It’s always a good time for a smoothie-always, and there are probably more than enough kinds of this refreshing drink to keep you excited about trying out a new one every day for an entire year. The only problem is, the juicing craze is catching on quite fast and despite there being so many juice bars, wouldn’t it just be cheaper to get a machine and make your own smoothies at home? Not only that but making your own could end up being a healthier decision as opposed to store-bought beverages where you have no idea what has been put inside that supposed healthy drink.
Investing in a smoothie machine would be a fun and exciting way to get to enjoy your refreshing drinks, and better yet, you get to have the refreshing drink freshly made whenever the craving strikes. Are you craving a kombucha smoothie at 2 am? Need your coffee fix at 5 am? With a smoothie maker, you get to have your fix whenever a craving strikes, and you can make the drink exactly the way you like it. First things first though, how do you choose the right machine?
Features To Compare Smoothie Machines
The wattage of a smoothie maker determines how effectively the machine will blend certain foods. Lower wattage machines having about 250 Watts are suitable for fresh fruits and soft vegetables, but if you intend to blend frozen fruit or vegetables with hard stems, then you will need a wattage of about 700 Watts. Very powerful units having about 900 Watts will easily handle hard ice, seeds and thick-skinned fruits and vegetables.
Right after the motor power, the blades of the smoothie maker are the other major component you need to take into consideration. The blades are what do all the work of chopping and liquefying all your fruits and vegetables, and so you need to make sure they are strong enough to handle the task at hand. Some units have patented blade designs meant to be very tough and sharp enough to cut effortlessly. Plastic blades are generally a poor choice because they warp and will not be able to handle hot liquids such as soups. Stainless steel blades are preferred because they are more durable and sturdy enough to cut through ice and hard stems.
Size & Capacity
The physical size of a smoothie maker is often directly proportional to both the weight and the capacity of the blender. As far as capacity goes, what amount of drinks do you intend to make using the unit? Small capacity machines which hold just about 18 ounces, are perfect if you just need to make one or two servings for your individual breakfast and workout fixes. If your whole family has embraced the juicing trend, however, then you will need a beverage maker with a much bigger capacity of about 20-40 ounces.
Small capacity machines are compact and lightweight, and they offer easy transportation for users who need to carry the juicer in their bags to enjoy on-the-go smoothies, on demand. Larger units are much heavier, and they take up quite a bit of counter space in your kitchen. On the upside though, they pack quite a lot of ice-crushing power.
What Kinds of Drinks/Food Can I Make With a Smoothie Machine?
a) Nut butter
Some store-bought peanut butter brands are pretty amazing but how about cutting back expenses and making your own homemade peanut butter with a consistency and taste that’s to your liking?
b) Nut milk
Besides peanut butter, smoothie makers can also be used to make your nut milk right from the comfort of your home. Every vegan knows just how costly dairy alternatives can be and so this would be a much welcome alternative.
c) Crushed ice
Clumpy ice cubes do not exactly scream sophistication, but having cocktail-bar sized ice for the guests’ cocktails might just be what you need to glam up the next house party you will be hosting.
d) Caster sugar
Caster sugar is quite pricey compared to granulated sugar, but did you know you can quickly make your own at home from granulated sugar? Just toss the sugar in your smoothie maker, whizz it up a bit, and voila, you have yourself caster sugar!
What is The Difference Between a Smoothie Blender and a Regular Blender?
A smoothie blender is similar to a regular blender in quite some ways, but perhaps the most string difference is that while a regular blender simply breaks food down into smaller chunks, a smoothie blender actually liquefies the food. Also, the regular blenders that do come close to liquefying fruit and vegetables do not exactly do it to the same desired consistency that a smoothie maker does so the latter is still a superior preference.
The same goes for crashing ice too. A smoothie maker can deliver perfectly crushed ice capable of making smooth beverages while a regular blender cannot quite deliver the same level of crushed ice. This is, of course, assuming in the first place that you are working with a high-end blender that comes with a dedicated ice-crushing attachment. Ultimately, therefore, smoothie blenders are a better preference for users who need juices that have a nice smooth liquefied consistency rather than a chunky one.
Benefits of Smoothie Machines
1. Besides just making refreshing drinks, smoothie blenders can additionally be used to crush ice.
2. These machines are more affordable than high-end blenders capable of performing the same task at hand.
3. They have a variety of capacities so buyers can conveniently find just the right machine size that perfectly suits their needs.
