on April 6, 2012
I've seen more good carpenters do well with a poor hammer than bad carpenters do well with a good hammer. It depends mostly on the operator. The same applies to musical instruments, cameras, and most everything else, including blenders. Barring a factory defect most blenders are successful in the right hands. Look at the star ratings of all blenders and you will see that the less expensive ones are almost the same as those costing $500 or more. There will always be a few gripes about even the most expensive ones, including manufacturing defects.
That said, I've been using a Hamilton Beach wave maker 10 speed for years and am still learning new things about what it can do and how to use it. The usual no-brainer things like making smoothies with ice and fruit came pretty easy. Four months ago I was diagnosed as Stage-2 diabetic, had very high blood pressure, and my serum cholesterol was also very high, with high LDL and low HDL. ... All not good. I determined to make the necessary corrections through diet. My trusty Hamilton Beach blender led the charge.
It was a foregone conclusion that I must limit or avoid all starches, which meant no more baked, mashed, or fried potatoes or anything made with processed white flour, like white bread, pizza, spaghetti, etc. And, of course, no more ice cream or anything else sweetened with processed sugar or corn syrup. ... All favorite comfort foods. ... So what's left?
Before going further I'll tell you I've since corrected the blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar (I'm no longer diabetic), and my cheapie Hamilton Beach blender was key.
With a formal academic semi-medical research background, I'm used to doing research. I already knew about the benefits of oatmeal, omega-3, fish, chicken, sweet potatoes, yoghurt, etc. My son-in-law has been stage-i diabetic most of his life, so my daughter knew how to prepare anti-diabetic meals. She put me onto agava, a super-sweet syrup made in Mexico from the same blue agava plant that tequila is made from. I'd heard of agava but never really paid any attention to it, assuming it was just another Mexican specialty food. Turns out that agava nectar (several brands at WalMart and on Verizon) tastes like a cross between Maple syrup and honey, is 25% sweeter than cane sugar, and leaves no strange aftertaste like stevia, sweet-and-low, saccharin, or the others. And you can cook with it. The important kicker is that it doesn't deliver the blood sugar spike like other sugars. It costs more than cane sugar and corn syrup, but is less expensive than doctor bills. Sweetener problem solved.
I got my cholesterol back to ideal numbers by taking four to six 500 mg pure (not time release) Niacin tablets per day. The 15 minute "niacin flush" that people don't like is actually beneficial. It's caused by the little blood capillaries being cleaned out and opened up for better blood flow (and lower blood pressure). The same is happening in the veins and arteries allowing better oxygenation of tissues. Unlike cholesterol reducing prescription drugs, niacin raises HDL (the good cholesterol) while lowering the bad LDL and overall serum cholesterol. Slow release or "non-flush" niacin is a different formula, isn't as effective (if at all), and might even be harmful to the liver. After a while I built up an immunity to the flush and can now take all four or six tablets at a time, if I want, and hardly notice the flush. Niacin is cheap and non-prescription.
For a milk and heavy cream substitute in my smoothies I use unsweetened almond milk. Yeah, I know about soy, rice, and coconut milks, but medical problems are associated with these others. I don't want to get into technical discussions and arguments about the other milk substitutes because too much time would be wasted. I'm just telling you that unsweetened almond milk was the clear winner for many reasons, including its incredible omega-3 content. And almond milk has been used in a large part of the world since the middle ages. Unsweetened, it tastes like hell. Also, for sensory effect it needs to be thickened. ... Enter Hamilton Beach and oatmeal.
I use my HB blender to turn old fashioned unprocessed oatmeal into oat flour for use as a thickener. (oat flour is also good in making fish croquettes and meat loaf.) I live in a small town and can't buy oat flour here. Besides, it's too expensive. I just dump several cups of oatmeal in the Hamilton Beach blender, set it on high, and let it rip. I stop it every few moments to shove the un-whacked meal from around the bottom edges into the center and continue until I'm satisfied that I have oat flour. The closer to dust the better.
Oatmeal is very healthy in its own right. In flour form it's virtually tasteless and makes a great thickener.
So here's my generic, non-critical, recipe for a super-healthy and good tasting smoothie that can substitute as a full meal: In the HB blender pour about 3-inches of unsweetened almond milk in the bottom (more will be added later), a cup of oat flour, 1-teaspoon of real vanilla extract ( the artificial stuff contains anti-freeze, or ethylene glycol, believe it or not ), two small, ripe bananas (chunked), a can of crushed or diced pineapple with its own unsweetened juice, one tablespoon cinnamon, several ice cubes (optional), and more almond milk up to about 1,1/2 inches from the top. Hold the lid on and blend on high until everything is mixed. It doesn't need a sweetener. (Sometimes the mixture tends to leak out of the pour spout).
