Please note, I am in no way affiliated with Ninja, or any of the brands mentioned in my blog posts. I also do not get any money from you going and buying their products. I’m just sharing my own personal experience.
How have I gone this long without a blender/food processor? I have no idea. I’ve been using a hand blender for select things up until now, all while looking enviously at high powered Über blenders like the Vitamix, while sobbing at the price tag, and waiting for the day that I could bring one home. Then yesterday my parents decide to get me the Ninja Ultra Kitchen System 1200 for a gift, to congratulate me on another successful challenge completed, and for all my healthy efforts and success. Best – Parents – Ever! It’s not a Vitamix, but it’s seriously an awesome and waaaaay more affordable option. I couldn’t wait to try it out! It comes with a 72 oz Blender, a 64 oz Food Processor/Dough Mixer cup, and 3 single serve containers. My brain was racing with possibilities all the way home. Here’s a link to the Ultra Kitchen System on Amazon
If you are a member at Costco, it’s also available there for considerably cheaper.
The first thing I wanted to try, was making my own nut butter. In my house we LOVE Artisana’s Cashew Butter, but it’s definitely a luxury at $15-$19 a jar. We picked up some Raw Cashews at Trader Joe’s and decided to start with that! Then, being that I’ve never made nut butter from scratch, I did some research on the inter-webs.
In the end, I soaked the cashews for 3-4 hours, drained the water, and put them in the processor still a little wet. I didn’t dehydrate them or roast them first like some of the blogs. I also decided not to add any extra oil. The only ingredient I added was a little sea salt at the end. It wasn’t as sweet and creamy as Artisana, but I think it was pretty awesome for a first attempt! It definitely has a creamy smooth texture, and a nice flavor. I think it came out lovely, especially considering how EASY it was.
Raw Cashew Butter
- 2 cups Trader Joe’s raw cashews (Soaked)
- A few shakes of sea salt
The first link I listed outlines the process pretty well. You really just have to keep processing until it gets creamy. It takes longer than you might expect, and it definitely goes through different stages. It’s the same process for making nut meal and nut flour, but you leave it in longer to get nut butter.
This morning, I decided to try the single serve containers, and make smoothies.The containers are built well, and have a clear “Max Fill” line. The top with the blade screws on securely, and when you’re done, they also have tops with a hole to drink out of, so you don’t even have to take it out of the container. They are also super easy to clean.
Nutty Cocoa Berry Smoothie:
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 1 heaping tablespoon cashew butter
- 1 pitted medjool date
- 3-4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries (approx.)
- 1/2 cup frozen cherries (approx.)
I put everything into the containers, starting with the coconut milk.
Then I hit the “Single Serve” button until everything was blended.
That’s it, super easy! I am so psyched to try more things in this. It’s a really solid machine and performs wonderfully. It’s new, so time will tell how long it lasts, and how it handles in the long run, but I definitely am prepared to keep testing it!
While I was making the smoothies, I also got the rest of breakfast ready. I cooked some Portabella Mushrooms on the griddle, and topped them with heated Applegate Herb Turkey, Applegate Roast Beef, and Two Eggs. YUM! (Note, I know the Applegate roast beef is compliant for the WLC, but the Herb Turkey has Carageenan so it is NOT compliant)