Ask Roni: My Thoughts on Blenders

http://greenlitebites.com/2013/08/14/ask-roni-my-thoughts-on-blenders/
The Magic Bullet Review

Dear Roni,

I am writing to ask for your personal advice and review of food processors and blenders.

Cooking has become my almost full-time hobby this summer when I’m not working. I am truly inspired by your blog and have liked everything I’ve made so far from your recipes. However, I find that a lot of my cooking goals from your recipe index, along with every other blog that I follow, call for a food processor or blender, and mine just won’t suffice (I tried making hummus and ended up with many large chunks).

Do you use a Magic Bullet? How does it work for you? Do you think it’s worth investing in a Nutribullet, Vitamix, or something else very fancy?

I am a college student, and certain expenses just aren’t practical for me. I also don’t want to make an investment and have it go wrong. What would you recommend for brands or appliances? Maybe I should just get a mini food processor for now? Thanks so much for your consideration! I’m learning a lot from you!

Very sincerely,

Tera

Hi Tera!

Your email totally made me smile! I’m so glad you are having fun in the kitchen and that my site has been inspiring. Nothing makes me happier. Well, nothing except my kids eating what I cook for dinner without complaining. ;)

I would love to give you my thoughts on blenders and food processors. I consider myself cheap and low tech in this area so keep that in mind as you read my thoughts. I know lots of people who swear by their Vitamix but I just can’t see spending that much money on a blender. I get it, it’s powerful, but there are tricks you can use to make super smooth smoothies and soups in something as inexpensive as a Magic Bullet.

I’m basically the opposite of a kitchen snob because I want to make cooking at home more accessible, not less. And telling people they NEED a $600-plus piece of equipment to make a recipe just bugs me.

Now that I got that out of my system, I will step off my soapbox and answer your questions.

Do you use a Magic Bullet? How does it work for you?

I do and I worked it to DEATH. Click here and you can see all the recipes I used it with and those are just the ones I shared! The great thing about the Bullet is that it’s upside down and uses a small motor. This allows you to pick up the unit preventing that dreaded spinning of blades when you don’t have enough liquid. If you don’t know what I’m talking about click here to see how I make soft serve in it with frozen bananas. It may be an “off label” use of the appliance but it works for me.

I also use it to make green smoothies. The trick is to blend any greens with your liquid first and then add the remaining ingredients and ice cubes. That way you don’t get spinach or kale chunks in your smoothies.

Overall, the Bullet works great for everyday, small jobs. It’s easy to use, easy to clean and lets you get away with a lot even without liquid. Hey, I even used it to make no-bake cookies last year! 

Do you think it’s worth investing in a Nutribullet, Vitamix, or something else very fancy?

I guess I kind of already answered this. I really don’t think you NEED a VitaMix. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it rocks, but I’d rather make do with $60 bullet and use the money I saved on a mini-vacation or something. That’s just how I’m wired.

That being said I did receive this Ninja system as a gift and I do like it. It came with single-serve cups and the large blender has 2 blades stacked on top of each other making it really good for large batches of soups and such.

It also came with another attachment that I honestly never used and probably never will. Like I said, I’m kind of low tech in this sense. If a recipe requires a lot of processing and gadgets I generally stay away.

As for your mini food processor question, I had one when I first started cooking but didn’t use it much. It’s not powerful enough to liquify stuff and if I wanted chunks or just a chop, I’d end up just using a knife. Kind of like I did for my recent noodle recipe. Sure, I COULD have used a processor but why dirty another appliance? My knife and cutting board worked just great.

If you could only buy one thing, I’d probably go with the Magic Bullet. It’s fairly inexpensive and can be used for lots of different jobs.

Anyone else is welcome to chime in in the comments. I’m sure many will disagree with me. Any Vitamix fans out there? Would love your thoughts. I never owned one so I’m only speaking from the price perspective.

15 comments »»
Posted in: Ask Roni Q&A
See other recipes using:
Sharing: Stumble This 1 Email to a Friend

15 Comments and 0 Replies

  1. Joanne Earle

    Oh boy…I soooo disagree. I LOVE my Vitamix. I used a Magic Bullet while away from home and there is no comparison. It’s worth the big bucks because it will last forever and ever.

  2. Krista

    First off, I hope you keep doing Ask Roni because it’s so much fun! I remember watching your videos where you’d answer reader questions, but not sure if you still do those anymore.

    I have the same Ninja system you have, minus the single serve cups (got it a few years back) and I also have a Magic Bullet. Love them both, but use the Magic Bullet way more because it’s easier to clean. My mom has a VitaMix and she loves it and so do I, but I can’t justify the cost at this time.

    I have a Cuisinart food processor as well, but again, I rarely use it because it’s a pain in the butt to clean and I’d rather be hanging out with my family than doing the darn dishes.

