While house-sitting in Hawaii last month I had the opportunity to use my sister-in-law’s Vitamix blender. When she demonstrated how to use it by blending half the contents of her refrigerator in sixty seconds flat, I experienced a magnitude of gadget envy reminiscent of the first time I walked into an Apple store. When I tasted the juice she had concocted, I knew that a Vitamix would soon be sitting on my own kitchen counter.
I’d resisted buying one for years for the same reasons everyone does: it’s huge, it’s louder than an airplane on take-off, it costs half a month’s rent. I also assumed it would be a bear to clean, but after using it for 10 days on vacation, three of my four preconceptions were mitigated, if not entirely erased. First, the size – it’s tall, but it doesn’t take up that much counter space. Since we don’t have traditional cabinets in our kitchen, this was not an issue for me. I also found it was surprisingly easy to clean – on par with my beloved NutriBullet. The biggest prohibitive factor, cost, was made easier to swallow when I discovered that my sister-in-law had a refurbished model, and it worked perfectly. I checked into this and found that not only could I save around $200 by going with a Certified Refurbished unit, but Vitamix guarantees them for a full three years. That only left me with the noise issue, which I couldn’t do anything about, but it seemed a small reason not to get a product this transformational.
I’m sure a few of you have read my earlier reviews on the NutriBullet. I stand by those reviews and I will not be getting rid of mine! I’ll keep it for smaller blending jobs and also for milling my own flour from nuts, legumes and grains. The NutriBullet is perfect for these purposes, but if you want a machine that can turn raw carrots into soup (and who doesn’t?!) then the Vitamix 5200 is for you.
Since it arrived three weeks ago, I’ve made ten or twelve batches of green juice, half a dozen berry blends, a couple different flavors of fruit-based vegan ice cream, cashew ricotta “cheese”, and almond milk from scratch. I have also had a few recipe no-go’s: a chocolate chia pudding that had a wonderful consistency, but a weird aftertaste; and chickpea veggie burgers that got stuck in the bottom of the blender and ultimately had to be chopped by hand. (In fairness to the Vitamix, the burger mix also got stuck in my food processor.)
For me, the Vitamix is totally worth the investment in counter space and dollars. Our intake of fresh fruits and vegetables (especially dark leafy greens) has easily tripled since we got it, and I feel great. Of course, this could just be the honeymoon phase, so I’ll be sure to write a follow-up review in a few months. If you’re already sold, you can pick up a new or refurbished model at your local kitchen supply store, or on Amazon. If you decide to go the amazon route and you get there via one of the links on this site, WCL gets a small commission.