Sunday, July 14, 2013

Vitamix--The King of Blenders!! But is it worth the $?

About two months ago, I broke down and purchased a Vitamix Blender.  I had dealt with sub par blenders all my life, not knowing how efficient and powerful they actually could be.  When I got married and moved in with my hubby, we used the blender that he had gotten as a staple.  It likely was a  hand-me-down from a sibling.  We really didn't use it much, and when the blades dulled on it, I was happy to toss it and get a new one.  I don't remember what I replaced it with.  I think it was a bottom of the line Oster from Target.  I mainly had it in the house just in case.  We rarely used it--hardly ever made smoothies.  I used it to make milkshakes (which I still love but can't drink as often due to the high caloric factor and my much slower "aging diva" metabolism), but it was a lot of work for a dessert that I could get in a jiffy at Friendly's.

Fast forward to now.  I am attempting to stay healthier by adding antioxidants to my diet.  They are the free radical scavengers that help to combat cancer and other health issues.  I planted both raspberry and blueberry bushes in my yard. (Let's not talk about my battle with the wildlife this summer; as they have been the victors thus far!)  And for the past six months or so, I have been drinking smoothies as a means of getting those nourishing vitamins and antioxidants into my system, and those of my family.  My 12 year old son is quite proficient, and has become a "Smoothie Master" in his own right.

The last blender we owned before the Vitamix was a Ninja.   The Ninja was a hyped up contraption "As Seen On TV".  It cost me under $40 with the coupon from Bed Bath and Beyond.  It was very unusual (the motor was on top) and came with many extras that I didn't think were of any use.  But in the beginning, it crushed ice like, well, a Ninja.  We used it as directed and were happy for about a year.  But then, as all cheap blenders do, the blades got dull--very dull.  Our smoothies were very crunchy and the fruit was not fully blended. Yuck! I had heard a few friends mention the mighty Vitamix and I looked into it as a replacement, but all the models were soooo expensive--running from $449 to $689!!! How could I justify spending that much on a blender when I only used it to make occasional smoothies? 

Still determined to get healthier and add more fruits and veggies to my diet, I kept researching other brands.  Some seemed like notably better blenders than I was used to, but had mixed reviews.  About this time I began to incorporate whey protein into my smoothies.  I wanted to make them into a meal.  I also begin collecting recipes for smoothies using all kinds of fruits and even some veggies. It was then I realized that I could justify the sale.  To have a blender that whirls kale, apple, blueberries, and even whole frozen strawberries into oblivion was worth it's weight in green!  And it would save money as I wouldn't have to make as many drives to Smoothie King to spend a small fortune on a small smoothie because they are the only ones whose smoothies aren't with high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors.  And guess what, Vitamix is the official manufacturer of the commercial blenders in Smoothie King!  I looked closely one day when I was waiting for my Pineapple Surf.

So I found a compromise of sorts.  I purchased a certified factory recon 5200 model directly from the Vitamix site for $329.00.  Sure it was reconditioned, but Vitamix stands behind their recons and  gives them a 5-year warrantee.  And my Vitamix has been great from the moment my son unboxed it and made the first concoction. It's like nothing I've ever had before; it's on a whole new level!  It looks and feels like a commercial grade blender, even though my 5200 is not.  It not only handles whole fresh and frozen fruit like a champ, it goes beyond frozen drinks--making soy and rice milk and it even creams nuts into nut butter.  They have a "buy-up" program, so when I am ready for a newer model (probably never), I can get a credit toward it.  I would not recommend buying a recon or a used blender on ebay ( and oh how I love my ebay!).  Get one directly from Recons from $319.  Believe me, if it enables you to eat healthier, it is so worth it.


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