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Ask Dr. Gourmet

What kind of blender do you recommend for making smoothies?

I am looking into getting a blender (not a juicer because I want to eat the fiber/nutrients in my fruits & vegetables). I have done some online research about Vitamix & Blendtec but they are very expensive. I was wondering if you have any recommendations. I should also say that I am on a budget as I am a school teacher and really don't have a ton of money to spend on either of these.

Dr. Gourmet Says...

a blueberry smoothie garnished with whole fresh blueberries

You don't need a fancy blender to juice. It is easier to juice with a more powerful blender, and you do risk burning out the motor if you use one that is not as powerful.

For instance, blenders like Vitamix and Blendtec are generally well over 1,000 watts, while a more common blender, such as those made by Oster, come in at about 400 watts. The difference can be, however, as much as 5 times the cost, with an Oster being about $60.00 and a Vitamix easily $300.00 or more.

Those extra watts will really help puree your juices into smaller particles, but if you are careful with the Oster, you should be fine.

Don't try to blend too much at one time. If you are going to make carrot juice, for example, cut the carrots into smaller pieces and add them slowly. The more liquid your juice is, the less likely it will be to put a strain on the motor. Adding the yogurt or milk first will help. Making your juice in smaller batches is a good idea too.

It is likely that less expensive blender will do well if you are careful with it.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS
Dr. Gourmet