blender.jpgA blender is a blender is a blender, right? Wrong. I’m the first to admit I was one of those people who couldn’t figure out why I’d pick up a high speed blender as opposed to old trusty, the basic blender I’ve used forever.

But lately I’ve been noticing how old trusty wouldn’t grind up almonds, and it struggled with anything other than the most basic of smoothies. As for frozen fruit, forget it, and it has never been the greatest when it comes to crushing ice either.

That’s why when I was asked to review the Kenwood Blend X-Pro blender, I jumped at the chance. I wanted to see what the difference was between a basic blender and one that’s designed to do a little bit of everything and do it well.

Appearance

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The Kenwood Blend X-Pro is one of those small appliances that look good on a kitchen counter. It’s sleek and sliver, with a large 1.6 litre glass goblet and 6 pre-set buttons that light up when the blender is switched on. It has a shiny silver set of MultiZone blades, so it can blend, crush, chop, or grind with just a touch. Just a note-if you have an older blender you clean frequently and you never worry about reaching inside to swipe out any residue, you won’t want to do that with the Kenwood Blend X-Pro. The blades are sharp to the touch, and I can hold up my bandaged hand and attest to the fact that you’ll definitely cut yourself if you do. Lesson learned.

Features

The Kenwood Blend X-Pro has so many great features it will be your go-to kitchen appliance. In addition to the stainless steel MultiZone blades, it has a 1000-watt Quattropole intelligent motor that blasts through everything you put inside. My favourite feature? The 1.6-litre Thermo-resist glass goblet. I’ve always had plastic goblets on my blenders and having a glass goblet really makes a difference. You can blend hot soups or sauces quickly and easily, and you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’re blender can take it.

The blender also has 6 presets for drinks, soup, ice, chopping, fine chopping, and rinsing. I couldn’t wait to test out the rinsing, because washing a blender is not my idea of a good time.

Test

When testing the blender, I wanted to go where no blender of mine has gone before, and that’s coffee beans. I have a small coffee bean grinder I’ve used when making espresso, but I can never get the grind fine enough for my tastes. I grabbed a bag of my favourite dark roast, threw it in the Blend X-Pro, and hit the fine chop button. Here’s a quick Vine video of how quickly the Kenwood Blend X-Pro blasted through those beans. Not only did the blender crush those beans to the perfect fine grind, the espresso I made after was amazing.

To check out how easily it grinds ice I dropped in an entire tray full of ice cubes and pressed the ice button. The Blend X-Pro crushed the ice into snow, and I loved how easy it was to scoop it out and add it to the kid’s drinks.

The Blend X-Pro also makes a mean smoothie, and this time I didn’t have to skip the frozen fruit. We just added yogurt, frozen strawberries, and milk, and then hit the drink button. Within seconds it crushed that fruit and drinks were served.

presets-blender.jpgBut for me, the real test of a blender was whether or not it would be able to crush up all of the ingredients required for my favourite brain bites. I’ve always made them one step at a time in my blender-first crushing the almonds, then the dates, and only adding everything together once they were both sufficiently chopped. If I didn’t do it in steps, the blender wouldn’t be able to crush it all.

In the Blend X-Pro I threw caution to the wind and tossed everything in at once, then turned the dial to high and hit the chop preset button. It came through with flying colours, crushing everything together, and after eating the mix I really feel as though the blender was responsible for how great of a batch is was. It was mixed perfectly, no bigger chunks of dates or almonds in there at all.

Cleanup

Here’s where the Blend X-Pro really shines. You know how you can get food stuck in the bottom of a blender that may be hard to get out during clean up? I’ve always popped my hand in there and wiped out anything remaining so when I put the blender in the dishwasher it would come out clean, but there’s no reason to do that with the Blend X-Pro. One of the 6 preset buttons is ‘Rinse,’ and all you have to do is fill it up with water and turn it on. The blender will swirl the water around with the blades, creating what looks like a small funnel inside, then you just pour your water out and pop it in the dishwasher.

multi-blade-blender.jpgEvaluation

I was really impressed with the Kenwood Blend X-Pro. It’s easy to use, blends better than I could have ever expected, and has enough power to blast through every ingredient all at once. I love how it saves time in the kitchen, and with a blender like that on my counter, I’m much more likely to want to experiment with soups, sauces, and smoothies. But out of all the great features, the rinse feature was my favourite. It really took the extra work out of cleaning a blender.

As far as any negatives, I can honestly say I nothing to criticize on this blender. It looks great and gets the job done.

Tips

This is a great blender you can use to experiment with smoothies, and I decided to try to replicate my favourite Banana Almond Smoothie I get from Freshi in the mall. I took a basic recipe and improvised a bit, so be sure to try it if you pick up your own Kenwood Blend X-Pro:

 

 Banana Almond Smoothie

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Ingredients:

2 large ripe bananas, peeled, sliced

2 cups whole milk

2 cups ice cubes

½ cup unsalted almonds

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sprinkle of nutmeg

 

Directions

Add all ingredients at once and blend!

I loved the Kenwood Blend X-Pro, and it is definitely on my list of must-buy small appliances for my kitchen. Having small appliances that do the job and do it well makes cooking more fun, so I’m looking forward to crushing up a little bit of everything in this blender.