A blender for smoothies, nut butters, milkshakes and ice crushing: do we have to go up to the Vitamix/Blendtec range, or is there a lower-end blender that you'd recommend for our needs?
Threads like this one
have me 50% of the way to going with a Blendtec or Vitamix, but the price tag -- especially here in Canada -- is a scary, scary thing.
Blenders in the $50 range have always died quickly in our house, though, usually as a result of trying to crush ice or create nut butters.
So while the idea of spending $600 on a blender doesn't enthuse me, the idea of spending $50-$100 continually for an endless series of them doesn't thrill me either.
We have a Cuisinart food processor, which we love, but a blender for more convenient food prep is definitely the next thing on our kitchen-acquisition list.
1. Is there a lower-end blender that delivers reliable nut-buttering, ice-crushing power over the long term while costing less than $500?
2. Is there a recommended Canadian retailer for such a blender?
3. If a Blendtec/Vitamix really is the best answer for my needs, which model would you recommend? Vitamix in particular seems to have a lot of 'em.