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Green Orange Dreamsicle Smoothie + Vitamix TurboBlend VS Review

Green Orange Dreamsicle Smoothie

Green Orange Dreamsicle Smoothie

Since starting Oh My Veggies, I’ve had a few readers ask me if I used or recommended buying a Vitamix blender. Vitamix sells a package, the TurboBlend VS, that’s targeted to vegetarians, vegans, and raw foods enthusiasts and I suppose that’s why the question comes up. But until now, I haven’t been able to answer it. And in all honesty, I always thought I was set with my hand blender and food processor. When our previous blender broke several years ago, I didn’t see the need to replace it and we got along fine without it–the hand blender worked great for soups and soft smoothies, and I used the food processor for everything else.

The problem with this comparison is that my old blender wasn’t a high-powered one. It was clunky, things would never blend very well, and it had a tendency to leak everywhere, which is what ultimately did it in–it leaked into the vent in back and stopped working. A blender like the Vitamix TurboBlend has a stronger motor and sharper blade, allowing it to blend more thoroughly and a lot faster too. And it shows in the price–the Vitamix TurboBlend VS is $449. That’s a lot for any small kitchen appliance, particularly a blender.

Vitamix TurboBlend VS
Because I’ve been using other kitchen appliances instead of a blender for the past few years, here’s how the Vitamix compares to each:

Vitamix TurboBlend vs. My Food Processor

When making smoothies with frozen ingredients, I had been using my food processor. The Vitamix performs much better–it blends everything smoothly in much less time than it takes with my food processor. The tamper definitely helps! Instead of having to scrape down the sides of the food processor, I can use the tamper to push any chunks of fruit towards the blade. For this same reason, I prefer the Vitamix for dips, sauces, and spreads–you can use the tamper while the blender is on, whereas with a food processor, you have to turn the blades off, take off the lid, and scrape the sides of the container every so often.

So smoothies, dips, and sauces are definitely better with the Vitamix. But my biggest disappointment with the TurboBlend is how it compares with my food processor in making almond butter. I was really hoping that I could use the Vitamix for that because, while my food processor does a great job making nut butters, it takes a little time and I’m crazy impatient. I had trouble getting the Vitamix to cooperate when I wanted to use it for almond butter, though. I followed their instructions to a T and the blade kept getting stuck. Using the tamper only made it worse–it compacted the almonds. I tried loosening them and then the motor stopped completely. I was sure at this point that I had broken my blender, but luckily the Vitamix has a safety mechanism that will shut off the motor if it’s in danger of overheating. This is good news for my TurboBlend, but bad news for me–I wanted almond butter! I had to finish it in my food processor.

Vitamix TurboBlend vs. My Hand Blender

Although I haven’t tried it, you can make heated soups in the Vitamix–the blender will actually heat your soup as it purees. This completely blows my mind. The blender! Cooks! The soup! But for soups made on the stovetop, I will continue to use my hand blender, simply because it’s much easier to stick that in a pot of soup than transfer it in batches to my blender.

But with smoothies, the Vitamix outperforms the hand blender. When I make smoothies with soft ingredients, I like to use my hand blender. It works well, but the Vitamix gets the smoothie a lot smoother much more quickly. What really amazed me was using raspberries in it–there was no trace of seeds left when I was done making my smoothie.

Vitamix TurboBlend VS Container
The Vitamix TurboBlend VS can also be used as a juicer. I don’t have a juicer myself, so I have no basis of comparison, but what I like about the Vitamix is that it allows for whole food juicing, keeping the fiber in the drink. (If this really bothers you, you could strain it through the filtration bag, though.) This could be a plus or a minus, depending on how you like your juice. Some people like traditional juicing because they feel they get more concentrated nutrients without the pulp, while I’m more in the “I don’t want to buy $10 worth of produce for 6 ounces of juice” camp.