Another good one is a chocolate smoothie: three heaping tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 1,1/2 cups oatmeal flour, 1-teaspoon real vanilla extract, fill to about 2 inches from the top and squeeze about 1-inch of agava out of its 23 oz. container. I always put some almond milk in the bottom before adding the powdered stuff so it will mix better. Blend and adjust with more or less agava and/or cocoa to taste.
This morning I discovered I can reduce regular grind coffee to the finer espresso grind (almost dust) with my Hamilton Beach blender if I go a little at a time. I save money by re-using Keurig K-cups and the little after-market reusable plastic lids, available on Amazon. They work better than Keurig's expensive $19 wire-filtered K-cups.
Brief blender assessment:
1) well built with powerful motor that can heat up pitcher contents if left on too long
2) double (rather than single) blades designed for maximum cutting/blending
3) internal pitcher shape and blending blades shapes designed to work together to pull mixture into the bottom area for max blend efficiency.
4) glass pitcher is easy to clean and doesn't scratch like plastic.
5) noise isn't any worse than others. After all, it's just blades mounted on a motor. (irrelevant)
1) lid and pitcher design permits liquid sometimes to leak out of spout area during blending and making a mess.
2) center removable lid cover that permits ingredients to be added during blending is made of plastic. Mine has cracked in the center, but is still serviceable. Not a biggie.
Hope this lengthy assessment helps some other diabetic.
on May 15, 2011
I had an Oster blender for years, and so purchased another as a replacement - I wanted something of comparable quality, a glass jar, etc. Well, Oster isn't the quality that they used to be... within 15 months, I had to replace the plastic ring that holds the blades in place TWICE.
So, when I went looking for a decent price for a high-quality blender, to be used at the concession stand at the sports complex that I work out of, I knew I needed something better. After some research, I settled on the Hamilton Beach WaveMaker 10-speed. I purchased two of them.
These blenders have been service for nearly a year. They are used almost daily; some weekends (when we hold tournaments) they may each blend 15 or more smoothies in an afternoon. That's more work than some RESTAURANT blenders do! The WaveMakers have worked perfectly and are still going strong. And, the glass jars are easy to clean.
I'm writing this review now because I just came back to Amazon to purchase one for my own house, replacing the Oster that has given up the ghost for the third time.
on May 4, 2010
We have been disappointed by this product. Our other, 10-year-old and very inexpensive KitchenAid blender, far outperforms this one. The "WaiveMaker" seems to kick in only after materials in the jar have already been blended thoroughly, which requires much spoon action to correctly position hard items such as ice and frozen fruits and vegetables. Perhaps this blender works fine with soft items. But if your needs include hard (e.g., frozen) vegetables, fruits, or ice cubes, we would avoid this product. I wish we had done just that.
on October 18, 2009
This blender is good, very good, at what it does, but I only gave it 4 stars because I can't use it to make a breakfast shake, it's just too loud.
You really should not turn this on if you think someone may be sleeping anywhere nearby--- this definitely is not for an apartment dweller. It is like a buzz saw. Even during the evening I wonder about a neighbor who might be calmly reading, or perhaps putting a child to sleep, when I turn it on. I will have to get some cork to put under it or otherwise figure out how to tone it down-- perhaps HB can think about that for the next model.
Also: watch your back(or its back): because of the strong ice-breaking suction in the middle, the sides run up, and due to the direction of the spin, the overflow first is hidden, in the back.
One other point. You have to be extremely careful with the very sharp blades (no hand hold more than a fraction of an inch away) if you take it apart to clean. I just worry that over the lifetime of owning it, there will be one distracted moment when I half drop and then grab the blades and slice open my hand. I am trying to be very careful and attentive.
on July 16, 2012
Very happy with this blender. Does exactly what it's supposed to do, and even though several other reviewers complained about the 'frozen chunks' of fruit in the smoothies, that has not been my experience.
Any smoothie I have made so far came out great.
I should point out I do not use ice cubes for my smoothies, only frozen fruit, juices (or milk, half and half, coconut or rice milk, coconut water, etc.) and other enhancement (nutritional powders, lecithin, flax seed oil, yogurt, almond butter, stevia for sweetening, natural vanilla flavor, etc.)
If there is too much solid stuff in the mixture (frozen fruit, powder or almond butter), the blender will just 'whirl' around not really blending anything. Just adding extra liquid and stirring it with spoon easily solves the problem.
Making your own delectable almond milk is easy and fun process.
Also, I love the crunchy texture of nuts and another thing the blender is great for is chopping nuts into rough pieces for any baking purposes or to add extra chunks to my almond butter.
You can also make your own nut meal with it (almond, pecan, hazelnut, macademia nut, walnut, etc.)
In this scenario, you just use nuts with no liquid at all and choose appropriate blender setting.
For the price it's definitely great find, plus I love the glass jar. (Had even more expensive blender in the past that came with plastic jar. Just several days of storing and not using it resulted in most obnoxious smell - plastickey, musty, weird, and very hard to get rid of).
Definitely worth the money (unless you get a lemon, in which case just exchange it and give it another chance).