Blender Usage Update (Vitamix Vs. Blendtec)

Over four months have passed since I got my newest blender, a Blendtec Designer Series in January.  I got my Professional Series 300 a year before that in January 2013, although I had two Vitamix blenders before that.  I still tend to use the Vitamix the most, but I’ve got over 120 mixes clocked in on the Blendtec, and I figure it deserves an update on what I’ve found it well suited for, and what I use the Vitamix for.

The Blendtec has proven very useful for Matcha Milk Frozen Drink and frozen sports drinks.  Because the blender won’t mix properly without the right balance of ice and water, it’s easy to know if I need to add more milk to the matcha mix or water to the ice and powered sports drink.  It’s also easy to hit the button to start the blender mixing, and then put away the milk or Super VAAM sports drink powder or whatever other ingredients I have while it’s mixing.  The blender has a tendency to start dancing off to the left while mixing at high speeds on my counter tops, but there’s a hot water pot that keeps it from jumping off the counter.

The smaller Blendtec Twister Jar is also great for sauces, whipped cream, and very small mixes.  It sounds like it might also be significantly better suited for making peanut butter than the larger container, but I need to eat our existing peanut butter before I make more.  Sadly, neither Blendtec jar, nor any Vitamix I’ve had has done a great job as a coffee grinder, so while these blenders can do a lot more than a traditional blender, they’re no replacement for a coffee bean grinder.

As for soups, green smoothies, sorbets and similar thick mixes, I find it extremely satisfying to mash away with the tamper while blending.  The Vitamix is also great for the right texture on frozen smoothies and banana milks, and with its very sharp blades, I would trust it for Kinako Powder and almond powder.

I’m sure I’ll get more comfort with the Blendtec as time goes on, but I wanted to share my experiences and how I’m using both for anyone who might be interested.  If you have a specific question, please feel free to fire away in the comments.c

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Vitamix Certified Reconditioned Standard on sale for Mother’s Day weekend

A quick visit to the Vitamix website shows that they have the Vitamix Certified Reconditioned Standard (comes with a 5-year warranty) on sale for $299 over at Vitamix.com.  It’s normally $329, so that’s an extra $30 off the normal discounted price, and definitely a good deal!  You can also get free shipping with the links above.

You can make graphene with a high powered kitchen blender

If you haven’t already seen the news, scientists have figured out how to make graphene in a kitchen blender.  My first thought upon reading this was to wonder whether or not my Blendtec Designer Series or my Vitamix Professional Series 300 (aka 7500) would be better suited to making graphene at home.  Unfortunately, the article starts by repeatedly warning me not to try making graphene in my blenders at home.

I did find it interesting the article called the 400W blender they used high powered, when the Blendtec and Vitamix are both more than triple that.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a recipe post, and I can’t relay my experiences trying to make graphene.  But who knows?  Maybe Blendtec and Vitamix blenders will soon find themselves in demand for creating graphene thanks to this new discovery.

 

Matcha Milk Frozen Drink (★★★★★)

I’ve always been a big fan of Starbucks’ Matcha Cream Frappuccino, which is made way too sweet in the states, but if you order it in Japan or order it in the states with one less squirt of syrup (regular size), it’s phenomenal.  We just met up with a friend from Japan who allowed us to order things online that they brought to the states for us, and a big jar of matcha tea was one of the items we ordered, so I figured I’d try to create my own matcha cream frozen drink, and it’s as brain dead easy as I thought it would be:

Matcha Milk Frozen Drink (★★★★)
Ice, matcha, milk and sugar taste great together

Matcha
Milk
Sugar
Stevia (optional)
Ice

Put everything but the ice into the blender and get the mix you want and ensure the sugar is disolved.  I put just under a tablespoon of matcha, 12oz of milk and a mix of sugar and stevia that was probably about a tablespoon into my Blendtec Designer Series.  Hit the milkshake button and let it mix, taste and then add a lot of ice and run the milkshake cycle again.

