My birthday this past week landed me with the only thing I had on my “wish list”. A Ninja Chef Duo blender. A much welcomed replacement for our old, old Oster…which I don’t think could even be classified as a blender…much more of a chunk-er. I was happy to say goodbye to that old blender-want-to-be and say hello to my new Ninja friend. Giddily happy, my husband would add.
I’ve been researching blenders on and off for the past few months, and really got serious about it knowing my birthday was around the corner and wanting to have something on my birthday wish list (other than the Tattler lids which made the list last year and my family has heckled me incessantly about since, “Who asks for Tattler lids for a gift??” This girl apparently. These reusable canning lids are awesome by the way for those who can a lot). Okay, back to the topic at hand.
After conducting my very un-official Facebook poll from my friends inquiring about what blenders they use and recommend, the majority of people recommended the Ninja brand. There are a few of my friends and family who own a Vitamix – which after hearing their recommendations and watching videos of the Vitamix performing – I can see why! Maybe someday (after saving for quite a long time) I will own one, but I really couldn’t handle dishing out the money for a Vitamix at this point because they really are in another price category. $$$ cha-ching $$$ The reviews that I read regarding the refurbished models were too mixed for me to contemplate spending the still hefty amount on as well at this point, so I kept researching.
For anyone familiar with high-powered blenders, the top two that you will most likely see highlighted are the Vitamix and Blendtec. What separates the two, essentially, (in my very non-expertise opinion) are the shape of the blending containers, plus the Vitamix comes with a tamper to help push down food to aid in the blending process.
Both the Vitamix and Blendtec brands have the blades permanently attached in the bottom of the blending canister/pitcher (so they don’t have to be taken out separately to wash) which is an aspect that I really liked for a couple of different reasons. The “older” models of Ninja blenders have a removable, sharp blade that takes up quite a bit of space throughout the center of the pitcher and because most of my kids help with the dishes (and let’s be real…me too), I didn’t want that extra added chance for an accident to happen where someone would get cut. Plus, watching comparison videos of the performance of blending from the different styles of blades I could visibly see how things seemed to be emulsified better in the high-powered blenders designed like the Vitamix. Enter: Ninja Chef Duo.
It looks, from the outside of the canister, much like the older Ninja models. Although, the design of the the inner blades is much like the Vitamix or Blendtec models, permanently attached in the bottom of the canister. It also has a tamper to help push food down toward the blades to aid in the blending process, when needed, like the Vitamix. I think the “Duo” part is referring to the separate 24 ounce blending cup that comes in addition to the 72 ounce pitcher.
I read all of the reviews out there on this newer Ninja Chef model, from Amazon to other sellers. Almost all of them were favorable and made me think this Ninja Chef to be a beast of a machine, for a fraction of the cost of it’s high-powered blender competitors. The pre-set “IQ” options are pretty nice to have as well, although there is still a manual setting to be able to control blending speed and time when needed.
I watched what videos I could find online as well, but since this particular model hasn’t been around quite as long found excess information to be lacking. What I read and was able to find though had me sold on trying it out for myself.
I scoured the post-Christmas deals online and made sure my daughter received the link of the best deal that I could find to forward on to her dad, hopeful that he would take the hint and be proactive with it. My kids would ask what I wanted for my birthday and my usual responses of, “I’m not sure”, or “Tattler lids”(insert eye rolls from kids), or “All I want on my birthday is for you kids to not fight and give me peace for a full day” was replaced with, “A Ninja Chef Duo. You can let your dad know.”
Although, you bet the, “All I want on my birthday is for you kids to not fight and give me peace for a full day” was definitely said a couple of times the day of, just didn’t make the advance wish-list. *sigh*
Needless to say, this past week has been full of me trying out my new kitchen toy. I’ve played around with making a myriad of green smoothies (made in the large canister, as well as the single serve 24 ounce cup), emulsifying toasted sesame seeds into creamy tahini, making homemade peanut butter, pre-blending greens with water and freezing in individual portions to use later, making a homemade dairy-free “ice cream” with frozen fruit and cold, canned coconut cream, as well as pureeing a simple pea soup with barely cooked sugar snap peas. I’m loving it.
So far, I give five stars to the Ninja Chef Duo, and time and use will tell if my opinion will change. Expect some posts in the near future highlighting the use of my new Ninja though. I also think it’d be fun to do a side-by-side blend-off with some friends who own a Vitamix, just to see what the final result comparison would be. So, until then, stay tuned. I’ll be over here enjoying my smoothies. *sip*
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