1. Self-cleaning: Here's the best part about having a Vitamix- easy cleanup! Just fill it 3/4 of the way with warm water and a few drops of soap, then let 'er rip for a minute or two. Dump out the soap, rinse, and you're done. No scrubbing down by the blades or getting chopped up fingers.* Note: sometimes when blending an oil-based sauce, I do have to wipe the top off. But the bottom self-cleans without a hitch.
2. High power: No annoying "you fed me too much" grinding noises.** This blender is one of the most powerful on the market for home use (a comparable blender would be Blendtec). It's not just for homes- when Hubs and I went to Barbados, the resort had one for their beach-front bar.
3. Heavy-duty plastic container: Virtually indestructible- never breaks when you drop it or cracks after you put in hot liquid.***
5. Drinks and smoothies. I don't think I'll ever buy flavored ice or slushies again. With ice, water, half a banana and some wild/foraged/homegrown fruit, you can make a great slushie for $0.10. Or take some bottled lemon juice, water, and sugar and you've got yourself fantastic lemonade without any heating or extra dishes to wash. Add a strawberry or some basil from the garden and make it "gourmet".
6. Soups. Thursday night is soup night, when I take most of the unused produce and throw it in the Vitamix for an instant vegetable broth.
7. Sauces. Monday night is pasta night. Water + cheese + flour + spices = mac 'n' cheese sauce. Or you can put kale in to make it healthy. Do you like alien food?
Wednesday is Spaghetti Day and Pizza Night. A couple tomatoes, thickener and some spices are all it takes for a great Italian sauce.
A blender like this is, to be frank, quite expensive. We bought ours reconditioned for around $300. However, I think this is still a good deal because 1) we won't have to replace it for a very long time, 2) it saves me time doing dishes and also time heating/melting, which is not really necessary when you can blend everything into an emulsion. 3) We can consume hundreds of dollars worth of fancy blended/mixed drinks for pennies on the dollar. Starbucks fans, this is for you. 4) It also functions as a food processor and an immersion blender, thereby saving the cost of those items, plus the time and space it would take to store and clean three appliances versus one.
Happy blending! What is your favorite kitchen tool?
*One day I was taking apart our old blender to be cleaned. Unfortunately it was still plugged in and I hit the ON switch trying to unscrew the bottom part. The blades whipped through my thumb, making five deep cuts which later made cool-looking scars, though it's not something I wish to repeat.
**When I still lived at home, our blender happened to break so I decided to buy my own little personal blender, just for me. It was a 1-quart Hamilton Beach blender, with the top part doubling as a drinking cup.
It worked great... unless I put in too much fruit, when it responded with grumbling and grinding and slowing down.
***One day I decided my split pea soup was too chunky, so I put some in my little blender to smooth things out. The plastic container cracked. It still worked okay if I blended up my smoothies super-fast before they leaked all over.