Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Juice or Smoothie?

A few people asked me recently what is better on a raw food diet - juice or smoothie. I am a passionate raw foodie and for me the question does not sit quite right. Neither is "better" and when you decide to go raw, you are not really dieting. You simply change the way you nourish your body and your mind.


Personally, I do not like monotony in my life and I love my food to be colorful and as versatile as possible. And I love both, smoothies and juices, as both are nutritious, tasty and rather easy to make.

Despite the fact that they may even contain the same ingredients, juice is different than smoothie. They are prepared differently and they differ in their consistency. And you can add "things" to smoothies that cannot be processed by a juicer. A smoothie will keep you satiated; a juice will quench your thirst. And both will help you consume more fruit and vegetable.


Juice

A juice is made when a liquid is extracted from a fruit or a vegetable. To make a juice we use juicers, citrus presses, and juice extractors. These kitchen devices remove the fruit or vegetable pulp leaving a good tasting liquid.

Juices contain much less fiber than smoothies and essentially are the water and nutrients, including the pigments, of fruit and vegetable used in preparation. They also contain all the enzymes, but are less satiating than smoothies. The body usually takes less time to process the juice, but you will need much more fruits and vegetables to make the same amount of juice as you normally would if you made a smoothie.

You can use any fruit and vegetable alone or in combination with other fruits and vegetable, but there some fruits like banana or ripe avocado that do not juice well. You do not also want to juice an eggplant or a zucchini. And, of course, some combinations are tastier than others. To be on the safe side, especially if you do not have much experience, follow suggested recipes. In no time you will be able to develop intuition and understand what goes together and what doesn't.

Juices should always be  made out of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. If you decide to add spices such as cinnamon or black pepper, you add them to a pitcher after you processed the other ingredients.

And last, but not least. Do not throw away the pulp. You can compost it or use it as a base to make other vegetarian or vegan dishes. Simply add a little juice and freeze it for later use.
 

Smoothie

Smoothies are the favorite "meal replacements" in the world of healthy and beautiful. They are not only tasty, but also very nutritious. They can, indeed, replace a meal and are rather easy to make. All you need is a good blender and a little fantasy.

Unlike juices, they can be made from a very wide range of ingredients, especially those that do not juice well, or cannot be juiced at all. They are usually made from fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables and often have some liquid component added as a base. This can be yogurt, kefir, milk, nut or grain milks, water, coconut water or freshly squeezed orange juice. Many recipes include a variety of other ingredients such as:
  • herbs 
  • spices 
  • nuts 
  • seeds
  • sprouts 
  • legumes 
  • powdered protein 
  • raw eggs
  • superfood supplements such a s barley grass, açai or spirulina. 
Smoothies offer more variety than juices since the list of ingredients is endless.


Smoothies are creamy and thick and can actually be eaten with a spoon. They contain fruit and vegetable fiber and all the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients of the ingredients used in preparation. When made properly, with a source of complete protein, they constitute a balanced and satiating meal that will keep you nourished for a few hours. They are good for breakfast or lunch, but can be taken any time during the day.

Depending on your personal needs and your lifestyle, you can supercharge your smoothies. You can add ingredients to enhance your stamina, boost your immune system, help you lose weight, detoxify your body or increase your mental performance.

Conclusion

I always encourage diversity and suggest that you try both, smoothies and juices. Simply follow your heart and the seasons. And use best ingredients you can afford. It's your precious body you are trying to nourish.

If you are a raw food beginner or do not have much time to design your own recipes, you may want to try out some suggestions from a good raw food "cook" book or from raw food blogs like mine. People on raw food believe that there is nothing better for your health than food in its most natural state and they love to share their experience. Just this time, you may really want to follow the crowd.

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

Juice inspiration by James: Apple Pear Guava Juice 
made with a super-powerful Champion juicer

Dominique Allmon©2012

         


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