#1 Posted by crusader8463 (14423 posts) -

I find myself in the market to buy a blender to make smoothies in the morning as I'm tired of eating the same rotation of bland cereals, poptarts, nothing, and toast as I try get ready for work. I'm thinking of picking up the Hamilton Beach 51103c model, but I heard that it's not good at blending ice and adding some ice on hot days to make it more icy is something I expect to be doing at one point or another. I'm trying to stick to the $20-$30 range for now, so I know my options are rather limited.

I figured there would be a group of folks on here that were into this kind of thing and was looking to see what other folks use and maybe even get some recipes for stuff to make. Going in my plan is to just get a bag of frozen mixed fruit and some pulpy orange juice to mix it up, but even just taking a quick look around youtube it seems everyone has their own mix that they swear by. Knowing me I will probably just end up making as close to a strawberry milkshake flavour as I can get every dam time.

Would also like to know of some good flavourless powders to add to the mix. Is there such a thing as just a general all purpose mix of vitamin/mineral powder that I can scoop a spoonful of into my mix?

#2 Posted by MB (12715 posts) -

I had a 51103c, I got it because it was cheap...and burned out the motor within a week making protein shakes with ice in them. Spend a little more money, I ended up getting a very high end juicer and a blender that is intended to make margaritas so it could handle the ice, a Black and Decker Crush Master. I think it was around $30 or so.

GNC makes a very good flavorless whey protein powder that you can add to smoothies and what not. It really is flavorless and is around 20g of whey protein per scoop. Try it out, it's a little expensive though.

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#3 Edited by OldGuy (1566 posts) -

I just use the cheap-ass blender that I got cheaply. It seems to smooth things just fine. (...sure, if you want evenly crushed ice for cocktails [which I don't belive in -- not cocktails mind you, just the "frozen" variety] it's not going to work, but, for a smoothie, it's peachy...)
 
For my mix, I go with 1 part each (I use 2 ounces each for a 12 ounce drink, but you can buff or debuff as you prefer):
 
Milk (full fat, low fat, skim or soy* [*soy "milk" is NOT milk, but hey])
Juice (Pomegranate is good)
Frozen bananas (you need to use really ripe ones, so freezing them when they get that way is good)
Frozen berries 1
Frozen berries 2
Frozen other fruit
 
Yes this is vague - you can use anything for the last three things really, whatever tastes good to you...
Take all the fruit out of the freezer the night before and stick it in a container in the fridge to partially thaw overnight. Combine in blender in the morning. Spin up and drink.
Boom.

#4 Posted by crusader8463 (14423 posts) -

@OldGuy said:

I just use the cheap-ass blender that I got cheaply. It seems to smooth things just fine. (...sure, if you want evenly crushed ice for cocktails [which I don't belive in -- not cocktails mind you, just the "frozen" variety] it's not going to work, but, for a smoothie, it's peachy...) For my mix, I go with 1 part each (I use 2 ounces each for a 12 ounce drink, but you can buff or debuff as you prefer): Milk (full fat, low fat, skim or soy* [*soy "milk" is NOT milk, but hey]) Juice (Pomegranate is good) Frozen bananas (you need to use really ripe ones, so freezing them when they get that way is good) Frozen berries 1Frozen berries 2Frozen other fruit Yes this is vague - you really can use anything for the last three things really, whatever tastes good to you... Take all the fruit out of the freezer the night before and stick it in container in the fridge to partially thaw overnight. Combine in blender in the morning. Spin up and drink. Boom.

That was a thing I was actually interested in. I was thinking that if the fruit is really frozen wouldn't that negate the need to add ice to the mix?

#5 Posted by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG (4308 posts) -

I was going to suggest this blender that I saw at costco that made soup but that costs like 300....

#6 Posted by OldGuy (1566 posts) -
@crusader8463 said:

@OldGuy said:

Take all the fruit out of the freezer the night before and stick it in container in the fridge to partially thaw overnight.

That was a thing I was actually interested in. I was thinking that if the fruit is really frozen wouldn't that negate the need to add ice to the mix?

Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner! :-)
 
You don't want it all the way frozen since then you don't really get a "smoothie," but overnight in the fridge seems just right to have everything be really cold and tasty without being "chippy" (if you know what I mean)...
#7 Edited by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

I've got one of these and I've yet to regret purchasing it. 400 bones as a little pricey for a blender but I got it for about $250 on sale and after rebates.

Plus:

Will it blend? The answer is invariably yes.

#8 Posted by kumquat (128 posts) -

@Ravenlight said:

I've got one of these and I've yet to regret purchasing it. 400 bones as a little pricey for a blender but I got it for about $250 on sale and after rebates.

I fucking love my blendtec. I use it to make green smoothies all the time, which you can't do nearly as well with a cheap blender.

#9 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@kumquat said:

I fucking love my blendtec. I use it to make green smoothies all the time, which you can't do nearly as well with a cheap blender.

Awwwwww snap! Recipe needed :D

#10 Posted by kumquat (128 posts) -

@Ravenlight: There are a ton of good recipes online. Just throw some greens (kale is the best) in with a bunch of fruit. Boom. Instant supermeal.

#11 Posted by zfa32937 (1 posts) -
#12 Posted by inknail (155 posts) -

I've got no advice on blenders but a couple of recipes that I like include:

Apple:

  • 1/2 cup skim or soy milk
  • 6 ounces vanilla yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon of apple pie spice
  • 1 chopped apple (medium size, red delicious works just fine)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter or low fat peanut butter (the original recipe calls for cashew butter, but this works too and is easier on the wallet)
  • 6 ice cubes
  • put everything in the blender and blend until smooth

Honeydew Kiwi (this one always seems to make more than I intend it to):

  • 2 cups of cubed honeydew melon
  • 1 chopped granny smith apple
  • 1 peeled and chopped kiwi
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 cup of ice cubes
  • blend the fruit, sugar, and lemon juice first until smooth, then add then ice and blend until it's like a thick slushy

Mango (similar to a mango lassi, imo):

  • 1 sliced or cubed mango (try to get as much of the juice as well, having to cut around the pit sometimes made this difficult for me)
  • 1/4th cup vanilla yogurt (add more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of sugar.
  • 6 ice cubes
  • (optional) skim or soy milk to taste (~1/4th cup usually in my case)
  • put everything in the blender and blend until smooth