Are you doing a juice diet or just need a quick way to inject some healthy fruit and veg into your diet? If you already have a juicer in your household, you might not see the value in yet another appliance, but if you're time-poor and looking for a healthy fix - and you can afford the premium pricing - a NutriBullet or one of its competitors might be just what you're looking for.
Is it the perfect blender?
NutriBullet has had its fair amount of time in the sun, with an extensive amount of TV coverage over the past 18 months or so. Now there's competition in the market, most of them making big claims about the nutrient extraction possible from blending your fruit and veggies.
Is this just another "all hype, no substance" kitchen gadget likely to get pushed to the back of your cupboard?
Video: Single-serve blenders put through their paces to help you find your perfect match
The original contender
When CHOICE first spotted the NutriBullet, it was where most of you probably would have seen it: on one of those TV advertisements that spend a half hour with some rather large amount of claims flying around but little substance to back it up.
But what really peaked our interest were claims like "supercharge your health in seconds", and the supplied recipes for "Toxin Cleansing", "Fountain of Youth" and "Free-Radical Fighter". It made us look forward to testing out some of the more verifiable claims – which we've since done. Read what we discovered when testing the health claims of the NutriBullet and other single-serve blenders.
So when we first looked at the NutriBullet, this is what we liked.
Other kitchen appliances (especially other juicers) tend to be large, unwieldy and awkward to carry. The NutriBullet is a small, lightweight unit that can be stored easily, is easy to assemble and mostly very easy to clean. It comes with two cup sizes (400mL and 700mL).
Easy to use
Unlike a plethora of other juicer-type products, there are not a dozen pieces to be assembled, making you assemble a jigsaw puzzle before each use. To start it up, all you do is fill up the cups to the prescribed limits, screw on a cap, place it in the blender mechanism, push down and twist to start.
Due to the shape of the cup and the high speed blades it can blend the food to a smooth texture, which can be thick or thin depending on the amount of liquid added. The blending takes approximately 30 seconds to achieve a very smooth consistency – it'll depend on the type of fruit and vegetables, or if you're adding nuts or seeds.
We all know that pulp in juices is good for us, but those of us with kids know how picky some can be. Pulp, no way! Many juicers separate it automatically for us, putting it into a separate jug to be composted or disposed in some other way. That means another apparatus with a juicer to clean and assemble. The NutriBullet solves this by juicing the lot – seeds, stems, skins – it all gets liquified with some water which disguises the pulp somewhat.
Juicing for the newbie
The recipe book that comes with the NutriBullet makes it easy for even a non-juicer like me. And the fact that I only need to cut up items roughly means my overburdened brain doesn't need to deal with knife skills.
The NutriBullet also has a mill blade that can dry mill nuts, oats and seeds.
The not so good
It's not all good news in the blending business. These were the issues we had with the NutriBullet when we first looked at it.
One downside is that the screw-on blade extractor can be difficult to tighten and remove if you have weak wrists, and while the cups are dishwasher safe, the blades are not. The blades require a warm soapy wash only.
With the usual mention of "superfoods" such as goji and acai, we recommend avoiding these expensive items in preference for everyday superfoods you can get from the supermarket. Most of the recipes call for 50% leafy greens, 50% fruits, and a ¼ cup of seeds or nuts to add what their marketing department calls a "super boost".
Not all seeds are good
The claim to be able to blend seeds and stems comes with some caveats – not all seeds are recommended due to toxins, and it points these out. (Read more about the toxins in apricot seeds, for example.) We found that skins from grapes didn't tend to process well, and when processing nuts and seeds, these aren't processed fully and tend to leave a gritty feel in the mouth.