Hopefully you read our blog/newsletter last week, have implemented green smoothies into your diet, and you already feel a shift in your energy levels and vibration from taking in more greens, more alkaline foods, and giving your body a much needed boost in nutrients. Green smoothies are clearly nothing shy of stellar, but equally as sensational and alkalizing are Green Smoothie’s close cousin, Green Juices. Whether you are juicing wheatgrass, kale, chard, celery, cucumber, cilantro, parsley, collards, or going less green and sipping on carrot, apple, and beet juices, you are doing yourself a wealth of justice by inviting in pounds upon pounds of nutrients your body couldn’t otherwise receive. Here at Beaming we hold our cups high in honor of a greener lifestyle and hope to inspire you all to fill your cups with this liquid (green)gold too.
We often get asked, “What’s the difference between green juices and green smoothies? Which one is better for you? And which blender and juicer should I buy?” And here we’ll uncover the answers to all your burning questions…
What’s the difference between green juices and green smoothies?
While both smoothies and juices are made from whole (hopefully organic) produce, juicers work to extract all of the fiber out which leaves you with a mineral rich liquid. Without the fiber quality your digestion doesn’t have to work to break down the food, which makes the minerals more bio-available for your body to utilize. It’s like drinking your vitamins…literally. Juices therefore are very therapeutic when looking for a healing regime. Without your digestion having to go to work your organs have the opportunity to begin to heal.
With smoothies you pulverize a whole food, which may make it easier for you to digest, but you leave the fiber in, which acts as a broom in your digestive tract sweeping away impurities. It also is more satiating, keeping you full longer. Plus you get the option to boost your smoothies with superfoods such as maca for energy and hormone balancing, spirulina for B vitamins and it’s cleansing abilities, and chia for omega and fiber. All of that fiber helps to steady your blood sugar levels, while with juices too many sweet fruits added can cause a quick blood sugar spike, followed by a quick drop.
So which one is better for you?
I won’t say that one is better for you than the other, i’ll just say the two are quite different. While you can blend up a 16oz smoothie with few fistfuls of spinach, some water or almond milk, ½ an apple, a few stalks of celery, and a few superfoods, that same 16 ounces of juice would have required 1/2 head of celery, a whole cucumber, an apple, a lemon, and a head of romaine. So you can see where you might get more nutrient bang. That said, the smoothie probably took ½ the time to make (and half the moolah), and sometimes that’s the most important factor in our busy lives.
The one that’s best for you is the one you will realistically make. If you think it’s arduous to cut veggies for a juice than go with a smoothie. If you don’t want to have something so filling and really want to receive the nutrients quicker go with juice. Or better yet, do both!
I’m ready to buy a new blender/juicer, but which one do I buy?
Beaming loves the Vita-mix line of blenders. They are not only a high quality product with a 7 year warranty, the company offers replacement parts, so if the motor should burn you can replace it instead of having to buy a whole new blender. These blenders are industrial strength, pulverize like nothing you’ve seen, and even will heat the contents in the pitcher if you leave it running for an extended amount of time (allowing you to heat up raw soups).
There are many different juicers on the market from centrifugal, to masticating, to twin gear, to hydraulic presses. Without over explaining I would recommend picking masticating over centrifugal, twin gear over masticating, and hydraulic press over them all, however the price tag may determine which juicer you buy. Irregardless of the juicer you buy, you are doing yourself more good than bad by getting one and starting your new healthy habits.
At Beaming we use a hydraulic press for our juices which is the absolute best extraction process which allows the nutrients in the juice to stay stable much longer than with other juicers. These amazing machines also have an amazingly hefty price tag (check out the Norwalk for home it’s about $2000). If you have any serious disorder that you are looking to heal from this is the only juicer I would recommend, however I realize that might not be realistic for many of you just branching into juicing.
The Super Angel is another great juicer, still pricey, at about $1000. This is called a twin gear juicer which may run a bit slower than the masticating (below) but can extract the nutrients from fiber the size of 5 micron. We highly recommend this as your home juicer, but again, we realize the price tag may scare you off a bit.
For around $250 you can get a great home masticating juicer by Omega or Champion. I personally own an omega (omega 8005) and can attest to how easy it is to clean, put together, and take apart, which for me makes it very user friendly. A masticating juicer uses a single gear to break down the walls of the plant cells through a grinding motion and squeezes the juice by crushing the produce against a screen. They run much quieter than the cheaper centrifugal juicers.
For around $100 to $150 you can get a basic centrifugal juicer or a breville juice fountain. The centrifugal juicers extract through a thick metal screen by spinning at a high RPM which not only oxidizes your produce (causing loss of some nutrients) but also makes it challenging to juice leafy green veggies. If you know you want to do green juices, skip the centrifugal and go straight to a masticating, twin gear, or hydraulic press.
While you can buy many juicers for $150 or less I think you will find that you will not only get a better juice and more extraction with the higher priced juicers, but after having your lower priced juicer for a short time you’ll be wanting to upgrade. I went through 2 lower priced juicers before I splurged into the mid-range, and it really was a bit wasteful to not have just gone straight to a better quality juicer first.
DON’T PANIC IT’S ORGANIC!
One last word on blending and juicing….need I remind you to buy organic produce? You don’t want a chemical cocktail of herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides. Buyer Beware: Often what you get at the juice bar is NOT ORGANIC! Buy organic produce whenever possible and if you have to sacrifice non organic make sure to pick from the clean 15 and WASH WASH WASH and peel that outer coating off!
In a good masticating juicer this will prepare about 30 ounces of green juice. Serves two, or perhaps bottle it in two 15oz containers, have one for breakfast and one for your mid- morning snack or mid afternoon pick me up.
1 head of celery
4 meyer lemons
a fistful of cilantro
a fistful of parsley
2 fistfuls of romaine
optional 2 inch piece of ginger