Making dishes from scratch is easy with a blender that does it all—and the Vitamix A3500 stand blender is a blender that does it all. From hot soups to cold smoothies and rich nut butters, this is a powerhouse of a blender.
I’m currently on a mission to own as few small kitchen appliances as possible, but Vitamix makes that mission difficult. Their blenders perform so well that I find myself reaching for them every single day. The powerful Vitamix motor can crush ice and cook puréed veggies and the brand’s well-built containers never leak from the lid or base, so cleanup is always easy. Read on to find out what makes the Vitamix A-line stand out and what you can make using a blender like this one.
What’s in the box of the Vitamix A3500 blender?
In the box of the Vitamix A3500, you’ll find the blender’s base, a 1.9L BPA-free low-profile Tritan container, a clear Tritan lid (with lid plug), a plastic tamper, warranty and product information, a quick start guide, and a bilingual French-English Simply Blending cookbook.
(This cookbook is actually great—it’s packed full of tasty recipes that are really easy to make.)
What is a Vitamix blender?
I still remember the first time I heard of Vitamix. Despite being founded in 1921 as the Bernard Sales Company, Vitamix didn’t expand in a big way until the 2000s, when I was in my early teens. I still remember exactly how I was told about the Vitamix, because it’s the same thing that happens whenever I get to tell anyone about the brand.
First, you describe the Vitamix as a fancy type of blender. Then, you tell your audience that they’re popular for making smoothies and soups. Finally, you hit them with the whammy: You don’t have to cook your soup after you blend it in a Vitamix blender! Why not? Oh, no big deal… just that the blender does it for you. Yeah, no big deal, it’s just a blender so powerful that it can crush ice and cook soups.
Heat-safe blenders that warm up your soup are a lot more common now, but I’ll always remember that Vitamix was the first big name on the scene. These blenders are wildly powerful, with motors that are built to last and designs that truly do it all.
Vitamix A3500 stand blender features
The Vitamix A3500 is an extremely comprehensive blender model. With a 1.9L container, the A3500 is a digital design that prioritizes convenience. It has a digital display with five pre-programmed settings and auto-adjustment to match container size, so you can make your favourite dishes without having to think about speed or intensity.
This blender’s self-adjusting program settings include:
- Hot soups
- Dips and spreads
- Frozen desserts
- Self-cleaning mode
All five of these settings stop when completed, making this model particularly handy for streamlining your regular routine. You can also take advantage of a built-in programmable timer and variable speed control for custom recipes, giving you the flexibility between chunky and smooth textures (as well as fresh, dried, and frozen ingredients).
The A3500 also comes with a pulse feature (great for chopping and kneading), an included tamper for safe use, and a peak motor output of 2.2hp. Its container is a 1.9L/64 oz dishwasher-safe, BPA-free Tritan container and its stainless steel blades are laser-cut. The drive system connecting the container to the motor base is metal for maximum durability.
What makes an Ascent blender
Vitamix’s Ascent (“A”) line features SELF-DETECT containers. It’s one of their premium consumer lines, and with five touchable presets, a built-in timer, and a digital display, the A3500 is the current cream of the crop of that line. It offers a level of… I’ll call it walk-away-ability that was previously unmatched.
The A3500 essentially has three levels of hands-off operation. First, there are the preset programs, which adjust speed automatically and turn off after a certain amount of time has elapsed. Then, there’s the blender’s built-in timer, which can be customized for any recipe. Finally, there’s the SELF-DETECT containers, which work wirelessly with the blender’s base to automatically adjust your blend time/blend settings. (Basically, if a SELF-DETECT container registers that nothing is being blended, the A3500’s motor turns off.) The result is a soft-touch blender that’s very, very convenient to set and forget.
What I made in the A3500
I was so ready to write my review of the A3500 stand blender. I picked a recipe off of the Vitamix site for a butternut squash soup, then a second one for acorn squash soup. To make sure all of my ingredients would be fresh at just the right time, I even made a special trip to the grocery store for produce.
And then, Edmonton decided it was going to hit a mid-spring heatwave. Day after day, we saw 30°C weather interspersed with muggy thunderstorms and wildfires. My building’s air conditioning broke, and the next thing I knew, I was living in a time loop of 25°C nights and 30°C days. Our heatwave has broken by now (and my building fixed the AC), but by the start of May, soup season was officially over for me.
I needed to do something else with my A3500—something that wasn’t making hot soup. So, instead, I reached into the freezer and pulled out a bag of blueberries.
Dear reader, over the past week, I have consumed an obscene number of blueberry smoothies thanks to this blender. I toss in all of the ingredients that follow, in the order that Vitamix recommends: liquids, dry goods, leafy greens, fruits and veggies, and finally ice and frozen ingredients. Edmonton may be sweltering, but I am hydrated as heck, and I am getting so much spinach in my diet right now.
- Apple juice
- Frozen blueberries
- Ice cubes
- Coconut milk ice cubes
Two smoothie tips to try this summer
One: Make sure you add enough liquid to your blender. I kept measuring this with my heart; that was a mistake. If you don’t have enough liquid, your smoothie will not get smooth—aim for about a cup of liquid. By my third smoothie, I was adding about 3/4 cups of liquid and my smoothies were blending flawlessly using the smoothie preset.
Two: Out of nut milk? Try adding a couple nuts right after you add your liquids. They’ll create a smoothie that tastes fresh and flavourful, and the powerful Vitamix motor will crush them right up. I added a few spare cashews (maybe three per glass) to my smoothies and the results tasted fantastically nutty and rich.
What you can make in the A3500
The Vitamix A3500 blender makes a beautiful, icy smoothie, but it can do a lot more than that. (Although I definitely think immaculately crushed ice is a blending feat.) While filming, I also used this blender to make lump free crêpe batter for dinner, which picky eaters will know is tough to do at home. Tomorrow night, I’ll be using it to make a butternut squash purée for fresh, homemade ravioli.
Try using your A3500 to make hot soup, nut butters, nut milks, sorbet, baby food, pesto, milkshakes, slushies, smoothies, fro-yo, and more.
How to choose a Vitamix blender
Vitamixes feel like a product that can do it all. However, not every model is made to do it all. To choose a Vitamix blender for you or your family, start by considering what you’re looking for in a product. Some Vitamixes are made with intensity dials while others have preset functions. Some have digital displays while others are all analog. Certain models, like this one, have walk-away presets while others do not, and only some of the brand’s blenders can cook foods. Decide before your purchase whether you prioritize convenience or customization.
The A3500 is one of Vitamix’s do-it-all blenders. It has the walk-away programming, the intensity dials, and the power to cook foods and crush ice. It also has enough power and friction to make smooth nut butters, which many blenders struggle with. I loved using the A3500. This premium blender is incredibly convenient and does a fantastic job of blending, chopping, and puréeing. If you love cooking and prepping from fresh and frozen ingredients, this is an excellent small appliance to add to your kitchen.
Shop the Vitamix A3500 stand blender online at Best Buy today, or check out my review of the Vitamix 6500 if you’re looking for a non-digital option.