When I was pregnant I started drinking smoothies all the time. At first I'd buy them at shops and pay $5 or more per serving. Then I started buying smoothie mixes in the frozen food section of the grocery store (about $5 for two smoothie servings) and using my Cuisinart stick blender to whip them up. That worked well for 2012, but I realized that I couldn't blend whole fruits (due to the small size and low power) and that I could only make pretty small servings. I've already owned at least three cheap blenders in the past few years and most of them couldn't even crush fresh fruit. Right before Christmas there was a Vitamix demo at Costco and I watched in awe (again) and tasted a hot chicken tortilla soup that came out of a blender. Hot soup cooked in a blender?! What?! But Max had a meltdown and I had to hurry to checkout, so I didn't even check the price. I walked away from the Vitamix.
By Christmas day I was researching Vitamix (and its competitor Blendtec) online and decided that Vitamix was the right choice for me. I priced it at several places and found that Costco had the best deal. I went back to Costco on December 27th and... Vitamix was gone! But, they did have a few mixers left behind from the demo and I was able to snag a base model one for about $75 less than retail. I threw it in my cart and I haven't looked back since.
And believe it or not, I've used it every day (sometimes three times a day) since I've purchased it. Ask my family. They are tired of hearing me run that thing.
Here's why I love it:
1. It's easy to clean. I hate doing dishes. To clean the Vitamix you rinse the jar under warm water, fill the jar half full with warm water, add a drop of dish soap, turn the blender on high (with the lid on), let it rip for a minute, rinse and it's clean.
2. I've increased my intake of raw fruits and vegetables. As much as I love to cook, I used to throw produce in the trash because it would rot before we could eat it. Now I start every day (including days when the temps are below 30 degrees) with a fruit and vegetable smoothie. That's right, I now drink those scary looking bright green smoothies for breakfast. I also make hot soups from fresh vegetables and reheat them for lunch at work.
3. It makes great cocktails. It's the same blender used at bars and restaurants. You get perfectly slushy margaritas, daquiris, and smoothies. I still can't believe that I can make a drink at home (with or without alcohol) that is the same (or better) than one served in a restaurant.
4. It makes desserts, dips, sauces and a bunch of other stuff. That's an entirely different blog post, but this mixer can make ice cream... and hummus... and enchilada sauce! Seriously. I even make awesome Starbucks-like coffee drinks with the frothy top.
5. I use it to make baby food. You can also use a food processor, food mill, or immersion blender to puree fruits and vegetables for a baby. Max is just starting to eat solids, so I'm looking forward to using the Vitamix to make his food.
There is a learning curve with the Vitamix. I normally try a recipe first (there are tons on the website and a recipe book comes with it) and then adjust the seasonings and consistency to fit my taste. It also takes a few tries to figure out how long to blend foods and how to figure out when they are "done".
Believe the hype, Vitamix is worth the price. I'd put it right up there with my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and my Cuisnart food processor as a kitchen essential for me. I use it as often, if not more so, than our coffee machine. I don't know if it's paid for itself yet, but I believe it will within the first year. Plus, any kitchen device that has me eating three cups of raw spinach for breakfast has got to be good, right?
Is anyone else out there as addicted to kitchen gadgets as I am? Any other Vitamix users? I know Brandy loves hers!