Monday, September 23, 2013

~To Juice or Not to Juice~ (and a Fall Juice Recipe)

No...... I'm not talking about steroids or A-Rod's suspension here. 
The question I'm referring to that I always ask myself is: 
"Which is better: a juice or a smoothie?"

There are pros and cons to both.  Here's a good summary:

                   Juicing vs. Blending
PROCESS
Extracts the juice from fruits and vegetables.
Forms a puree from whole fruits and vegetables.
FIBER
Fiber is removed, making the digestive process easier but can result in a less full feeling.
Fiber is included creating more digestive work but also giving a feeling of fullness and meeting dietary fiber needs.  It can cause gas or bloating in those sensitive to fiber rich meals.
NUTRIENTS
Without fiber, nutrients can be available in larger quantities & absorbed more easily. Juicing with fruits should be minimalized due to the quick absorption of sugars into the bloodstream.
The fiber is broken down and creates slow and steady nutrient absorption. Smoothies can help supply fat and protein that juices don't.
DIFFICULTY
Time consuming and longer clean up time.
Pulp can be used in other recipes.
Easier with less clean up.
Taste and texture can be an issue.

think both juices and smoothies are great to add to your diet interchangeably. My choice usually comes down to how much time I have on hand. Usually in the morning I've hit snooze too many times, so a smoothie is easier to do - throw everything in a blender and go. I also like getting an extra bit of protein in my smoothie if I plan on a long day at work with a good workout afterwards.
But on the weekends, when I have a little more time and I don't want to overdose on coffee, a juice hits the spot.

Since this was the first weekend of fall, I wanted to make a juice that reminded me of some of the flavors and colors of the season.
FALL MORNING JUICE
3 carrots
4 stalks of celery
1/4 beet and the greens
1/2 cucumber
1 large lemon
1 inch ginger
5 sprigs of parsley

Add everything to the juicer and drink immediately or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Strain the juice if desired. Instead of peeling the lemon, I actually just use a hand juicer and stir in the lemon juice at the end.
Happy Autumn!

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