The VS in TurboBlend VS stands for variable speed, which is a feature I really love. I know some other blenders have buttons to adjust speeds, but I like the control the variable speed dial gives me. The TurboBlend VS comes with a recipe book, an instructional DVD, a tamper, and a filtration bag. Most of the recipes included in the book are suitable for vegan and raw diets.

Green Orange Dreamsicle Smoothie
So should the Vitamix be a staple in every vegetarian or vegan kitchen? I’d say no. If you break out the blender two or three times a year to make margaritas, you can make due with a lower priced model. But if you drink a lot of smoothies, want to get into juicing without buying a dedicated juicer, or are a cooking enthusiast in general, I think the Vitamix TurboBlend VS is a good investment. From the research I’ve done, it’s not uncommon for them to last decades, even with frequent use.

Green Orange Dreamsicle Smoothie

I’ve definitely upped my smoothie intake since getting my Vitamix and this recipe is my absolute favorite. Green smoothies are one of those things you either love or hate, but I think this one could win over some haters. Because who doesn’t love dreamsicles?!

Print

Green Orange Dreamsicle Smoothie

Green Orange Dreamsicle Smoothie Recipe

Using frozen orange wedges in this healthy green smoothie makes it thick and creamy.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 large or 2 small smoothies

Ingredients

  • 1 c. non-dairy milk (vanilla flavored will work, but my favorite is Blue Diamond’s almond & coconut blend)
  • 2 small oranges, cut into wedges, peeled and frozen
  • about 5 small kale leaves (or a handful of spinach)
  • sweetener of choice to taste, if desired

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender, pouring milk in first. Using the variable speed dial, start out at 1 and slowly increase speed to 10. Once large chunks have been pureed, switch to high speed and continue to blend until completely smooth.

Disclosure: I received a Vitamix TurboBlend VS for the purpose of this review.

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80 Comments

  • Reply
    Cassie | Bake Your Day
    February 7, 2013 at 8:52 am

    I’ve never used a Vitamix but I love my Blendtec, especially for smoothies. I love the flavors in this one!

  • Reply
    Jessi
    February 7, 2013 at 9:12 am

    I Voted for you ^.^!! And I love dreamsicles. Like to a sick degree… also I am very jealous of your blender.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 7, 2013 at 9:24 am

      Thank you for voting–I appreciate it! I am sending virtual dreamsicle smoothies your way. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Maria Tadic
    February 7, 2013 at 9:20 am

    I really want one of those. But $500 is a lot for a blender! But thats the ONE kitchen appliance I don’t have and I have a need to fill in the gap! Ugh… i wish it was Christmas time again ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 7, 2013 at 9:23 am

      It is definitely a lot for a blender! And I don’t think I would have been able to justify the cost a few years ago, before I started blogging. But now that I cook so much more (and I make a lot of smoothies!), I can definitely see the appeal. It really is miles better than my old blender. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    sarah @ two tarts
    February 7, 2013 at 9:29 am

    First off, congrats on The Homies. I voted for you! Secondly, I have a VitaMix and I totally love it. I used it to make smoothies & soups, as well as sorbet (lots of frozen mango & just a little OJ). I also use it to make raw cashew-based creamy desserts, like this raw lemon cheesecake: http://www.roostblog.com/roost/in-the-raw-meyer-lemon-vanilla-bean-cheesecake.html
    I used to work in business development and used my first big commission check to buy a VitaMix. Have never regretted it…even though they are super pricey. I am basically a walking advertisement for them, ha!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 7, 2013 at 9:53 am

      Thank you for voting! And good luck to you too! ๐Ÿ˜€

      I’ve never tried raw cheesecake before, but I have an idea for it that I want to try soon. I was actually going to make it and post it with this review, but I have a feeling it will be one of those recipes I have to make countless times before getting it right. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Caitlin
    February 7, 2013 at 10:05 am

    what a fantastic and thorough review! i’ve been interested in a vitamix for a long time, but that price, sheesh! i already have a food processor, stick blender, and regular blender, so i don’t REALLY need one, anyway ๐Ÿ˜‰

    and i would love this dreamsicle! the color is beautiful, too.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 8, 2013 at 11:07 am

      I think the Vitamix is one of those things where you don’t truly know how useful it is until you get one yourself. Because I really did think I was fine without one, but man, it makes things SO much easier, now I wonder how I got along without it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Sheri
    February 7, 2013 at 10:25 am

    I’ve never tried a vitamix, but that smoothie looks awesome.

