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Need a good blender (smoothie maker) that wont break the bank
Old 02-20-2010, 05:25 PM   #1
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Need a good blender (smoothie maker) that wont break the bank

The recent thread on superior products was well-timed....all that Vitamix talk got me excited....then 3 days later my wife burnt the motor on our Hamilton Beach smoothie maker.

Sooo....the search begins. I cant afford $350 for a Vitamix. We use our blender to make margaritas at least once a week...often more frequently than that.

What can you suggest? I've gone thru about 3 cheap ($40 and less) blenders in the last 7-8 years....they see lots of use in the summer....and my wife likes to strategically place cubes by the blades in a manner which causes them to jam up...then she keeps pressing the damned button wondering why nothing is happening (except some "funny burnt smell'). Anyhow, after this last episode, that shouldnt happen again


Ideas?
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Old 02-20-2010, 05:35 PM   #2
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I have a cheapie from Wally World that cost $30, but I'm the only one that uses it so I've been able to make it last for 4-5 years now. It was labeled as a smoothie maker. It looks like a blender, but has a spigot on the front for pouring and measurement marks on the side of the container specifically for making smoothies.
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Old 02-20-2010, 05:40 PM   #3
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I have an Oster bullet blender from Sams. It chops ice great and makes a great smoothie, what's more an even greater Margarita.
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Old 02-20-2010, 05:48 PM   #4
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We have a Cuisinart Hand Blender. Works great for us.

You can make a smoothie in the same glass you drink from, saving cleanup.
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Old 02-20-2010, 06:09 PM   #5
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Stop buying the cheapos, suck it up, and go with a Vitamix!! You won't regret it! (loving my VM) I think they even have an interest free payment plan.
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Old 02-20-2010, 06:47 PM   #6
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Switch to Sangrias?
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Old 02-20-2010, 07:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thefed View Post
We use our blender to make margaritas at least once a week...often more frequently than that.
Well, there's your problem. A Margarita should be served on the rocks and not as a "smoothie."

The perfect Margarita should be made with the 3-2-1 method.

3 parts - Tequila (at least, Reposado)
2 parts - Orange Liqueur (preferably Cointreau but Triple Sec or Curacao will work)
1 part Lime Juice (Bottled will work - Realime, perhaps)
a shot (teaspoon ?) of Agave Nectar (Super WalMarts have two brands -- Honey Tree and Madhava -- in two different areas of their stores)

Serve this on the rocks and never, ever add salt (that is an old bartender's trick to cover the taste of cheap (Silver/Gold) Tequila. Oh! and never, ever use "Margarita mix" -- 75% corn syrup.

The money saved in not buying a blender (I haven't had one since the early 70's) should then allow you to drink the "good stuff."
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Old 02-20-2010, 09:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonBoyd View Post
Well, there's your problem. A Margarita should be served on the rocks and not as a "smoothie."

The perfect Margarita should be made with the 3-2-1 method.

3 parts - Tequila (at least, Reposado)
2 parts - Orange Liqueur (preferably Cointreau but Triple Sec or Curacao will work)
1 part Lime Juice (Bottled will work - Realime, perhaps)
a shot (teaspoon ?) of Agave Nectar (Super WalMarts have two brands -- Honey Tree and Madhava -- in two different areas of their stores)

Serve this on the rocks and never, ever add salt (that is an old bartender's trick to cover the taste of cheap (Silver/Gold) Tequila. Oh! and never, ever use "Margarita mix" -- 75% corn syrup.

The money saved in not buying a blender (I haven't had one since the early 70's) should then allow you to drink the "good stuff."
wekk, i should clarify. my wife demands frozen drinks! no way around it! And technically they arent margaritas ' 2shots raz vodka, 2 shots blueberry vodka, 2 shots triple sec, 1 shot bacardi, 3 oz rose's blue drink mix, strawberry margarita mix to tase
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Old 02-20-2010, 10:18 PM   #9
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Why does your wife place the ice that way?

I like frozen drinks also and have been making them with my Kitchen Aid Blender for years. Put the liquids in first while that blending then put the ice in one cube at a time. I have never had a problem with the machine burning out doing it this way.
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Old 02-20-2010, 10:36 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Cattusbabe View Post
Why does your wife place the ice that way?

I like frozen drinks also and have been making them with my Kitchen Aid Blender for years. Put the liquids in first while that blending then put the ice in one cube at a time. I have never had a problem with the machine burning out doing it this way.
Too many margaritas?
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Old 02-21-2010, 11:11 AM   #11
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RonBoyd: I use your recipe except use simple syrup for sweetening. Is the agave nectar used as a sweetener?
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Old 02-21-2010, 11:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thefed View Post
The recent thread on superior products was well-timed....all that Vitamix talk got me excited....then 3 days later my wife burnt the motor on our Hamilton Beach smoothie maker.

Sooo....the search begins. I cant afford $350 for a Vitamix. We use our blender to make margaritas at least once a week...often more frequently than that.

What can you suggest? I've gone thru about 3 cheap ($40 and less) blenders in the last 7-8 years....they see lots of use in the summer....and my wife likes to strategically place cubes by the blades in a manner which causes them to jam up...then she keeps pressing the damned button wondering why nothing is happening (except some "funny burnt smell'). Anyhow, after this last episode, that shouldnt happen again


Ideas?

