I started making smoothies for breakfast about 8 years ago. Every morning I take a banana, an orange, some frozen blueberries and whatever other fruit is available and blend it into a thick delicious beverage that satisfies my need for fiber, natural sugar and some vitamins and minerals. I can’t imagine starting the day any other way!
My first good blender was a Vitamix, bought at Costco for about $350. I swore by it – and still do. It’s a great blender.
But recently I moved and in the process decided to leave my Vitamix with my friend and neighbor. It was time for something new!
I priced Vitamix at Costco again and discovered the price had risen a bit. I also discovered there were other super blenders on the market that claimed to do as good a job. The day I decided to buy, the Ninja pro system went on sale. Here was the blender, with three individual bullet type cups, a food processor and more, all for about $150. Couldn’t resist that! I figured, what the heck: if it doesn’t do what I want it to do, it can go back to Costco!
Having used the Ninja for about 3 months, I think I can offer a reasonable comparison.
Is it better than the Vitamix? No.
Is it as good as the Vitamix? In some ways, yes, in others . . not so much.
The biggest negative I’ve experienced with the Ninja is its inability to pulverize fruit seeds and peels. In my Vitamix days, I’d toss a piece of cantelope in the carafe, seeds and all and it would come out smooth, with undetectable seeds. Same with a pear. Not so with the Ninja. If you do that with a Ninja, your smoothie will have a certain grit. The Ninja also fails on things like grape skin and peels. They get cut up really small, sure; but they don’t fully disintegrate into the rest of the beverage.
On the positive side, the Ninja is a much better design, with an easier cleanup. The blades are not permanently affixed to the carafe. They sit within it, anchored rather ingeniously; so they come out for cleaning. Clean up is so much easier! Everything – I mean every piece of the Ninja except the motor/base – goes into the dishwasher. The plastic carafes come out sparkling clear.
Vitamix cautions against putting their carafe into the dishwasher. And, trust me on this, over time, no matter how well you clean your Vitamix carafe, it’s going to become dingy and cloudy. I’ve tried every trick I’ve been told by the demo people and that I’ve found online and nothing restores the Vitamix carafe to it’s original look.
Because the Ninja is a modular system with a number of different carafes and attachments, it’s more versatile. I can do more with it. The Vitamix, despite all of the goodies that are made in the Costco demo, is really just a smoothie maker/blender.
Thanks to clean-ability and versatility, I give Ninja the edge. It doesn’t pulverize quite as well as the Vitamix, but it does a pretty good job. And at about half the price of the Vitamix, it’s the logical choice, too.