I love vegetable juice! It’s something I could drink every day, but going out and buying one of those $10 cold-press juices is the epitome of luxury for me and doesn’t happen very often. So, I make juice at home instead.
I own both a Vitamix A3500 and a juicer Omega J8008. Both appliances are capable of making juice but the way they do so is different.
In this review, I dive into the differences between a high-speed blender and a juicer, what type of juice they are capable of making, and which appliance is better for you.
Blending vs Juicing
There is an everlasting debate in the health food community about the benefits of blending vs juicing. They may seem like the same process, but there are a lot of differences between the two.
- Requires little produce (e.g. it takes ~ 2 medium carrots – plus water and ice – to make 1 cup/240 ml carrot juice), which means:
- Less vegetables/fruit packed in one serving.
- More cost-effective.
- Pulverizes whole foods, keeping insoluble fiber intact.
- Creates slow, even release of nutrients into the bloodstream.
- Produces filling drinks that can be an adequate substitute for a meal.
- Reduces food waste.
- Requires a lot of produce (e.g. it takes ~ 9 medium carrots to produce 1 cup/240 ml carrot juice), which means:
- More vegetables/fruit packed in one serving.
- More cost-prohibitive.
- Extracts water and nutrients from produce and leaves insoluble (indigestible) fiber behind.
- Makes nutrients readily available to the body in large quantities.
- Produces light refreshing drinks that nourish and restore the body at a cellular level.
- Increases food waste (unless you use the fibrous pulp in other recipes or for a compost).
Blending and juicing both have their advantages and disadvantages and one is not necessarily better than the other. What’s great about Vitamix is that it can do both.
Differences Between a Blender vs Juicer
Both blenders and juicers process fruits and vegetables into drinks. However, the way they do so, and the end result, is not quite the same.
There are three types of blenders – regular (counter-top) blenders, high-speed (counter-top) blenders, and immersion (hand) blenders. The only blenders that are capable of making juice are high-speed blenders, such as the Vitamix.
Similar to centrifugal juicers, Vitamix blenders have a very powerful motor (my Vitamix A3500 has a 2.2-HP motor), which allows the blades to spin at a very fast speed (28,500 RPM). This is why high-speed blenders are able to achieve the silky-smooth texture so characteristic of blended foods. Unlike ordinary blenders that have either sharp blades or dull blades, Vitamix blades are precision engineered to provide both actions. First, the sharp edge cuts and breaks down whole foods, then the flat edge works like a hammermill to smash and pulverize the tiniest bits and seeds.
This is why even though Vitamix is primarily a blender (and a food processor, if you have the food processor attachment), it can also act as a juicer.
There are three types of juicers – cold-press (masticating) juicers, triturating juicers, and centrifugal juicers. The main difference between these juicers is how fast they extract juice. Cold-press and triturating juicers operate at a very low speed (40-100 RPM) whereas centrifugal juicer are fast (3,000 – 10,000 RPM).
It takes a considerable amount of power to rip through tough fibers of vegetables, so the motor of juicers is typically quite powerful (the Omega 8008 has a 2-HP motor). Slow juicers don’t have any blades – they extract juice by slow crushing – while fast juicers have very sharp blades – they extract juice by fast chopping.
Using Vitamix as a juicer has been gaining in popularity over the past few years. It makes sense since a juicer is a single-function machine whereas a Vitamix is a multi-functional machine.
While Vitamix is not a traditional juice extractor (meaning, it doesn’t squeeze juice out of the fruits and vegetables), it makes juice by pulverizing and liquifying whole foods – skin, seeds, and pulp included. The entire food is broken down to a cellular level, making all the valuable vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients readily digestible without rapid blood sugar spikes. It’s fast, easy, and healthy.
Juicing purists insist that the whole point of juicing is to remove fiber, and thus make the juice easier to digest – you get all of the vital nutrients without activating the digestive process. True. However, it’s not just nutrients that get rapidly into the bloodstream, but also sugar, causing blood sugar spikes and crashes.
Whole Food Juicing vs Traditional Juicing
So, which one is better – whole food juicing (with a high-speed blender) or traditional juicing (with a juicer)?
It depends on your goals and current state of health. If you have imbalanced blood sugar levels, need to increase volume of nutrients as well as fiber, and want to replace a meal or two for a whole foods drink, a high-speed blender is a better choice. If you have a delicate digestive system, need to maximize volume of nutrient intake, or are undergoing a detox program, you will benefit from a juicer.
Health aside, other factors to consider are time and convenience. If you are looking for something fast and easy, then Vitamix is the answer. A lot of juicers can’t handle whole fruits and vegetables (there is no way I could fit a whole apple into the juicer chute opening without slicing it first), so certain amount of food prep is required. There is also no denying that it is easier to clean a blender than a juicer. My Vitamix practically cleans itself by simply adding warm water and a drop of dish soap into the container and running the cleaning cycle whereas my juicer has up to 10 detachable parts to clean.
How to Make Juice in a Vitamix
Using Vitamix as a juicer is easier than you may think. Add all the ingredients into the Vitamix. Turn it on and gradually work up to the highest speed, blending until the drink takes on a smooth texture. Play around with adding more liquid until you get the right consistency. If your model comes with preset programs, you can also select the “whole juice” feature.
If you enjoy juice with pulp, blending is all you have to do. To make completely smooth juice, strain it using a nut milk bag or a few layers of cheesecloth.
Vitamix Juicer vs Cold-Press Juicer
Making the choice between using your Vitamix for juicing or investing in a juicer really comes down to what type of juice you want to make. Both methods are exceptional ways of consuming more fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.
If you can afford to have both in your home, go for it and enjoy all the benefits of both. However, if you don’t want to invest in two different appliances, owning a Vitamix can give you the advantages of both a blender and a juicer.
Elizabeth F Jabaut
Thank you for this review! I have the omega and was thinking about getting the vitamix. I wanted a comparison from an experienced “juicer”.
Thank you Elizabeth! So happy you enjoyed the article!❤️
Thank you for this info, it’s just what I needed and can benefit from both types of juice. Nisa
Thank you for the feedback, Nisa!❤️ I appreciate it.
Thanks. That is just the information I was looking for.
Thank you, John! I am glad it was helpful.
I think you convinced me to continue using my vitamix. I am more interested in green juice VS fruit juices and I hope the vitamix can do that. Do you have recipes?
Hi Diane – yes, Vitamix can definitely do that. This is my go-to green juice recipe:
1 English cucumber
2 medium apples
2 cups baby greens (any greens work)
1/2 celery stalk
1/2 cup water
squeeze of lemon juice
Blend and then strain through a nut milk bag (optional).
Thank you so much for breaking it down all the pros & cons on both juicing and the Vita Mix. I have been in a dilemma as I love juices, but trying to cut down on cost. Now I know I can juice with the Vita Mix as well.
Thank you for the comment, Pam. So happy it has been helpful.
Excellent article Petra, thanks for making the pros & cons so clear, I’ve been toying with the idea of buying a vitamix and now I see it as a good investment
Awesome! So happy it was helpful, Jacqie.
When I use my Oster blender to make smoothies or similar, too often the blades carve out a cavern beneath the ingredients, requiring the dangerous and irritating necessity of manually pushing ingredients down with whatever utensil I’m willing to sacrifice. More liquid helps resolve this problem, but it also thins out the results.
Question: Most blenders have the same basic design–four blades on the bottom of a glass pitcher. Is there something about the Vitamix design that overcomes this feed problem? (Goal is to grind lots of veggies and fruits into a nice slurry-drink.) Thank-you in advance.
Hi Daniel – yes! The reason Vitamix is different is that the container is designed to create a vortex, pulling the ingredients down into the blade. The Vitamix also comes with a tamper (in case you are blending frozen or very thick/dense ingredients). You can read more about it here. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions 🙂
Hello! Thanks for the great article. I am confused though, do you need the food processor attachment or are you saying you can just use the vitamix as is in the “blender” form?
To make juices, you do not need the food processor attachment. My apologies for the confusion. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions, Amanda.
I found your article and really appreciate it. I have a Vitamix. I used to have a juicer but it was attached to a huge Ninja contraption and too big to store. I think I’ll be using the Vitamix for juicing thanks to you!
Thank you Jill! So happy you enjoyed the article 🙂
Thanks for making this!
I am trying to de cltlutter and keep being told you lose a lot of nutrients with a vitaminx over a juicer like the Omega.
I keep saying though any juice is better than No juice.
Then I am convincing myself that the Vitaminx will be easier to clean and will save the expensive $12/day of juice.
Do you find you still desire / thirst for just the slow juicer? I sense you have given that debate a lot of thought.
I feel you would also be fuller with the vitamix option due to the fiber no?
Hi Jonathan – great questions.
1. If you are someone who makes juice every day, I would keep the Omega Juicer. If you make juice once or twice a week, a Vitamix blender will suffice for sure. Assembling and cleaning/drying the Omega juicer can be a pain, but if it’s already assembled and sitting on your counter (because you are using it every day), it’s not a big deal, at least not for me.
