How to Choose a Blender.

DSC_4686I remember the first time I made a green drink.  I was brimming with anticipation.  I had my cucumber, kale, celery and frozen fruit in the blender ready to go.  It’s time now, the moment I have been waiting for. Flip the switch.  Nothing.  The obnoxious sound was coming out but the food wasn’t moving.  This is not at all what I pictured in my head.  I figured it would be a quick little spin and poof…green goodness.  Nope.  The blender was grinding away and nothing was moving.  So, like any other idiot, I took a spoon and shoved it in there to move stuff around.  Now we are getting somewhere!  I’m plugging away at the thing, mixing it as it struggles to blend the bottom inch of whatever I can shove down far enough.  Eight minutes later…Success!  I pour it in my glass. Hmmmm, it looks a little thick.  No big deal.  Here we go!  Cheers!

Vomit.  Like, actual vomit consistency.  “Viscous” is the best word I can use to describe it.  The taste wasn’t bad at all but the thick, chunkiness..No. Gag reflex activated.

How could this be?  I see all these pictures of smooth creamy shakes and I get this??   Am I doing something wrong?  Yes, Yes I was.

That night, by some strange divine intervention I just happened to come across a recipe that called for a “high speed” blender.  I figured all blenders were high speed. Have you ever seen the little blades turn?  They look pretty high speed to me.  Well, I was wrong. A high speed blender is not the same as my crappy blender.

The right blender is your key to successful green smoothies.  How do you know which blender will rock your world?  A little something I call the celery test.  Chances are you have a blender already.  Give it a whirl.  <—See what i did there?  Blend up some celery and see what happens.  If it’s still stringy you need a better blender.  If the contents stick to the outside and stay out of reach of the blade, you need a better blender.

I know what you’re thinking.  “I’m not spending a ton on of money on a blender”.  I’m with you, I felt the same way.  And they are pricey.  Then I started the typical dialogue in my head that always pops up when I want something.  “Well, it’s not like it’s another purse, it has real value.”  “I could always return it.”  And then the clincher…”It’s an investment in my health.”  How could I argue with that?  Decision made.  Get a high speed blender.

There are tons of blenders out there.  I spent hours upon hours figuring out which one to buy.  I considered price, power, customer reviews and personal experience while compiling info.  I narrowed it down to the three blenders that performed the best within these parameters.  My top choices are:  The Nutribullet Pro 900, The Ninja Ultima, and Vitamix.  Here are the pros and cons of each.

Nutribullet Pro 900

Nutribullet Pro 900

Nutribullet Pro 900- (900 watt) You flip past this infomercial every Saturday morning. I have no personal experience with this one, but I have a few friends that have it and like it. It’s basically a more powerful version of the Magic Bullet.  If you are going to use your blender exclusively for smoothies and nothing else this may be a good option.  Also, if you have limited kitchen space or plan to travel with your blender this could work for you.

Pros: Lower cost at $150 (on sale as low as $99), more compact size, and dishwasher safe.

Cons:  Product reviews suggest it is not built to last.  It has a smaller canister (32oz) compared to other high speed blenders. It  cannot make nut butter or other thick substances. Also, users report thick greens like kale and seeds leave grainy texture.  Reviews claim poor customer service, and there is only a one year warranty.

Ninja Ultima

Ninja Ultima

Ninja Ultima-(2.5 peak horsepower).  This one receives mostly good reviews for performance. There are a few reported problems that seem to be recurring. There is a set of blades about halfway up the blender jar.  They are there to keep the contents spinning instead of getting stuck at the bottom.  Seems awesome right?  People are cutting their hands. Not awesome.  I actually had a Ninja about three years ago and returned it a week after purchase for this reason.  If you are blending something that is a thicker consistency like peanut butter you usually will use a utensil of some sort to scrape the sides and you stick your hand in there not thinking about it.  Bloodbath.  Also, reviews report lid is difficult to get on and off.

