In the past few weeks, Vince and I have been making many smoothies. Unfortunately, we were making them with our stalwart little immersion blender. We didn’t have a “proper” blender at all. I’d bought this blender so that I could blend soup in the pot without doing the “transfer all the soup to the food processor, burn yourself, make a giant soup mess” thing. But it was never meant for dedicated smoothie use and it really struggled to blend the frozen fruit.
Enter this beast:
Because I have a penchant for naming things I insisted we had to name it, Vince’s suggestion was “Taz” which I think is a Tasmanian devil reference.
There are entire subsets of things people are intensely interested that you can be blissfully unaware of. Apparently high-end smoothie blenders is one of those things, and there are pretty firm Vitamix versus Blendtec camps.
It seemed to me that most smoothie blogs and Youtube videos recommended Vitamix (but many smoothie blogs also sounded like they’d received endorsement deals to me, or at least affiliate links). Meantime, Blendtec’s biggest claim to fame is a weird series of videos called “Will It Blend?” in which they blend things that were never meant to be blended. Watching a toxic cloud of smoke puff out of a blender jar while a smiling man in a lab coat dumps out iPhone powder is probably the oddest thing I’ve seen in awhile. Does it mean the blender will make good smoothies? Not necessarily, but it’s definitely attention-grabbing.
In the end, it was the profile of the blenders that decided it for me. I just liked the look of the Blendtec better, and it’s shorter so you can fit it underneath a standard kitchen cabinet. Because Vince has been taking a smoothie to work every single day, we spent more money than I thought I’d ever spend on something like a blender. We wanted something that could take heavy usage. So we ordered it from Costco and spent a week not-so-patiently waiting.
When the blender actually arrived, I knew it was out for delivery with UPS but I also really wanted to shower that morning. UPS usually delivers to our area later in the afternoon, so I figured I’d be safe to hop into a shower for five minutes. Friends on Twitter assured me that showering would guarantee the blender’s delivery. I scoffed at them. That wouldn’t possibly happen.
As I’m in the shower, with conditioner in my hair, I hear the dog start to bark downstairs. I think that I can possibly hear the humming of an idling truck through the wall of the shower. “Oh shit,” I say, quickly turning off the shower and wrapping a towel around myself as I sprint to look out the window. There is indeed a UPS truck parked across the street.
Dripping water the entire way, I run down the stairs and push the dog to one side. It is very, very cold and I feel like I’m in a sitcom. I open the door only a crack to greet the bewildered UPS man and tell him, “Maybe just leave it right there. I’ll get it…um. After you go.” I gesture vaguely at the barking dog behind me with a weak smile, implying that it’s the dog that’s the problem and not the fact that I am wearing ONLY A TOWEL.
After he sets the blender down and leaves, I go through a few moments of opening/closing the door hesitation. Okay, I just have to bend down to get this box OH MY GOSH IT IS SO COLD. Door slams shut. But I really want that blender. I grit my teeth, open the door and employ an impressive yoga stretch to reach the blender without actually stepping outside OR losing my towel and flashing the entire neighbourhood.
Victory! I have a new blender. I leave it unceremoniously on the coffee table and run back upstairs to turn the water up super hot in my shower. This is not the arrival I had expected for my fancy new appliance.
Since then, I’ve learned a few things with my new Blendtec:
1) Carrot juice is gross and even if you put an apple in it, it’s still gross.
1a) The dog likes carrot/apple juice as much as he likes carrots and apples.
2) High end smoothie blenders are LOUD. So loud, in fact, I’m pretty sure you’ve heard this blender. From wherever you are in North America or elsewhere.
3) A smoothie blender really does make a difference in taste and texture.
Every smoothie we’ve made so far has been delicious. Here’s mine from this morning, along with the recipe.
Green Mango Smoothie
3/4 cup water
2 cups fresh spinach
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1 orange, peeled and quartered
1-1.5 cup of frozen mango pieces
*note: the original recipe called for one fresh mango and then 1/2 cup of ice cubes, because I only had frozen mango I omitted the ice cubes and eyeballed what seemed like a reasonable amount of fruit to equal one mango
I know the green colour can be off-putting but truthfully, there was no spinach taste to this at all. It just tasted like orange and mango. As far as the healthiness of drinking smoothies, in general, I’m currently of the opinion that so long as you add protein and stick to whole fruits as much as possible, they are very healthy. If you start adding much in the way of sweeteners or fruit juices, then you’ve got extra sugar without the water/fibre that comes from a whole fruit. Prepared this way I find them quite filling and the energy from them lasts me for hours. I’m told that these blenders can also do things like make soup or ice cream and even grind coffee or other spices such as cinnamon, but I haven’t tried that yet. In fact they say it can make powdered sugar from regular sugar, which is something I’m definitely going to try! For now though, I’ll stick with my smoothies and just be glad that my immersion blender will live to blend another day now that it’s no longer on fruit duty.