I have been trying to eat healthier and clean. Whole grains; lean, organic protein; fresh fruits and vegetables. Also exercise regularly (more on that in a future blog!).
I was finding it really hard to get the recommended servings of fresh fruits and vegetables into my day. I remembered I had a “Magic Bullet” blender that was gathering dust in my pantry. So I broke it out, thinking I would make healthy fruit smoothies and protein shakes for my breakfast. The bullet seemed a great alternative to my old school, clunky blender with it’s many pieces and parts that would have to be disassembled to wash after use. Off to the grocery store I went to get fresh fruit in season, frozen fruit that wasn’t, and whatever other ingredients (fat-free Greek yogurt, chia seeds) needed to get me on the way to liquid nutrient nirvana!
Armed with healthy recipes (under 300 calories, 10+ grams of protein, 5+ grams of fiber, antioxidants and no added sugar), I began trying out this new breakfast thing. Many of the recipes called for frozen blueberries/fruit, Greek yogurt, nuts, and the dreaded “ICE CUBES”. This post is not meant to be a rant against the Magic Bullet. I’m sure there are thousands of people who love it and use it every day. However, for me, it could not handle the contents I threw into it. The instructions give you advice on how to handle tough items to blend. My favorite was the “shake” technique. If the bullet seemed to be struggling to combine all the ingredients, you “shake” it like you would a cocktail shaker – up and down vigorously. So I would shake the unit up and down vigorously. So vigorously that I was literally jumping up and down with the bullet in my hands, shaking it, and jumping to try to get the ingredients incorporated. On the plus side, I was getting a bit of plyometric exercise!!! And ICE CUBES, you could just forget it. You would end up with solid non-crushed ice cubes randomly in your smoothie.
Then I discovered the Vitamix! It claimed to be able to blend whatever you threw at it into a smooth, delicious, whatever-it-is-supposed-to-be. With the Vitamix, I was actually able to get the fruits AND the vegetables I needed into my diet! The actual Vitamix website was not very informative to me. So I did some research, and thought I would share my findings with you. Note this is strictly the home use Vitamix, not the commercial series.
I purchased the bare bones, basic Vitamix – the Turboblend 2 speed.
This completely suited my needs. It has an on/off switch, and low/high speed. You put your ingredients into the container, start on low speed, flip to high, and viola! Your recipe is finished! I did not know you could make hot soups in this thing!!! You put your ingredients in, do the low/high thing, let it blend for 4-5 minutes, and the heat of the motor cooks and heats your ingredients to produce a hot, hearty soup!!! And you are eating whole foods! I actually made a delicious kale and watercress soup that took care of my vegetable requirements for the day!
This is the “basic”, least expensive model. It comes with a food tamper (to get the ingredients mixed together – you take the stopper off the lid and insert this and stir) as well as a basic recipe book. And cleanup is a snap for all models. You just fill the container half full of warm water, put a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid in, and run on high for 30 seconds. That’s it!! And there are no pieces/parts to disassemble. There is the base unit, the container, and lid. The blades are an integral part of the container, so you don’t have to take it all apart. And the base is solid, and the blade mechanism fits into it, so you just wipe it clean with a damp cloth. Simple!!!!
The next step up from this is the Turboblend Variable Speed. It is the same as mine, except it has a variable speed dial in between the on/off and low/high settings. It comes with a raw foods/vegan/vegetarian cookbook. The 5200 is also the same as this, but it comes with a whole foods cookbook. Both models also come with instructional DVDs that mine did not have. So, basically, they are the same unit, but have different cookbooks.
All the various model numbers after these are hybrids of the above, differences being the size of the blender container (the creation series is a shorter, wider container that fits under most cabinets. As you can see, mine does not fit under my cabinet with the container on), and type of container, and accessories. Some come with additional containers that can make whole grain/nut flours, knead dough, larger capacity for families, etc. Home use blenders are all 2HP, so they all have tremendous power and are equal in that sense. The Professional series and Creation series also offer pulse, pre-programmed settings, and soft touch controls. You just have to decide what works for you and your family.
I purchased mine at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Retail price was $379.99. I used a coupon for 20% off my entire purchase (I bought a couple of other things as well). The coupon specifically said not valid on Vitamix, and I told the cashier I understood the disclaimer. She said, “Let’s see what happens”. It took 20% off my total purchase PRICE. It did not differentiate what I actually purchased, so I ended up getting it for $304.00.
If you belong to Costco, they also have fabulous deals on Vitamix. They are a “traveling” vendor for Costco, so check to see when they will be at your local store. They have demos at the stores, and offer packages much cheaper than you could buy elsewhere.
For me, my basic model does everything I need. I have made almond butter, pesto, soups, smoothies, and oh! ICE CUBES – no problem!!!!! Personally, I didn’t see a need for variable speed and pulse and all the other bells and whistles. So I got the basic. Vitamix does have an on-going “trade-up” program, so if I ever decide I want more, I can send mine in and get the next upgrade for a small price. I do use it at least twice a day – mornings for my breakfast, and for dinner to make a vegetable. Weekends more – might make a fruit sorbet (healthy!!!). Today I made a delicious green smoothie with kale, spinach, broccoli, pear, orange, white grapes, and ICE CUBES. Delish!!!
KPsays, “Take the plunge!!!”
Thanks for reading! kxoxo