Sunday, April 29, 2007

VLC Extra - Blendtec Home Total Blender

Well, after what I guess has been years of thinking about investing in something like this, I finally went and did it. I actually started lusting over the Vita-Mix several years ago before I even went vegan. It was usually during a period when I would start getting stirred up about my health and started investigating ways that I might improve it. Invariably, I would end up "discovering" all over again that I needed to eat more vegetables, and the Vita-Mix just seemed like the best way to do that.

Well, I finally started getting serious about this purchase a couple of months ago and I came really close to purchasing the Vita-Mix when I saw the Blendtec Home Total Blender mentioned on a discussion board. People were comparing the two machines, and they sounded really similar. But there were a few things about the Blendtec that I really liked better. First of all, it has a larger motor. The Vita-Mix is 2HP and the Blendtec is 3HP. I also liked the controls better. The Vita-Mix just has the switches and the knob, and you have to stand there and turn it off and on and control it throughout the entire process. The Blendtec just has some buttons that control several different preprogrammed sequences so you can just load the thing up and then press one button. It will speed up, slow down, whatever it needs to do, and then at the end of the blending or grinding it will turn itself off. You can still control it manually if you want to, using the buttons, and you can always use the pulse button if you think that something might need a little more processing. And the third thing that really sold me on the Blendtec is the fact that you can use the same container for blending wet things and grinding dry things like wheat. With the Vita-Mix you have to switch back and forth between two different container/blades, which cost extra. I also just liked the look of the Blendtec better. It's more high-tech looking with that cool blue LCD display on the front.

So how does it work? In a word; AWESOME! It does everything that they claim it does. It makes awesome smoothies, but I figured it would since this is the same blender that lots of national smoothie chains & coffee shops use. I've also made hummus in it and it turned out wonderful as well. One cool thing about making hummus in it is that you don't need to use Tahini, you can start with actual sesame seeds and let the mixer pulverize them into Tahini. I thought that was cool, and practical considering that I was out of Tahini and I DID have some sesame seeds in the cabinet.

I also made some soy ice cream in it. I actually figured that they were exaggerating when they used the word ice cream, because I figured it would be more like frozen treat or sorbet kind of thing rather than actual ice cream. But no, it turned out the exact texture of ice cream, and if I hadn't actually seen it be made in the blender, I would have thought it had been made the regular slow way with an ice cream maker. But all I had to do was pour in some soy milk, sugar, vanilla, peanut butter and then add three cups of ice, put the lid on and press the ice cream button. In about 35 seconds I actually had homemade peanut butter ice cream, and it had a very creamy consistency, not icy or chunky at all. Just perfectly creamy. I was impressed.

Of course, sitting around eating soy ice cream is not gonna' help me lose weight, or really do much for my health, so that brings me to the main thing that I have been making in this monster...

Green smoothies are something that I never thought I would be drinking in a million years, but you know what, they are really good. Like a lot of people, I would imagine, I got on the green smoothie kick after reading Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko. If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend checking it out. I won't try to condense it down to a few sentences because there is just so much information in it. If you think you might be interested in significantly increasing the amount of raw greens in your diet then just head over to Amazon.com and read the information on the book, and check out the reviews. This book is full of compelling information showing how increasing the amount of greens in your diet can cause miraculous improvements in your health. Of course there's data in the book to back up the claims, but just reading about it you can kinda' sense that it's true, even without proof. I mean, everybody knows that greens are good for you instinctively, the only problem is how do you consume enough of them, and how do you make sure that you're getting all of the nutrition out of them, and that's where the Blendtec comes in handy.

So far, I've only been having green smoothies for breakfast. I'm not sure that I'll see much additional weight loss from that though because I was already usually just eating a grapefruit for breakfast. What I really need to do is start replacing some of my dinners with green smoothies as much as possible, and certainly all of my snacks. I am actually amazed at how much I enjoy them. They taste so fresh and you just know that you're doing something really good for your body when you drink them. And it amazes me every time when I make one and just throw in strawberries with the caps still on them, and just quarter an apple and throw it in, with the core & seeds and all and the mixer just completely pulverizes all of that to a smooth consistency (I need to do some more reading about this though because there is information out there saying not to consume apple seeds). I really shouldn't be surprised though, this baby can pretty much grind up ANYTHING. If you don't believe me, just head over to their website at www.willitblend.com and watch them grind up everything from magnets to golf clubs.

Hopefully these green smoothies will help me with my weight loss goals as they improve my health from within. But I really do need to start working them into my eating habits more. Green smoothies are also an excellent way to experiment with the whole raw lifestyle that I am so fascinated with. And according to the book, experience has shown that people who regularly consume green smoothies tend to eat more and more raw food naturally. So that will be interesting to see if it holds true for me.

So there you have it, my new secret weapon to help me eat a lot more raw vegetables, and also to, hopefully, help me lose some more weight. I wanted to share it on here because I'm really excited about it. I've always wanted a real heavy duty blender like this so that I could make really good smoothies, make ice cream quickly, grind my own flour, make my own nut butters and all that other stuff. Of course, I'm really on the green smoothie kick right now, but I hope to get around to using my Blendtec for all of those other things eventually.

