Posts Tagged ‘ VitaMix ’

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  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.


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!

How to choose the right Vitamix model for you

It’s easy to look at the Vitamix website and wonder how you’re supposed to know what the Vitamix model differences are, let alone which model is best suited for your needs.  It’s actually substantially less confusing than it looks at first glance, and I’ve put this post together to help walk people through the main differences.

There are two main options, which I’ll describe as the older, tried and true model, and the newer, quieter and slightly more powerful model.

Older Models Vs. New Models

Vitamix started selling the Professional Series 300 in 2012 and has since released several other blenders models based on that motor base.  All of the other Vitamix models are a variation of the 5200 model.

So what are the differences between the two blender types?  I owned both a 5200 and a 7500 (a variant of the new motor base), and I wrote a post in 2012 listing the differences, but I’ll summarize the pros of both below:

Older Model:
Vitamix refers to these as Classic models
Less expensive

Narrower 64oz container handles smaller mixes better

Newer Model:
Vitamix refers to these as Next Generation models
Quieter (but still loud)

Simpler controls
Handle thicker and challenging mixes better
Fits under standard cabinets

I prefer the newer model, but as made clear in my first blog post comparing the two blenders, the new models are still loud.  My Blendtec is also very loud.  The press release for the Pro 300 claims the new model is 10 decibels quieter than it’s predecessor, but high end blenders are very loud, so know that the new models are quieter, but not quiet.

The newer models also use a variable dial from speeds 1-10 for all speeds, while the older models have a variable dial from 1-10, and then a switch that puts the blender in high gear, equivalent to what you get by simply dialing up to 10 on the newer models.

The newer model does have a shorter, wider jar, which has the negative side effect of not being as well suited to smaller mixes as the older models, but the upside is that the newer model handles large, thicker mixes, like peanut butter, better than the older model.  I have had the 5200 turn off automatically under strenuous mixes, while those same mixes have never given me a problem with the 7500 or Professional Series 300.

The newer model does fit under my cabinets, while the older model did not, but I never had a problem with my 5200 living on my kitchen counter due to it’s height.

Obviously the price depends on exactly what model you are looking at, but the older models tend to be less expensive.

Hopefully that’s enough for you to grasp your first important decision in choosing the right Vitamix for you.  I’ll now break down your choices for both Older (Classic) Models and Newer (Next Generation) Models:

Older Models:  Two-Speed, Standard and Standard Programs

Two Speed, Standard and Standard Program Blenders are the category names Vitamix uses when selling their factory refurbished models.  The names are very fitting, and describe what you’d likely expect.

Two Speed:  The Two Speed forgoes the variable dial completely, having simply a low and high speed.  Two speed models include the TurboBlend Two Speed and the CIA Creations.

Standard:  The Standard models have the variable speed dial as well as the high speed switch.  Standard models include the 5200, CIA Professional Series, Creations II, Creations GC, Professional Series 200, Total Nutrition Center and TurboBlend VS.

Standard Programs:  Identical to the Standard, except the speed dial includes three pre-programmed settings for smoothies, hot soups, and frozen desserts.  Models include the 6300 and Professional Series 500.

Newer Models:  Next Generation and Next Generation Programs

Next Generation and Next Generation Programs are the category names Vitamix uses for the newer models.

Next Generation:  The Next Generation is the standard newer model.  It has a variable speed dial similar to the older models, but the high speed switch has been replaced with a pulse switch, and turning the variable dial to 10 is all that is needed to use the blender on it’s highest speed.  Models include the 7500
, Professional Series 300 and Creations Elite.

Next Generation Programs:  While the Standard Programs models include only three pre-programmed settings, the Professional Series 750 includes five presets:  Smoothie, frozen dessert, soup, purée and wash cycle.  Currently, the only model sold with these programs is the Professional Series 750.

Unless you only need a Two Speed model, or really, really want a blender with preset cycles, you should probably be looking at one of the standard versions of the older or newer Vitamix blenders.  I also own a Blendtec Designer Series blender, which is better designed for presets, offering six different cycles, and a large, bright display that counts down how much time is left in the cycle it is using.  Even with the Blendtec, I am not a big fan of presets, and have found that only the soup setting works well consistently.  I definitely prefer my Vitamix to my Blendtec, and I would rather use the Vitamix with manual controls, using the tamper when it helps, than use pre-programmed settings.

