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Author Topic: blender for green smoothies?  (Read 37194 times)
bookishone
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« on: May 04, 2012, 1:22:09 PM »

I would like to be able to make "green smoothies" or even ANY smoothies in a blender at home.

Currently I have an Oster blender that doesn't chop the ice. We have a fridge with an ice chipper mechanism, so we pre-chip the ice before putting it in the blender, and even then the thing just spins itself into a little air pocket. Even with extra juice it just dings the ice bits around without mashing them as desired. It's frustrating.

My kids are now of the age where they want to make themselves smoothies, and I've been wishing I could make those "green smoothies" where you blend together fruit with healthy veg like kale, or fruit sorbet by blending frozen fruit.

So far the research I've done online tells me that I have to spend $339 to get a (refurbished) VitaMix or BlendTec blender if I want to be able to throw heavy-duty stuff like apples and kale in there, and that these also handle ice very well. They normally retail for $400-500.

Naturally, I am tempted but resistant. Have any of you any advice on blenders for this kind of thing? One article suggested that any 1000-watt blender would do, but all the reviews I read on other brands seem to be mixed.
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bibliothecula
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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2012, 2:39:40 PM »

I put ice in my 700 watt Oster all the time and hit chop, then move to a finer setting, etc., until it's the consistency I want. Maybe try that? Also, when I add stuff to the ice, I mix it in a bit with a metal spoon before having the blender blend it.
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theritas
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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2012, 2:51:30 PM »

I've had mixed results, so I hope to get some good tips to be more consistently successful. My blender likely cost $30 or so...
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thrillcheese
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2012, 4:19:53 PM »

I use a BOSS that I got off amazon. grinds up ice, frozen fruit, spinach leaves, coffee beans, whatever, beautifully. I have a smoothy every morning.
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bookishone
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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2012, 6:53:41 PM »

I use a BOSS that I got off amazon. grinds up ice, frozen fruit, spinach leaves, coffee beans, whatever, beautifully. I have a smoothy every morning.

Thrillcheese, is that the "Big Boss"? Those reviews look pretty good.

I should add that we have an unexpected windfall burning a hole in my pocket. We're putting almost all of it toward savings/debt reduction, but it is tempting to use a small amount to "make up the difference" between a regular blender and the Cult Blender.
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melba_frilkins
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2012, 7:00:50 PM »

Before jumping into a $400 blender, I'd try something in the $60-80 range. I was amazed when I made that leap from el cheapo $20 blenders up to a good quality basic Oster (600 watt) for $60 at Costco. Sixty dollars even seemed high, but I needed something to pulverize chocolate chips, after ruining my cheap blender doing that.
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forest_and_the_trees
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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2012, 8:30:12 PM »

I splurged and bought a Vita Mix.  It blends everything, sheet rock included.  I use it three or four times a day and love it to pieces.
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arizona
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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2012, 8:40:49 PM »

The VitaMix is amazing. I don't have one, but my parents do and I've used it at their house. Grapes in smoothies! The VitaMix is the only small appliance I've ever coveted.

I have a middle-of-the-road blender, i.e., not $30 but not $400. It does okay. I usually skip the ice and use frozen bananas as the base of the smoothie. It handles greens with no problem.
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thrillcheese
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« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2012, 1:08:10 AM »

I use a BOSS that I got off amazon. grinds up ice, frozen fruit, spinach leaves, coffee beans, whatever, beautifully. I have a smoothy every morning.

Thrillcheese, is that the "Big Boss"? Those reviews look pretty good.

I should add that we have an unexpected windfall burning a hole in my pocket. We're putting almost all of it toward savings/debt reduction, but it is tempting to use a small amount to "make up the difference" between a regular blender and the Cult Blender.

Yep. I never use the lids and things, but the cups, blade, and base are well made.
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punchnpie
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2012, 1:25:50 AM »

I splurged and bought a Vita Mix.  It blends everything, sheet rock included.  I use it three or four times a day and love it to pieces.

Tell it again. I love my Vita Mix.
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marigolds
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2012, 6:30:10 AM »

I splurged and bought a Vita Mix.  It blends everything, sheet rock included.  I use it three or four times a day and love it to pieces.

Tell it again. I love my Vita Mix.

So how was the sheetrock smoothie?

I'd go for the Vitamix.
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bookishone
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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2012, 7:20:32 PM »

I have to say, I am very tempted. But then again, it has been the semester from hell, and no doubt that is playing into my lack of sales resistance. I'm usually pretty thrifty about electronica -- still using my non-smartphone from 6 years ago, for example.

I wanted to make frozen drinks to go with our fish tacos/lentil soup tonight (Cinco de Mayo) but it is just too much of a hassle with the current machine -- takes forever and you have to do it in three batches to get it to move. We're definitely going to have to upgrade somehow.

The Big Boss looks good, but it does sound like the VitaMix lasts forever. And even the reconditioned units have a great warranty compared to most new blenders.

I can't believe I'm even considering spending $300+ on a blender. Though apparently it can make soup, and we eat soup several times a week in the cooler months.

Thrillcheese, can you do oranges, celery, kale and other fibrous things in the Big Boss? Also, how much do you pre-chop?
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systeme_d_
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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2012, 7:40:46 PM »

Oh, for goodness' sake, get the VitaMix.  It sounds like you will use it year-round, and use it often.  That in itself justifies a major purchase.
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marigolds
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« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2012, 7:51:49 PM »

Listen to Systeme_D. She is never wrong. 
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bookishone
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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2012, 10:28:19 PM »

Listen to Systeme_D. She is never wrong. 

How can I ignore so much good advice?

I'm sorry, thrillcheese; I think I have to go for the Cult Blender. (though in reconditioned format, which makes it quite a bit more affordable).

Now to go "make the case" to my fellow checking account owner, as we get joint buy-in for larger purchases. I think I can prevail upon him to agree, though, given that he loves both smoothies and soup, AND this splurge can also stand in for a pricey, overrated Mother's Day brunch somewhere. I've never been a big fan of eggs benedict anyway.
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