by C.M. Mackenzie
Making smoothies and milkshakes is easy with the right blender to mix everything together into a smooth consistency. A juicer, on the other hand, separates juice from fruit and vegetables by squeezing it. If you want the pure vegetable or fruit juice of a vegetable or fruit, you will probably need to buy a juicer, such as an orange juicer, rather than a kitchen blender. For thicker smoothies and drinks that still contain fruit pulp, however, blenders will work well. Read on for tips on using your food blender as a juicer for a variety of fruits.
Wash the wash fruit well. Scrub all fruits with a brush if they are visibly soiled before you put them in a blender, especially a smoothie blender. Even if you plan on peeling the fruit, this is important to prevent contaminating the juice.
Peel the fruit if necessary. Place peeled fruit on a clean cutting board before you juice it in your kitchen blender, especially if you'll be using your blender as a juicer for smoothies.
Cut the fruit into small pieces with a sharp knife. Dicing the fruit into 1-inch cubes will make the fruit easier to mix together in your food blender. If you're using apples, remove the core and take out any seeds.
Place cut-up fruit in the blender. If you are using apples or similar hard fruits, add 1/2 cup of water for every four apples. You can add more water to your traditional kitchen blender or smoothie blender later, if needed.
Blend on the "chop" setting for a few seconds. Then blend on the "puree" setting for a few seconds for juice to rival that from the best juicer.
Stop the blender and taste the juice. If the juice isn't sweet enough, add a pinch of sugar or sugar substitute to your small blender. Replace the lid and blend on the "liquefy" setting until the juice is the desired consistency. You may want to let even the best blender sit for a few minutes before serving the juice to let the flavors run together again.
Blender juicing works best for soft fruits, such as oranges, grapes and peaches. It is more difficult to blend hard fruits to as thin a consistency in a blender as you get when using your best juicer at home. A small blender filled with oranges, however, can often work as well as an orange juicer -- if you don't mind a bit of pulp.
Adding too much water to even the best blender will dilute the taste of the juice.