Please Note, this is not an affiliate post. I just enjoy talking about all things appliances with you all!
Do you ever get frustrated at the fact that most cookware reviews are written while the product is still brand new? As we all know, many products that do great in their infancy do not stand the test of time, especially when it comes to appliances! I purchased my “Ninja Foodie Power Blender and Processor 3-in-1 Blender and Food Processor” (yes, that’s the actual name on the receipt) two Thanksgivings ago. Spoiler alert, it’s still one of my favorite appliances!
I love multifunctional appliances, as I don’t want my kitchen to look like Inspector Gadget’s office, so that’s one of the first things that attracted me to this blender / food processor combo. This blender is not just for smoothies, it comes with a dough mixer, which makes it a good option if you don’t bake often enough to justify owning a mixer.
1. Blender vs. Food Processor
The main difference between a blender and a food processor is that blenders require liquid while food processors don’t. Things you might put in a food processor also tend to be more savory, whereas a blender is better fit for a chocolate protein shake. The Ninja is the best of both worlds because you can do both with it. But full disclosure, I do have a separate food processor. It’s an older Cuisinart model and requires more patience, but I use it for recipes that are onion and garlic heavy.
I sometimes like to make fish meatballs as well, and I would not recommend using the same pitcher for onions and garlic that you’d use for a fruit smoothie for obvious reasons. If you’re looking to do both with the same machine, Ninja offers a newer model of this blender that comes with multiple pitchers.
2. Is the Ninja 3-in-1 Blender Built to Last?
The Ninja 3-in-1 is a powerful blender / food processor, and the blade it comes with is very sharp. I would know, I cut myself with it while I was unboxing it. Two years later with semi frequent use, the blade is still sharp. One of the biggest complaints people have is that this blender’s very loud. This is true, but a minor quarrel in my opinion. The bottom of the blender has four suction tubes meant to hold the blender in place while you’re using it. I often have an issue with the blender getting stuck to the counter, which led to the plastic around the base becoming loose after a few months of use. This doesn’t affect the function of the blender, but it’s an obvious design flaw.
There’s some wear and tear, but overall, the blender works just as well as it did when I first got it. You can also find replacement parts and accessories on the Ninja website, including a replacement blade when yours gets dull, and even a new base. I do wish Ninja offered glass pitchers. I’d happily pay to replace my plastic one, especially since I like to blend hot soups. The retail price for the blender was $149 when I purchased it, but I received $50 off thanks to a Black Friday promo. My hope is that it will last at least three more years. Not bad for a $100 purchase!
3. Best Uses
Even though this blender came with a dough mixer, I personally don’t use it. It’s not because the blender isn’t up to the job, but simply because I find it easier to clean a mixer rather than a blender. I primarily use my Ninja for smoothies, or to make blended soups like this autumn inspired pumpkin and orange soup. Because this blender is so powerful, it’s also great for making nut butters. You may be surprised how easy it is to make your own peanut butter if you have a powerful enough blender!
I also love being able to customize (nut butters make great Christmas gifts). One of my favorites to make is a Nutella-inspired nut butter, which includes cocoa powder and dates as a sweetener. This blender is also great for making salsa! Because it’s so versatile, I’m able to make things at home that I’d otherwise purchase. Health-wise, I consider that a huge win.
4. Choosing the Right Blender
If you’re looking to purchase a Ninja blender, know that their website only offers newer versions of this 3-in-1. The version I purchased came with a chopping blade, a dough blade, and a cleaning brush. The newer versions come with more parts and a higher price tag, but you can still find this version through a number of third party sellers.
5. Which version is best for you?
If you’re looking for additional features, including a shredding disc, more blade options, and smoothie cups, the newer version is definitely the way to go. If you don’t have a food processor, you probably want to go with the new version.
Ninja has quite a few sales through the year. If you love a deal as much as I do, you may want to subscribe to their emails and lookout for the next sale. Do you all have a go-to brand for blenders? I know Vitamix is highly lauded, but I find it hard to justify the price. Have you tried out our smoothie recipes with your blender? I’d love to hear your thoughts!