If you have a Vitamix, can you tell me how it works for functions other than blending? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 02-24-2009, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We'd definitely use it for that, but DH isn't convinced it's worth the money just for smoothies. I'd also want to use it for grinding grain, making almond and cashew butters, making bread crumbs, food processing, etc. Does it work well as a food processor, or is it too powerful? I don't want it to turn everything into slush! Has anyone used it for quickbread batter? Do you end up with a tough final product from all the blending?

I watched some of the videos on the site, but frankly, that guy got under my skin I guess I'm wondering about the realities behind all the infomercial-style hype. I guess the alternative would be to buy a separate grain mill, Magic Bullet, and food processor, right?

What do you think? Any input is appreciated. TIA!

Melissa, a homeschooling, caffix.gif-guzzling, SAHM of two: reading.gif (11) and joy.gif(8)
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#2 of 14 Old 02-24-2009, 02:31 PM
 
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want to sub. I have a vitamix but feel I haven't used it to its potential yet. I don't have a food processer so I guess its doing whatever I might use that for. I make hot chocolate(in my family's opinion thats its most important use!), smoothies, chutney, salsa, nut butter occasionally, and some kale puree. I need to watch the video again and see what else I should be using it for. I'd like to branch out into soups.

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#3 of 14 Old 02-24-2009, 02:34 PM
 
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IT's a blender. A very powerful one at that, but definately a blender is for blender jobs IMO. You can do nut butter with the tamper, it is very effective and makes much creamier than the food processor. It liquifies almost anything, though don't think it will be juice, it still has consistency. If I want to make a berry smoothie I still have to strain it for the kids. I think it's atad bit over rated as far as the "only machine you need in the kitchen" type of claim.

I have a food processor as well, and if I could forever only have a budget of whatever the vitamix costs, I would choose an inexpensive blender that can make a good smoothie, AND a food processor. I have the older model cuisinart 14 cup and i love it. It has a huge feed tube and I do everything EXCEPT blend in it. Cooks illustrated and Americas test kitchen did a blender test/review for an inexpensive blender that was supposed to be able to handle all the typical blender jobs
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#4 of 14 Old 02-24-2009, 03:26 PM
 
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I have a Vita-Mix, Cuisinart food processor and a stick blender. While I like my Vita-Mix, I much prefer my food processor. Get a good stick blender and you're set.
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#5 of 14 Old 02-24-2009, 04:35 PM
 
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I love my vitamix, but I only use it as a blender, really. I tried grinding grains with it when I first got it, but, IMO it sucks - it doesn't really turn them into 'flour' per se, so much as just ground up grains. I know that doesn't make much sense... but tis the best I can explain it as. No matter how much I let it grind I'd still end up with large chunks and either have to deal with that in my bread/cookies/whatever, or else sift it like mad. Likewise I can't imagine using it to mix batters... and no matter how much I tried could never get it to knead bread.

But it is a fantastic blender. And should last forever (my mom's is a good 25 yrs old, and still going strong). And it seems to be the only one capable of grinding cooked beans (I went through a couple other blenders before I admitted I needed a vitamix for my bean dip!!).
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#6 of 14 Old 02-24-2009, 07:16 PM
 
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I do hve the dry blade and it does grind flour very, very fine. I don't use it for that though, in fact I dont' use the dry blade hardly ever. Only now and then because I feel bad for it sitting alone in the back of my cupboard
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#7 of 14 Old 02-24-2009, 11:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melissel View Post
I'd also want to use it for grinding grain, making almond and cashew butters, making bread crumbs, food processing, etc. Does it work well as a food processor, or is it too powerful? I don't want it to turn everything into slush! Has anyone used it for quickbread batter? Do you end up with a tough final product from all the blending?
I use mine for lots of smoothies, and it is super just for that alone. We love smoothies. But I also make AWESOME nut butter, bread crumbs (better than my food processor), puree super smooth soups, and make certain batters in it. Usually stuff like pancake, crepe, and dutch baby pancakes batter. I've never tried other batters for muffins and the like, which is an interesting idea I may have to explore.
I make superb homemade mustard, mayonnaise, and tons of salad dressings in the Vita Mix, too. Ultra-smooth pumpkin butter and pumpkin puree for pies, and apple butter, too.

I don't have the grain attachment because I already have a grain-mill, but I do use it to grind and powder herbs for various home medicine projects. I've done some grinding of oats for cosmetic scrubs and bath soaks and even the wet-container seemed to grind fairly fine. I also make lotions and creams using the vita mix, which makes it very easy to emulsify and turn out a nice product.

