To blend or juice?


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The popularity of juices and smoothies continues to grow with a daily juice or homemade smoothie part of the routine for many the health conscious peep. Whilst fruit and vegetable based smoothies and juices can be exceptionally healthy, they can also be packed with sugar and the way they are whizzed up is relevant when it comes to considering the nutritional pros and cons.

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The average juice from a juice bar can contain more than 10 teaspoons of sugar in a large 600ml sized container. While smoothies too can be packed full of calories, with popular banana smoothies containing yoghurt, fruit, milk and juice containing as many as 16 teaspoons of sugar. While there are a number of health benefits associated with juicing and enjoying fresh smoothies made with whole foods and nutrient rich fruits and vegetables, the key is to get this nutrition in a portion and sugar controlled serve.

As a general rule of thumb, we do not want a juice or smoothie to contain more sugars than a piece of fruit, or 20-30g of total carbohydrates. This translates into 1 piece of fruit per juice or smoothie along with 3-4 vegetables.

When it comes to juicing versus blending, my personal preference is blending. Not only does this mean you retain more fibre than from juicing alone, but you also reap the somewhat unknown array of benefits that come from consuming the whole vegetable or fruit. While this may give you a much thicker consistency, this is actually better nutritionally as a juice or smoothie with plenty of fibre will be digested more slowly than a clear juice which is ultimately better for our blood glucose levels.

Susie blends using an Oster blender, the top blender in the US with a powerful motor perfect for blending tough fruits and vegetables. Head to www.osterappliances.com.au for more.

And one of her favourite breakfast shakes is ‘Hidden Greens’

Hidden Greens Breakfast Shake

Serves 1

Ingredients

2 bananas

2 cups unsweetened almond milk

2 cups frozen berries

1 cup ice

1 cup baby spinach

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon CHIA

Method

1. Place all ingredients into the tall blender jug. Secure the lid.

2. Blend on HIGH speed until all of the ingredients are blended, or use the smoothie function.

3. Pour into a tall glass. Serve.

For more on which blender is right for you, http://aca.ninemsn.com.au/article/8998370/which-blender-is-right-for-you.

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