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  1. #1
    Senior Member sumguy's Avatar
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    making smoothies

    want to add these to my diet and need recommendation or opinions. Ninja Kitchen System, NutriBullet, Magic Bullet - thoughts? Are they that much better than a regular blender? Anything to look for or avoid? Don't plan on spending big bucks or want something that leaves a lot of pulp to clean up.
    Multi-taskers could be worth the extra dollars.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I have the magic bullet which has been around for a long time, I just had one of the bases start to separate after 4 years of service. I don't think it really owed me anything. Ours gets used daily and has been used for smoothies, pesto, salad dressings, way easier to clean than a table top.
    Best thing about cycling is when I'm at work I'm thinking of cycling, when I'm cycling I'm thinking about cycling.

  3. #3
    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    Do you use ice cubes to make your smoothies? Check to make sure your device can cope. I've burned up a few blenders over the years.

    My favorite smoothie recipe calls for ice, OJ concentrate, nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt, a banana and some still-frozen strawberries. That is a lot of sugar .: not a low-calorie treat.
    Another favorite is ice, banana, skim milk, and sugar-free chocolate syrup. Refreshing and addresses cravings for chocolate.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Magic bullet eats ice...lol a little loud but works.
    Best thing about cycling is when I'm at work I'm thinking of cycling, when I'm cycling I'm thinking about cycling.

  5. #5
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    Ninja!!! I my Ninja. It crushes ice at least once a day, sometimes twice, sometimes three times. It also does carrot chunks (uncooked). I've had it for about 7 months and my smoothies are smooth as can be. I seriously love that thing.

  6. #6
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    If it's in your budget consider a VitaMix or Blendtec.

  7. #7
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    Skip all of the ones you mentioned and go VitaPrep. They do make a home edition (versus commerican kitchen). It rocks. Not just for smoothies. Want to grind your spices? Use the vitaprep. Love it.
    Feel free to visit my blog www.chefonabicycle.com

  8. #8
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    Vitamix is on sale at costco acouple of times a year, it will make a smoothie out of asphalt

  9. #9
    Fredly
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    I've had a Magic Bullet and you definitely get what you pay for with that. You have to shake the damn thing to make it work. It's a lot like having a shake weight in your kitchen.

    I got a Vitamix a couple months ago and life has been GOOD ever since. There's simply no comparison between lower end blenders (magic bullet, lower end ninja's) and upper end blenders (omniblend, blendtec, and vitamix). There's a couple of ninja models that are midrange that are said to be okay but they don't have the extreme warranty that the upper end blenders have.

    The upper end blenders are also MUCH easier to clean. I mean, WAY WAY WAAAAY easier to clean as in two drops of soap, two cups of hot water, put it on high for 45 seconds. Rinse out the suds with water. Done.

    Do yourself a favor, get the high end blender because you'll find you have a lot more smoothies and in turn you'll be a lot healthier. Plus, you can make hot soup in it too!

  10. #10
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    costco sells a blentec in store for 100 dollars less than I have found online. I bought one first of december, used the heck out of it. Sounds like a freight train running through my kitchen, but blends like nothing I have had. I use a bag of frozen berries a banana some almond milk, and some flax germ and a scoop of protein powder...its yummy

  11. #11
    Senior Member tallteacher's Avatar
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    +1 on the blendtec....I ordered mine through Costco last year and got the wildside jar with it too. So I have a 32 and 64 oz jar....Yes it is loud but makes great green smoothies. Most of mine are almond milk and one of or a mix of baby spinach, kale or collard greens, fruit (banana, apple, mango with skin on it), maybe agave nectar or local honey, flax seed.....there are a bazillion recipes...i also like the ones with PB and pumpkin pie filling....i use them as meal replacements

    heard good things about vitamix, just at that time the better deal was on the blendtec

  12. #12
    Senior Member Big Pete 1982's Avatar
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    Another +1 for the BlendTec. I've had mine about a year now and it is a bad mofo! It will blend anything. My favorite smoothie is a blender full of half spinach/half kale with a frozen banana, fresh pineapple and frozen mango. Add some ground flaxseed and a small chunk of ginger root and a few ice cubes. Blend and enjoy! Delicious! And the BlendTec blends it so smoothe, not a chunk left! It really truly is worth the money! I tried green smoothies before with a cheap Walmart blender. It was like trying to drink a salad. Nasty!

  13. #13
    Senior Member SeanBlader's Avatar
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    I got the breville juicer/ blender combo that Joe Cross endorses on his movie, it's pretty impressive. The only complaint I might have is, it's a big piece of equipment if you have a small kitchen.

  14. #14
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    Ah the Blendtec. See, the blendtec has very limiting functions. For example, if you like to grind your own spices, blendtec cannot do it. If you want to mix a small amount of dressing, it has a hard time doing that.

    We use Blendtec in our beverage labs. Does not have multiple uses. For a home kitchen, if your kitchen is small like most, get something with versatility.
    Feel free to visit my blog www.chefonabicycle.com

  15. #15
    Fredly
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    Here's a tip for you... a lot of Bed Bath & Beyonds will let you use their 20% off coupons on the Vitamix CIA's in-store. I personally like the Vitamix more than the Blendtec. The blendtec's have buttons that let you push & walk away but the vitamix's tamper is something that once you use you'll always want to have. Throw food in, turn it on high, push the stuff down, done. I know the blendtec's use a 5 sided jar that lowers cavitation (air bubbles) and are supposed to pull food down to the blades but it just doesn't work well for some types of foods and you end up needing the tamper anyways.