Look for a used Vitamix on ebay or craigslist. A used Vitamix is better than no Vitamix and will definitely be better than the cheapo alternative which you will replace in a few years anyway...
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Old 02-21-2010, 12:19 PM   #13
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RonBoyd: I use your recipe except use simple syrup for sweetening. Is the agave nectar used as a sweetener?
Yes, it is. And much "better for ya" than white sugar; think of it being the same as honey. (Warning: it has the same sticky consistency of honey.)

Honey Tree, Inc.

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HoneyTree's all-natural, organic nectar from the Agave Plant is great for those who are looking for low glycemic index foods. A low glycemic Index means that it is slowly absorbed by the body and does not cause the same rapid increase in blood sugar as table sugar.

The Agave plant is native to Mexico, and has a rich heritage of use as a sweetener by ancient cultures. Organic Agave Nectar is sweeter than sugar.
It works particularly well in Margaritas because it comes from the same plant that Tequila is made from.

Besides making "simple" syrup is not all that much fun -- taking equal parts of Baker's Sugar and water and then boiling it until it becomes syrup and then waiting for it to cool takes me way past Happy Hour.
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:20 PM   #14
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We have both a Vita-mix and a Blendtec, and the Blendtec is FAR superior. Every morning we make a green smoothie with raw greens (any kind, even dandelions), fresh fruit, raw seeds (sesame, hemp - sterile, flax), water, plain yogurt, and a touch of stevia depending on the mix. Blendtec is $200-300, search the web or Amazon, or also sold by greensmoothiegirl.com. The benefits to me are: I don't have to eat any other greens or veggies all day unless I want to, regularity on the button, and my blood pressure dropped all the way to 98/56 from 140/110 and pulse down 20 beats.
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:32 PM   #15
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I like the Magic Bullet just for smoothies (yeah, the late night infomercial with the cheesy acting got be to buy one). It works well, blends right into their drinking cup containers with the colored rims.

http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Bullet-E...6784360&sr=8-1


The only thing I don't like is that it runs loud (I use ear protection sometimes while using to avoid a headache).
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Old 02-21-2010, 03:32 PM   #16
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and my blood pressure dropped all the way to 98/56 from 140/110 and pulse down 20 beats.
I am impressed! Simply by making and consuming a vegetable slurry? Can you validate that? This could be worth a very large fortune.
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Old 02-21-2010, 05:13 PM   #17
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Thanks RonBoyd; I'm gonna get some of that stuff!
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Old 02-21-2010, 05:27 PM   #18
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Well, there's your problem. A Margarita should be served on the rocks and not as a "smoothie."

The perfect Margarita should be made with the 3-2-1 method.

3 parts - Tequila (at least, Reposado)
2 parts - Orange Liqueur (preferably Cointreau but Triple Sec or Curacao will work)
1 part Lime Juice (Bottled will work - Realime, perhaps)
a shot (teaspoon ?) of Agave Nectar (Super WalMarts have two brands -- Honey Tree and Madhava -- in two different areas of their stores)

Serve this on the rocks and never, ever add salt (that is an old bartender's trick to cover the taste of cheap (Silver/Gold) Tequila. Oh! and never, ever use "Margarita mix" -- 75% corn syrup.

The money saved in not buying a blender (I haven't had one since the early 70's) should then allow you to drink the "good stuff."
I order a margarita in a restaurant about twice a year...always on the rocks. I hate those frozen drinks as they are so cold my head hurts. I have a blender in a box in my garage...never used, probably something inexpensive. This Vitamix sounds intriguing, though. How did I not know about this thing?
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Old 02-21-2010, 05:37 PM   #19
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wekk, i should clarify. my wife demands frozen drinks! no way around it! And technically they arent margaritas ' 2shots raz vodka, 2 shots blueberry vodka, 2 shots triple sec, 1 shot bacardi, 3 oz rose's blue drink mix, strawberry margarita mix to tase
Am I reading this right, that Mrs. Thefed's favorite drink has seven shots of liquor in it?

I nominate thefed as the officila bartender of e-r.org!!!!
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:30 PM   #20
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We have both a Vita-mix and a Blendtec, and the Blendtec is FAR superior. Every morning we make a green smoothie with raw greens (any kind, even dandelions), fresh fruit, raw seeds (sesame, hemp - sterile, flax), water, plain yogurt, and a touch of stevia depending on the mix. Blendtec is $200-300, search the web or Amazon, or also sold by greensmoothiegirl.com. The benefits to me are: I don't have to eat any other greens or veggies all day unless I want to, regularity on the button, and my blood pressure dropped all the way to 98/56 from 140/110 and pulse down 20 beats.
Interesting...any additional exercise or other dietary changes to produce that effect? My BP has notched up a bit and I'm looking for natural ways to get back in range. (reducing salt, more exercise - I got busy and got away from the exercise for a while but back to it now, less fat, less total carbs and trying to have the higher fiber less processed carbs, etc). If a green smoothie is part of the magic, I will have to give it a try.

R
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