The drink can obviously be sweetened and matcha added to meet people’s personal preferences.  Stevia is a plant and so it’s sweetness goes better with matcha than most other things, which is why I was happy to use a combination of sugar and stevia to sweeten the drink instead of just sugar.

As for the blender, I used my Blendtec Designer Series instead of my Vitamix because I’ve been using my Blendtec a lot lately for ice, water and powered Super VAAM, a zero calorie powered sports drink from Japan.  If you’re just mixing ice, water and powder, the Blendtec does make it easy to press a button and walk away, and this recipe is almost that simple, so I decided to try the Blendtec instead of the Vitamix, and it worked very well.

New lower pricing on Blendtec refurbished Total Blender Classic Series!

Blendtec currently has some very attractive pricing on their refurbished models that took effect very recently.  You can now get a Factory Re-certified Blendtec Total Blender Classic Series for $279.95 and that includes a full warranty for 7 years!  (Note that you can get a $0.00 shipping option through the Blendtec link above, which provides free shipping.)  That’s substantially below the $300 mark, and is the cheapest quality blender with a 7 year blender option that I have ever seen.  There is nothing else at that price that competes with a Vitamix or Blendtec quality blender.

I do not know long this pricing will be good for, please let me know in the comments when the price goes back and I’ll update this post.

Vitamix S30 Now Available

There is a new Vitamix blender available, the S30.  Vitamix currently has a nice promotional page up for the S30, but I’m not sure how long it will be up.

Nine days ago the S30 was over at William-Sonoma’s website, where it’s still showing as both “NEW” and “Exclusive“, but was not on Vitamix’s website at that time.  Today I received an e-mail from Vitamix introducing the new S30 and it is now available on their website.

So how does the new blender compare to the other Vitamix offerings?  Right now, in my mind, the main options for people in the market for a Vitamix are a refurbished 5200 for $329 or the newer 7500 for $529, available refurbished for $449.

From a cost and size perspective, the new S30 is the smallest and least expensive Vitamix available.  But my first impression is that it is not a product I would recommend for many people.  It does not have as large of a container or as much horsepower as two larger Vitamix models mentioned above.  My initial impression is that it is a niche product for people who have enough disposable income to buy something like this regardless of whether they literally only use it for smoothies or use it a few times and relegate it to the back of a cabinet somewhere.

I think that the vast majority of people who would consider purchasing this should very strongly consider a 5200 or 7500.  That is my personal opinion has someone who has spent years using a 5200 and 7500 regularly for dips, mixes, peanut butter, soups, green smoothies, frozen beverages, etc.

For a single person who wants to bring their super-blender with them when they travel, maybe the S30 makes sense, but until I hear, read or experience something that changes my mind, I would strongly suggest people looking at this seriously consider a 5200 or 7500 instead.

Dill Green Smoothie (★★★★☆)

We ate at Five Guys for an easy dinner yesterday, and had cereal this morning, so I wanted to make a green smoothie to go with lunch, but didn’t have the ingredients for any of the mixes I usually make, but stumbled upon a nice mix as a result.  I used my Pro 300 (aka 7500), since it’s the blender I’m most comfortable with.

The only fresh herb we had in the vegetable drawer was dill, and my wife makes a nice yogurt and dill sauce.  That coupled with the half of an apple left over from breakfast and the peanut butter I made yesterday gave me the idea for this.

Dill Green Smoothie (★★★★☆)
The ingredients go well together, and the results is one of the most drinkable green smoothies to come out of randomly throwing ingredients together

2 medium handfuls of spinach
1½ apples
2 celery stalks
1 cucumber
fresh dill
two heaping tablespoons of plain yogurt
one heaping tablespoon of homemade peanut butter
tablespoons of flax seeds
lots of ice

I turned the Vitamix up to speed 5 until it got going, then turned it up to speed 10.  I used the tamper on the ingredients for the first 15 or 20 seconds until everything was mixing well.

Definitely a good mix, and something I’d be happy to make again with no changes.

Find a way to improve on the above mix?  Let me know in the comments!

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