The dog days of summer are definitely here.  Yes, even here on the Colorado Front Range, the daily temps are near 100, and the mile high elevation makes the daytime sun intense.   Grilling and barbequing are out of the question, and it’s time to give the oven and stovetop a break.   With the weather so hot, all I wanted this past weekend were cool, crisp salads, and delicious frozen smoothies.

But my vintage 1975 Osterizer Pulse-Matic 16 just wasn’t cutting it anymore.  While my $5 garage-sale-find 20 years ago just will not die, this past weekend I decided I could spend $100 on a blender that will actually grind a frozen strawberry.

So I did my research, watching YouTube comparison videos and reading product reviews.  (I think I spent more time picking out my new blender than I did buying my last vehicle.)  I wanted a blender that could handle whole raw foods like carrots and apples.  The Vita-Mix is hands down the best at pulverizing greens and veggies.  But the $500 price tag was not in my budget.  So I opted for the Ninja Kitchen System 1200.

I brought it home, unpacked it from the styrofoam and plastic sleeves, and set it up next to my ancient Osterizer.  The Ninja’s tall 9-cup pitcher and 6 gleaming blades made my old blender look like the relic it is.  I almost felt sorry for it.  Almost.

Osterizer Pulse-Matic 16 and the new Ninja Blender

Move over Osterizer – the Ninja is here!

I decided to give the Ninja the toughest blending job I could imagine.  Into the pitcher went ¼ cup of pineapple juice, a whole, raw cut-up carrot, a cucumber cut into chunks, a quartered apple and two handfuls of baby spinach leaves.  I put the lid on and locked it down.  Pressed the power button, then hit the “blend” button.

My husband came running into the kitchen to find out what disaster was occurring.  Rather than yell over the racket, I smiled and pointed to my new powerful blender, pulverizing fresh produce into smoothie-straw submission.

This month I will be putting my new blender through the paces.  The next few posts will cover the serious health benefits of smoothies – there are many.  And I’ll be posting my daily smoothie concoctions on Facebook.   Give them a try, and share your own smoothie creations by commenting here, or posting pictures of them on the Families Eating Better Facebook Page.

You can also download a copy of my “Beat the Heat” healthy smoothie recipes.

Start blending, stay cool.