Can a blender be used as a juicer?

Blenders are well known for creating smoothies with milk / yoghurt and fruit, however many people associate juicers with blenders and believe that they carry out the same kind of processes. Some users have asked if they can use their blender to juice with. This article aims to highlight the difference between blenders and juicers and give an overview to when one should be used in preference to the other.

Blenders do not separate the juice from the fibre
A blender works by using rapidly rotating blades to cut and break down the produce. However when fruit or vegetables are put into a blender the output contains everything that went into the blender, i.e. the fruit and vegetable fibres including skin, seeds, pith, flesh etc.

A juicer will separate the juice from the fibres. This separation is fundamental to the juicing process and its associated health benefits. The separation of juice from fibre means that the body does not have to divert large amounts of energy to the process of digesting the juice, as there are no fibres to breakdown. It also means that the body can easily absorb the nutrients present in the juice extracted by the juicer as they have all been released from the fibres and are freely available.

When the drink is created in the blender the fibres ‘lock’ some of the nutrients and prevent them from being absorbed into the body.

The presence of large amounts of fibre in blended ‘juice type drinks’ reduces their palatability when compared with a smooth juice drink prepared in a juicer. This is because the blended drink will be much thicker in texture and may contain lumps of produce that haven’t been fully broken down by the blenders blades.

Are blenders of use to my juicing routines?
By now it should be clear a blender does not perform the same function and SHOULD NOT be used as a juicer.

Are there any reasons to use a blender as part of our juicing routines? The answer to this could be yes, as you can use the blender for creating juice smoothie type drinks. For this you would typically make some juice in your juicer, put the juice in your blender and then add the extra ingredients that the juicer could not handle.

  • You may wish to add an ingredient into your juice drink that has a low water content such as avocado or banana. These ingredients would produce virtually no juice when put through a juicer. However when placed in a blender with some juice prepared in your juicer you can create a juice smoothie.
  • You may want to add an ingredient to your drink that contains fibre such as wheatgerm to help keep your digestive system in healthy working order.

Factors to consider when using a blender

The fibre that exists in smoothies can help regulate the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream that are present in the blended output. Blenders are relatively quick to use as they operate at high speeds. This speed comes at a cost however as the quickly rotating blades can ‘fold in’ oxygen into the blended liquid thus resulting in more rapid oxidation of the nutrients. The high operating speeds of blenders also result in most of them being quite noisy.

When you drink a blended drink make sure to ‘chew’ it before you swallow it. This is important as the chewing action releases saliva and mixes important digestive enzymes into the drink. These digestive enzymes are important in helping to try and break down the fibres contained within the drink when it enters the stomach. If you do not chew then you may encounter indigestion pains after consuming a drink produced in your blender.