Testing the Vitamix: is it worth the hype?


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Erin Lawrence

vitamix s55 I’ve heard the hype about Vitamix, mainly from people well enshrined int the cult of the uber-powerful blender. I haven’t believed it, to be honest.  I own a “regular” blender and it works just fine, thanks. Well, at least I thought it did.  Until the Vitamix arrived.

The Vitamix S55

The first tests I did involved smoothies.  Easy, right? One blender will do the same job as another, right?  Oh, how wrong I was.

The travel cup container.

The travel cup container.

I like using frozen fruit and fresh kale in my smoothies, however my blender will only chop the hearty greens so well.  Inevitably I’m choking down tiny kale fibers, or having them get jammed in the straw. Oh, and there’s usually some giant pieces of frozen fruit left in the bottom too.

Not with the Vitamix.  This blender is able to absolutely liquefy its contents, usually on just one blending cycle. That means no bits of kale, and no frozen chunks.

The Smoothie Test Comparison

I tried a test using both my old blender and the Vitamix where I added the same amount of ingredients to each machine, and ran them both for the same length of time (watch my YouTube video of the test results). [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuFAMRzhlb8]

While the old blender did chop the fruit and frozen veggies, the overall texture was grainy, and there were still several medium sized chunks of fruit left in the drink. There was definitely more chewing to be done in this smoothie. In the Vitamix S55, there were a couple much smaller frozen chunks left, but the overall texture of the smoothie was silky; you’d never know there was any fruit, seeds or greens in the drink. In this test, I ran the old blender on its highest setting, and the Vitamix on its lowest smoothie program, but in daily use my preference when blending frozen fruit is to use the higher smoothie setting.

My husband makes himself a smoothie each morning since we got the Vitamix, and he likes to add whole raw beets, apple or other vegetables. The Vitamix chops them so finely, you absolutely can’t tell there’s whole vegetables (skin and all) in the drink. And fresh beets turn the smoothies a gorgeous raspberry red colour!

Making Almond Milk in the Vitamix

My next test was almond milk, to be used in the aforementioned smoothies as protein.  The almonds are soaked in water for several hours or overnight, then you just dump the whole mixture in the blender and hit start. In no time you have smooth, creamy almond milk.  There’s no way my old blender could do that.

Vitamix Makes Roasted Vegetable Dip

A third test was to make dip.  I used a recipe from the included Vitamix recipe book with roasted cauliflower, yogurt and spices. The Vitamix pulverized the vegetables into a smooth dip, and there was no way to tell it was vegetable based. The Vitamix could be the answer for you if your kids won’t eat vegetables, since you can hide them amazingly well!

Testing: from smoothies and dips to nut butters

A very sharp blade purees food easily

A very sharp blade purees food easily

Test number four involved peanut butter. I soaked peanuts for a few hours, and drained them before dumping the nuts into the Vitamix. A bit of oil, some honey and eventually some confectioners sugar, and I had a thick paste that tasted great, but was nowhere near the smooth and whipped consistency of store-bought peanut butter. it’s the kind of peanut butter I’ll make fresh for my dog (who cares less about consistency), or that I’ll use in recipes or smoothies.  I may also spend some more time looking for a different recipe to see if I get a different result. (Vitamix helpfully tweeted me some alternate nut butter recipes too!)

About the Vitamix S55

Smart settings, and two containers

The S55 “offers the ease and convenience of four pre-programmed settings in a personal blending size, taking the guesswork out of processing our most popular recipes. The Variable Speed Control lets you fine-tune every texture—from smooth purées to chunky salsas—and everything in between,” says Vitamix..The containers, blade base, lids, and seals are all (mercifully) top rack dishwasher-safe, The S-Series also has two container sizes—a 20-ounce/0.6-L that becomes an instant travel cup with flip-top lid and a 40-ounce/1.2-L for small batches of soups, sauces, frozen desserts, and more. That was extremely handy for a 2-adult household.

The Verdict

So far, I’m quite impressed with this machine. The question remains, will I use it regularly enough to justify its hefty price tag? So far, my husband has unexpectedly appropriated it for a morning veggie juice every day, so that alone may be worth it. I’ve had the Vitamix about a month now and use it about 3-4 times a week myself.

I do find it handy for making other foods, like the dips, though the food processor I own already has been working great for that.

One thing that’s worth noting is that this machine is LOUD.  So very very loud.  While a blender is bound to make noise, this one sounds like a small jet engine in my kitchen. For the price of this machine, some more insulation, baffling or a quieter motor would be a redesign I’d like to see in future models.

Check out the Vitamix S55 from Vitamix’s Canadian website.

Do you have thoughts about the Vitamix, or a test I should do? Let me know in comments.

Finished peanut butter.

Finished peanut butter.

Kale and fruit smoothie

Kale and fruit smoothie

1 Comment

  1. Shelley Parry on July 14, 2016 at 5:45 am

    We love our vitamix. After going through 3 nutribullets, and to be perfectly honest it was because of the ‘name’, we bought our vitamix. I love ready reviews like this to reaffirm our decision wasn’t flighty! Thanks

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