I know which of the five choices I am interested in, now what?

Once you’ve identified which of the five options above is most suitable for you, you just need to identify which model you’d like to order.  Note that the difference between models in the same category are limited to things like the face plate and accompanying cookbook.  I had both a 7500 and Pro 300 for a brief period of time, and I wrote a blog post, with photos, showing the similarity and differences between the two blenders.  If you are concerned about what cookbook your blender comes with or whether your blender has a stainless steel faceplate, then you’ll need to look at all the models for that category to find the one that is the best match for you.  However, if you’re most interested in which blender offers the best bang for your buck, I have identified the best priced blender for each of the five categories.  The best priced option, which I list below for each of the five variations, includes Vitamix’s standard 7 year warranty, with the exception of the Two Speed, where all models offered have a five year warranty.

If you want to save a bit of money, Vitamix offers a refurbished version of each of the five options, which includes a five year warranty.  The warranty experience is phenomenal regardless of whether it is the five year or seven year.  I have had very good warranty experiences, and received the same stellar support with my refurbished Creations II, my first Vitamix, that I did with the 7500 I purchased new.

Two Speed:
TurboBlend Two Speed (New, comes with a 5-year warranty)
Two Speed (Reconditioned, comes with a 5-year warranty)

5200 Standard – Getting Started (New, rubber handle and Whole Foods cookbook, comes with a 7-year warranty)
TurboBlend VS (New, plastic handle, filtration bag, vegan and vegetarian cookbook, comes with a 7-year warranty)
Certified Reconditioned Standard (Reconditioned, comes with a 5-year warranty)

Standard Programs:  
Professional Series 500 (New, comes with a 7-year warranty)
Certified Reconditioned Standard Program Blenders

Next Generation: 
Vitamix 7500 (New, comes with a 7-year warranty)
Certified Reconditioned Next Generation (Reconditioned, comes with a 5-year warranty)

Next Generation Programs:
Professional Series 750Stand (New, comes with a 7-year warranty)
Certified Reconditioned Next Generation ProgramsStand (Reconditioned, comes with a 5-year warranty)

I have bought two of my three Vitamix blenders from Vitamix directly, and I definitely recommend purchasing from Vitamix directly if possible.  Whether you are interested in purchasing online or by phone (1-800-848-2649), Vitamix offers free shipping, which makes a reconditioned model from
the most affordable way to buy a Vitamix, and usually means is the best price on new models as well.

I’ve written in the past about why I would spend so much money on a Vitamix blender.  Hopefully, with those post, I’ve helped make sure that anyone else who is buying one can do so knowing they’re buying the right Vitamix blender for their needs.

Edit: Since writing this post, Vitamix has improved their website and naming to refer to the new models as Next Generation blenders and the older models as Classic model.  I’ve updated this post to reflect that nomenclature.  I’ve also written a helpful post on what blender containers are available for each blender.

Very Busy Blender Day (With both the Vitamix Pro 300 and the Blendtec Designer Series)

Yesterday will probably be the most blender usage my blenders see in a single day in 2014.  Less than two weeks ago, I received a Blendtec Designer Series blender, and while I took photos for a physical comparison of the new Blendtec and my Vitamix Professional Series 300. (The Pro 300 is basically the same as a 7500, a good explanation of the different models is here.) I was really looking forward to actually seeing how they performed side-by-side.

We invited a family we are close friends with over for breakfast, and they stayed for lunch as well. They knew I was excited about trying out my new blender, and I told them to bring over whatever they wanted to blend up in the blender, and that breakfast would be green smoothies and waffles.

The first thing I made was Whipped Cream, which I made in the Blendtec because of the Twister Jar, which was very well suited for the task.  The Blendtec does this better than the Vitamix.

After that, I made the first green smoothies of the day, Baby Kale, Peanut and Banana Green Smoothies, which I made in both blenders simultaneously.  The Vitamix edged out the Blendtec with better texture and less heating during blending.

