Yes, But Can Your Ninja Do This?

I did it.  I bought a new blender.  I broke my last one after four years (three of which were spent deployed) over the course of a single month making green smoothies.  I love green smoothies.  They are awesome.  I highly recommend them.  They are great for quick energy boosts, and they definitely help stave off the munchies.  I can’t stand to buy smoothies anywhere anymore, because they all taste too sweet and artificial.  Yeah, I’m talking about you Jamba Juice and Smoothie King.

I’ve been sans blender for nearly eight months.  That means I’ve been without green smoothies for just as long.  I also researched the heck out of blenders during that time.  And by during that time, I mean eight months ago during the course of one evening when I was probably trying to avoid doing something more responsible.  Like dishes.

I narrowed it down to two choices:  the Blendtec and the Vitamix.  People have very strong opinions on these two blenders.  When purchased at Costco, the Blendtec comes with the same 7-year warranty as the Vitamix.  And it’s a little less expensive.  And a little louder.  But we’re talking about breaking frozen stuff down into liquid without losing the chill factor… I’m not sure how you make that librarian-approved-12-inch-whisper quiet.

Vitamix blenders are really tall.  And they look kind of ugly and industrial.  Blendtec has a better appearance.  And when you are talking about commercial grade appliances that are too big to fit in a cupboard, looks are important.

I decided to purchase the Blendtec and (spoiler alert!) bought the Vitamix.

Behold. The Mighty Vitamix.

I went to Costco for the sole purpose of getting one along with a few frozen fruits, spinach and bananas (not frozen… yet… thus the reason it’s mentioned separately from the frozen fruits) so I could get back to the business of making green smoothies.  Unfortunately, there was not a Blendtec in sight.  There was a Ninja*.  There was an Oster.  There was a Cuisinart.  No Blendtec.

As I was checking out, I mentioned something to the manager about it.  She explained that it’s a “Road Show” item and only around occasionally.  She offered to find out when the next arrival would be.  I accepted her offer.  And then listened to her tell me how much better the Vitamix is.  It didn’t matter.  I’d already decided.  Blendtec.

It turns out, the Vitamix was due to arrive the next day.  It was $50 more expensive, but at least I could walk out the door, blender in hand, and build a smoothie.  I left a little disappointed, and still undecided.

Work ended early and I found myself back at Costco.  I boldly approached the Vitamix display, and set the demonstrator to work immediately.  First, I had her make a green smoothie.  Then I asked for soup.  Then ice cream.  Then another smoothie.  Then carrot juice.  Then more ice cream.  Then soup again.  I needed to see just what this blender could do to make my life easier and it was lunch time.

It just so happened that this was the latest, greatest, upgraded version of the Vitamix and the first day of demonstrations.  What this meant is that the Vitamix was actually $150 more expensive than the Blendtec.  But by this point, I’d tasted the glorious flavors of a green smoothie and was reminded of all I’d been missing, and knew I must take one home.  Along with enough fruits and vegetables to feed a person for the next six months (oh Costco!  how I both love and hate you – I once went in to buy pigs ears for the dogs, and walked out with a television… and no pigs ears).

They recommend using the included recipe book when you are first getting to know your blender so you don’t mess up and blend too fast.  Or too slow.  I glanced at it (and it does have some awesome recipes), and then ventured out on my own.  So, what have I made in my blender?

First, I made chicken taco soup with crushed tortilla chips on top.  Yum.  I made about 64 ounces I think.  I lost count.  I know I ate four bowls of it.  But they were small bowls.  It was delicious.  And then I had a fifth bowl for second dinner.  And I have four cups left to eat this weekend or take to work on Monday.  I should probably post an actual recipe with this, but I might be too lazy.  The ingredient list was pretty awesome, though:  water with some chicken flavored Better than Bouillon, two whole tomatoes, half an avocado (makes it creamy), celery, onion, carrots, garlic (no need to peel completely), some aged cheddar, corn, and black beans.  Oh and a bit of Mrs. Dash.

Chicken Taco Soup To Be… How Healthy and Delicious You Look in the Prep Stage

Did you catch that?  I made SOUP in my blender.  From start to finish.  As in, my Vitamix is so powerful that it heats the liquid so I can eat it straight from the carafe.  No heating on the stove.  Nope.  Genius.  It even has a soup setting (and an ice cream setting).  Awesome.  I have so many plans for future soups.  Carrot, ginger and coriander… you’re next.  Unless it’s creamy tomato basil.  Or broccoli cheese.

Just Look At My Baby Girl Go

 

Fifteen Minute Meals Never Looked and Tasted This Good

I didn’t have any small plastic bags in which to store the half of an avocado remaining from my soup experiment, so I decided I should make a green smoothie to finish it up.  I added half an orange (did you know that you only want to remove the very outer rind on the orange because most of the nutrients are contained in the white part… which my blender has no problem pulverizing by the way), a banana, carrots, celery, spinach, a cup or so of frozen strawberries, mangoes, papaya, and pineapple, and a little bit of apple juice.  It was delicious.

Before Before

 

 

Before
During
During During (I Always Mix My Greens First… and then add the Fruit)
After

And clean up?  Couldn’t be easier.  Add a couple of cups of warm water, a drop of dish soap, and turn that baby on variable setting until you get up to ten (high).  Let it do it’s thing for about thirty seconds and then rinse.  Nothing has to be taken apart.  I love things that allow me to be lazier than I already am neat, and tidy, and super-productive.

After After
After That
Aftermath

Wow, I totally sound like a Vitamix infomercial, don’t I?  They should pay me for this awesome review.  But really?  I’m just glad that I can have green smoothies every day for the next seven years if I want… and if I kill this blender making them, it’s fully covered.

It was interesting to me how many other customers came up to me to tell me how great their Vitamix blenders are… and they bought them in the 1970s and 80s.  Then again, my mom bought her mixer/blender combo (which might be Bosch if I remember correctly) back then, and it still works.  They just don’t make things like they used to.  I think I’ve had to replace every one of my kitchen appliances.  Planned obsolescence is irritating.  Phil, the Vitamix rep, assures me that Vitamix hasn’t skimped on its manufacturing.  It is still made in the USA, so if nothing else, I just helped our economic situation.  You’re welcome.

*Someone I knew bought a Ninja, and tried to tell me of its merit which was limited to its awesome name.  I think.  I just remember the conversation going something like this:  “You should get a Ninja.  Blah blah blah blah blah Ninja.”  I hope I’ve done that conversation justice.

UPDATE:  I just made guacamole in the Vitamix.  Yum.  It was delicious.  Just blended a tomato, half an onion, four slices of lime, a clove of garlic, four avocados, a bit of cilantro, and some salt.  It is pretty legit.  Although next time, I think a bit more salt, and I will also blend the limes first to pulverize them completely, then the onion to chop it, and maybe even remember to add the cilantro before I put it in serving dishes.  What’s that you ask?  Why, of course, I took pictures.

Pre-spin
Five-minute Guacamole… getting the seed out of the middle of the avocado took the most time and effort. Really.
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4 Responses to Yes, But Can Your Ninja Do This?

  1. Ryan says:

    *crawling into a small corner right now

  2. cera says:

    You’re right, it is fairly ugly – but WOW the stuff you’re making looks amazing! I might need one of those.

    • stubbs says:

      it is so delicious. and yes, you need one. the whole world needs one. so far everything i’ve made is gluten-free, too… so, um, yeah.

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