Smoothies vs. Juicing… Benefits + Green Divas Recipes

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smoothies and juicing at kalani

Can’t complain when you’re flown to Hawaii to conduct a smoothing and juicing workshop with all organic, local and exotic fruits and veggies!

On the heels of our trip to Kalani for the Puna Culinary Festival, here’s a Green Divas Foodie-Phile podcast to wet your whistle. You’ll be inspired to dust off that blender and get yourself a juicer… then read on to learn about the benefits of juicing vs. smoothies, get some recipes and NBC’s Green is Universal “Eco Eats” Sweepstakes (on page 3)!

Both juicing and smoothies make it easier to eat a wider variety of foods, which is important because you increase your chances of developing a food allergy if you don’t rotate the types of food you eat. Both can also help meet the daily six to eight servings of fruits and veggies requirement!

Whether juicing or smoothie-making, we highly recommend organic fruits and veggies! You’re going to the trouble of making these healthy drinks… why include traces of pesticides?

And consider what fruits and veggies you’re combining. There are different schools of thought on best practices for combining foods (including proteins and fats) for optimal digestion (and less, uh, gas). If you want to mix fruits and veggies, it seems adding leafy greens is the best option. Variety of color is also important.

“Be sure to get a variety of color: deep colored berries, orange colored fruits and of course your greens. Between the smoothie and the juice, you should hit a rainbow of colors, which offers a really great variety of vitamins and minerals.”
~ Green Diva Meg

Why Juice?create a healthy habit, juicing

Juicing is allows you to put healthy portions of veggies and/or fruits in one glass… more than you probably would eat in one sitting. The advantage of juicing (with a juicer!) is that it removes excess solids (pulp) from the juice and provides a delicious drink packed with high density nutrition.

Both Green Diva Meg and I prefer the Champion Juicer, which calls itself “the only true masticating juicer on the market—it is the only juicer that cuts and chews the foodstuff.” Cheap juicers aren’t going to provide the nutritional punch (no pun intended), but if you need to spend less, a centrifugal juicer like the one made by Breville is a decent choice (according to fellow Green Diva Kate Bartolotta).

Because all the fiber has been removed, drinking this type of juice helps your body absorb more nutrients faster. In a sense, they’re “pre-digested” for you.

“Raw vegetable juices…are digested and assimilated within 10 to 15 minutes after we drink them and they are used almost entirely in the nourishment and regeneration of the cells and tissues, glands and organs of the body. In this case the result is obvious, as the entire process of digestion and assimilation is completed with a maximum degree of speed and efficiency, and with a minimum of effort on the part of the digestive system.”
 – Norman Walker, “Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices”, pg 9

I love juicing in mid afternoon when I’m kinda hungry and feeling droopy. For me, it’s as good as a cup of coffee without the jitters. It can also be a great way to cleanse your system and makes for great “medicine” if you’re starting to feel rundown. Remember to “chew” your juice to ensure proper digestion—move it around in your mouth and, literally, chew.

Why Smoothies?

Smoothies are another great way to get your pile in your nutrients and protein in one… it’s that simple. But be careful—smoothies available in grocery stores and retail sites might contain an overload of sugar! That’s why it’s great to make your own.

smoothieI make a smoothie every single day. In fact, my son once noted that they’d have to bury me with my blender. Ha!

The difference between smoothies and juice is in the fiber. The nutrients from juice are absorbed quickly. Smoothies can take hours to digest… but all that pulp can help keep you feeling satisfied longer. It also means the sugars are absorbed slower so you’re less likely to get that sugar spike.

GD Meg and I have different techniques. She uses water as the base. But because I tend to toss frozen fruits and veggies (I will buy a bulk sized organic kale from Costco and throw it in the freezer) into my smoothies, so I use almond, soy or coconut milk because more liquid is needed and using just water seems to water down the flavor. But be careful of store-bought non-dairy “milks”—many contain carrageenan a, thickening agent that could cause inflammation, gut irritation, and even cancer. You can make your own nut milk with this awesome cashew milk recipe by GD Meg!

We both add protein powder. Boku super protein is a great choice. It’s raw and organic and contains sprouted rice protein (Boku was the first on the market that’s low in heavy metals), dulse red algae, and cranberry protein. I love Boku, but Garden of Life Raw Protein is also a good choice.

It’s also a great idea to add good fats like coconut or flax seed oil. Benefits of good fats: they provide essential fatty acids: help keep our skin soft; deliver fat-soluble vitamins; protect our heart; are a great source of energizing fuel; help curb overeating; promote healthy hair, nails, and bones

Mix it up with a variety of greens.

Here are some awesome, nutritionally potent greens to consider for both juicing and smoothies and the benefits of each:

Kale: Packed with A, C, K, B6 and calcium and magnesium plus anti-cancer and cholesterol lowering antioxidants.

Conscious Consumer, GD Ticker, Green Diva Foodie-Philes, Green Divas Foodie-Philes, Green Divas Radio Show, Healthy Living, Recipes, sustainability

About the author / 

Green Diva Lynn

Lynn Hasselberger is the former Managing Editor of The Green Divas blog and was a producer of the Green Divas Radio Show. She's also a mom, writer and award-winning cat-herder who lives in Chicagoland. Sunrises, running, yoga, chocolate and comedy are just a few of her fave things.

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    Tiffany October 13, 2014 at 4:49 pm -  Reply

    Not much of a juice person but I love smoothies!

  2. Green Diva Lynn October 13, 2014 at 4:52 pm -  Reply

    Smoothies are definitely my first love, but juicing has become a passion. Thanks for checking it out, Tiffany!

    Janelle Sorensen October 13, 2014 at 5:05 pm -  Reply

    I LOVE me some fresh juice AND homemade smoothies!! I never thought of putting coconut oil in them – thanks for the tip!

    Lindsay October 13, 2014 at 5:09 pm -  Reply

    Wait, you were in Hawaii for work?! That’s amazing!!! Great info on juicing and smoothies. I’m a fan of both and love a blueberry/banana smoothie in the morning.

    Brenna October 13, 2014 at 5:53 pm -  Reply

    I’ve never owned a juicer, but I love to treat myself when I am at a place with yummy juice. We are a smoothie drinking family though and I can’t wait to try some of these recipes! The “Sunflower Rising Smoothie” sounds super interesting – I love pineapple!

    Anne October 14, 2014 at 12:53 am -  Reply

    Sounds like a good choice in juicers. I was wondering how enlightening your trip to the islands was regarding all the GMO experimentation on croplands there? How much of a danger is it to locally grown food, especially for those who want organics?

    Jenny B October 14, 2014 at 10:48 am -  Reply

    I love both, I kind of choose which I want based on my fullness levels! Thanks for the ingredients ideas!

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