As I mentioned in my fruit dehydrating article, I have a slightly unhealthy addiction to kitchen gadgets. This makes me slightly susceptible to late night infomercials. Such was the case a couple of months ago, when I saw an infomercial for NutriBullet. The infomercial was over the top with its health claims, even blurring the lines (no I won’t link to the video) of what I consider legal. In short, they were pitching making the fruit shakes with their blender as a way to unlock the nutrients that will prevent diseases… at least that’s how I interpreted it.
I decided that it might be worth writing an article about this marketing that I considered deceptive. However, the infomercial was hypnotizing. Since my weakness for infomercials only extends to products that are very highly rated on Amazon, I went there to check out the reviews. That’s where I found that consumers really liked the product – there were 1,000 reviews with an average of a 4 rating. This wasn’t like MonaVie distributors saying that they like the product, these people weren’t getting paid to leave a good review.
After review after review mentioned that people lost 15 pounds after getting the NutriBullet, I figured I was going to give it a shot. The NutriBullet might claim to have a special blade that unlocks nutrients, but I think that’s just marketing-speak. It’s a blender, with high-powered motor. I don’t know how it compares to VitaMix or BlendTec, but having seen those blenders at around $400, the $100 price is closer to my blender budget. One of the keys for me (and my wife) was that it was easy to clean. The reviews were spot on in this point, the NutriBullet is easy to clean.
At the end of the day, the NutriBullet can be used for many things, but it really does one thing well… shakes/smoothies. I picked up a bag of frozen fruit from the local BJ’s (a New England regional warehouse like Costco) and typically have two fruit smoothies a day. I mix it up with some fresh bananas and some frozen berries (kick up the antioxidants!). I also add either Fage or Chobani Greek Yogurt (high protein, low carbs, no fat) or whey protein to make it a heartier snack. I tried adding kale and spinach when I first got it, but I added too much and didn’t like the result. I need to get back to that. I also experimented very briefly with adding ground flax-seed for omega 3’s and even some almonds. I think I need to blend more for them to really reach “smoothie” consistency, if they ever do. I expect it to be a little gritty. Overall, it’s a much cheaper and easier alternative to buying really expensive ViSalus shakes.
It’s been a couple of weeks and I’m down about 5 pounds. Like anything else, the trick is to consistently use it. In the heat waves that we had a couple of weeks ago it was a lifesaver. Even my wife, who is skeptical about any new kitchen gadget, has taken to it. So far, it’s like the Sodastream, a great product that worked its way into our lives and helped us be a little healthier than we would otherwise.
If you are looking for Nutribullet recipes, I recommend this website for further details on that.
Clint Storm says
I agree that the nutribullet is a great product. IHowever, isn’t it called a nutrient extractor? I realize that it basically does the same thing as a blender, only it has a much more powerful motor.
Lazy Man says
The “nutrient extractor” is what I labeled a marketing term.
Tough call. Love me a good berry smoothie but I just bought a new blender (a Cuisinart with a so-so but usable food processor attachment), which is what I use for making smoothies, so $100 for another gadget seems a bit steep. If it $50 or less I might jump on it though. The cleanup factor is pretty appealing, but the blender isn’t too much of a hassle as long as I remember to rinse in out quickly and soak it for a little while in some hot soapy water.
I don’t buy any of the arguments about extraction differences. A standard blender chops up everything fine enough; the GI tract can do the rest through digestion, and it’s probably healthier to give the GI tract a bit of a workout with at least a little bit of roughage.
For my smoothies, I buy the freshest locally-grown in-season fruit from the Farmer’s market and then I wash it and freeze it the same day. The flavor and quality is light years better than the frozen fruit from the supermarket — no comparison — and I bet the price is in the same ballpark.
I typically make my smoothies using 1 or more types of berries from my stash of fresh frozen fruit in the freezer (I’ve been loving the cherries lately) with about 4/5 organic skim milk and 1/5 organic unfiltered apple juice along with half a banana — that and the splash of apple juice sweeten it up naturally without being overbearing. Sometimes I add a bit of frozen coconut puree from the Asian supermarket to make it taste like a pina colada. I used to use canned coconut milk until I saw the fat/calorie content on the label — not ideal.
Sometimes I add half a scoop of whey powder too but I had to search high and low for a decent one that’s unflavored. I can’t stand the vanilla stuff — totally ruins the flavor of the berries by masking it with a sickly sweet synthetic taste. Blech! The stuff I found was from Whole Foods (Proventive Harmonized Protein) and I recall it being pretty expensive. Maybe there’s a more economical alternative.
Expect to pay about 20 bucks every 6 months or so for a replacement blade–when the bearings break down and the component starts leaking. While ours worked, it was great. But that was short-lived. This piece of crap is just plastic e-waste now.
Just because a product is in an infomercial doesn’t mean its bogus. I use oxy clean all the time. I do admit the thunderstick was a major disappointment. Glad you are happy with the bullet.
Personally I think the NutriBullet is amazing. Compared to the other smoothie blenders, it does a great job.
Lazy Man says
Jake, of course you do, you created a whole nutribullet guide ;-).
I recently bought my mom a juicer and now she is preferring to go towards the nutribullet. I don’t have any new info on the product but, like you, saw all the great reviews on Amazon.
joe bloe says
Is this the official Nutribullet website? I’m confused!
Lazy Man says
You win the Internets today, joe bloe. Congrats!