I was honestly happy with my juicer at home, so the Nutri Ninja company was not earmarked as a vendor for me to visit during the recent BlogHer15 Conference. However, I grabbed one of their samples as I was walking by their booth and after my fifth one, I decided to have a conversation with the rep. “So does this thing blend carrots,” was the question that started it all.
Why carrots…? I have to take you back to my young adult days in my native Jamaica to explain. The traditional Jamaican Sunday dinner was rice and peas, chicken, salad (slices of tomato) and carrot juice was the traditional accompanying drink. The production to put together the entire Sunday meal was long and arduous. Back in my days, making carrot juice involved grating the carrot by hand. There were no food processors or fancy gadgets of any kind that was available to us (we also didn’t have electricity to run any). After grating the carrot, (sometimes losing skin and nails during the process), we juiced strained and then added condensed milk, spices and a tip of rum for flavor. I mean it was good, but I didn’t know that carrot juice could actually taste good without the addition of any of those ingredients until I sent a few sticks through a juicer a few years ago.
The taste of freshly juiced fruit without any fancy stuff to build the flavor changed my life. I went on a juicing binge, experimenting with different fruits but carrot, mango and orange was my favorite combo. I didn’t, however, like the fact that my juicing effort produced a ton of fruit pulp. I actually made a carrot cake once using the pulp from the carrots and I use to pour the pulp into the sink with the thought that my garbage disposal would take care of it but it caused MAJOR plumbing issues in my condo. Just a side note, rice, pulp from juicers and bentonite clay are the absolute wort things to throw in your sink (even if you have a garbage disposal). My juicer could not handle banana’s though which I like to use as a sweetener, especially if the mango or the orange was not ripe enough or was not available. So I tried blending all of the ingredients in a blender and it was a complete disaster. A regular blender is just not strong enough to blend carrots to a texture that you can actually consume without straining it first.
Fast forward back to the BlogHer15 conference… I honestly didn’t believe the rep when she told me that it actually liquefied carrots. I had a whole discussion going on Facebook while I was at the conference with other carrot blend and drink without straining skeptics. Someone wanted to know if it could liquefy coconuts. I am not sure why anyone would want to do that but I conveyed the discussion to the rep and she promised to send me one so that I could test it myself.
Well, she kept her word and the Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ Compact does in fact liquefy carrots. It took me two tries to figure it out but if you use the “extract” button and set the “smooth” button to “no”, it grinds carrots to a texture that is consistent with and would be perfect for baby food (see bottom inset picture on left). If you use the “blend” button and set the “smooth” button to “yes”, it liquefies carrots. You will need to add ice and/or water (I used coconut water. See bottom photo on right.). Straining is NOT necessary. I haven’t tried it yet, but this little but extremely powerful kitchen gadget also does soups and other amazing things. I haven’t used my blender or the juicer since the Nutri Ninja has arrived. Unlike the juicer, this does not create any pulp and so your smoothies are thick, rich and delicious and full of fiber and all the nutrients. You will get the entire fruit/vegetable. Nothing goes to waste with this machine.
WHAT YOU GET:
The Nutri Ninja is listed at $189.00 on Target.com. You will get the 1500 Watt Professional base with Auto-iQ™; 3 Nutri Ninja® Nutrient Extractor Cups with Sip & Seal® Lids (20 oz., 24 oz. and 32 oz. sizes including a double-walled stainless steel cup which keeps your frozen smoothies cold for up to four hours.); and the 72 oz Blending Pitcher. You will also get:
- 1 set of Pro Extractor Blades®
- 1 set of Total Crushing® Blades
- Inspiration Guide
- 3-Day Jump-Start Plan
EASE OF USE
Place your container on the base, hit blend and it does it all for you, AUTOMATICALLY. It blends it for a few seconds, then stops which allows the fruit or vegetable at the top to fall closer to the blade. Then it blends for a couple more seconds and then stops and then goes through about 30 seconds of blending before it stops again and then the blades speed up for the last hurrah at the end before it stops. Your juice is ready in 60 seconds. Clean up is also really quick and easy. Not sure what this stuff is made of but everything rinses easily under a faucet (even blades and containers that sit all day). You can also place in the top shelf of dish washer if you feel that it needs a longer wash and/or sanitizing. I also like the Sip & Seal® Lids which allows me to enjoy my smoothie’s on the go (blend, replace blade with Sip & Seal® Lids, exit house). The base has suction cups which help to keep the Nutri Ninja in place while it is doing its thing. To release the suction cup, there are two handles at the bottom that you squeeze and voila!
WHAT I DON’T LIKE
I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve gained a few pounds since the Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ Compact arrived. I’ve been drinking the smoothies as beverages and not as a meal replacement. I’m working on that… It’s also really loud. This is not a machine to run at 3 am in the morning. I’m working on that too. Other than that, it’s a solid, powerful machine that is worth the investment. This will also make a really great Christmas gift for a foodie, Jamaican, health enthusiast or someone who just loves the taste of fresh fruit juice.
Disclosure: I received a free Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ Compact to review. All of the opinions expressed are based on my own experience, honest and are my own.