What is the Nutri Bullet Blender?

What is the Nutri Bullet Blender?I first heard about the Nutri Bullet on a podcast. I knew nothing about it, but immediately I thought of an informercial product based on the name alone. Turns out I was right, as the Nutri Bullet blender is like the big brother of the Magic Bullet, an (in)famous staple of late-night television.

The Nutri Bullet NBR-12 can be thought of as an upgraded version of the Magic Bullet. Like its name implies, it’s for more nutrition-minded folks rather than those who are looking to blend up margaritas and milkshakes. The Nutri Bullet certainly can blend those drinks, but it’s been reconfigured and optimized for making fruit and vegetable-heavy blended drinks for the health conscious.

The Nutri Bullet features a patented blade design with “cyclonic action” which I take it means that it pulls ingredients into the blades so you don’t have to start and stop the blender to adjust the position of your ingredients. It’s apparently good enough to liquefy just about anything you’d want to add to your smoothie, from fruits and veggies, ice, nuts, seeds, and stems.

Compared to the blender I’m using now, what I like about the Nutri Bullet is that, like the Magic Bullet, the container you put your ingredients in to blend them is the container you drink your smoothie out of. This limits the amount of clean up, which is always a bonus as far as I’m concerned, even though I have a dishwasher.

The Nutri Bullet comes with the base, a tall cup, two short cups, one flat blade, an emulsifying blade, two resealable lids, and literature about the unit along with some recipes. The unit features a 600-watt motor, which should be more than capable for producing a smoothie each day in the home, but it’s nearly 1,000 watts less powerful than the commercial-grade Blendtec Wildside. That being said, the Nutri Bullet is also $300 to $400 less than a Blendtec or Vitamix blender.

The Nutri Bullet is certainly an attractive little blender in terms of features and price, and I would be curious to try it out to see just how well it performs. Based on Amazon.com reviews, the majority of people seem to be quite happy with the product. There are occasional one-star reviews, but many of those seem to be based on the price rather than the performance of the product itself.

With 2014 just around the corner, I’d say that the Nutri Bullet is an interesting blender to consider if you’re thinking about starting off the new year with a focus on your health. It’s a fraction of the cost of a high-end blender which means the commitment level isn’t high if you tend to flake out on your resolutions after a few weeks. I’d also suggest purchasing something like this over a juicer. A product like the Nutri Bullet NBR-12 uses the whole fruit and vegetable, helping you to feel full longer and to obtain the vitamins, nutrients, and fiber found in the skin and pulp of fruits and veggies that you’d be throwing away when using a juicer.

Vitamix Blender Review

Vitamix Blender for Smoothies and ShakesVitamix is the only blender trusted by the Culinary Institute of America to train its chef’s, so if it’s good enough for the professionals, it must be good for the average smoothie-making consumer right? Well, yes and no. Like with all products, my Vitamix 1363 CIA blender has its pros and cons, but fortunately, the good points outweigh the bad.

Let’s get started with the good points: the Vitamix is powerful enough to blend through fruits, vegetables, frozen food, and ice without issue. Even seeds from an apple or berries are completely pulverized, leaving you with a smoothie that’s just as good as something you’d buy at one of those expensive juice/smoothie stores. It has a BPA-free pitcher, a seven-year warranty, and includes a tamper, which is essentially a small stick that goes in the top of the blender to push down ingredients if they become stuck. The face of the blender has a dial which you can use to manually increase or decrease the speed of the blades.

The deal breaker for many people will be the height of the Vitamix. I believe they do sell smaller pitchers than the 64-ounce one that’s included with the Vitamix, but unless you purchase that one, the Vitamix will not fit under your kitchen cabinets. So your choices are to leave it on the counter, pushed out from the cabinets, buy the smaller pitcher, or put it away after each use. For those of us who use our blenders everyday, this is a bit of an inconvenience. Noise is also worth mentioning (the Vitamix is very loud!) but even less expensive blenders can be quite noisy.

Speaking of price, the cost may also be an issue. I touched on this previously in another blog post, but a Vitamix blender will cost anywhere from $350 up to $500 depending on the model chosen and where you purchase it. It may seem like an expensive investment at first, but a Vitamix can provide you with commerical-grade smoothies, puddings, salad dressings, ice cream, and even grind your coffee beans for you. Considering the versatility and the quality of the Vitamix, the cost certainly seems more reasonable.

Choosing a Blender for Shakes and Smoothies

Choosing a Blender for Shakes and SmoothiesIf you’re tossing around the idea of adding a shake or smoothie into your daily routine, there are a few things to first consider. Most importantly is that not all blenders are the same. That $50 blender you bought at Wal-Mart designed for mixing up margaritas just won’t cut it (literally!) when it comes to blending up a fruit and vegetable-rich smoothie.

The problem with inexpensive countertop blenders is that they lack the horsepower to properly blend up fruits, vegetables, and even any type of protein powder you add to your shake. The end result is a smoothie with a texture that’s less than appetizing. And let’s be honest, a lot of smoothies aren’t exactly delicious, so the added factor of a chunky or grainy texture might lead you to dump your concoction down the drain.

This is why the most critical feature to look for is the wattage of the blender. The average blender is a few hundred watts, and is sufficient for occasional use. For turning chunks of ginger into dust and blending vegetables into liquid with no chunks or bits left behind, you’ll want a blender with at least 1,000-1,500 watts.

Be forewarned though, blenders this powerful also come with a powerful price tag rivaling the cost of a low-end dishwasher or stove. But, like they say, you get what you pay for. Blenders from companies like Blendtec and Vitamix are literally commercial-grade. You know those stores that sell smoothies and shakes? They use blenders from these two companies. At the very least, dropping four or five bills on a blender will certainly give you motivation to use it daily!