Pros:  Makes great smoothies.  It has an extra large 72oz canister.  It is able to make nut butter, soups and sauces.  It has variable speed and 3 single serve cups included and is also dishwasher safe.

Cons:  Risk losing a finger or two.  Getting more expensive at $259 (have seen on sale for $199).  It is slightly large and bulky compared to others.  Users report thick blending (i.e. peanut butter) requires stopping the blender often to stir.  Only a two year warranty.

Vitamix

Vitamix

Vitamix-(2 peak horsepower) If you are looking for the best of the best, I present to you the Vitamix.  It is coveted by foodies and greenies all over.  It will blend anything you put into it including nuts and seeds.  Like a boss.

Vitamix has a great reputation and is more widely known so there are more reviews.  You’d be hard pressed to find a legit bad one.  It’s been around for a while It’s not uncommon for someone to say they have had theirs for twenty years and it still works like new.  They have excellent customer service and it’s made right here in ‘Merica.  It also comes with this thing…

DSC_4678The tamper.  It’s like a plunger that goes right in the hole in the top of the lid and reaches just above the blades.  You can scrape the sides without having to stop or open the blender.  Genius!  Now for the hard part, the price…

The Vitamix is expensive.  I’m just gonna throw that out there because it will most likely be the only thing that will hold you back from buying it.  The price range is $379 to $650.  I know, I’m sorry.  $650 is bat $h!t crazy to spend on a blender.  The good news is that even the least expensive base model is amazing and will blend ANYTHING you wish into smooth oblivion.   Keep in mind these machines are very versatile.  They make more than just smoothies.  In fact, I bet you can put your blender into a Vitamix and it would turn it into a creamy milkshake.  (Don’t try that, as I’m sure it would void the warranty).

I am a proud owner of a Vitamix and it is one of my most prized possessions.  I use it everyday.  I have the Turboblend Two Speed which is the bare bones model and costs $379.  There is no variable speed and that doesn’t bother me at all.  The more expensive models have some nice bells and whistles but the base model works great and I don’t find myself dreaming of a better version.  The 64oz container is plenty large and I don’t see ever needing any more space.  (Important tid bit-To clean it you just fill it half way with warm water and a few drops of soap and blend for a few seconds, rinse out and let air dry.)

To sum up the Vitamix:

Pros:  Extremely powerful, blends perfect smoothies, nut butters, soups and sauces, great warranty, large 64oz container, excellent customer service.

Cons:  Price, hand wash recommended.

Many people wonder why the canisters of these expensive blenders are plastic and not glass.  It is because the high speed would shatter the glass.  All of these blenders mentioned here are BPA free.  The horsepower is important but as far as blenders go, a horsepower of 2 is sufficient for all of your kitchen needs.  If you know you want a more powerful blender for nut butters and such…Here is a great video from steamykitchen.com comparing the Vitamix to the Ninja Ultima.

Here is my final conclusion:  If you know you are going to make only smoothies and never want to make peanut butter or soup or anything like that go with the Nutribullet Pro 900.  It will serve you well.  Keep in mind, if you feel a juicer may be in your future also there are many units that can make nut butters if you can’t see spending the money for the Vitamix.

If you are willing to make the investment and want a more versatile blender, the Vitamix will not disappoint.  It will make the smoothest green drinks and creamy peanut butter.  You can also get a refurbished one for around $279 and that still comes with a 5 year warranty.

PS- There are many stores that send you coupons.  Sometimes it says right on the coupon it isn’t valid for certain brands.  Hypothetically, if you were to bring the excluded blender to a register and hand over the coupon it may work.   Just sayin’.

I hope this helped you on your quest to Greenyville.  Let me know what kind of blender you use and what you are whipping up by emailing me

nikki@greensypants.com!  Don’t forget to like Greensypants on Facebook and follow on twitter so you know when there’s so new greensypants info to soak in!

Smooches,

Nikki

 

 

Categories: Green Love, Product Recommendations, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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