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I'm thinking about getting a Vitamix or something similar. My current 'food mixer' appliances include a Cuisinart blender that either needs new blades or replaced altogether (even after a good minute I get chunks of frozen fruit left in my smoothy) and a little Cuisinart food chopper machine for making things like salsa. My question is, if I'm going to add a new appliance should I go for something like Vitamix, and if that the only option for a powerful machine or is there something as good with a nicer price tag?

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Vitamix is worth it. The only other blender that has been recommended to me as well is a blendtec
I've had a Vitamix for 20 years+ and love it, except for the noise. But to be that powerful, they seem to all be that noisy. Vitamix makes a cover for it's commercial machines...I've e-mailed them asking if I could buy one for a non-commercial machine. Maybe if more people asked for that, they'd do it...

You could also request a re-built machine...has the same warranty, I do believe. Really a fine appliance. But don't throw out the food processor...use it for slicing veggies quickly.

Also, Saladmaster is a fun company with an awesome veggie grinder...chops up stuff for a salad so fast and easy clean up. May seem pricey at first, but when I think of all the doctor visits, drugs, surgeries and devices my family that doesn't eat this way has experienced, I feel no guilt whatsoever. Don't eat out as much, but I like food at home compared to most restaurants any way... Good luck.
Thanks for the info. Okay, just got the Thrive book yesterday, from what I read I need a food processor (for thicker recipes like energy bars), a blender for smoothies, and a coffee grinder for seeds/nut 'flour'. Does the vitamix cover anything other than smoothy recipes? Can it double as a food processor and grinder?
The VitaMix is amazing, and well worth it. You can actually get free shipping by ordering through my site, just click at the link at the bottom of this post:
Vitamix can do everything. Grinds flours, makes hot soup, makes smoothies, makes ice cream (yes, for real), chops vegetables, etc. Hands down the best money I've ever spent in the kitchen.
sometimes I prefer a food processor, BUT you will not need a grinder if you get a Vitamix, and you won't use your food processor as much
I've been exceptionally pleased with my Waring Pro Bar Blender:

I've only had it for about a month and use it everyday for smoothies at the least. It probably wont beat a Vitamix on power and longevity. But it has no problems w/ my nut-loaded smoothies. Best part is I purchased it for about 60 bucks at Target. It's been a great first step.
I think the Health Master is the next best thing to the Vita-Mix for nearly half the cost. I got one for X'mas and it seems to work great and apparently (and I havn't tried it yet, but) it can grind chunks of Concrete into powder. I have heard from several other people who have compared the two that the Health Master is very simular in quality and power to the Vital Mix. The Cost is roughly $200.00.
I have had a vita mix for over a year now and use it at least once daily. I used it last weekend to turn raw cashews into powder for a vegan "mac and cheese" sauce made from cashew powder, great northern beans, etc. I just made a spinach, kale, and mixed berry WFHO smoothie and like always, never a blob or chunk! Its a great investment into your health, though they are pricey. I know Costco is still touring their vita mix at different costco locations, but I don't remember if it was any cheaper than buying it from their website.

There are a few things I do prefer to use a food processor for. I tried to make pesto in my vita mix and it had a hard time processing the whole thing without as much liquid as you would a smoothie, so i had to use extra olive oil and the omega oil from the vega site , and it turned it into a moosh. Yuck! I found a black and decker power pro 10 cup food processor at Target on sale for $50 the other day and bought it. I just checked the target website, and its still on sale, but I see there are a lot of reviews pointing to the fast that it is cheaply made and tends to fall apart and break very quickly, so since I have only used it once, I cannot recommend it (I wish I had read the reviews first! )But, that being said, I used it last weekend to make my pesto (had a ton of basil left over from a lovely vegan white bean ratatouille!) and it worked much better! I got picture perfect and delicious basil, roasted garlic, and raw pine nut pesto. Too bad it all gone now because all my friends wanted to taste my vegan gluten free pesto!

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