    So, as a college student if you’re on a frugal budget, I’d suggest getting a Magic Bullet. I saw this on a frugal blog today, but haven’t ever used it so I don’t know how awesome it is, but here’s a link if you want to check it out…it’s a Hamilton Beach single serve blender that’s on sale right now at Target link to frugallivingnw.com

  3. Lori

    I have an Oster from Costco (it’s around $38) and it makes great smoothies etc. They are smooth and chunk free! I can’t justify buying the Blendtec or the Vitamix. If I burn out the motor on the Oster… I’ll just buy a new one. It’s pretty amazing for the price.

  4. Carrie @ Season It Already!

    I spent $100 on a nice Classic Cuisinart Food Processor (after reading lots of reviews!) and it’s one of the best investments I made for my kitchen. I don’t need a blender, because I just use the FP. I can make smoothies in it, or my own homemade dressings, pestos and sauces. Sooooo worth it.

  5. Maura

    I always use a stick blender for smoothies, soups, pestos etc – I LOVE IT. My Cuisinart one came with a mini food processor too. It’s super easy to clean and store (if you are a college student, space is probably at a premium). I have a blender, but rarely use it unless I’m doing big jobs.

  6. Julie B

    I have killed the motor on my Magic Bullet 3 times. I followed the suggestions of not overfilling and such to a T. Now i am saving up for a Ninja Pro system.

    I have a std blender of which i never use and it just collects dust.

    When in need to blend something in a large batch i use my Cuisinart food processer. It works great!

  7. Melissa (@TheDailyMel)

    I adore my Vitamix, but I get that it’s a major investment. Since I’m single, I gifted it to myself a couple of years ago as a combination Christmas/birthday gift to myself. I love that I can use it to do everything from “freezing” a soft-serve ice cream, making hot soup, making fresh nut butters, etc. Prior to the Vitamix, I had a smaller Ninja blender (mine didn’t have any accessories or anything) that worked fine. I just wanted something more powerful.

    As for the mini food processor, I totally agree with Roni on that one. I have one an basically never use it. I found it was quicker & easier to just use a knife than to have to get out the mini FP and then have to clean it afterward.

  8. Nikki

    I had a NuWave Twister – just like a magic bullet – that I worked to descruction and so I needed to buy a new one, but could only find the magic bullet. I was going to get that, but unfortunately, in order to get the blade that I use most – the flat milling blade – I would have to buy the big 17 piece box set which is much more expensive than the smaller single shot box set that only gives you the cross-blade. So I was thinking, that I might as well go one step up and get the nutribullet for just a bit more money. I am suficiently happy with it, as it does the main job I wanted it for, but really don’t think it is at all what it is worked up to be. I will certainly always use my vitamix if I want something well-pulverized. I prefer the size of the Magic Bullet to the larger Nutribullet.
    In the end, I would say it really depends on what you are using it for. If it is something you use all the time and will be using all the time for many many years, I say, start saving for a vitamix, but for now, the Magic Bullet could be just fine as long as you don’t need things very very well pulverized.

  9. Martha

    Great post. I too love reading “Ask Roni.” I agree that it’s important to keep cooking easy and accessible. And if a recipe requires too many ingredients or gadgets, I just keep going. Life is too short and the older I get the more I appreciate keeping things simple in the kitchen and everywhere else. That being said, I did take the big plunge and invest in a VitaMix a couple of years ago. And I do love it. I’ve burned up several $50 dollar blenders in my life so far and decided it was worth it to me. (It helps having a husband who is a big believer in buying something once and keeping it forever. He is still using the briefcase he bought when his 30-year-old son was a baby and driving the car he bought before he was born!)
    Every time I turn it on to make a smoothie or puree a soup it makes me smile. But it’s definitely a kitchen luxury, not a necessity!

  10. Pauline

    I use something like the Bullet but it was only $19 from Target, it’s by a company called Bella. I’ve had it for about 3 years now and I haven’t had a problem with it. My mom recently got a Bullet and let me use it a time or two and I really couldn’t tell the difference between what her contraption created and what mine did except the fact that she paid far more for her’s than I did for mine.

    As far as the mini food processor goes, I love mine to shred stuff like chicken for my salads. I make a few pieces of chicken, shred it all, and then I’m good for the work week so that I’m spending less time in the kitchen. The one I have is super small but works well. Rival brand and was only $7 at a Black Friday sale a few years ago.

  11. Fiona

    I have a Magic Bullet and I love it! It’s perfect for all the little every days jobs. The only problem I have with it is that it doesn’t blend ice cubes very well. My fridge make crushed ice though, so I just put some of that into my smoothies and the bullet blends that well enough. It’s also great for making spice pastes and grinding nuts/seeds.

    I also have a heavy duty full size food processor that cost more than I want to admit… I don’t use it as often as the bullet, but it’s great when I want to process larger quantities or chop large quantities of veg for something like a chutney. It’s also great for shredding veg to go into a coleslaw. I wouldn’t consider it a necessary part of my kitchen, but I’m glad I have it because it does make some jobs a lot easier.

  12. Dana

    We have a generic Magic Bullet and a Ninja Master Prep Pro. Hardly use either but love the Ninja. It grinds pretels, mixes smoothies with frozen fruit, and more with no problem.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>