This is the king of blenders that we use every day. Even my hubby uses it! If you only make an occasional fruit smoothie, you probably don’t need this.
But if you like to cook vegan or even vegetarian and like the idea of non-dairy drinks, sauces and cheeses based on nuts, there’s nothing like it to really blend ingredients to a very smooth texture.
My first blender back in the 60’s was an original Oster which had actual power, but I foolishly gave it away and bought a new model which didn’t last very long. And until I got this Vitamix about 10 years or so ago, I wore out many blenders. (Forgot exactly when.) So while a Vitamix might seem expensive, it’s not really expensive when I consider all the replacement blenders I haven’t been buying. And you can even get a refurbished model at a significant saving, still with a 5-year warranty!)
Oh, and did I mention that we regularly make delicious soft-serve natural ice cream in the Vitamix. It’s not something to try in an ordinary blender! And, yes, you can grind grain or even nuts. The container of the model on the left is a huge 64-oz, but if you prefer smaller containers, they are available too. If you learn to use a Vitamix properly, you will discover that you can use the variable speed not only to blend but to chop ingredients and eliminate most hand-cutting and chopping. The key is to use the slow speeds. The 5300 series (on the right) seems to be similar, but in a lower profile with the same 64-oz capacity. I must say I’m a wee bit tempted by the Vitamix 15255 Tritan Copolyester Containers with Wet Blade and Lid that’s supposed to have larger blades and fit my 5200 series blender … except I don’t really need one …
The 5200 and 5300 series of Vitamix are for control freaks like me who don’t like automatic settings. If you’re not that kind of control freak, choose one of the models with settings for everything. (As a bonus, these have a slightly more powerful motor, as well as a higher price.) Other than for the latest 2.3 HP motor, the differences between Vitamix machines are largely cosmetic. So shop around to see what suits your preferences and your budget.
Here are just some of the things you can do with any Vitamix. :
- Make smoothies – of course!
- Make cream soup – of course! (If you blend a little longer, you can actually cook the soup in the Vitamix.)
- Chop onions, cabbage, carrots. It works on a fairly slow speed with a little water. Save the water for soup.
- Of course, if you want to cook a vegetable soup, that’s exactly the way to prepare the veggies. No point getting out the cutting board, etc. Just chop in water, pour in pot and cook!
- Chop nuts on a slower speed.
- Make nut creams or milks, beginning with a small amount of liquid, then adding more.
- Make soft ice cream. Really! You can use either ice cubes for the freezing effect, or do what we regularly do: Use frozen fruit with some coconut cream (use regular cream, if you like) or milk. Make vanilla ice cream with frozen bananas. For other flavors, use your fruit of choice, adding bananas, if necessary for smooth texture.
- Make nut and seed butters. No need for extra oil with peanuts or coconut. (Did you know that coconut butter is sweet without added sweetening? You can make it by blending up some unsweetened coconut flakes.) You’ll likely need a little oil with roasted almonds, though. Basically any nuts or seeds can be processed into nut butters. Just remember not to put in more than 2 cups of nuts at a time, even though the container still looks nearly empty. You want those nuts or seeds to be in constant contact with the blades.