We bought a Vitamix back in April, and oh my goodness, it was one of the best purchases we have ever made. I will not even pretend that it wasn't a huge, expensive purchase. This thing is expensive, for sure (although I do have some ideas for how to save on one below). But we have used it almost every single day since we bought it, and there is no buyer's remorse here at all. If you haven't heard of it, a Vitamix is a super duper uber powerful blender. It acts as a blender, food processor, juicer, coffee grinder, chopper, and mixer all in one. It can actually even cook, as the blade's friction creates enough heat in a few minutes to boil water. It comes with a really good warranty, and these things are built to work and to last. It's basically the last blender you ever buy. Here are a few reasons why I love it:
- The green factor. Ok, yes this thing contains some plastic. We are trying to reduce our plastic footprint as much as possible, but in the large scheme of things, this machine will save unthinkable amounts of plastic and waste. First of all, I've gone through my fair share of blenders. I think I owned three before this (like, as an adult), and I'm 29 now, so that's probably like 2-3 years/blender. I didn't even use blenders very often before we bought the Vitamix, but any other blender I've used seemed to crap out after a couple years. Who repairs stuff like that anymore? If you paid $100 for a blender that died after a couple years, you'd most likely replace it rather than repair it. I don't even think most blenders are made to be repaired anymore, so they end up in a landfill. Whereas, this machine is built to last. They come with a 7 year warranty, but they last for generations, and if anything goes wrong, they can be repaired. It actually has very few working parts. I am a total believer in paying more for a higher quality product that is made to last. The other thing that reduces waste about it is that you can make many things from scratch using the Vitamix that you would otherwise buy packaged. In that sense, it saves lots of single-use packaging waste, which is one of the most devastating types of plastic waste.
- Power/performance. This thing is unbelievably powerful. If you're a numbers person, it has 2 horsepower and draws 11.5 amps. If you're not a numbers person, then it's frickin' powerful. Just trust me. And it has variable speed adjustment, so it can do light chopping all the way to pulverizing. It makes a completely smooth smoothie in seconds, and it has this really cool tamper that you can use to help mix up the food and make sure everything hits the blade. With other blenders I've owned, my smoothies or frozen drinks were always chunky no matter what I did, which is why I rarely used them. Also, since it has variable speeds, you can use it to just chop veggies without pureeing them.
- Cleanup. Another reason that I rarely used blenders and groaned whenever a recipe called for a food processor is the cleanup. There are enough dishes to wash after making dinner as it is. The last thing I want to be doing is pulling food processor pieces apart and cleaning them. After using the Vitamix, you fill it with water, add a drop of dish soap, run the machine for 30 seconds, and it's completely cleaned and sanitized. There's nothing to take apart, nothing to wash by hand or put in the dishwasher. That's it, and you're ready to make something else. It makes me much more ambitious with trying new recipes.
- Made in the USA. I'm not really a super hardcore patriot. I mean, I do love my country, but I also think we have a lot of problems. Who doesn't, really? But I do love to buy US-made products when they're available. When products are made in places like the US and European countries, they are more expensive, but it is my impression that you get better quality, better business ethics/working conditions, and a lower carbon footprint. Unfortunately, it seems as though we are making less and less as we turn into a country that buys things instead of makes things, but Vitamix is a US company that still makes its products in the US. I think the motor is made in Sweden, but the other parts are made here, and the whole thing is assembled here. One of my newest goals, which I will undoubtedly write more about, is to buy only items that are second-hand or made in the US. And maybe Europe, or other countries with high standards for wages and working conditions. Again, it's not a patriotic ambition. It's more of a humanitarian and green initiative. But stay tuned on that as I work through the details.
- Health. The Vitamix is a huge key for my family to living a healthy lifestyle. Of course you can be healthy without one. It would be ridiculous to suggest otherwise, but if I can make my own peanut butter, condiments, salad dressing, sauces, smoothies, popsicles, etc., then I have complete control over the ingredients (and maybe save some $$ in the process). I'm not going to use preservatives and chemicals. I can limit the amount of sugar I use. I can use olive or coconut oil instead of canola or soy. I can make substitutions for food sensitivities/allergies. I can eat more raw foods, including veggies/greens. Have you ever had a smoothie with spinach? You can mix handfuls of spinach in with some fruit, and as long as the smoothie is well-blended like you get with the Vitamix, you don't taste the spinach at all. The first thing Penny said this morning was "Soo-mie" (smoothie). If only she knew that it was mostly greens. It is absolutely the easiest way to get veggies in her.
It is not at all hard to come up with ways to use the Vitamix, but the machine does come with a 350-page cookbook of Vitamix recipes and a DVD with more recipes and ideas. Here are some things we have used it for:
- Smoothies/green drinks–Josh and Penny have them for breakfast every day. Sometimes Josh even takes one as his lunch.
- Grinding coffee beans
- Guacamole–I make this as an afternoon snack for me and Penny all the time.
- Soup–I made a mean Vichyssoise the other day. Penny tossed her spoon aside and picked up her bowl to drink the soup from it. She would stop every few seconds to say "yummy" and then return to drinking it. See photo. Second easiest way to get veggies in her! I used this simple recipe. Next time I might try to cut the cream down or use an alternative milk.
- PPK's Beet burgers- this recipe was miles easier when I made it post-Vitamix versus pre.
- Ice cream
Some things on my Vitamix to-do list:
- Salad dressing (the Vitamix makes emulsions a breeze)
- Nut butter
- Almond milk
- Flour (wheat, rice, etc.)
- Condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo)
I became so enamored with this thing that I joined their affiliate program. I have become an affiliate for a few different companies, and I just want to be clear that the only companies I am affiliated with are companies where I have personally bought their product because it seemed like something I would like. I paid full price, loved it, and became excited to share it with others. That's the only way it has worked for me, and I don't seek out companies asking for free stuff to review for this blog. Nothing against other blogs that do that–it's cool. It's just not what I do.
Anyway, being an affiliate of Vitamix means that if any of you decide to buy one and want to support CBM in the process, as well as get free shipping, use THIS LINK, or you can go to www.vitamix.com and use promotion code 06-007289. One other thing that is really cool about buying through the Vitamix website is that they sell reconditioned machines for a significant discount (~25% off). The reconditioned machines still come with a warranty and are thoroughly tested to ensure that they are in excellent working condition. I did not know about these reconditioned machines when we bought ours. Otherwise, I totally would have bought mine that way. I looked for a used machine on Craigslist actually, but I couldn't find anything. It makes sense though–who would sell this thing? Maybe a smoothie shop that went out of business (yes, all the smoothie shops use these). Ah, but then you wouldn't get the warranty.
And if you already have a Vitamix, please share your favorite recipes!