Author Topic: Smoothies / Powerful Blenders  (Read 751 times)

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Offline HugoStrange

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Smoothies / Powerful Blenders
« on: January 16, 2017, 03:57:58 PM »
Hello Everyone,

I hope you are all doing well today.

I've been thinking about investing in one of those powerful blenders (don't wanna name any brands here, but you know which ones I'm thinking about :D) and I was wondering what is everyones opinions about these ?

Few years ago, I've been contemplating about buying a juicer, but decided not to, because from what I understand fruit - fiber = sugar basically. I'm intrigued with these powerful blenders, because fiber is present and making smoothies in the morning sounds like a good way to start a day, plus it would add more veggies to my diet.

I was wondering is there any medical reason not to use these blenders and is there any benefit except for the convenience that you "drink" your fruits and veggies ? If there is no downside in medical terms that (for me at least) just added convenience might be the reason to get one of these.


Thanks in advance :)

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Smoothies / Powerful Blenders
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2017, 04:54:48 PM »
Welcome to the forum, Hugo.

I had a VitaMix machine years ago. I tried the kinds of juice where you put the whole fruit in. They were horrid. They tasted dreadful. But the machine was well-built and powerful. I used it as an ordinary blender, and I used it to make fruit smoothies from very ripe bananas, frozen strawberries, and just enough apple juice to blend. It was like soft-serve strawberry ice cream. Delicious, and pure fruit.

My advice: If a regular blender is not powerful enough, these machines are very good. But don't imagine that tossing whole fruits and veggies into a super-blender will make palatable juice.

Nowadays I have a Ninja blender-thingy, much smaller than the VitaMix, and it still makes excellent banana-strawberry soft-serve, though in smaller portions, which is okay, because while fruit is healthy, too much is a lot of sugar.

You named the drawback of juice: When you remove the solids, you are removing a lot of the nutritional value. Of course, as an occasional treat it won't hurt. I love carrot juice. But it's an occasional treat. But on the other hand, blending in the seeds and skins gives some pretty bad flavors.
Daniel
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Offline lonely moa

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Re: Smoothies / Powerful Blenders
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2017, 11:43:13 AM »
Personally, I'd rather eat my food.  We do use the blender when we have a plethora of carrots in the garden, they are great in the blender... not sure how Daniel gets carrot seeds in there, carrot seeds show up long afetr the root is at all edible. 

I have noted that one could slam ten apples with the blender; eating one is generally enough.  Thats a lot of sugar calories at once. 

Fruit is over rated  IMHO.  It's a treat.  I get annoyed at the term "fruitsandvegetables". 

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Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Smoothies / Powerful Blenders
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2017, 11:48:49 AM »
Fruit is over rated  IMHO.  It's a treat.  I get annoyed at the term "fruitsandvegetables". 
Some bit of health and nutrition that I agree with you 100% on.  Fruit is basically a delivery system for sugar, with some fiber and not much else.

We have a vitamix, its a fine blender that my wife uses to make smoothies that I don't generally drink.   It will make pulp form just about anything you put in it.  I recently saw video that suggests you can use it as a flour mill, I'm looking forward to making my own flour shortly.  I will likely do it once. 

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Smoothies / Powerful Blenders
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2017, 03:11:33 PM »
... not sure how Daniel gets carrot seeds in there... 

The VitaMix suggests putting whole oranges in the blender, skins, seeds, and all. The result tastes terrible. The machine won't make carrot juice. It will make carrot pulp or shredded carrots. For carrot juice you need a juicer that separates the pulp from the juice. Delicious, but a waste of a lot of good nutrients in the pulp, unless you use it some other way, such as in soup.

... We have a vitamix, its a fine blender that my wife uses to make smoothies that I don't generally drink.   It will make pulp form just about anything you put in it.  I recently saw video that suggests you can use it as a flour mill, I'm looking forward to making my own flour shortly.  I will likely do it once. 

It will make flour, but it's very poor flour. Essentially extremely fine grain dust with some chunks of cracked grain. Good flour mills are available and are very good if you make your own bread on a regular basis. With a proper flour mill you can set the fineness of the flour.
Daniel
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Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Smoothies / Powerful Blenders
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2017, 04:39:04 PM »
It will make flour, but it's very poor flour. Essentially extremely fine grain dust with some chunks of cracked grain. Good flour mills are available and are very good if you make your own bread on a regular basis. With a proper flour mill you can set the fineness of the flour.
Mildly disappointing to hear, but I'm really only interested in doing it as an experiment, so probably not worth buying a mill.  I'm happy enough store bought flour.  Is there an advantage to making my own flour?

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Smoothies / Powerful Blenders
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2017, 08:39:31 PM »
It will make flour, but it's very poor flour. Essentially extremely fine grain dust with some chunks of cracked grain. Good flour mills are available and are very good if you make your own bread on a regular basis. With a proper flour mill you can set the fineness of the flour.
Mildly disappointing to hear, but I'm really only interested in doing it as an experiment, so probably not worth buying a mill.  I'm happy enough store bought flour.  Is there an advantage to making my own flour?

Depends what you want. I don't want to eat white flour. It has no nutritional value and no flavor. Unless I'm away from home and have no choice, my bread is always 100% whole grain. But store-bought whole-wheat bread flour (as distinct from pastry flour, which is made from soft wheat and not suitable for bread, which requires hard wheat) is always a coarse grind. That coarse-ground flour makes a heavy dough, not very elastic, that does not rise well unless you add a fair amount of white flour.

To make a nice elastic dough you need a finely-milled flour. And I've never been able to find finely-milled hard (bread) whole-wheat flour in the store. I've found finely-milled whole-wheat pastry flour. But as I said, pastry flour is made from soft wheat and is not suitable for bread. (Hard wheat has more gluten.)

