Top positive review
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A true Vitamix Alternative
on August 29, 2013
I was very close to buying a Vitamix for $500 from Costco but decided to do more research first and am very glad I found the Versa! I am mainly interested in making green smoothies but also want to make soups and ice cream.
So I got a Versa a few days ago from a local department store whose name starts with "K" (sorry Amazon - had to have it NOW).
I had to be sure this thing is as good as a Vitamix, SO: My neighbors happen to have a nice new Vitamix so I invited them over for a "blend-off". We spent a whole afternoon with the Versa and Vitamix head to head using identical ingredients. We started with green smoothies - kale, spinach, carrots, cucumber, broccoli, and mango juice. Next, my neighbor made some strawberry ice cream. To finish I made some sweet red pepper cream of chicken soup - I wanted to see how you could heat soup in a blender (this is amazing to me - the soup heats from friction of blades spinning at 28,000 rpm)!!
With all three recipes we got identical results with both machines except that the Versa heated the soup a little faster than the Vitamix which took about a minute longer to get up to 140 degrees according to my little meat thermometer.
So I'm very happy with my purchase because I got the Versa for less than half the cost of the Vitamix!!!!!
The only thing in question now is durability and dependability. The build quality seems very comprable plus the Versa also has the 7 year warranty. Time will tell...
Pros: As good as blender more than twice the price! Has three pre-programmed cycles for smoothie, soup, and sauce/dip.
Cons: Since we're comparing to Vitamix - Does not have the super low speed like the Vitamix. This would be nice for coarse dicing like pico de gallo but not a deal killer. The size doesn't bother me because after all we're in super blender class here right? Noise level is no more than my old cheap blender.
UPDATE 9-15-13: I have been using this blender heavily almost every day since I bought it. I drink at least two 32 oz. vegetable smoothies a day plus my wife drinks probably another 32 oz. or so. I now put a whole avocado WITH SEED/PIT per 64 oz. (the size of the blender pitcher) of smoothie and it completely liquifies with NO tastable particles - total creamy goodness. The avocado makes the smoothie nice and smoooooth. I usually make two or three pitchers per session, then put it in the 32 oz. bottles that the Bolthouse carrot juice comes in from Costco and freeze them. I travel a lot so I take them with me in a cooler and drink them as they thaw. I have lost around 14 lbs. since I started juicing/smoothie-ing with no self-discipline required because the smoothies are delicious and satisfy your hunger. Each 32 oz. smoothie has 24 oz. of vegetables in it - 8 oz. juice or almond milk and the rest veggies. I figure that's equivalent to at least THREE large restaurant salads but without the high calorie dressing and meat. My calculation is based on the size of a 9 oz. bag of spinach - it's pretty big - seems to me about the same volume as a large restaurant salad. FURTHERMORE - the restaurant salad is usually lettuce which is nowhere near as nutritious as the kale and spinach that I use in my smoothies. So if I drink two 32 oz. smoothies a day, it's like eating SIX SALADS!!!
UPDATE 7-3-14: Still smoothying and no deterioration in performance of the blender. I still drink 1 to 2 quarts of smoothie per day faithfully and love it. So 7 to 14 quarts per week which I would consider pretty heavy use. I've come up with a way to make in bulk weekly. I was previously measuring ingredients for every blender pitcher so multiple measurings per batch. Finally I got smart and now pre-measure for whole batch, add to blender whatever fits per pitcher and mix in big bucket then put in Bolthouse bottles for freezing. This is much quicker and the results are more consistent. A typical batch is 2.5 lbs fresh spinach, 1.5 lbs kale, 1.5 lbs. power mix greens from Costco, 1.5 lbs cucumber, 2 lbs broccoli, 48 oz carrot juice, plus ingredients for flavor can be either 48 oz fruit juice or (yes, I really do this: 48 oz almond milk, 4 tablespoons vanilla, 3/4 cup instant coffee, 32 packs of Stevia). So either the fruit flavor or coffee flavor has the same vegetables. This batch recipe makes about 8 quarts (2 gallons) of smoothie.
UPDATE 6-14-16: Bought second replacement pitcher from Oster for $74.99 - [...] I decided to get the low and wide one because the tall skinny one is kind of hard to get a big handful of spinach into without losing a few leaves. The original pitcher fell from up high on a hard tile floor and cracked so I bought replacement from a non-Oster website (can't remember who). That one lasted about a year but today the blade bearings burned out. I thought it was the motor but then realized it was the blade bearings. The base/motor still seems to be going strong.
New simple and quick recipe:
6 large apples
1 quart of orange juice
40 ounces of spinach (big bag from Costco $4.50)
Makes a little over a gallon.
Put in 1 quart Bolthouse bottles and (optionally) freeze for later use.