Let’s be honest, we’ve all heard of NutriBullet. Everyone knows, or has overheard, someone who has raved about the advantages of this mysterious machine or peppered their social media accounts with shots of the mysterious potions the NutriBullet has helped them create. It is famous for its bullet shaped jar top and for the recipes enthusiasts share. An entire subculture has sprung up around this little machine. Let’s have a look at why:
The key to NutriBullet’s phenomenal success is in the way it breaks down and emulsifies the foods put inside it. Bursting through seeds, nuts, stalks and pulp to access every iota of nutrition and smooth them to a palatable consistency. The drinking cup and the mixing jar - or in this case the bullet - are one and the same so this really is the blend and go option. Even cutting out the need for a spigot with its unique design. It does, however, lack the freezing advantages of other models.
Features: 900w motor - High torque power base - 3 cups - 3 lids - Extract and drink cup
Pricing: Mid range
The Nutri Ninja is an ingenious machine. Unabashedly taking advantage of its blender heritage but adding up to date technology and blade innovation into the mix for a superior smoothie experience. Its Auto-iQ technology guarantees that using the machine really will be a one button process. Like our previous contender it also comes with cup add ons for nutrition on the go. But unlike the NutriBullet, this has the feel of two separate machine and it is easier to differentiate between the pile up and blitz smoothie making mentality and the more considered act of creating dips, sauces, soups and cocktails.
Though lacking the sports car looks of its competitor, the Nutri Ninja has a good deal more going on under the hood. This powerfully efficient machine has precision processing down to a fine art. It is more of a financial stress but has the frozen drink advantage and that clever one touch operation to compensate. This is a smashing machine for users transitioning from blender use too as they won’t have to give up making the sauces, soups and purees if they choose to save counter space by ditching the blender altogether when they upgrade to this impressive machine.
Features: 1500 watt motor - 3 cups included - Ice pulverising blades - Dishwasher safe
Pricing: High end
The Salter EK2002 is by far the cheapest of our contemporary smoothie making duo yet you would never know it from the results it gets. It combines a powerful motor with highly efficient blade action for a pulverised and smooth end product. This machine has already beaten both the NutriBullet and Nutri Ninja as the best buy option on BBC2’s What to Buy and Why so we know it presents good value for money but how does it stack up in terms of features?
Perhaps the cheapest looking of our choices - or at least the most divisive by virtue of its distinctive red and black colouring - this is nevertheless a real contender. Making light work of most foods you can throw at it (which will please fans of seeds, nuts and ice) the 1000 watt motor ensures an impressively smooth smoothie result every time. The BPA-free cups come with flip top lids so you can enjoy your smoothies on the move. Just as your gym bunny predecessors intended!
Features: 1000 watt motor - 3 cups - 50 recipes - Premium quality - Durable blades
It would be tempting to designate the (also impressive) Nutri Ninja our winner simply because every homeowner ought to be able to boast that they have their very own ninja indoors. But the Salter EK2002 is so much cheaper and of such high quality that we had to award it first place. This sturdy little machine manages to fulfill all the demands and needs of the most discerning smoothie enthusiast while barely impacting their pocket at all.
These days we are all more conscientious about the way we eat. Though not everyone has the willpower to fully commit to following a body-as-temple philosophy, public health initiatives like the 5 a Day programme have us all doing our best to crowbar more fruits and vegetables into our daily diet. But peeling, chopping, steaming and seasoning a huge pile of vegetables or steadily chomping through a bowl of fruit isn’t always compatible with the busy, lives we lead and the instant gratification mindset modern society encourages us to adopt.
Until we began to sit up and take notice of the way the fitness world was doing things. Hardened gym dwellers had long since evolved from simply sipping protein shakes and pecking at chicken breasts, now they were creating entire health-giving, vitamin-heavy, raw food enriched meals to drink before hitting the cross trainer again. Smoothies are, essentially, raw fruit and/or vegetables, which are combined with a liquid base (milk or milk alternatives, yoghurt, juice etc.) and often some ice before being blitzing the mix together into a (hopefully) tasty drink.
Variations on this concoction were limitless, smoothies’ wholesome goodness could be enhanced with protein powders, nuts, spirulina, seeds...anything your heart desired. So smoothies gradually entered the mainstream, making their way onto menus and headlining at dedicated chains. Yet how could such bounty be recreated at home?? Enter the smoothie maker: the trendy cousin of the humble blender, distinguishable by its blitz and go cup attachments and contemporary looks. But is there really such a huge difference between the two? Could we not just dig out the blenders we last used when everyone was going mad for soup and make do without the special cup?
The short answer is no. Or, at least, not really. There are marked variations between the two and you would be making your new groovy smoothie habit unnecessarily difficult by trying to compromise. Aside from that handy click, mix and remove cup option (which keeps cleanup to a minimum), another key difference is many smoothie makers’ ability to make and keep frozen drinks. The blade action on a smoothie maker processes ice smooth and incorporates it. Yes, you could put ice into a blender but a blender’s action crushes ice, lending a grittier texture to the finished product. As it melts the drink will begin to separate, making that lovely recipe you just whipped up ever so slightly less appealing.
More traditional smoothie maker features a stirring stick in the lid - so you may stir ingredients together ensuring a lump free blend - and a spigot for ease of pouring. Of course you could simply switch off and stir your blender. You could also easily upend it to cut out the need for that pouring tap or swishy drinking cup. And either strain or tolerate the chunks which remain. But a smoothie’s USP is ease. And the latest models have taken that to heart by incorporating the drinking cup and mixing jar into one. The super efficient motors on newer models pulverising seeds and pulp into oblivion. Getting the maximum hit of health giving foodstuffs into your body in a quick and efficient way. One might as well keep the creation process easy too!