As a food processor it is lousy, though. I never chop veggies in the thing, I feel like it does not do a good job. Some of the pieces are too fine and some are huge. Slicing is impossible. It does a good job crumbling cheese, but not grating it.
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#8 of 14 Old 02-24-2009, 11:42 PM
 
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We have one cup (the bigger one) for blending smoothies, soups, etc. and another cup for dry things, like bread crumbs, grains (we make flour from hulled millet and buckwheat groats. I love how easy it is.
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#9 of 14 Old 02-25-2009, 06:53 PM
 
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i love mine.

we use it for smoothies, cashew macadamia butter (yum!!!), grinding grains like spelt and oat groats (wet container only- i will be getting a grain mill soon since i'm going to be doing that a lot), humus (finally one that doesn't have big bean pieces), i make tahini from sesame seeds, bread crumbs, soup occasionally (i like mine chunky so i keep out larger pieces), lots of raw stuff (deserts, pea mole), and butter from fresh cream.

i have never had a food processor but i did have the cook's illustrated top pick for a blender (kitchenaid one) and my vitamix wins hands down.

i've never made a batter in it though i did try to whip egg whites once- it cooks them! yuck.

oh! and in a pinch i've used it to make powdered sugar.

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#10 of 14 Old 02-26-2009, 04:22 AM
 
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As has been said, Vita-Mix is a blender and what better to do than to blend. But it's not just a blender, it's a fantastic blender and it blends like few others. If you blend hard and blend often it is well worth the price but if you make the occasional fruit smoothie or weekend daiquiri then a VitaMix is not necessary.

What many people don't know is that one of the greatest benefits of a high speed blender such as a Vita-Mix versus "regular" retail blenders is the added nutrition made available from the blending. Research has shown that blending in a Vita-Mix disrupts cell wall structure significantly, resulting in increasing the availability of nutrients. You can see the research details on Vitamix.com.

In addition to making green smoothies daily, we make nut butters, "non-milk" shakes, soups, purees, and sauces pretty regularly. I still use my processor but I use it a lot less since getting a Vita-Mix.
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#11 of 14 Old 02-26-2009, 04:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by GreenSmoothie mama View Post
As has been said, Vita-Mix is a blender and what better to do than to blend. But it's not just a blender, it's a fantastic blender and it blends like few others. If you blend hard and blend often it is well worth the price but if you make the occasional fruit smoothie or weekend daiquiri then a VitaMix is not necessary.

What many people don't know is that one of the greatest benefits of a high speed blender such as a Vita-Mix versus "regular" retail blenders is the added nutrition made available from the blending. Research has shown that blending in a Vita-Mix disrupts cell wall structure significantly, resulting in increasing the availability of nutrients. You can see the research details on Vitamix.com.

In addition to making green smoothies daily, we make nut butters, "non-milk" shakes, soups, purees, and sauces pretty regularly. I still use my processor but I use it a lot less since getting a Vita-Mix.

I think most people know that about vitamix, because that's a big selling point for them. It blends to the point of breaking down nutrients and almost juicing greens and everything else you put in it.

It really depends on what you want out of one. I really don't like claims from any product that really don't come through. If you are used to making homemade soups by sauting an onion and aromatics, then adding veggies and simmering in broth.....you will not get the same result by putting everything in a blender and turning it on . From a culinary standpoint, there are only so many things you can do with a blender.

Nutritionally speaking, it's a great investment. But if you don't live on green smoothies and are thinking it will be a blender /food processor in one you will be dissapointed I think
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#12 of 14 Old 03-02-2009, 02:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 425lisamarie View Post
If you are used to making homemade soups by sauting an onion and aromatics, then adding veggies and simmering in broth.....you will not get the same result by putting everything in a blender and turning it on .
True true... it's not for making bisque or a caramelized onion bacon reduction, what it is good for is raw soups and creamed soups. It does depend upon what you want out of it and how culinarily experienced/experimental you are.

And by the way... any quality high-speed blender can do the same job, not just a Vitamix. I use a Waring and a Blendec to do the same job(s) (which are typically more affordable). If you live on quality whole food nutrition, a good blender goes a loooong way.
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#13 of 14 Old 03-02-2009, 01:01 PM
 
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I LOVE it! I have both a Vitamix and food processor and I tried grinding flax ssed last night in the food processor. What a joke! So I whipped out the ol' Vitamix and it ground them to a powder in like 5 seconds. Dh was very impressed. I also use my food processor for chopping veggies but the Vitamix would probably pulverize them and leave no texture, so each machine has its very important uses and I can't live without either.
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#14 of 14 Old 03-02-2009, 03:03 PM
 
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yeah, i'd like to add that it probably depends on what type of food you make as well. in the summer i do a LOT of raw food and the vitamix is a necessary appliance for these types of things. my old kitchen aid really just couldn't get the same consistency.

if you're making a nut pate or chocolate avocado pudding the last thing you want is chunks!

if you are more traditional you probably aren't going to use it as much.

eh. who needs a signature?
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