10 Best Blenders For Your Kitchen | March 2017
- suction-fit rubber lid
- nonslip feet on the base
- strong pulverizing power
- virtually unbreakable container
- tamper wand to aid in blending
- the base tends to rust over time
- steel-reinforced coupler
- large 56-ounce container
- quality made in the usa
- infinite speed control
- dishwasher safe components
- low-profile design
- super portable design
- three colors to choose from
- very loud when blending
- lid fits very securely
- high-capacity square blending jar
- user guide and recipes are included
- can be used to make dough
- 1500 watt 2 horsepower motor
- blades are very sharp
- creates creamy soups and smoothies
- bpa-free 64-ounce container
- illuminated control panel
More Than Just a Blender?
That's a picture of the blender I had when I was a kid, and I'm willing to bet that it's the picture that comes to most people's minds when then think about blenders. It's like a Platonic Ideal; in our heads, a blender must consist of these aspects of blenderness for it to qualify as a blender.
I don't know if you've ever owned a blender like that, but they kind of stink. We also had ourselves a dedicated electric ice crusher that we had to use to crush our ice before adding it to the blender, or else the blender couldn't do that thing it was supposed to do–you know, blend. If that's an ideal, let's innovate.
That innovation has actually gone on for quite a while, but it's only been recently that a wave of popularity hit the smoothie industry, with places like Jamba Juice and Smoothie King opening worldwide, in competition with the boutique juice and smoothie bars on every urban street corner. I mean, you know a product is popular when it threatens a global brand (like Coca-Cola), and that brand has to write skeptical think pieces about the pitfalls of smoothie consumption.
The most innovative of these blending products, those that bring you the most power, versatility, and durability, don't come cheap. But, then again, neither do the smoothies at your favorite shop.
The top blenders today, your Vitamixes and Blendtecs, can also replace items like juicers, ice cream makers, food processors, nut butter grinders, and they can even heat foods within their containers. They can cook.
Well, maybe you never wanted an ice cream maker. Do you eat ice cream? Make it yourself, and save some money. Maybe you never wanted a butter churn in your kitchen. Do you eat butter? Make it yourself, with unique flavors from garlic and fresh spices.
The bottom line is that these are not my parent's blenders. They're your blenders, and they're pretty awesome.
Are You Gonna Eat That?
Some foods you just don't want to eat. Take these natto beans, a gooey, fermented staple of the Japanese breakfast, for example. It doesn't matter how good it is for you; everybody has individual tastes and desires and some things will always be plain nasty.
Of course, that doesn't mean you can't expand your horizons. You know what? Here's a recipe for natto beans. Enjoy!
It's entirely possible that all you want to do is make smoothies, and that's the only thing you're ever going to ask of your blender. If that's the case, you probably don't need to go with one of the more expensive blenders on the market. That said, if you're going to compare your smoothie with what you buy from Jamba Juice, the cheaper guys won't cut it.
And if that day comes when you do want to explore the other possibilities your blender can offer, you're going to end up upgrading anyway and sending your cheap-o unit off to a live in a landfill in Ghana.
If you think about it, a lot of kitchen appliances are like stepping stones toward a better version of themselves. You eventually get a better stove, a bigger refrigerator–maybe one with its own TV–, a faster toaster that holds more bread, etc. You'll eventually get a better blender, too. It's up to you whether you start out early along that path or jump straight to the end.
Everything Old Is New Again
Like infomercials? I used to stay up all night watching those things, convincing myself I needed everything I saw until I started getting a little older. Then I just watched them out of a kind of morbid curiosity. Well, if you like infomercials, I suggest you watch this one, which is believed to be the first ever infomercial for a commercial product broadcast into people's homes.
Does the machine in that 66 year old infomercial look familiar? Well, it might. It's an old Vitamix. You see, these higher powered blenders have been with us since blenders were first introduced to the marketplace in the 20s and 30s.
Somewhere along the lines, companies became content to make a cheaper, less effective product for consumers. But the stronger, more capable machines that predated those later products didn't just disappear, they reoriented themselves and became the standard tools of the culinary industry.
Now, primarily due to the financial stresses of the Great Recession, consumers have become much smarter about the products in which they choose to invest. That means that if a product isn't going to last, if it can't do what it claims, if it's not made in the US, well, like I said, it goes to Ghana.
Consumers are smarter about what they buy than at any other moment in history, and machines with the power and versatility available today will make for a lot of savings tomorrow.