With my own flour mill (steel blades, not stones*) I can mill my grain as fine or as coarse as I like. And with a finely-milled 100% whole-wheat flour, I can make an excellent, elastic dough that makes great bread, without using any white flour.

Using your VitaMix you will get a poor quality flour that contains much that is too fine and much that is too coarse. But if all you want to do is have a go at milling flour and baking a loaf of bread, you can certainly do it. Actually, I'll say go for it. But if you find you like bread-baking, then I recommend getting a proper flour mill.

* "Everyone" seems to think that stone-ground flour is better. I think the reason is that large commercial mills have stones with channels for water to cool the stones. But a home flour mill that uses stones will not be able to make a sufficiently fine flour. It comes out too coarse, which is okay if you just want to add some texture to your bread, but by itself makes a poor dough unless you use white flour. I had a stone mill. But my steel-blade mill does a much better job. And in the small quantities needed for a couple of loaves of bread, it won't get hot enough to be a problem.

I don't make bread any more, though. Fresh bread is just too much of a temptation. I cannot keep myself from eating about half the loaf as soon as it's cooled enough to break open.

Another advantage to milling your own flour is that you can add other grains for flavor. Rye, barley, brown rice. You can also add legumes. A little bit of black-eyed pea flour gives a nice flavor. With a steel-bladed mill (or your VitaMix) you can also make corn flour. Don't put corn in a stone mill though, because it will gum up the stones and plug up the mill and you'll have to take it apart and clean the stones.

It's really easy to make good bread. Kneading the bread is a bit of work, but other than that it's mostly a few minutes of mixing, and then a lot of waiting. I generally made a sponge in the evening (a few minutes of milling, a few minutes of mixing) then let it sit overnight. Then in the morning add the rest of the flour and knead for maybe ten minutes (don't actually remember how long). Then let it rise in a warm, moist place for a while (an hour? I don't remember) and then bake it. Start to finish 12 to 14 hours, but actual work time, maybe 20 or 30 minutes.
Daniel
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Offline HugoStrange

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Re: Smoothies / Powerful Blenders
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2017, 04:05:35 PM »
Thank you everyone for your input on this topic. I've been talking about this with a friend who has one of these and did some online investigating and if I understand this correctly, if a correct proportion of vegetables and right fruit is used in addition to some seeds, legume, etc. this can be a good thing to replace occasional breakfast or dinner.

When I say correct proportion, I'm thinking that 3/4 of the mix should be vegetables such as celery, kale, etc. and fruits should be berries and such.  Bananas and higher glycemic index fruits should be avoided.

I'm also trying to lose some weight, so maybe this should also be considered when using these and last thing I want to do is gain weight with excessive calories  :(

UPDATE : A friend a mentioned above actually was so pleased with one she has that she bought a newer model (older one is still working, so I take this as a good recommendation). Plus, she has some kind of loyalty cart that would give me almost 30% discount in a addition to some smaller kitchen appliance, so price is not a huge issue now.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2017, 04:08:21 PM by HugoStrange »

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Smoothies / Powerful Blenders
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2017, 09:49:03 AM »
The blenders are very good quality. At least mine was. But I would strongly argue against juices as a weight-loss strategy. It's harder to limit portion sizes with juice than with solid food. Liquids go down too fast and easy and there's no chewing to slow down your eating.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
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Offline Memento Mori

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Re: Smoothies / Powerful Blenders
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2017, 12:21:01 AM »
Just a tip you can omit the fruit and still make a good tasting smoothie if you use a gazpacho like recipe ex: (Ice, Roma tomatoes, cucumber,bell peppers, olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, sherry vinegar, basil, parsley, garlic) I usually omit the stale bread. There are a lot of variations.

Online Johnny Slick

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Re: Smoothies / Powerful Blenders
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2017, 08:03:45 AM »
Yeah, right now I often drink a smoothie for lunch for the exact opposite reason: I'm generally not hungry at all in the afternoon and I need to consume some amount of calories and keep my blood sugar from tanking. In normal circumstances, eating fruit is fine but you want to force your jaw and stomach to do the work of breaking down that fiber. Even the process of putting a mango in a blender processes it a lot and makes it not a lot more than a sugar delivery system.
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Offline teethering

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Re: Smoothies / Powerful Blenders
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2017, 11:46:10 AM »
All the ladies say I'm a powerful smoothie. :pervert:

Offline Dan I

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Re: Smoothies / Powerful Blenders
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2017, 01:33:36 PM »
Not sure if this is still something you're looking into but we have a Nutribullet. Bought it BEFORE I was aware of David Avocado Wolfe and his looney tunes. Wouldn't have bought it if I'd known. It works really well, and we use it to grind coffee beans. My wife likes it because she can use it to grind up nuts and things for baking really easily.

It's sad its been invested with so much woo because it's actually a really good product that is pretty multifunctional (blender, food processor, grinder) and could easily stand on those merits. We really were able to replace 3 appliances with one with it.

Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Smoothies / Powerful Blenders
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2017, 01:40:46 PM »
Stuff like that annoys me much more than it should.   A decent product sold with nonsense. 

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Smoothies / Powerful Blenders
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2017, 04:01:11 PM »
Just a tip you can omit the fruit and still make a good tasting smoothie if you use a gazpacho like recipe ex: (Ice, Roma tomatoes, cucumber,bell peppers, olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, sherry vinegar, basil, parsley, garlic) I usually omit the stale bread. There are a lot of variations.

I love gazpacho. I lament not being able to buy it here, since I'm lazy. In Spain they sell it in milk cartons. But I would not call it a smoothie.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck