Food Processors vs. Juicers

by Andrea Cespedes

Juicers can be a bit more limiting than a food processor.

Piotr Adamowicz/iStock/Getty Images

If you're looking to start a juicing regimen, a juicer is an essential piece of equipment. This machine squeezes all the liquid out of vegetables and fruits while discarding the pulp, skin, rinds, peels and seeds. A food processor is a far more versatile machine, but it won't create pure juice.

Juicer Use

No other machine creates juice with the ease and precision of a juicer. Many upscale models require minimal prep of the fruits and veggies you plan to juice -- just washing, removal of any bitter skins and seeds and rough chopping, so the pieces fit down the chute. Most juicers can handle even the toughest of fruits and veggies, including hard and low-liquid produce such as carrots, beets and mango.

Food Processors for Juicing

A food processor can puree watery fruits and vegetables into a juice-like concoction, but it won't separate out the pulp, skin and other fibrous parts. You have to prep the fruits and vegetables before pureeing them in a food processor because everything you put in the bowl will be part of your juice. This means you must peel, seed and chop more than you'd have to with a juicer. A food processor will make a mushy puree of harder, low-liquid fruits and veggies such as broccoli, carrots and papaya. Good options for a food processor are cucumbers, tomatoes and watermelon. You can add greens, such as kale, but it may not result in a completely smooth mixture -- the fibrous parts of the stems and leaves could leave small specks. Because the food processor preserves all of produce's fiber, the product that comes out of a food processor could be thick, so you may need to add water if you want it thinner.

Versatility

A juicer does one thing: juice. A food processor, however, has multiple functions, including making cooked vegetable and fruit purees, dips, batters, pastry crusts, custard bases, pasta dough, nut butters and, if you use the attachments, shredded vegetables and cheese. A juicer also poses a cleaning challenge as you have to soap and rinse multiple parts, while food processors have fewer components to wash. A juicer also leaves you with mounds of pulp, which some people repurpose in soups and veggie burgers or compost, but it's usually dumped in the trash, meaning much of your produce goes to waste.

Benefits of Pure Juice

Pure juice quickly delivers numerous enzymes, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as your body doesn't have to work at digesting the pulp, according to the Food Matters website. Solid scientific evidence that juicing is superior to other forms of ingesting vegetables and fruits is lacking, however. If you want the best juice possible, you'll have to invest in a quality juicer that uses cold-press mechanisms to extract the liquid; cheaper models may destroy some of the nutrients while creating the juice. A food processor-produced puree will contain fiber, which means the drink will digest more slowly and not spike your blood sugar as readily.

Photo Credits

  • Piotr Adamowicz/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.