  • Reply
    Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell
    February 7, 2013 at 11:19 am

    That’s the first green smoothie I have ever seen that looks delicious! That’s a sweet kitchen helper you have there!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 8, 2013 at 11:04 am

      Even Chris liked this one. So that’s how I knew it was good, because he does NOT like a lot of the smoothies I make. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    dixya @ food, pleasure, and health
    February 7, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Just voted for you and now I need my glass of dreamsicle ๐Ÿ™‚ I have heard so many things about vitamix and blentdec but since i dont have any – i get by with my regular blender or juicer but its something to consider in future. This smoothie looks so refreshing.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 8, 2013 at 11:03 am

      Thank you! Your smoothie will be in the mail first thing in the morning. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    Pam @Mommacan
    February 7, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Oh this look so good! I want it right now. lol

  • Reply
    Alissa N
    February 7, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Such gorgeous photos!! Creamsickle smoothies? My favorite!! I have a vitamix also, I am obsessed with it. It has been a game changer in the kitchen, and I super love that I can make my own nut butters with it.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 8, 2013 at 11:02 am

      Ah, so you can get yours to make nut butters! What’s your secret? After my first try, I’m a little bit scared now, but I know people use it all the time for that, so obviously it must work…

      • Reply
        Alissa N
        February 8, 2013 at 3:51 pm

        Oh no, what happened on your first try? When I make them, it sounds like I am breaking the thing and it is totally terrifying. Particularly almonds because they don’t have as much fat in them and they sound like rocks in there. I made some hazelnut butter, and it was crazy how easily it buttered up those suckers. With the almonds I used the tamper to continue pushing them into the blade until they submitted to my will and turned into almond butter. The motor sounded angry, but perked right back up when the deed was done and it works just as well as before so clearly it didn’t do any damage. Some people add oil to get things going, but I didn’t and it worked out well in the end. I have not tried peanuts yet, but I imagine they will be similar to hazelnuts because they are similar textures.

        • Reply
          Kiersten
          February 11, 2013 at 9:52 am

          The blade just would NOT move when I tried to make almond butter. It was stuck. So I used the tamper to try to push the almonds down, and that made it worse. Then I thought I’d do the opposite and try to loosen the almonds up and that worked for a few seconds, but then the blade got stuck again and the machine shut off. I did add a little bit of oil too. I don’t know what went wrong!

  • Reply
    Daria
    February 7, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    This smoothie really looks delicious! And I am really big fan of any kind of smoothies – especially after my morning workout. I will definitely try this! Congrats on new buy. I hope to see more smoothie recipes in the future:-P

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 8, 2013 at 11:02 am

      I have another smoothie recipe waiting to be posted! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    February 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    My Vita was the first big kitchen purchase I made about 6 yrs ago and I can’t imagine life without it. I love it. This is why I don’t juice :โ€œI donโ€™t want to buy $10 worth of produce for 6 ounces of juiceโ€ camp.” Exactly!

    Great looking and sounding smoothie! I have an orange creamsicle (not green) on my site and in 2012 it was my most popular post ever, period. Of 375 other posts, that singular post was the most popular. People love their orange drinks so you’re onto something here!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 8, 2013 at 11:01 am

      Yeah, I love the idea of juicing and I so want to do it, but the cost really holds me back. And using allllll that fresh produce for one glass of juice makes me feel a little bit sad. It reminds me of the scene in Willy Wonka where they put all these plates of food into the machine to make one little gum ball. ๐Ÿ™‚ Whole food juicing works much better for me.

