Everyone who wants to get more raw food and superfood into their diet is looking for ways to make it easier. That’s why the Nutribullet food extractor has been such a popular item in recent years. If you’ve seen the infomercials with nutrition expert David Wolfe, you know how appealing it is to throw a few handfuls of superfoods, fruits, and vegetables into the Nutribullet to make a nutritious smoothie, or “Nutriblast.” As Wolfe points out, it’s difficult to get all of those foods into your diet any other way, and the Nutribullet breaks them down so that you can assimilate the nutrients better.
There are several benefits to the Nutribullet. One of the key benefits is portability. If you want a device that you can carry with you to work or when you travel, this is a handy one to have. It’s much smaller than the heavy-duty food extractors such as the Vitamix, and it’s also much easier to clean, especially when you’re making something sticky that contains nut butters. You can purchase an insulated carry system that the nutribullet and its parts pack into nicely, to make transporting it even more convenient. You could also carry it to parties, potlucks, and family get-togethers if you hang with a crowd that likes healthful smoothies.
The ease of cleaning is also a big feature. The Nutribullet’s cups and lids are dishwasher safe, unlike the components of the Vitamix. The motor base, of course, needs to be wiped clean by hand, and the blades are also not dishwasher safe. Since you get a couple of cups and lids with the Nutribullet, you can have one in use and one in the dishwasher, or you can just wash them out easily by hand because the blades are not inside the container. This also makes it safer to use than machines with sharp blades, although the Vitamix has blades that are not sharp to the touch.
Convenience is another advantage. Being able to just throw handfuls of ingredients into the Nutribullet and liquefy them quickly means that you’re more likely to use it every day and get the benefits of the fresh produce and superfoods.
Then there is size. The Vitamix is big. It has a large, heavy base with a powerful motor in it, and it has metal construction. The Nutribullet is much smaller and lighter since it is mostly plastic construction. If you don’t have room for a Vitamix on your counter, you might want a Nutribullet rather than nothing at all.
Of course the main benefit is cost. The Vitamix costs $329 to $529 on QVC, depending on which array of components you get with it. The Nutribullet is currently $99.95 on HSN. Both shopping sites allow you to split your payments up over several months at no interest. That’s a hefty difference in cost, and if you’re not really committed and just want to try smoothies and “Nutriblasts” to see if they are something you want to make often, the Nutribullet might be for you.
However, do consider the downsides before you buy. First, there is the durability issue. If you read the reviews of the Nutribullet on HSN.com and Amazon.com, you’ll find that there are a substantial number of negative reviews. Although around 80% of reviewers like or love the Nutribullet, the remaining 20% report issues. Some reviewers complained that the Nutribullet broke soon after purchase. Others complained that it did not liquefy the food as shown in the infomercials. Still others complained about the terrible customer service by Nutribullet. Of course, if you buy it from HSN and it breaks within 30 days of purchase, you can just return it to HSN—no problem. If you buy it directly from Nutribullet or if it breaks after the 30-day HSN return period, be prepared for a major hassle if you want a replacement or refund.
If you already have a Vitamix or similar high-powered food extractor, you probably don’t need a Nutribullet unless you want to take it with you to work or for travel. It’s easy just to make your smoothie in the morning and carry it to work in the smoothie cup that Vitamix offers rather than transporting your whole system. Although you do get more enzyme benefits if you make your smoothie fresh and drink it immediately, I’m not sure the difference is worth all the bother of hauling even a lightweight machine to work and having to assemble it, use it, clean it, disassemble it, and pack it back up on your lunch break. Of course, if you travel frequently, though, you’ll want a machine you can take with you if you drink smoothies every day.
I have a Vitamix and have not purchased the Nutribullet. I periodically think about getting one when I see the infomercials, though. I just always decide that I don’t really need it. I like my Vitamix; my only serious complaint with it is that you can’t put the containers in the dishwasher, so they never get steam cleaned. The Vitamix is a more powerful and far more durable choice if you can swing the cost, and it also has more capabilities. The recipes for the Nutribullet are nice, but you can get a lot of them just by downloading the manual here. There are also recipes available on the Nutribullet web site and by watching the various infomercials and taking notes on the recipes. These are basically recipes that you don’t need exact measurements for anyway; you can just eyeball the amounts, and it will be fine. The manual gives you a guide for how to develop your own recipes too. On the other hand, if a Vitamix is out of reach, a Nutribullet is a good lower-cost substitute until you can afford one. You may need to blend your smoothies longer to liquefy all of the ingredients, and you should take great care to follow all of the directions so you don’t break your Nutribullet. Always use liquid along with whatever other ingredients you're using, for example.
Still can’t make up your mind? Look up the Nutribullet on its web site and at HSN.com, where you can watch the videos. YouTube also has a selection of videos you can watch, both infomercials and video reviews. Do read the reviews, so you can get a good idea of what to expect. Whether you buy the Nutribullet or a pricier extractor, you’ll definitely benefit from a unit that lets you create quick and easy high-nutrition smoothies, because you can boost your nutrition level easily that way with a minimum of fuss. Smoothies and “Nutriblasts” are delicious, especially if you tweak them according to your own personal tastes, and they add a huge burst of antioxidants, polyphenols, and other beneficial substances to your diet.
One thing I can say for sure is that if you’ll use one of these devices to make a smoothie for yourself every day, it will be worth the cost in terms of the health benefits, especially if you know you aren’t getting enough fresh fruits and vegetables or superfoods. Check it out and see what you think.