Ask Chef Hosch and Ann

Q: Chef, which is healthier – blending or juicing?

A: Since juicing and blending use two different methods, it is difficult to say which is healthier.

They both have their benefits and drawbacks. The method you choose depends on the results you hope to achieve.


Juicing extracts the juice from the fruit or vegetable.

It extracts the water and nutrients from the indigestible fiber. The resulting juice is full of vitamins, enzymes, minerals and antioxidants.

With juicing, there is very little energy required to break down the food and absorb the nutrients. It makes the nutrients available in much larger quantities than eating the fruits and vegetables whole.

This quick absorption also is one of the drawbacks to juicing, especially if you mainly juice fruits. Without the fiber, the liquid juice is absorbed into your blood stream quickly.

This causes your blood sugar to spike and then plummet. This leads to hunger, mood swings and loss of energy.

We generally juice mostly vegetables to get the maximum nutrition and avoid the blood sugar spike.

Some people add fiber supplements to their juice, but this affects the absorbability and you may as well just blend instead.

We consider vegetable juices to be a food, but not a meal. Drink your juice 30 minutes prior to your meal to help decrease appetite and calorie consumption.

Choosing your vegetables for juicing is important for maximum juice. The stalks of some vegetables such as collard greens and kale contain the most liquid so look for nice full stalks that are oozing a little juice at the bottom to assure freshness.

Carrots are great for juicing: we found the medium size carrots to give the most juice and the baby carrots provide little juice.

When juicing we also use the leaves from the root vegetables such as carrots and beets so using organic is a must for us.

Add fresh ginger, lemon, lime, parsley, basil or cilantro to taste to add flavor.


A smoothie is the name of the popular drink that is the result of blending the entire fruit or vegetable, (edible) skin and all.

Blending is especially useful for liquefying fruits and vegetables with a very low water content such as avocado, banana, papaya and leafy vegetables.

The fruits or vegetables in a smoothie are easier to digest than whole fruits or vegetables because the blending breaks apart the fiber.

This allows for a slower, steadier release of nutrients than juice. It keeps you feeling full longer and does not cause your blood sugar to spike as much.

Many people add supplements to their smoothies to increase the protein and nutrients and help them feel full longer. We like to soak Chia seeds in water, then add to smoothies for added Omega-3’s, fiber and protein.

Frozen fruits are great for smoothies and you can blend them from the frozen state. Chef Hosch uses a Ninja blender that has multiple blades stacked at various heights, as it cuts through the frozen foods and ice well.

It works best to layer your fruits with the ice rather than add the ice all at once. Smoothies also make great desserts.

As with juicing, the benefit of blending also is its drawback. Because there is a lot of fiber in a smoothie, there is less hydration compared to juicing.

Many chemicals and pesticides are embedded in the fibers, so these also will get into your smoothie or juice.

Using organic fruits and-or vegetables is an option to prevent this, just be aware that organic produce costs more.

And who says you have to choose between a blending and juicing? If you own both types of equipment, you can use your juicer to extract juices that can be used in your blended smoothies.

Ease-in to juicing juice

1 cup pineapple

1medium gala apple

2 stems bok choy

1/2 red pepper

1 cup baby spinach

Wash well, leaving some of the water on the leaves. Juice and enjoy.

Powerhouse juice

1/3 beet with the greens

1 stalk collard greens or bok choy

1 medium carrot with greens

1/2 red pepper

2 stalks celery

1/2 apple (optional)

Wash well, leaving some of the water on the leaves.

Collard greens are bitter so choose the bok choy if you prefer a smoother drink. The apple adds a sweeter flavor, the drink is very earthy without it.

Juice and drink within 15 minutes for best retention of nutrition.

Creamy smoothie

1 cup fresh pineapple

1 orange

1 medium apple

1 cup ice

Blend until desired thickness.

Berry-mango smoothie

1 cup blueberries

1 cup strawberries

1 cup mango

1 cup ice

Blend until desired thickness.

Chef Hosch’s palate cleanser

1 lime, peeled

1 lemon, peeled

1 cup mango, peeled

1 cup ice

Blend and serve in a cordial glass between courses.