Pulp Addiction

Smooth Character

It started with the job of buying Christmas presents. I hate shopping and so does my wife (or to be accurate, she hates shopping for other people), and a big part of our present buying has drifted online. We decided on saving ourselves some cash and wanted a shared gift that we’d both like. And something that we’d actually enjoying using (no lawnmower or vacuum cleaner).

I came across the Nutribullet as part of the work I did for the Men’s Health Tech Guide 2014, and was impressed. I love my gear, but up until then I hadn’t come across a blender that I got excited about. The last one I had at home was a Russell Hobbs one that made decent smoothies, but thanks to a weird spout, tap-like feature – it was harder to clean than our president’s reputation. The Nutribullet came with high levels of informercial hype, but after buying it in late December and using it for the past few weeks at home, it has delivered on its capital letter, exclamation mark promises.

So what’s the juice on it? Instead of just slicing and dicing and mooshing up the contents, the Bullet “extracts”. It breaks down everything: stems, skins, seeds and that’s good news for us, as in most cases that’s where all the nutritional goodness hides (like grape skins), and also provides a good wallop of fibre. And that’s not just for purple-dyed old folk, fibre is important for everyone. So instead of throwing away all the good stuff in pulp that’s left over with most other blenders, everything is blended into a creamy drink that doesn’t have long, fibre-like strands or hard pits. This high-powered gadget can also mill too, just put on the special blade and you mill nuts, make almond butter, make nut powders and your own nut or oat flours (perfect if you’re into baking).

A few tips if you do invest in this gadget: it sounds counterintuitive, but you should put all the biggest ingredients at the top of the container (on top of the smaller items). You then then close the container and flip it over, so it means the bulk items will hit the blades first. Also, you’ll need water in most of the smoothies (helps the blending process). Don’t use it for more than a minute a time – the small size and big engine means it heats up quickly. And if you like your smoothies cold – you should cut up your bananas as a base, and freeze them. Using these pieces results in cold smoothies without you having to use ice. And lastly, I have included two quick recipes at the bottom of this write-up (below the image), but can’t take any credit for them – they come from my wife. And trust me on this, even if you aren’t paleo or carb-light, you’ll still enjoy the cauliflower mash. I was a disbeliever before, but now I’ve become a cheerleader. If you’re wanting more hardcore nutritional goodness in your smoothies, check out the supplied recipe book – there are a few in there. But they won’t taste as good as my wife’s one. Seriously.

PROS: Easy-to-use (and more importantly, easy-to-clean); smart extraction system; powerful engine (600 watts); compact; good-looking; good-value for money (R1999 from YuppieChef); travel-ready containers; good recipe book filled with Nutriblast recipes (almost all of them are good, a few don’t taste great).
CONS: Smoothies provide two only servings; made of BPA-free plastic and some metal but needs to be treated gently; the small size and big engine heat up quickly; no speed settings.

IS IT FOR YOU? Looking to eat healthier? Add more vegetables and fruit into your diet? Looking for quicker breakfasts or other meals? Follow a Paleo way of eating? If yes to any of the above, then you should look into it. Size-wise it will only really provide a smoothie for two people, so if you’re feeding a small army – you’ll need to look for a bigger, more commercial unit.

Jess's Smoothie

Jess’s Smoothie:
One person serving
1 frozen banana (peeled and chopped)
1/2 cup milk
1 handful healthy muesli (not granola)
1 tablespoon organic peanut butter
2 teaspoons cacao powder

Cauliflower Mash:
Two person serving
1 steamed cauliflower
1 cup of milk (depends on cauliflower size)
2 teaspoons butter
Pinch of salt

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