  16. #16
    Senior Member WMcCready's Avatar
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    Make smoothies, with mostly frozen fruit, yogurt, fresh banana's & kale, have found that raw kale is hard for me to digest , so blanching helps for a partial cook. Have blanched and, frozen it into balls to add later to blender. " Great ball,s of Kale".
    Mcpedlpwr

  17. #17
    Senior Member Gjc985's Avatar
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    I love my magic bullet! it may be loud but it plows through ICE and makes a delicious smoothie. They are also very easy to clean!
    '12 Wilier Izoard XP
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  18. #18
    Senior Member markm109's Avatar
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    My wife dragged me to Whole Foods last summer where they were having a demo of the Vitamix. I wasn't completely sold and it was expensive, but I let me wife go ahead and get it. Best investment I've ever made - I love the thing. We are vegan and started making foods that we paid a lot of money for. I'm sure it has paid for itself by now since we use it daily.

    We make soups, smoothies, hummus, fruit sorbet, rice & almond milk, veggie juice like V8, breakfast green drinks, and the list goes on and on. It grinds up everything we put in it.

    The green drink I make is: two bananas, orange, frozen blue berries, 1/2 cup whole oats, tablespoon ground flaxseed, 6 pitted dates, fresh or frozen spinach, fresh kale, ice and water.

    Smoothies can be any fruits that you like - fresh or frozen. Add ice with fresh. The amount of water/milk you add determines how thick and rich. Sometimes I add just a little and make fruit sorbet. Milk makes it richer.

    I buy the big bags of frozen blue berries, strawberries and mixed fruit at Kroger and keep them on hand all the time. Canned pineapple is good because the liquid replaces water and adds to the flavor. Frozen mango is very good too.

    I wish I had listened to my wife years ago and got the Vitamix sooner.

  19. #19
    Senior Member sumguy's Avatar
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    thanks for the replies everyone. If I really really wanted it I could get the high end stuff BUT its just me and my tiny apartment - not sure my usage would justify the high dollars plus I have some other expensive hobbies. I can count the number of smoothies I've ever had on one hand. Maybe I'll take a walk through BB&B after payday. The cleanup tip (my least favorite thing) sounds really helpful and the recipes sound good too. It looks like some people use frozen fruit or even greens as a replacement for ice - another good idea to remember.

  20. #20
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    sumguy, I am using a very cheap, maybe a $15 blender, to make my smoothies. I use frozen fruit. It is still going strong after a year.

  21. #21
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    I have used over a half dozen blenders over the last 25 years and I will recommend that you at lease try out a Vitamix. I have one at home and a Blendtec at work and I will tell you the Vitamix be able to pulverize food better than the Blendtec. I also like that you can just walk away from the Vitamix while leaving it on whereas the Blendtec will go on for 15-20 seconds and then shutoff at the end of the cycle. Problem with that is sometimes you need to run several cycles to get a good puree on the frozen fruit.

  22. #22
    Not safe for work cyclokitty's Avatar
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    I had a beaut of a 30 year old garage sale blender in harvest gold that cost $5 and lasted about 6 years of gruelling smoothie service before finally dying. I loved that thing! I replaced it with a new $25 blender with crushed ice ability a couple of years ago. It does a good job of making a smoothie from frozen blueberries, ice cubes, pistachios, yogurt and orange juice. Noisy as heck but it works.


  23. #23
    Senior Member craigrrr's Avatar
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    I have the ninja kitchen system bought at costco for 90 bucks have been using it everyday for the past 3 months, everyday and even make peanut butter no oil added and nut milks with it. the smoothie in the morning I do is frozen blueberries, spinach or baby kale, milled flax seed, Pomegranit Juice, and almond milk. sometimes add dates and cocoa
    Taste great .

    and this does make SNOW out of ice cubes

  24. #24
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    So here's what I just made:

    1 double espresso (homemade, natch)
    6-ish oz water (bringing it up to about 8oz of liquid)
    1 HMR 800 vanilla shake packet (the diet I've been on)
    1 tablespoon PB2 low-fat peanut butter thingie
    1 tablespoon sugar free/fat free jello pudding mix - chocolate fudge flavor
    5 ice cubes


    That's the most awesome mocha frappe thing I know how to make. Lower cal than most options out there, and rather tasty.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Big Pete 1982's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sumguy View Post
    thanks for the replies everyone. If I really really wanted it I could get the high end stuff BUT its just me and my tiny apartment - not sure my usage would justify the high dollars plus I have some other expensive hobbies. I can count the number of smoothies I've ever had on one hand. Maybe I'll take a walk through BB&B after payday. The cleanup tip (my least favorite thing) sounds really helpful and the recipes sound good too. It looks like some people use frozen fruit or even greens as a replacement for ice - another good idea to remember.
    I only had a few smoothies ever before I bought my BlendTec. Now I have one almost every day. It's crazy how much spinach, kale, chard and other greens I go through every week now! I'm telling you, a high end blender is totally worth it. BlendTec, VitaMix, whatever. They're badass! You won't regret it!

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