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I debated for years on the practicality of purchasing a $500 blender when a simple blender could be purchased for less than $100 that perform perfectly for fresh and frozen fruit based smoothies. Granted the smoothie consistency from a generic blender might not be as smooth as the result from a Vitamix, it would close enough. I also considered other high end blenders not quite as expensive as the Vitamix such as Blendec and Ninja, but had other friends who later said they regretted those brands and wish they had gotten a Vitamix.
But my opinion complete changed after borrowing my parent's Vitamix for a week while they were out on vacation. During the week, my wife and I used it daily to make smoothies (with a combination of fresh and frozen fruit) and vegetable soup for dinner (using fresh vegetables and chicken stock). After watching several demonstrations at Costco, plus seeing my parents and younger brother use it in the past, I found the operation of the Vitamix to be easy. The Vitamix even has pre-sets for smoothie, frozen desserts, and hot soup, so it was set and prepare something else. I admit that even after just one week, we were both sad when we had to return it.
We purchased our Vitamix 6300 model at Costco. It took us two visits because we didn't realize Costco carried multiple models. The Vitamix Costco carries all the time is a lower model that doesn't have the pre-sets (more details on presets to come). The Vitamix 6300 with the presets is only available when Vitamix holds a roadshow, with their live demonstrations.
After about one month of owning our own Vitamix, we've been creating...
Fruit Smoothies about six times a week after work. We use mainly a combinations of (depending on availability) fresh fruit, frozen fruit, orange juice, milk, or ice. Our Vitamix Fruit Smoothie is healthier than what you find at Jamba Juice (who use a sherbert) and because it's real fruit, it also contains lots of fiber (good for digestion).
Vegetable Soup once a week: I'll make a batch for the next couple of days. I try to avoid using heavy whipping cream because I get the impression it is unhealthy. This one is important because we can avoid canned soups, which are high in sodium.
Just in the last week, I began having Vegetable Smoothie on weekend mornings when I'm not rushed to leave for work. I eat a lot of fruit throughout the week, which can be high in sugar. I just want to balance it out with vegetables. I hear Kale and spinach are healthy, so I use a couple of handfuls of those veggies. I've still been tinkering with the right mix.
Vitamx 6300 Pros:
Preset Features: This is a nice-to-have convenience. I haven't tried the forzen dessert, but the smoothie option is fast. The pre-set for hot soup runs for a longer duration and because the Vitamix is loud, it's nice to set it and leave the kitchen. The presets will change the speed and automatically shut off when complete.
Easy to Clean: The Vitamix is very easy to clean. I generally clean it right after all the smoothie or soup has been poured out. Just add water and run at a low speed. Then rinse out with water and dry. Not sure why I haven't thought of it, but this should also work on a regular blender.
Vitamix 6300 Cons:
Noisy: Like all Vitamix units, I think it is VERY NOISY. Though it is a matter of preference, the Vitamix is hands down the loudest kitchen applicance I own. It is so loud I prefer not being in the kitchen while in operation. This is where the presets with auto shutoff is handy.
Cost: At $500, the Vitamix 6300 is in my opinion expensive. But given all the healthy dishes that can be prepared, I think it is worth it for good health.
Size: The Vitamix is quite tall, and the base is heavier than one of a regular blender. Because the Vitamix gets so much daily use, we leave the base of the Vitamix on the counter, and the Vitamix container is left in our drying rack.
Taking everything into account, we love our Vitamix. We have always purchased our fruits in bulk from Costco, so having a Vitamix around to use up excess fruit was nice. In addition, I have noticed that my skin complexion has improved, with some of my acne scars appearing less noticeable. This might be a combination of placebo effect or my efforts cycling to work, but I believe the Vitamix contributes to improved health.