4. In a smoothie blender, the juice and the pulp are separated into different compartments, so you end up with just the healthy liquid drink.
5. You can feed whole foods, including frozen fruits and vegetables, into the machine without needing to cut them into smaller pieces. This therefore greatly saves on time and effort.
6. Smoothie makers break down foods to a very fine consistency, and this releases the nutrients such as essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals trapped within the cell walls of the nuts, fruits, vegetables, and seeds.
7. These machines are very versatile and can additionally be used to make soups, desserts, dressings, dips, and sauces.
Nutri Ninja Pro Personal Blender (BL456)
The Nutri Ninja Pro has a powerful motor of 900 Watts which is quite rare and very impressive for a personal blender having a capacity of just 24 ounces. Another impressive feature is how easy it is to operate this smoothie maker even though it doesn’t come with an on/off switch or the typical control panel and speed choices popular with other personal blenders. This unit runs on a pulse function whereby you press the cup against the base in short intervals until the fruits and vegetables blend to your preferred consistency. This one-speed operation does not allow a lot of flexibility, but it is incredibly easy to use, and this makes it easy for you to get your healthy drink fix while on the go.
Health-conscious smoothie makers might be particularly interested in the fact that this personal blender features nutrient extraction’ and this enhances the ease with which the blender chops up fruits and vegetables. Additionally, this unit uses SharkNinja’s patented Pro Extractor Blade’ which renders this machine strong enough to cut through thick-skinned fruits, tough vegetable stems, and hard seeds. With this feature, smoothie makers can rest assured that they are getting maximum nutrients offered by the various kinds of foods. The powerful blades spin at 21,000 rpm which is very impressive for a machine of this size and capacity.
Out of the box, this sleek and simple machine comes with the motorized base, the blade attachment, 2 cups (24-ounce and 18-ounce) and 2 custom-fit sipping lids for the cups. You also get an instructions manual and a recipe book to get you started on your first few juices. The biggest convenience and efficiency of personal blenders is that the cups can be turned into a to-go container in an instant and they are also designed to fit into cup holders. When you are done making your smoothie, swap out the bladed lid for a sipping lid, and you are good to go. The other convenience is that all parts of the Nutri Ninja are BPA free and dishwasher safe so after use, just toss the cups, lids and blade attachment into the dishwasher and wipe off the motorized base with a damp cloth, if there are any spills. This ease of use and ease of cleaning means that you can be ready to prepare your next smoothie cup in a couple of minutes, which is just what you want when using a portable personal blender.
Ninja Professional Blender 1000 Countertop Blender (BL610)
The Ninja Professional 1000 packs 1000 Watts of power and this enables it to handle fairly heavy duty tasks involving shredding, grinding, chopping and blending ingredients into a smooth consistency. Additionally, this blender features Total Crushing Technology which delivers unbeatable performance in that the very powerful blades can pulverize and crush through ice, whole vegetables and frozen fruits all in a matter of seconds. This way, smoothie makers can be assured of a drink that has a velvety consistency without any chunks. Besides just making beverages, this pulverizing power also comes in handy when using the machine to make dips and sauces.
Another impressive feature is that this blender comes with a polycarbonate jug with an impressive XL capacity of 72 oz. so you can make enough smoothies for 6-9 people in one go, depending on your serving sizes. This huge capacity ensures that you can easily make a huge batch of drinks either for a party or your family, all in a matter of minutes. You are not limited to smoothies and dips though; the Total Crushing blades make this the perfect companion for your next cocktail party if you plan on having margaritas and daiquiris.
This unit comes with 3-speed settings, thus giving you the freedom of making a wide range of drinks with this blender. The low-speed option will be ideal if you are simply making a banana smoothie whereas the high-speed level would come in handy if you are dealing with tougher ingredients such as wheatgrass. Besides the three speed levels, this machine also comes with a pulse button which enables you to control processing. This setting allows you to use the unit as both a blender and as a food processor.
All parts of this blender are 1005 BPA free, and this is an important consideration because you do not want to affect the nutritional value of your smoothies by using toxic food containers. The parts are also dishwasher friendly, which makes it very easy to clean the unit after use.
