This means that it takes our bodies longer to digest and process a smoothie which translates to a steady, long-lasting stream of energy to start your day off right with.

If you’re serious about smoothies, then you must purchase a Vitamix. These puppies are the king of all blenders. They are a steep investment, no doubt. But they puree your greens and nuts like no other smoothie can, creating a perfectly blended concoction, no chewing required. Because, who really wants taste and chew raw kale in a smoothie? Ok, I don’t mind so much but I imagine the majority of people prefer to hide their greens in smoothies specifically so that they don’t have to chew them in the form of a salad. I purchased my Vitamix from Bed Bath and Beyond with a handy-dandy little 20% off coupon. You can also check Craig’s List or Amazon for other great steals!

Juices are made with a juicing machine (shown above) and are amazing cleansing concoctions for the body. Juice does not take a lot of energy to digest because all the heavy fibers from your produce has been removed. Thus, the body can focus its energy normally reserved for digestion elsewhere like repairing, regenerating and detoxing. Juice gives you an instant energy boost and is a great, light way to start out your day.

Juicers normally fall into four main categories:

1. Centrifugal Juicer: A fast spinning grater shreds fruits/veggies. The juice moves through a strainer and out a spout while the pulp goes into a catch basket. These juicers are easy to use, quick to clean, and less expensive. HOWEVER, all the great nutrients from your produce will oxidize very quickly and the enzymes of your juice break down at a faster rate when exposed to air (i.e. you must drink you juice quickly, as in right after you make it!). Brand recommendations: Breville Ikon or Breville Juice fountain compactJack Lalane juicers 

2. Masticating Juicer: This is what I have. It uses a slow spinning screw shaped gear that chews up produce and squeezes their juice through a stainless steel screen. This action gently tears cell membranes in order to release nutrients. Extracts more juice; gets more nutrients, less foam and gives juice a longer fridge life. Brand recommendations: Champion, Hurom Slow JuicerOmega Juicer

3. Twin Gear: (Top end) These juicers slowly squish produces between two gears until the pulp is nearly dry and all the juice is squeezed out. Juice lasts up to 72 hrs, you can also make nut butters and wheatgrass juice. Brand recommendations: Green Star Juice ExtractorSamson Ultra Juicer

4. Hydraulic Press Juicers: SUPER expensive. These types of juicers use large amounts of pressure to gently extract sugars, vitamins, minerals and enzymes from your produce. The juice can last up to five days when stored in a refrigerator with a lid and oxidize at extremely slow rates as most of the cells walls remain intact. Less waste, no foam. Brand recommendation: Norwalk Juicer

Ok. Now you’ve got all the details you need to create the most delicious and nutritious beverages your heart could possibly desire. Go out, get your Vitmax or Omega Juicer and have at it. I would love to hear of any fun, new recipes you come up with!

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