I have a confession. I have a juicer. It sits on my counter, in the corner. It does get used. It has been used a lot in the close-to-10-years I have owned it--personal use, for events and cooking/juicing demos, when I have an abundance of ginger and want to put up a stash of ginger juice, cleansing weekends... But it doesn't get used on a daily basis. Basically because I am lazy.
To use the juicer, I have to pull it out, carefully positioning it to get it out from under the cupboards (tiny kitchen hazard) and set it up. Produce needs to be washed and at least slightly chopped before juicing depending on the fruit or veg. About half the time, even as many times I have juiced, something isn't lined up just right and juice drips on the counter a bit and it needs to be carefully wiped up as spring is prime ant season in these parts. Finally, once everything is juiced, it needs to be dissembled, everything washed, and the screen scrubbed within an inch of its life, then all parts thoroughly dried, or left to air-dry before it can be put away. Pooh! How often do I want to do that?!
My Vita-Mix (aka my best friend in the kitchen) on the other hand, lives next door to the juicer on the counter, but juicing with it simply requires me pulling off the blender jar from the base, washing and chopping the produce (although in smaller and admittedly more detailed pieces for optimal blending), tossing it all into the blender jar--often with a little cold coconut water to get it going, then letting it rip. After everything has been juiced, a quick washing of the jar and top happens and it goes back on the base. See the difference?!
Now, there are various camps of juicers versus blenders about which is better for you. Answer: It depends on what you want. Juicing extracts the juice and all of the nutrients and leaves behind the pulp. Blending pulverizes the whole fruit--leaving pulp and fiber. The theory is that unlike juicing, not all of the nutrients are extracted when blending and stay in the pulp along with all the fiber, but when you blend your juice, you do get that big dose of healthy fiber and while you may not get every bit of the nutrients extracted, your juice will satiate you and "stay with you" longer during the day. Some people also just don't like pulp and don't want to drink it. Of course you can strain the pulp from the juice after blending but, if you go back to the last sentence of paragraph one, you'll see my thoughts on that. Yep... too lazy. Plus I happen to like a pulpy juice as long as it is cold or served over ice.
Extracted juice or blended "smoothie"--either way, you end up with something delicious and brimming with goodness and healthy nutrients. Curtis Stone's recipe for Ginger-Apple Green Juice is a great way to start the day, or often, I like to make a green juice for an afternoon break when I want to transition off of the caffeine and am feeling a bit peckish. I did adjust the recipe below (you can find the original here), making a half-quantity (about what fits easily in the blender) but keeping in the full amount of lime and ginger, adding 1/4 cup extra mint leaves + 1/2 cup extra spinach and finally, adding 1/2 cup very cold coconut water to get things blending smoothly.
Ginger-Apple Green Juice (Blended)
Adapted from Curtis Stone via Oprah.com
(Makes about 2 cups Juice or 4 cups blended juice)
2 large tart green apples, such as Granny Smith, cored
1 pear, such as Anjou or Bartlett, cored
2 celery stalks
1 lime, peel and pith removed
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled
(I used 2 Tbsp ginger juice, previously juiced and frozen)
1 1/2 cups (loosely packed) spinach
3/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh mint leaves
(I added 1/2 cup plain coconut water--very cold)
ice, for serving
Cut apples, pears, celery, lime, and ginger in small pieces for blending or to fit juicer feed tube.
If using a blender, place produce in blender jar with coconut water and blend on high until smooth. Strain if desired or add more coconut water if juice is too thick. If using a juicer, with motor running, pass all ingredients except ice through juicer.
Serve over ice if desired.
I am linking this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs where the theme is "Wet Your Whistle"--you
can see all of the yummy beverage recipes from Curtis Stone that
everyone made by checking out the picture links on the post.