Smoothie Spectacular: Our Favorite Blenders, a Bonus Recipe, and a Peek Behind-the-Scenes of the May Issue
April 16, 2012 at 10:22 am , by Hilary Merzbacher
During the development of the Smoothie feature in our May issue, our Test Kitchen blenders got a major workout. Between crushing ice, blasting leafy greens, and pureeing frozen fruits, we put them to the test, day after day, after day. And while our counter-top standards were certainly up to the challenge, we got to thinking about which blenders available were the reigning champions when it came to producing icy, refreshing beverages. So, we arranged a side-by-side test of several blenders, and assessed them based on their overall performance and design. Here are a few of our top picks – and a bonus smoothie recipe (HINT: it’s sweet, refreshing and delicious!) to help usher you into the summer months.
Waring Pro Food and Beverage Blender, $100: We love the fun, retro appeal and streamlined design of this appliance. The blender jar/blade is one piece, which means no assembly to mess around with, and no rubber gasket to misplace – a huge bonus in our busy test kitchen. Although many blenders boast loads of pre-programmed settings, we liked the refreshingly simple, single switch operation. And with plenty of power, it stands up to the wear and tear of, say, a smoothie story (read: 10-15 smoothies per day for a week straight!). Added bonus: Fun colors and finishes – we’ve got our eye on the springy retro green model.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (SINGLE SERVING/COMPACT BLENDER):
Cuisinart Portable Blending/Chopping System, $70: In the LHJ test kitchen, we have plenty of counter space – a huge luxury here in NYC. This compact model is the one we’re eyeing for our teeny apartment kitchens. With a footprint not much larger than a standard coffee can, it won’t hog limited prep space. And it comes with a small cup/blade for smaller chopping tasks – which means for day-to-day prep, we can put our full-scale food processors away.
Farberware 10-speed Blender, $60: We appreciated the one-touch settings on this blender, including the handy “easy clean” mode. At a great price point, it’s attractive design looked great in our test kitchen.
Krups KB790 Blender, $180: For the seasoned smoothie maker, we thought this higher-end model was a winner. It performed well with a wide array of ingredients, and was noticeably quieter than it’s competitors.
Okay, so once you get your shiny new blender home, what’s the perfect beverage to break it in? Try our frozen riff on this retro, sweet and tart concoction.
Cran-Raspberry Lime Rickey
1 cup frozen raspberries
3 tbsp lime juice
1 cup ice
¾ cup cranberry juice
2 tbsp sugar
Combine ingredients in blender and process until smooth. SERVES 2.
And last, but not least, we have a few behind-the-scenes photos to share from the Blend Ambition photo shoot. Happy smoothie making!
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