I sat on the fence about this thing for a long time because they are so expensive. I read review after review on the internet, but still wondered if I would actually think that the thing was as awesome as everyone else seemed to. I was just worried about spending that much money on something and then having buyer's remorse. So do I think it's worth it? You bet! I mean, we'll see how long I continue to drink green smoothies but hey, I really like the taste of them, they are incredibly good for my health, and they are absolutely no trouble at all to make with this thing. So why stop? Hopefully this is the beginning of a lifelong HEALTHY habit.

I'll let you know what I think about the Blendtec as I use it for other uses in the future. But as far as making smoothies, and especially green smoothies, go, I can already highly recommend this thing because it does just an awesome job.

See you tomorrow!

13 comments:

Courtney said...

That is great! I have the vita mix and would recommend it to anyone--it is amazing! Doesn't your hummus come out smoother and more creamy than ever using such a powerful blender? I make a big batch of hummus just about every week!

Courtney

kennyboy said...

Yep. There's no comparison between the hummus made in this thing and that I used to make in the food processor.

SO much smoother.

SO creamy.

I wish Blendtec made a nice carrying case, or backpack or whatever it is, like Vita-Mix does. I would be just a big enough nerd to carry it around. I would take it everywhere and show it off.

:o)

SallyT said...

I started making green smoothies a while ago after reading Green for Life. I was surprised at how sweet they can be! My husband loves the one with banana and mango and kale. It's about the only way I can get him to eat kale.

I'm using a Krups blender because I wasn't sure I'd really make the smoothies enough to justify the Blendtec or vitamix. Now I'm wishing I'd sprung for on of them.

bazu said...

Thank you so much for this review! Like you, I've had a vitamix lust for a while, and I'd never even heard of a Blendtec, so now I have more options to consider! The ice cream really intrigues me.

How easy would you say clean-up is? Are there a lot of corners and crevices the food can get stuck in? Are the parts machine washable?

kennyboy said...

Hey bazu!

Clean up is incredibly easy, just like with the Vita-Mix.

You just put a cup of water in it (just measure using the marks on the pitcher) along with a single drop of soap.

Put the pitcher on the blender, put the lid on it and hold down the PULSE button for 10-15 seconds. Dump out the soapy water and rinse it out. It takes like 30 seconds to clean it.

I even mixed up some vegan cheese sauce in it this evening and I figured it would be a big ol' mess to clean up but it wasn't. The stuff really didn't want to stick to the inside of the pitcher, and the regular cleaning method had it spotless in 30 seconds.

No problem to clean at all.

I think it is dishwasher safe (top rack) but I doubt you would ever need to do that.

It will be interesting to see how the regular cleaning method works after making peanut butter or something like that.

Randi said...

ok, now I'm lusting after yet another appliance. Thanks!!!

kennyboy said...

Muwahahahahahaha...

(that's supposed to be an evil laugh as I rub my hands together)

;o)

Anonymous said...

For a thick hummus with very little water involved, I would use an inexpensive food processor or an inexpensive blender from one of those discount supermarkets; otherwise, if you use your expensive blender to make a thick hummus, add some more water or olive oil into the blender. I used my expensive blender making a really thick hummus and it started vibrating like an automatic vibrating massager. Also, it began to release a little smoke that smelled like heated plastic. After this incident, I was more careful.

Kirby said...

Can it whip up skim milk into a mousse like consistency? I'm wanting some way to make "cream".. skim milk plus some sweetener or something or some fruit.. that is good for me.

Maya said...

I have a blendtec and it has changed my life. I make raw desserts, smoothies, soups, sauces, flour from fresh wheat berries, hummous. Yum!! I chose it for all the same reasons that you did. Never looked back!

MommaRo said...

I have the Vitamix - and thought I LOVE it and recommend it - I don't use it to its fullest. Smoothies every morning...otherwise, that's it. I'm a mom and don't get to wash it straight away - so if it were dish washer safe, I'd be happier. As well, having to learn how to use it is - daunting and time consuming. So - when I went to Costco and saw the Blendtec - Whoa - financial dilemma # 5,678. Dish washer safe, no tamper necessary, options on the dashboard so I don't have to have a manual by my side to switch on then switch off then place to higher speed then switch back on...BUT, another $350! And a smaller canister than the Vitamix. So, I'm online, searching for comparisons before I open the Blendtec...or bring it back to Costco.

MommaRo said...

I have the Vitamix - and thought I LOVE it and recommend it - I don't use it to its fullest. Smoothies every morning...otherwise, that's it. I'm a mom and don't get to wash it straight away - so if it were dish washer safe, I'd be happier. As well, having to learn how to use it is - daunting and time consuming. So - when I went to Costco and saw the Blendtec - Whoa - financial dilemma # 5,678. Dish washer safe, no tamper necessary, options on the dashboard so I don't have to have a manual by my side to switch on then switch off then place to higher speed then switch back on...BUT, another $350! And a smaller canister than the Vitamix. So, I'm online, searching for comparisons before I open the Blendtec...or bring it back to Costco.

Bradinthe541 said...

This is a great review!! I just ordered a Blendtec on Amazon and it should be here tomorrow! Now I'm really looking forward to it.
Thanks.