I love my Blendtec. I use it for grinding whole grain seeds to flour; for making bean and hummus dips; for making banana ice cream; for making homemade nut and seed butters; even grinding whole coffee beans; making almond flour; making raw or cooked soups or blending soups to make them creamier; tofu puddings; homemade nut based vegan mayonnaise; tons of differnt smoothies; tomato sauce; plant milks (flaxseed milk, almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk...).
It does NOT work well however for chopping vegetables, as it nearly liquifies them if you do any more than a very quick pulse.
It is expensive (slightly cheaper than Vitamix but not by much) but is not that huge. No different than a regular blender size wise. I have the smallest one I believe. I love how easy it is to clean. Most lower end blenders have tons of blades and parts that make it harder to clean them. I have had my Blendtec for five years as of June, and it records how many times you have used it each time you turn it on, and I have over 1000 uses from it so far and it is still going strong. High speed blenders often have a lifetime warranty. I once accidentally left a fork in my blendtec when stirring something and getting distracted by something on the stove. I came back to my blender and put the lid on and turned it on and hard this awful noise. My fork was all bent up but the Blendtec was fine lol.
I was a poor college student working part time when I bought mine, but I had saved some money for a while to get it. And I know I have saved a lot of money using it because I used to buy gluten free flours for making stuff for my Mom who eats gluten free. Now I can buy stuff like millet or quinoa or buckwheat groats in bulk, use them in my everyday cooking, and grind just the amount I need for a flour I need for a gluten free recipe. I don't have to spend a fortune on special flours. I also save money when I make my own flaxseed milk as opposed to buying it commercially, though whole cashews and almonds are still very expensive to buy to make milk.
If something ever happened to my Blendtec and I could not afford to buy a new one (more than likely I would use my credit card and then pay that off over a period of time), I would probably go to a food processor for making stuff like hummus or nut butter. Maybe a Ninja for simple smoothies. I really don't know enough about them though at this point.
I will warn that high speed blenders, food processors and so on do use a lot of energy. The wiring/electricity in my house sucks (THAT I can't afford to fix right now) so when I do use my Blendtec I have to make sure there is very little other stuff on or running. If I lived in an apartment I am not sure if I would use my Blendtec late at night or early morning because it is loud too lol.
All that said, I went without a blender for a little while as a vegan and I still had a lot of fun with cooking. But I really wanted to make more from scratch with nuts and so on, like almond alfredo or nut cheese. I once went a week just eating whole fruits/veggies and nuts without using any machine just to see if I could do it and I could but it was hard lol.
In the end, only kindness matters. - Jewel
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