Ninja Professional 1100-Watt Blender (BL660)
This Ninja Professional blender is essentially 2 blenders in 1: a countertop blender having a large 72 oz. pitcher and a personal blender having a small 16 oz. cup. The large pitcher is ideal for when you need to whip up large smoothie batches for your friends or family, whereas the small cup is perfect for when you need to whip up a quick single serve drink. Additionally, the single serve cups come with to-go lids for those times when you might be running late but still need your breakfast smoothie fix. This versatile 2-in-1 configuration is very cost-efficient, so you do not have to buy two separate machines to suit your different needs.
Featuring Total Crushing blades technology, this smoothie blender blasts through frozen fruits and ice in seconds, for perfect ice crushing and blending. This fast and powerful operation results in perfectly pulverized fruits and vegetable, so you end up with beverages that have a perfect consistency. The 6 strong and super sharp blades effortlessly emulsify seeds, stems, and tough rinds, so you do not have to put a lot of effort in meticulously preparing your ingredients before they go into the blender. Additionally, this Total Crushing technology ensures you get maximum nutrients from your fruits, nuts, and vegetables, which is just what you want in a healthy drink.
The pulverizing power of this blender can be regulated using 3 speed setting: low, medium and high. While the lowest speed setting would do just fine if you are making a simple mango smoothie, you might need to engage the highest speed setting if you need to chop and blend tougher vegetables such as carrots. The dishwasher-safe components of this smoothie maker make it easy to clean the unit once you are done using it, but you need to take caution when dealing with the sharp blade assembly which can easily cause cuts.
Aicok 1200-Watt Personal Smoothie Blender
This Aicok personal blender has a very powerful 1200 Watt motor together with a 6 stainless steel blade assembly rotating at 28000 rpm. This configuration gives this professional blender fast and powerful performance capable of cutting at a speed of 140,000 times per minute. This way, the unit can pulverize whole fruits and vegetables very fast, and you get to enjoy refreshing silky-smooth drinks in seconds. The 6-fin blade assembly additionally incorporates Total Crushing Technology so the blender locks in vitamins and extracts maximum nutrition from the ingredients.
This smoothie maker is controlled using LED smart one-touch programs which practically do all the work for you. There are 3 functions to select from; on/off, pulsing and blending and these functions combine unique timing and perfect pausing patterns for effortless blending. Besides the one-touch programs, there is also an LED time display which counts up/down by seconds, up to 60 seconds. The timer works differently with all the 4 pushbuttons depending on whether you want continuous running, pulse, blend, or extra blend.
Besides the powerful performance, this smoothie maker packs quite some safety features to ensure against any mishaps. To start with, this unit comes with non-slip feet which grip the countertop firmly preventing the blender from wandering around while running. The safety-lock feature ensures that the unit will not switch on until the pitcher is firmly fixed onto the motorized base. To properly attach the jug to the base, you turn it until it clicks into place. The other built-in security feature is the safety button at the back of the motor base which has to be pressed first before the blender switches on.
This complete package comes with a motor base, an extractor blade, 1 blade assembly, 2 jars (35 oz. and 28 oz.), a seal lid and a sip and seal lid. All components are BPA free and dishwasher friendly so cleaning them is a breeze.
Ninja Master Prep 400-Watt Blender/Food Processor (QB900B)
This unit works kind of like an immersion blender whereby the blender motor is located at the top of the unit. This 400-Watt blender comes with a 48-ounce blending pitcher, a 16-ounce chopping bowl, stacked blade assembly, a pitcher splash guard, a chopping blade assembly and a chopper splash guard. All these components ensure that you can comfortably use the unit either as a smoothie blender or as a food processor depending on whether you would like to make a nice coffee smoothie or if you are making salsa.
The 400-Watt motor might be slightly weaker than other blenders reviewed in this list, but this little gadget does a pretty decent job at handling sift fruits and vegetables. Employing Ninja Technology, this unit provides a unique processing power with impressive blending action and uniform cutting. The 48-ounce pitcher has a large enough capacity perfect for making several smoothie servings which can be ideal if you have a fairly small family or are hosting a couple of friends. For easy serving, the pitcher additionally comes with an easy pour spout which you just flip open, and a non-slip bottom to prevent accidents in the kitchen.
The top mounted motor head is easily interchangeable, so you can quickly switch from making salsa to making some drinks. Also, the one-touch pulsing feature is easy to use and it also guarantees that the product is designed for safe operation. All the parts of this unit are BPA free and dishwasher safe which makes them very easy to clean after use.