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Do I need both a VitaMix and A Juicer?

Okay, with a busy lifestyle, I find it no problem eating fruits - put piece of raw fruit in mouth, eat. Vegetables are another story.

So, I've decided to invest in a VitaMix on the theory that I can throw raw vegetables in the VitaMix, blend and drink. May or may not be the most palatable thing in the world, but at least I'll know I am eating the recommended number of vegetables, which has been a problem for me since I eat out so much and many of the restaurants near my workplace think vegetables are iceberg lettuce and potatoes, and I am really not in the mood after a long workday to come home and chop and steam vegetables.

Anyway, I am considering the professional Vita Mix Vita-Prep 3 Blender, which according to the advertising "has more power to handle the thickest, toughest ingredients! " I basically want it to be a vegetable juicer, as well as a blender. I don't know if I am dreaming and if even with an expensive VitaMix I will need to buy a separate juicer. If possible, I don't want to clutter my kitchen counter.

So can a VitaMix do it all or must I also buy a separate juicer?

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  1. I have never owned a blender but have had a Vitamix for about 10 years. Vitamix is a blender just a really strong one. With regards to juice though, you need to evaluate what kind of juice you want. We have two juicers - the vitamix and a centrifucal juicer. Vitamix is great for juices where you want to eat the whole item - pineapple, apple, tomato, berries, banana. But the centrifucal juicer is better for extracting juice from the fibrous fruit/vegetable ie carrot, beet, potato.
    While you can make carrot juice for instance in either, in a Vitamix the carrot will be chopped fine but you will still taste tiny chunks of carrot. Because the other juicer extracts the juice from the carrot fibre the juice is much lighter and smoother, and in my opinion, tastier. Depends on what you like. Perhaps go to a couple of juice bars that usually have both kinds and try different juices until you know what you like. Both juicers cost about the same so to buy two is a definate committment!

    3 Replies
    1. re: higgika

      Thanks! Your answer was helpful and was what I was afraid of -- i.e., that one machine cannot do it all. The new professional Vita Mix Vita-Prep 3 Blender, which costs close to $500, claims to be able to handle tough vegetables, but my guess is that it is still going to yield more of an applesauce-like puree than a juice.

      I guess I will start with the VitaMix and then add a juicer later if I find I don't like gulping vegetable puree.

      1. re: omotosando

        Make sure you check e-bay for prices before you invest. Vita-mix has many "authorized sellers" that sell for much cheaper than Vita-mix themselves. These are not used or refurbished machines. They are new machines that are sold through a 3rd party, but are shipped from the Vita-mix warehouse. Full warranty, etc.

        1. re: omotosando

          Juice doesn't have all the fruit/veg fiber in it. So you would need a juicer for that. Or possibly blend in the blender then strain the juice from that. Much easier to just get a juicer to separate it for you. I have both. I find that I use the blender and just consume the whole fruit/veg. It is also much easier to clean. I do like my Omega VRT for carrot and leafy greens juice. But my green smoothies made in my Blendtec are my favorite.

      2. These first three "replys" probably tell the whole tale.

        1. New to juicing here...well, not really. I have a Vita Mix and an Omega juicer that I juice with,and although it works great, the time involved in prepping, and especially cleaning the unit is a huge factor. So one day I fell upon this video; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UdSLp...
          showing how to juice with a high-powered blender. I tried it with some cheescloth I had lying around in the cupboard, and damned if I didnt't get more juice breaking down less veggies with the Vita Mix and straining through the cheesecloth than I ever have with the juicer. And it is so easy Ive even started doing it in the morning as because it takes about 2 mins to clean and go!
          To make it easier I bought some nutmilk bags for the straining, and that made it even easier, so I'm sold. I don't know about all of the breaking down the cellular wall and all that and how it might be different between a blender and a juicer, all I know is that it took 1/5 the time with the blender!

          13 Replies
          1. re: NewJuicer

            Interesting and worthwhile post. And adds to the discussion on point. But. What's nutmilk bags and where do you get them.

            1. re: yayadave

              nutmilk bags are nylon, fine-mesh drawstring bags that are used to make milk from nuts. They can be used to strain the juice from the pulp of the veggies blended by a vitamix blender as well. Reusable and durable so they last a long time. they're fairly easy to find, I got mine on ebay.

              1. re: NewJuicer

                Hah!! The first place I Googled was Raw Garu. http://www.rawguru.com/store/raw-food...
                They even have a recipe/instructions for almond milk. And they say to dry out the pulp. Makes me wonder if the dried out pulp could be added to flour to make a crust. Thanks.

                1. re: yayadave

                  I use my dried (dehydrator or oven at 115 degrees) almond pulp for cookies, pizza crust, etc. It adds protein to the recipe and doesn't really change the flavor.

            2. re: NewJuicer

              Awesome video. Thanks for the post. I am definitely going with the VitaMix rather than the Omega juicer, which I was also considering. If it involves lengthy prep and cleanup, I know I just won't use it.

