My new Vitamix Blender – Was it worth the price?
On Friday, my new kitchen toy was delivered. I just bought a Vitamix blender. Yes, it’s one of those overly priced blenders that they swear will change your lifestyle and make healthy eating easier. For over a year now, I’ve been watching all the little promos about this blender and wondering why anyone in their right mind would spend $400 on a blender. Sure, I have never been impressed by my $50 Black and Decker blender, but it does it’s job…kind of. Over the last few months, I’ve been growing increasingly curious about the Vitimix blender, so I started to do research on it. I went to various sites with reviews to find out what’s so great about this blender. Is it really as great as they claim? I have literally read hundreds of reviews on this blender and the majority of the reviews were very positive. It even has a high consumer reports rating, and Good Housekeeping gave it an “A”. No, it’s not perfect, but people seem to love it. Not to mention, it is used by two of the biggest smoothie companies, Jamba Juice and Smoothie King. It appears to be on the edge of perfection. I was intrigued.
I’ve never considered myself a healthy eater. I like to have balance when it comes to food. I may drink water most of the day to limit unnecessary calories. I love drinking smoothies. I may even eat some fruit or veggies with my meals, but I also allow myself to eat pasta, bread, potatoes, creamy sauces, cake, and chocolate. I love good food, and for me that tends to be unhealthy food. Now that I have a one year old who pretty much eats what I eat, I have to pay even closer attention to what I’m putting into my body each day. It’s important to make sure we have enough fruit and veggies in our diet daily. So as I kept watching the promos for the Vitamix blender, I started wondering if maybe…just maybe…it would be beneficial to invest in a high quality blender.
They claim this blender has such a powerful motor it can make frozen desserts in about 30 seconds. It can make hot soups in 5 minutes. It can make smoothies in under a minute. It can even make fresh peanut butter in less than a minute. I watched demonstation after demonstration of what this thing can do, and I couldn’t help wondering if this was the blender for me. I think the thing that finally hooked me was their claim that it basically self cleans. You add some warm water and dish soap to it, then run the blender for about a minute and it’s cleaned. All you have to do is rinse it out. I cannot tell you how much time I have wasted in the past cleaning my old blender. I’d have to take it all apart to get it cleaned right and depending on what I made in it, there would be gook stuck to the blades. I got to the point where I tried to avoid using my blender because I didn’t want to clean it. When I saw how easy it is to clean the Vitamix blender, I was sold.
As I said before, my new blender arrived on Friday. It came earlier than expected, so I wasn’t prepared yet. I hadn’t been to the grocery store to buy the fresh ingredients I wanted to use in my new blender to test it out. I made it to the store yesterday, and decided to make an orange sorbet for a night time treat for my daughter, my husband, and myself. I followed one of the recipes in the book that came with the blender. (Yes, the blender comes with a nice recipe book, as well as a blender drinks book.) It was a very simple recipe. I peeled two oranges and cut them in half, then put them in the blender. I added a little bit of sugar, then 3 cups of ice. I put the lid on the blender and inserted the tamper in case I needed to push the ingredients down into the blades. I turned the blender on variable 1, slowly increasing it to variable 10, then switched it to high. I pushed down the ingredients for a few seconds, but mostly let the blender do the work. Within less than a minute, I had a perfect orange sorbet. I was amazed. There were not ice chunks in it. There was no orange pulp. There were no bits and pieces of oranges at all. It was perfectly smooth. My husband wouldn’t have known there was fresh oranges even in it if I didn’t tell him.
The next test was clean up. Once I took the orange sorbet out of the blender, I looked at the blades to see what I was dealing with. There was no pulp around the blades at all. I added the warm water and dish soap to the blender, popped the lid on, and started it on variable 1. I increased the speed up to variable 10 and let it run for about 45 seconds. When I took it off, the blender had essentially steam cleaned itself. When I took off the lid, you could see light steam coming out of it and it was perfectly cleaned. All I had to do was rinse it out. I was impressed. However, I told myself that this was a simple test. I would try messier things next time.
That’s exactly what I did today. I put my new blender to the test by first making a banana apple oatmeal smoothie for breakfast. This smoothie consisted of water, a banana, an apple, two tablespoon sof uncooked quick oats, dried cranberries, and cinnamon. It came out perfectly smooth and clean up was super easy again. I then tried making fresh peanut butter using only 3 cups of dry roasted peanuts. Nothing else was added to it. Within a minute, I had great tasting fresh peanut butter. And it was warm! I didn’t let it get completely creamy. It’s creamy, but has tiny little pieces of peanuts so that it has some texture. I could have let it run a little longer to get it creamier, but I was eager to taste it. It was delicious. Next time I think I’ll add honey to it to make honey peanut butter. Sounds yummy. You would think clean up for peanut butter would be a pain, right? All that gooey goodness stuck to the bladse and the bottom of the blender, as well as to the sides of the blender. That’s what I thought too. I was definitely concerned. I read a few reviews though that claimed it wasn’t difficult to clean after making peanut butter. They simply suggested wiping the sides (inside the blender) down with a wet paper towel to get rid of some of the excess peanut butter. I decided against doing this at first. I wanted to see how much it cleaned itself by doing the self cleaning first. I ran it through the self clean once, and yes, it did still have some residue on the sides and down around the blades, but it did clean it some. I then wiped down the sides a little bit. I didn’t do anything around the blades. I put the blender back on the base and ran it through the self clean two more times, back to back with a short break in-between. When I rinsed out the blender, it was perfectly clean. There was no residue left on the sides and nothing around the blades. The inside no longer smelled like peanut butter. It was that simple.
For dinner, I decided to make a fresh basil pesto to go with my pasta. I came up with the idea of making a pesto alfredo with penne pasta and shredded beef. I stuck to a pretty traditional pesto recipe with olive oil, grated parmesan cheese, 3 cloves of garlic, fresh basil, pine nuts, salt, and pepper. In 30 seconds, I had a beautiful fresh basil pesto that smelled wonderful. It was exactly the thing I needed to make my pasta dish complete. My husband isn’t big on pasta with a pesto sauce, but by adding the pesto to my alfredo sauce, he liked it a lot. Clean up was simple and easy, again.
My last use of my blender for the day was simply for fun, not as a test. I finished off the evening by making a chocolate banana milkshake. Yum.
Overall, I am very happy with my overly expensive blender so far. It has lived up to the hype and up to my expectations. I can’t say that about many things. I look forward to playing around with it some more and trying out some green smoothies. With Spring just around the corner, it’s time to start eating and drinking a little healthier.