2. If you are not straining the juice, you will definitely will fuller. Personally, I have no problem drinking juice with fruit fiber or even fiber from sweet vegetables, such as carrots. However, I really don’t like vegetable juice with the pulp in it, so I always strain it.
3. Ah, oxidation. That’s definitely a huge debate. You can find a lot of claims on the internet that blending for 90-120 seconds destroys anywhere from 85-92% of nutrients in fruits and vegetables. The premise is that oxidation destroys nutrients in the food that would otherwise be preserved if eaten in its solid state. However, oxidation occurs when whole foods are juiced, cut, chopped, shredded, peeled, chewed, and otherwise exposed to air. Nutrients in food begin to degrade the instant they are harvested, exposed to UV light and heat. I would be interested to see any lab tests that show that blending causes up to 92% nutrient loss. Now, I am not denying that some nutrient loss does occur from blending, but unless there is any research with lab tests (I haven’t found one yet), it is hard to know.
Also, any decent blender blends a smoothie in 30 seconds or less, not 90-120 seconds (the time it apparently takes to cause 92% nutrient loss). And finally, smoothies and juices are packed with antioxidants (e.g. Vitamix C, flavonoids, polyphenols, carotenoids, etc.) that help reduce oxidation.
Secondly, green smoothies are loaded with antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, flavonoids, and carotenoids that help reduce and prevent oxidation.
Thank you so much for taking the time!
Really appreciate it! Have you looked into the vacuum attachment for the Vitamix. It seems you can add it to the Vitamix to reduce oxidation, improve flavor + shelf life. I had been looking at the Ascent and now it seems I just need to figure the age old trick, am I buying it right before the next upgrade happens
To be completely honest, I have never been really bothered about the potential loss of nutrients and oxidation during blending. However, I have gotten A LOT of questions about vacuum blending and I see that it is a concern for many. So, I have been looking into different vacuum pumps and attachments for Vitamix. I have also contacted Vitamix to inquire whether they are planning on potentially releasing any official vacuum attachment(s) for personal blenders. As soon as I have enough information, I will share it here on the blog (hopefully sometime this month!).
Thanks Petra! Looking forward to some of your ideas and recipes!
Thank you Carolyn!❤️
I am looking into juicing as I have digestive issues..long standing issues with chronic gastritis that does flare up. A friend suggested juicing to help with the issue by adding enzymes into the diet. She has a twin blade juicer but the price is just too high for me. I already own a vitamix but when I mentioned this to her she said that”Vitamix is not the same as it is not pure nutrition. It can plug you up. Smoothies are lovely but twin blade is totally different.” So I’m not sure which way to go. Thanks for your assistance.
Hi Lori – your friend is probably thinking of smoothies when she hears “Vitamix”. It is true that Vitamix is first and foremost a blender but as I explain in the article, you can use it as a juicer. All you have to do is strain the pulp after blending. You can watch this video for more clarity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9LNlrjhsV4
Of course, don’t hesitate to reach out if you need more clarification 🙂
Hi Petra thank you for all the helpful information and comparison. I have been debating on getting the vita mix for juicing. I currently use a Ninja and it’s pretty awesome but I do have to drain the juice from the pulp. Which is why I was thinking about investing in a Vitamix. However, the vitamin also consist of removing the pulp afterwards. So I am a bit confused. Do you still have to use a drainer to remove the fibers from the juice? Using the Ninja is time consuming as I make juices for the week in advance and I am trying to find a way to make this easier?
Hi Marilyn – I totally understand. A Vitamix blender can indeed perform whole food juicing. However, it doesn’t remove any of the pulp (fiber). This might not be an issue when you are making juice out of cucumbers, zucchini, spinach, etc. because these vegetables are full of water and blend completely smooth, at least in the Vitamix blender. However, if you were blending carrots or beets, for instance, you would still end up with pulp. So, if you own a Ninja blender and it does everything you want (except for juicing), I would purchase a juicer. Don’t get me wrong. I love my Vitamix and recommend it to everyone. BUT just like the Ninja, it doesn’t separate the pulp from the juice.
Hello, If I am looking for Juicer for weight loss, increasing metabolism and improving thyroxin levels, should I go for blender or Juicer. I have Vitamix at home
Hi Lee – with juicing, you’re essentially removing all fibrous materials, leaving only the liquid of the fruits and vegetables. With blending, you get it all — the pulp and fiber that bulks up the produce. This is where we begin to separate the benefits of the two options. For your needs, I would go with smoothies. They will keep you full longer (limiting your total calorie consumption) and contain fiber (which is essential for healthy metabolism, especially digestion). With juice, you can consume the same amount of fruits and vegetables and still not feel satisfied. The main benefit of juicing is a greater concentration of nutrients per ounce.