      I’m going to have to check out your smoothie recipe!

  • Reply
    Rochelle @ WheatlessRochelle.com
    February 7, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    I love, love my Vitamix. And this smoothie looks soooo good!

  • Reply
    a farmer in the dell
    February 7, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    This is my kind of smoothie! I am 100 percent on a smoothie kick these days.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    February 7, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    I voted! I love your blog. Also, I keep waiting for my current blender to die, because I want a Vitamix.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 8, 2013 at 10:56 am

      Thank you for voting! I have totally been there waiting for an appliance to die so I can get a better one. I just can’t bring myself to replace something unless it’s completely non-functional. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Carolyn
    February 7, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    I’ve heard about these awesome Vitamix blenders! It sure does seem like a great machine!!!

  • Reply
    Wild Child
    February 7, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    I have a Vita Mix and I would be totally lost without it. As a Celiac who eats gluten and dairy free it is a life saver! Besides making my daily monsters and smoothies, I grind my own flours. Gluten free flours are SO expensive!!! So far I’ve made quinoa, oat and brown rice. I’ve even made powdered sugar, and will never buy it again. I can make just what I need. Ok, I sound like an advertisement, but they’re really worth every penny. Check out Costco – you can usually save at least $100.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 8, 2013 at 10:54 am

      Thanks for your comment! I’m not gluten-free, but I do want to try making some flours with my Vitamix one of these days. I can’t believe you can make powdered sugar with it too!

  • Reply
    SweetSugarbelle
    February 7, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    My kids will love this. We have some sort of green smoothie every day, LOL!

  • Reply
    Stephanie @ henry happened
    February 7, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    I’d love to have one of these – just b/c they sound so cool. Surely it would make me eat more soup and smoothies, right? But first I need a KitchenAid! Until then my crappy blender will have to do.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 8, 2013 at 10:51 am

      I really am making a lot more smoothies since getting this. And I made them pretty frequently before too, but now I have them every single day. I forgot to mention this, but you clean the blender by filling it with hot water and a little soup and turning it on. So now I don’t feel like I’m making a big mess and have so much to clean up every time I make a smoothie. This appeals to my lazy side. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Corinna
    February 7, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Voted for you. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Crista
    February 7, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    wow, this looks AMAZING. anything labeled “orange dreamsicle” catches my attention! I’m in love with your blog and I’m totally voting for you!!!!! good luck!!!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 8, 2013 at 10:46 am

      Thank you for your vote! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Kelly
    February 7, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    That smoothie looks really good. Just wondering, but what is the difference between the Vitamix Turbo Blend VS and the 5200? I have been researching getting a Vitamix and I saw a review of the 5200 but in the picture it looks the same as the one you have (aside from the color being a little different).

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 8, 2013 at 10:45 am

      From what I’ve read, the main differences are the package (the TurboBlend VS comes with a filtration bag and a cookbook & DVD that are geared more towards vegetarians and vegans, the 5200 doesn’t come with the filtration bag and has a more general cookbook & DVD), and the 5200 has a soft grip handle, while the TurboBlend does not.

  • Reply
    Kellie
    February 7, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    I have a vitamix and it took me a long time to convince myself that I should pay that much money for it – and here in Australia it is between $700-$800 so you can see why it took so long for me to make up my mind.

    But its he best money I ever spent – I use it every day to make my smoothies, and now its getting cooler I will be trying it out for soups.

    I’m off now to vote for you.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 8, 2013 at 10:36 am

      Trying one of the soup recipes is next on my list! I’m usually not big on pureed soups, but I figured I have to try it at least once. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for your vote!

  • Reply
    Lisa @ Greek Vegetarian
    February 7, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    You have my vote Kiersten! Good luck with the Homie!!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 8, 2013 at 10:31 am

      Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    JulieD
    February 7, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    So pretty!!!! and good luck!!

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