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One day a few weeks ago the other half came home with a certain brand of smoothie drink for us to try. I was really impressed by the taste but when he told me that it cost £3 for one cartoon I became a little distressed! As his birthday was coming up I decided that it would be more economical to invest in a smoothie maker. After a lot of agonising I plumped for the Kenwood 12620 Simply Smoothie. It was one of the top rated smoothie makers on Amazon.
WHAT ARE SMOOTHIES:
I'm sure that you will all know this, but smoothies are basically fruit, blended until (yes you guessed it!) smooth! Smoothie makers also make juices and thickies (with yoghurt etc in them).
I paid £29.99 for the Simply Smoothie from Amazon, so I'm guessing it may be slightly more elsewhere.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?
Good question. Well, on arrival the other half ripped open his present. The machine comes well packaged in various pieces of cardboard. Inside you get the base, the jug (which has the blades attached inside), a lid, cover, stirrer, tap and instruction/recipe booklet. The jug has a 1.8 litre capacity so if you fill it that's a lot of smoothie! To set it up you need to first of all wash out with soapy water. Then you need to screw the tap into the hole on the front of the machine. Then twist the jug into the base which was really easy. The lid also twists on and then you either use the cover or the stirrer for the hole in the lid. The recipe booklet has some really lovely recipes in, including some with chocolate ice cream and some cocktails.
I have to say that we were really excited about the prospect of having our own fresh smoothies in the morning. Once our maker was set up we raided our fruit supplies and got to chopping! You can add pretty much any fruit to your smoothie, although it's advisable to juice an apple first (which we didn't do so our 'smoothie' was more of a 'chunkie').
Once we'd added our fruit and our ice (which you have to add last according to the instructions) we started to blitz. The instructions say to press speed one for 10 seconds and then speed two (faster) for 15 seconds. However, we didn't find this enough time so we blitz ours for a bit longer each time to try and get it as smooth as possible, and also to try and get the ice crushed in. If you have to stirrer in then you can use this (supposedly) to push down any stray pieces of fruit. I say supposedly because the stirrer is far to short to reach most of the fruit which is annoying. It means you have to take the lid off to use it to push the fruit down and then put the lid back on again to continue blitzing.
One thing we noticed straight away was that the unit is noisy but as its only on for a very short time this is no problem. It has rubber feet underneath so it doesn't slip.
The main problem with this machine is that the tap is rubbish. it gets blocked really easily and for most of our smoothies we get a few dribbles before it stops completely. Occaisionally it will pour but only really if you tip the unit forwards and this can lead to dripping issues! There is a guard in the unit which prevents anything big going down the tap but this just means that it clogs really easily. We always make sure that we unscrew the jug and pour it so that we don't miss any of that fruity goodness!
So the all important taste test, yummy!! I have to say that having your own smoothies really does make you feel good and they taste so delicious. Obviously you can get a couple of your five a day in this glass so they are really healthy. We have our smoothies at all times of the day, although I think they're best at breakfast.
Onto cleaning. I recommend washing the machine straight after you've made the smoothie as otherwise all the fruit dries on and some serious soaking is required! If you clean it straight away it all rinses out really easily. The blades do come out but we clean ours with the blades in as its a bit of a faff getting them out. The tap just rinses through as well.
There is an ice crusher button for lovely cool drinks which is great.
Well, yes in so far as I think smoothie makers are a great idea and we have used it a lot since we got ours. It really is a good incentive for eating lots of fruit and keeping healthy which is definately a good thing. However, the fact that the tap doesn't work really does annoy me but I can live with it. I can see this being a problem on quite a few smoothie makers. I would recommend this but do some research first to see whether there are other makers which have a tap which works better, for the price, though, it isn't bad.