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The best blender for your morning smoothies
Blenders are important — and they get more important everyday. Healthier ways are sweeping the nation. More exercise and better eating habits are at the top of the list and the healthiest mornings these days start with smoothies.
You can’t make a smoothie without a decent blender and blenders collectively have a problem: they frequently breakdown. The morning ritual at our house is often interrupted by an odd whirr, a faint smell of smoke, then silence. Our breakfast combination of bananas, blueberries, walnuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and yogurt has come to a grinding stop.
The ingredients in the container look like a half-eaten meal, most unappetizing before 8am.
Fortunately, after a two or three minute pause, the machine kicks itself back to life, and resumes churning out our day-launching drink.
And the mechanical failure is forgotten — until tomorrow.
This is our third blender in as many years.
My search for the perfect replacement ended with the Ninja BL660. It combines good design with 1000 watts of power — enough so it could be used commercially — and at a price that won’t break the bank. It comes with two 16-ounce containers with lids so you can easily tote a smoothie off to work or school. The machine’s sharp six-blades thoroughly blend fruit and leafy vegetables in little more than five seconds. For cool drinks, the big 72-ounce container handles ice with ease.
A minor drawback is that cleaning is no easier than any other blender. The blades are so sharp you stick your hand down there at your own peril. The preferred method is to add a cup of water and a few drops of detergent and give it a whirl, or leave the job to a dishwasher.
There are a few caveats. If you’re looking for super-smooth results you might be better served by a Vitamix or similar machines that are priced at $400 on up. If greens are your thing, the individual cups do a better job than the six-cup unit. The company makes over a dozen different blenders so if you decide on a model other than the BL660 make sure you scan the reviews for details on the one you choose. User comments suggest customer service ranges from superlative (replacements quickly offered) to average.
You can find the Ninja BL660 at a Canadian Tire or order it online. $189. canadiantire.ca
Amazon.ca currently offers it at a slightly lower price. Shop around, prices vary and sales are frequent.
Win the Ninja blender by entering the Win the Gadget of the Month contest here.
This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.