Well, it's been more then 4 years since I bought my Vita-Mix. And I don't think more then a few days have gone by at a time, where I didn't use it and think how grateful I am for it.
That thing is literally a work-horse in my kitchen! I am not a big fan of gadgets and would prefer to use less of them in my life, esp ones that use electricity. But, I don't know what I would do without this one. Actually, I did survive for 3 weeks without it while we were in Iowa for 3 weeks last fall. But it was not easy, and I missed it very day. Partly because I have chosen to prepare foods that use the Vita-Mix, as a matter of simplicity.
The machine works as well today as it did when I first brought it home 4 years ago. I did buy 2 extra containers, each costing $100, which is why I paid $650 total. We have not been eating wheat for 2 years, but I loved the dry container for that purpose when I needed it. I have used it for grinding rice into flour a few times and it works great for that. It saved me from having to buy a grain grinder, which are huge and expensive. Since I only did small batches of wheat, it wasn't a problem at all for me. I also love having the extra smaller wet container. Because I use it so many different things, I often have both containers in use. But I could survive on only the one container if I needed to. :)
After 4 years, here are the pros and cons of the machine:
~Easy to use
~Easy to Clean up (like, super, duper easy to clean up)
~Does not take up a lot of space
~Very good at blending fully-no little pieces (my SIL loves my mango smoothies and can't get it with her blender because it leaves little pieces still)
~Takes the place of many other appliances
Here are some kitchen appliances it can take the place of:
~Ice Cream Maker
~Hard to get thick batter out thoroughly
Some of the things I use my Vita-Mix for:
~Chopping and grinding nuts/seeds/coconut flakes for granola, etc.
~Grinding crispy almonds to make almond flour
~Applesauce (with peels)
~White Bean Vanilla Cake
~Chocolate Coconut Cake
Now, the real question on everyone's mind is-can you buy a cheaper blender and still do what you do with the Vita-Mix. I am guessing that you could do most of the things with a cheaper blender, but I the motor would burn out much faster, and, it would not do as good of a job. If you put frozen fruit in a regular blender, there will be chunks. Raspberry seeds, not a big fan. But with the Vita-Mix, they are pulverized completely. And you could not do nut butters in a regular blender, or chop the seeds/nuts. You would need a food chopper/processor for that.
I do wish I could make juice without the fiber. So I have a juicer still. And I do still use my Kitchen Aid for things like fish cakes and mashed squash and fat cookies .
So, that is the low-down of my Vita-Mix, after 4 years of constant use. Definitely 2 thumbs up and worth every penny!
I posted this in Real Food Wednesday.