Blenders

June 12, 2016

A blender is a key element in my plant based kitchen. Green smoothies are whipped up daily, so I need a blender that can last. And a cashew cream sauce requires a good blender to produce a smooth texture. Many, many years ago we purchased a VitaMix blender (3600 Plus). It turned out to be a really good investment. We paid around $600 for it, but it lasted for 35 years.  That’s a lot of smoothies and banana ice cream.

Broken Blade/Drive Shaft
Broken Blade/Drive Shaft

Sadly, my VitaMix bit the dust. The motor is still in fine working order but the blade shaft broke. Try as we might, we could not find a replacement part. They don’t make them anymore. Coincidently, the day after mine broke we found another, exactly the same, for sale on Kijiji. However, they wanted $200 for it. Given mine just suddenly gave up the ghost, I wasn’t ready to shell out that kind of money for another that might quit the next day.

Besides the VitaMix, I have had several other blenders over the last 35 years, all of which I picked up at garage sales. I have burned out a couple of Osters, 4 Betty Crocker personal blenders and a Magic Bullet.  To say I am hard on blenders is an understatement.

We did our research into what to buy. The units we considered were:

  1. VitaMix – I still consider the VitaMix to be the Cadillac of blenders. However, they also come with a %500 to $600 price tag. These power blenders use 1,500 watts of power.
  2. Blendtec – Also a very good blender. I use one of these for smoothies at the cooking classes. They have a smoothie button, just push and when the machine stops the smoothie is done just right. However, these also have a $500 to $600 price tag and use 1,500 watts of power.
  3. Ninja – my all have Ninja’s and love them. I like the design with some of the blades higher up on the shaft. I have used Kelsey’s Ninja for making green smoothies and found that they didn’t blend the greens as finely as I would like. I usually made a big green smoothie then finished it off to smooth consistency in the individual cup blender.  Also, there are a lot of plastic parts in this unit which worries me given how much use it would get. The Ninja is one of the new power blenders, using 1,500 watts of power.
  4. Waring – in our research we came across a review for a Waring commercial bar blender. After further research, we liked what we read and decided to give it a try. At only $150 on Amazon it was affordable, but a major reason for choosing a Waring MBB518 was that it only used 550 watts at peak. (We are off grid and during the winter, there are days when we did not have the power for the VitaMix)
35 year old VitaMix and new Waring MBB518
35 year old VitaMix and new Waring MBB518
Waring MBB518
Waring MBB518

Waring blenders are designed for commercial use and I am hoping this means they will stand the test of time – lots of green smoothie action. It has only 2 speeds, high and low – what more do you need? I like the glass container and the small compact motor unit. I have been using mine for a few days now. Three smoothies and a cashew cream sauce later and I love the machine. The container is much smaller than my old VitaMix (about half the size), and its much quieter too.  However, it has no problems making a smooth smoothie or sauce and powers through the frozen fruit like a pro. I think the smaller size helps.

The real test will be time.

August 11, 2016 update

I had used the Waring blender for just over a month and loving it. With the smaller container, I had to make 2 batches to feed both of us, but it did a super job blending them up nice and smooth. I really loved it for cashew creams, which is where the small container really shines. But then suddenly, it stopped working. We were on a green smoothie week and I guess it didn’t like making 6 to 8 smoothies a day. The motor runs but the blades do not turn under a load. The good news is that it is covered by a warranty so its been shipped off to Ontario. In the meantime, I am back to using the old Oster, carefully so as not to burn it out as well.

The day the Waring died, I checked VitaMix on line and found they had a sale on Certified Reconditioned units (sale on to September 30, 2016). These reconditioned units usually sell for $429 but are on for $319. We decided that perhaps the VitaMix is the best bet for our heavy blender use family. The units come with a 5 year warranty (Waring is 2 years) and free shipping. As a bonus, shipping is free if you need to return it for warranty work (cost me $20 to mail the Waring back). I purchased the extended warranty for an additional 3 years, for a cost of $99.

The drawback with the reconditioned units is that you don’t know exactly what model you are getting. It can be one of four C-series machines – Professional Series 500, 6300, 6500 or Total Nutrition Center 3.  However, I am not that picky and anxiously looking forward to it arriving. Will keep you posted with what I got and how it performs.

August 15, 2016 Update

My Vitamix has arrived! As mentioned earlier, its a reconditioned unit so you don’t know which one you will get. I got a 6300. It retails for $599 and I got it for $319. That’s a great deal.

I was super excited to try it out. Made myself a green pudding for dessert – 1 cup water, 3 tbsp chia seeds, a couple slices of fresh ginger, 2 cups parsley, 1 frozen banana and 1 cup frozen pineapple. Used the smoothie setting on the blender and voila – a totally creamy dessert pudding.

raspberry ice creamKen just came into the kitchen to ask if there was anything for dessert. I said “Green Pudding”. He turned up his nose just as I turned the page on the Vitamix cookbook I was reading. I said “how about a peach sherbet?”, which was on the cookbook page. Of course he said yah! No frozen peaches in the house but he did find raspberries. I used 1 cup almond milk, 1 frozen banana (for sweetness) and 1 cup frozen raspberries. OMG, I am in love with this machine. I used the frozen dessert setting and the tamper and in no time at all, super creamy and the consistency of soft serve ice cream. I used my old Vitamix for frozen desserts, and it did a good job. Better than any other blender I have used. However, it was no contest with this Vitamix 6300. I love the pre-set settings. The blender starts out slow and gradually increases in speed and then automatically stops.  I see lots of frozen desserts in our future.

Will update the post after I have had a chance to put the Vitamix 6300 through its paces.  And also on the repair progress on the Waring.

 

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One thought on “Blenders

  1. We like our Ninja, but I wish we would have invested in a Vitamix. After only one year, it’s already showing some wear. There are stress fractures along the bottom of the plastic container. It does a good job blending, but I don’t think it’s made to last 35 years.

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