After that, my friend chopped up a bunch of fresh, organic fruits he’d picked up.  His wife instructed him to pick up frozen organic fruits, and he couldn’t find frozen organic fruit, so he assumed fresh organic fruit would be fine.  A bunch of ice and fruit were added to the Vitamix with reasonably good results as a Frozen Fruit Smoothie, but then made a little too sweet when sweetened vanilla yogurt was added to the mix.  (Frozen fruit and unsweetened yogurt with less ice would have been fantastic.  It’s pretty much impossible to mix frozen fruit, plain yogurt and water/ice and not end up with a great drink.)

After the frozen fruit smoothie experiment, I decided to make my Homemade Frozen Mocha Drink for them, but my ice cube tray broke recently, so I had a giant frozen chunk of coffee, which gave both the Blendtec and the Vitamix difficulties, though the tamper and time were eventually enough to get the frozen coffee into the blades instead of bouncing on top of them.   I left out the stevia, which made it less sweet than normal, since getting back from Japan, I’m on a bit of a bitter is good kick, so I enjoyed it better that way, and my friends both seemed to enjoy the drink a lot.

For lunch, my wife threw together a tomato and cream sauce for some pasta that helped some of the baby kale we’d bought.  I decided to make some Powdered Parmesan, which I used the Vitamix for, as I know it excels there, while my experience with the Blendtec was not as good.

As a drink, I made a Mild Baby Kale Green Smoothie to go with lunch that was excellent, but as that was the green smoothie equivalent of throwing all your leftovers into a pot and finding out they make amazing soup, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to replicate that drink, even though it was the best kale based green smoothie I have had to date.

As my friend was leaving he realized that he left a four pound bag of juicing oranges in our kitchen, and told us to put them to good use, as he bought them specifically to try blending them.  My wife and I did peel and blend them, but I can’t say that qualifies as good use.  After having made Fresh Oranges Applesauce, I now understand why freshly blended oranges are not a thing.

To wrap up the day, and to make a relatively easy dinner, I made Butternut Squash Soup for dinner, making reasonable sized batches in both blenders simultaneously, instead of cramming everything it the Pro 300 like I normally do.  To help heat the soup up, I did mix both batches in a Blendtec for one soup cycle, but as you can read in that post, the smell the blender gave off is making me think twice about trying that again.

So that’s it.  Not a bad Saturday of blending.  What do I think about the Blendtec?  I’m definitely still learning.  I don’t like when water comes out of the lid during a cleaning cycle, hits the LCD panel, and stops the cleaning cycle I was running it through, nor am I thrilled at the smell when running a very large patch of soup through a second soup cycle in a short period of time.  But those can be chalked up to user error or misuse.

I’ve written before about why I love Vitamix, and why I would spend so much money on a Vitamix blender, and I can’t say I’m there yet for the Blendtec, but I can already see a few things it does better, such as whipped cream or heating soup while blending.

For the budget minded, you can get a Factory Re-certified Blendtec Total Blender Classic Series for $20 less than a Vitamix Certified Reconditioned Standard, which is basically the 5200 model, and the warranty for the Blendtec is 7 years, while the warranty for the Vitamix is 5 years.  (Note that you can get a $0.00 shipping option through the Blendtec link above, and the Vitamix link includes provides free shipping, both of which are the cheapest ways to get a Blendtec or Vitamix with a 5+ year warranty.)  At that price, I can see the slightly cheaper, includes a longer warranty, fits better under a cabinet and includes programs arguments adding up to a compelling reason to consider the Blendtec option very strongly.

For me, it’s been years since I purchased my refurbished 5200, and I’ve already come to terms with the fact that I use my blender enough to justify buying the blender I want the most.  Which, as of today, is the 7500 model. (Also sold as the Professional Series 300 and Creations Elite)  That said, the Blendtec is still very new to me, and I plan to continue to use it again and again, in hopes of having a much better understanding of its strengths and weakness, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of my Vitamix.  I’ll probably post another evaluation of each in a few months as pricing, and my understanding of each blender, changes.

Anything I should know about the Blendtec Designer Series?  Anything you’d like me to blend?  Let me know in the comments!