              Now, my big dilemma is whether to go with the professional VitaMix Vita-Prep 3, which is $500 + and has a 3 horsepower motor and a three year warranty, or to go with the consumer VitaMix 5000, which is about $400, has a 2 horsepower motor and a seven year warranty.

              Anyone have any thoughts?

              1. re: omotosando

                my VitaMix is about two yrs old...model no. VM0103 (think it's the 5000), and not sure about horsepower, but it works! I don't think it's the professional version. I bought it from Costco. I'm sold...when you use a juicer with the auger, it just seems that you're wasting so much of the vegetables when you're finished. And the cleanup is definitely a dealbreaker...I hated doing it.
                The VitaMix breaks them down to such a level that you're definitely getting all of the juice possible without the pulp. And, as I said, I use far less veggies with more yield. So I guess if the difference is only $100, I'd go with the longer warranty and get the consumer version...

                1. re: NewJuicer

                  Actually, NewJuicer, the professional is $100 or so more than the the 5,000, but the warranty for the professional is actually 4 years less than the warranty for the 5,000 (the professional models come with a shorter warranty). What you are paying extra for on the professional model is 3 hp versus 2 hp.

                  On the You Tube link you provided, there were some other videos comparing 2 hp blenders with 3 hp ones. On nut butters, the 3 hp crushed (so to speak) the 2 hp. However, I just don't see myself making my own nut butters. Still, I may spring for the professional 3 hp model, since I can get it without sales tax if I order from an out-of-state vendor. Apparently, there is no way to buy a home model Vitamix online without paying sales tax.

                  1. re: omotosando

                    I just bought the 5000 direct from VitaMix. I bought the reconditoned model - which means that the base was used for demo's or at shows, but everything else is new (container, blade, etc). It cost $349, has a 7 year warranty, and no sales tax because I live in Oregon.

                    I asked them some questions about the professional line versus the consumer line and a shorter warranty is one thing, but also you have less speed control with the professional, because the assumption is that professional use will be to make the same thing over and over.

                    I actually sprang for an extra $80 for the dry grinder - which is a whole new container and blade for grinding grains. At first I thought I couldn't possibly use that, but it turns out it actually makes dough - kneading and the whole works, so I'm trying it.

                    The other bonus for me buying direct is that I can return it in 30 days, no questions asked for full refund and free return shipping.

                    I'll let you know how I like it once it actually comes.

                2. re: omotosando

                  I have a 5000. Works fine. One nice thing a blender has over a juicer is that if the drink is too thick or warm, you can just throw in a handful of ice and crank it up again.

                3. re: NewJuicer

                  What was the measuring thingy for the level of nutrition?

                  1. re: elgordoboy

                    You know, I was wondering about that myself. I've never seen a device like that before. I'll e-mail the site and see if they respond.

                  2. I have two vitamix 4000s I bought on ebay for less than $200 each. They are from the 1990s and are still going strong. They are the old model that had reverse. Yes, the blades reverse even at high speed, really does the job! Anyway, do some research and look on ebay. I don't think it is possible to kill a vitamix.

                    Also, lots of juicers end up at the thrift stores, that's where I'd buy one. I bought one new for $20 at a store's going out of business sale. It lacked a manual and a pusher, no big deal. I use a carrot.

                    1. Well, I have dilly-dallied so long about which VitaMix to buy that, in the meantime, VitaMix just introduced a brand new consumer model - the VitaMix 5200 -- allegedly better than the prior models.

                      https://secure.vitamix.com/acb/stores/4/

                      With the new model just out, I guess I'll finally take the VitaMix plunge.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: omotosando

                        The 5200 came out a year or so after I bought my 5000 as a replacement for my 15+-year-old 4000 (which was still going strong). I was somewhat tempted by the 3 HP machine (which is called the Vita-Prep, BTW) and spoke to the commercial division to find out what the differences--other than 1 HP--were. I was told that it mainly has to do with the unit's internal fan--because it's manufactured with constant use in mind, it has to run cooler; that's why the extra power is needed. Both units process at the same RPM. The motors for the 5200 are manufactured in Sweden and the last I heard, the Vita-Prep motors were still being made here. What I found interesting was that the very pleasant customer service rep in the commercial division told me that the employees all opt to buy Vita-Mixes rather than Vita-Preps, even though they're entitled to buy either and their employee discounts apply to both units.
                        I LOVE my Vita-Mix; it not only lives up to its claims, but the company itself is the poster child for doing business the right way. Their sales staff and customer service totally rock; some of them are second- and third-generation employees. They offer a super-long warranty, and I've read reviews to the effect that they respond quickly to problems (although I've never had one). I didn't buy the "dry" container because I knew I'd never use it, especially given that I take stone-ground flours pretty seriously and would rather leave that stuff to millers. As to its substituting for a juicer, unless you add some water and/or ice, you're going to end up with an ultra-smooth puree, albeit a very healthful one.
                        I've had a Champion juicer for 20+ years and it's wonderful, although I've lusted that entire time for a Norwalk (which now sells for $2,500). I wouldn't bother with a centrifugal juicer--I prefer something that triturates and squeezes out the juice.