My old Waring struggled to puree many things we asked it to puree. Smoothies were sometimes lumpy, and the small capacity made it impractical to use for pureeing soups. Nut milks and freshly ground grains were out of the question.
The more I read about high-powered blenders making homemade ice cream, coconut milk, and fruit leathers, the more I wanted one in my kitchen. I love to make as much as I can from scratch, and I thought this new tool would open up lots of new homemade goodies for my family.
So when Blendtec gave me the opportunity to review their Designer Series 725 Blender, I jumped at the chance. This machine has been a game-changer for us.
Blendtec Review and Giveaway
Blendtec blenders have high-powered motors that can pulverize just about anything. Their popular YouTube series even shows them blending things like golf clubs and iPhones. These are incredibly powerful machines.
The Designer 725 model is a top-of-the-line blender that comes with touch screen commands and pre-set buttons for smoothies, salsa, ice cream, whole juice, hot soup, and cleaning. I prefer to use the 100-speed touch slider to get the setting I want, but my 9-year-old daughter loves to use the smoothie setting. With our old blender, she had no idea how long to blend smoothies. This machine takes the guess work out of it.
My husband and I both have issues with dairy, and it’s been impossible for us to find a commercial non-dairy milk that we’re happy with. They all tend to have additives that we don’t want to be drinking, and they’re also expensive. With the Blendtec, we’ve been able to easily make batch after batch of homemade coconut milk and almond milk. The savings have added up very quickly, and the homemade results taste better than anything you can buy.
The capacity of the BPA-free WildSide+ Jar is large, which is wonderful for many recipes. But if we just want to make one smoothie, the big jar doesn’t work as well and we end up with an air pocket near the blade. Fortunately, we can use the smaller Twister Jar for single smoothies and other small batch blending. The Twister jar has a special attachment that makes it perfect for thicker recipes like hummus, nut butters, and ice cream, too. It’s an extra purchase, but very useful if you want to make these items.
There was a bit of a learning curve for us with this new blender. The jar simply rests on the blender base without clicking into place, and the top doesn’t click into place either. You have to really make sure the top is on securely so you don’t get a splatter of ingredients all over your ceiling.
We’ve found that it’s a good idea to hold the blender in place while blending on higher settings. Otherwise, the whole thing wobbles around a bit and sounds like it may blast off. It does get rather loud on high settings or when blending frozen fruit or ice, but I’m not sure if a quieter blender would be possible with such a high-powered motor.
If a high-end model like the Designer 725 isn’t in your budget, the more basic Blendtec versions still have high-powered motors without as many bells and whistles on the control panel. Even better, you can get a great price on a refurbished Blendtec. These come with a seven-year warranty, so you can feel confident about their quality.
Blendtec is generously giving away a Designer 725 Blender and Twister Jar to one lucky reader of Real Food Real Deals! I can’t tell you how excited I am to share this amazing product with one of you. This machine has been such a valuable new tool in my kitchen. You can enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post. Good luck!
Homemade Fruit Roll Ups
Homemade fruit roll ups are one of the many simple homemade snacks that can be prepared in minutes with the use of a Blendtec. When you have an abundance of fruit in the summertime, homemade fruit leathers are the perfect way to preserve it.
These can be made with just about any kind of fruit you have on hand. Depending on the fruit you’re using, you may want to add a little pure maple syrup so the fruit roll ups don’t end up tasting too tart. You’ll need to taste the mixture before dehydrating and use your judgment. Many combinations won’t need any added sweetener at all.
This version is a mixture of raspberries and strawberries, plus a little maple syrup to cut the tartness. It takes about 3 cups of fruit for each baking sheet. Homemade fruit roll ups can be made in an oven or a dehydrator, and I’m including instructions for each method. This is such a fun snack to have on hand.
Homemade Fruit Roll Ups
- 3 cups chopped strawberries
- 3 cups raspberries
- Pure maple syrup to taste
Puree the fruit in a high-powered blender on medium high. You can strain the seeds if desired, but leaving them in adds a nice texture to the fruit leather.
You can dry the fruit roll ups in the oven or in a dehydrator. Line 2 baking sheets or 2 dehydrator trays with parchment paper. Alternately, you can use silicone baking mats.
Pour the puree onto the lined sheets and spread the mixture evenly. It should measure between 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch thick. At 1/8 inch, it will come out almost paper-thin. A thicker size will take longer to dehydrate, but it will have a chewier consistency. Make sure the mixture isn’t less than 1/8 inch thick, or it will come out crumbly.
If you’re using an oven, preheat it to the lowest possible temperature. In my oven, this is 170 degrees. At this temperature, it takes 3 to 5 hours to dry out the fruit leathers. If your oven has a lower temperature, it will take a little longer.
If you’re using a dehydrator, set the temperature to 135 degrees and dehydrate for 4 to 6 hours.
The fruit roll ups are done when they’re leathery but not yet brittle. If you let it bake too long, you can rehydrate it by brushing a little water on it. The outer edges will probably be finished first, so you can cut them off in strips as they’re done.
Cut the fruit roll ups into strips, leaving each strip on the parchment paper. The paper can be peeled away before eating.
Store the fruit roll ups in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Enter the giveaway for a Blendtec Designer 725 Blender and Twister Jar in the box below. (It may show up as a link rather than a box in some browsers.) You have several different entry options. Good luck! (Update: Giveaway ended on 4/29/15)
Disclosure: I received a Blendtec Designer 725 and Twister Jar for the purposes of review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.