Butternut Squash Soup (★★★★★)

I decided to wrap up what will probably be my busiest day of blender usage in 2014 with homemade soup for dinner.  I’ve made Acorn Squash Soup enough times over the last three years that I know how I like it, and I know what to expect, so when I asked my wife to pick up the ingredients we’d need for Acorn Squash soup, I was surprised when she came back with butternut squash instead.  She picked up butternut squash saying she thought it’d be interesting, and I’m glad she did.

I’d actually never prepared butternut squash before, so I found a great guide that helped me figure out how to prepare both the squash and the seeds.  I roasted the butternut squash as cubes, which gave me plenty of time to boil and then roast the seeds, which turned out much better than I expected.

This was going to be dinner for my family of four, so instead of making a double sized batch of soup, as I’ve done in the past, I decided it’d be interesting to make on batch in my new Blendtec Designer Series blender, and another in my Vitamix Professional Series 300. (The Pro 300 is basically the same as a 7500, a good explanation of the different models is here.)

Regarding the recipe, over the years, my soup recipe has gradually evolved from the original Acorn Squash Soup recipe into what I make today, and I recognize that my current version is based on my personal preferences, but if you’re a fan of richer soups and squash, I think you’ll really like this.

Butternut Squash Soup (★★★)
This recipe can be doubled, which allows you to use an entire squash when making it.  It works very well with Acorn Squash as well, and tremendously aided by quality milk, so for the best possible soup, make this with fresh, in-season squash and local farm milk.

1/2 butternut squash
1 large bouillion cubes (2 cups of broth worth of bouillon cubes)
2 cups of whole milk
1 teaspoons of maple syrup
pinch of nutmeg (to taste)
cinnamon stick pieces (to taste)
pinch of extra virgin, first cold pressed olive oil
a sliver of fresh ginger
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)

I prepared the butternut squash by cubing and roasting it, using the guide I linked to above.  I roasted the cubes for somewhere between 30 and 40 minutes at 400, during which time I was able to boil and then roast the squash seeds, and then prepare the blender with the rest of the ingredients above.

With everything else in the blender and ready for the squash, I take the hot squash cubes straight out of the oven and put them into the blender.  For the Blendtec Designer Series, I use the 90 second soup cycle, and for the Vitamix, I blend on 10 with the tamper for that same 90 seconds, both of which should be sufficient.

Taste.  Add nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon to taste and blend.  Then add salt and pepper to taste and blend.  May need to be heated further in a pot before serving.

One of the things I was very interested in as I made this was how the two blenders would handle the same soup.  I tried to set things up to be as equal as possible:

Preparing both blenders for Butternut Squash Soup

Preparing both blenders for Butternut Squash Soup

Adding equal amount of squash to both mixes

Adding equal amount of squash to both mixes

Blending the soup in both the Blendtec Design Series (left) and Vitamix (right)

Blending the soup in both the Blendtec Design Series (left) and Vitamix Pro 300 (right)

When both mixes were complete, I asked my wife to try them both.  She said the Vitamix tasted more fluffy, but I noticed that the Blendtec soup tasted warmer.  Wanting to warm the soup up just a tad more before serving, I decided to add the Vitamix batch to the Blendtec, which I didn’t anticipate to be a problem, because that’s how much I normally make in the Vitamix when I make squash soup these days.

Running both batches of soup through a second soup cycle in the Blendtec Designer Series

Running both batches of soup through a second soup cycle in the Blendtec Designer Series

Running the Blendtec through a second soup cycle, I began to smell an electric, or motor burning smell.  The Blendtec completed it’s entire cycle, but odor that was given off makes me think that the large amount of soup coupled with running the soup cycle twice in a short period of time (it’s the longest and highest speed of any of the presets) was taxing the Blendtec a bit more than I’d be comfortable to subject it to on a regular basis, based on the odor it was giving off.  It did heat the soup, and between the heat created by the blenders and the heat of the squash, the soup did not need any additional heating before being served.

The soup was delicious, and my wife commented that it has a less distinct flavor than that Acorn Squash Soup, and that it seems like it would appeal to a large group of people as a result.  It was very filling, and the next time I’m looking for a squash for soup, I’ll choose whatever acorn squash or butternut squash is the most in-season, as this recipe works very well with either!