Vita-Mix is an extremely powerful food processing unit, using a motor that peaks at 2 horsepower. In contrast, most food processors use 1/2 horsepower. Popular in the food service industry and bars for its power, reliablity, and ease of cleanup, it is sometimes sold under the Drink Machine label. On its slowest setting, the blade tips spin at 11 mph, and at 250 mph on its fastest setting.

Vita-mix consists of a base, and a polycarbonate container that sets into the base. Each container can hold several cups, and I think close to a gallon of liquid. Two types of blades are available, wet blades for making most things. These blades are designed to pull the food through them as they spin, in order to process the food more completely. The dry blades are designed to push food up and away from themselves, and are useful for tasks like grinding flour, and kneading bread dough.

The Vita-Mix is fast and easy to use for making a large number of different dishes, including frozen drinks, and steaming hot soups. The vita-mix can turn 3 cups of frozen strawberries into soft serve strawberry slush in 20-30 seconds. It is able to do this because it crushes the frozen elements so quickly that they refreeze almost instantly.

It may also be used to cook soup. That's right, I said cook it. The blades spin so fast, that they actually heat the soup you're making by friction.

This powerful device can be used for any number of dishes in the kitchen, but one of its major strengths is in how easily it cleans up. Most blenders have a container that disassembles, and each piece must be cleaned. Vita-Mix containers are permanently assembled and sealed, meaning that cleanup is done by pouring hot water and a drop of detergent into it, and running it for 30 seconds or so. Rinse, and it's clean.

Information on this w/u gathered from personal experience and

A Vita-Mix is to a regular blender as an electric chainsaw is to the sort of thing a logger would use to cut down trees. This is a piece of professional quality equipment that is in fact sold to restaurants and bars. Ever get a frozen drink in a Starbucks? They use custom machines made by Vita-Mix, just like Baskin-Robbins and Chi-Chi's do.

It is amazing for making cream soups and smoothies. Blenders make these grainy--the Vita-Mix makes them completely and utterly smooth. Smoothies are thick and creamy even if they're just made with fruit because it pulverizes the fiber in the fruit. In fact it's often sold as a juicer, but a juicer will extract only the liquid from fruits and vegetables and discard the pulp and the Vita-Mix incorporates it. What you get out isn't exactly juice (and many of the recipes suggest adding ice or water for better consistency) but tastes wonderful.

Even if you're not some sort of granola-munching hippie it's still a good thing to buy as a blender. I anticipate ours will last us the rest of our natural lives, and will be doing a better job at what we want it for than even the best commercial blenders of other brands.

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