Thursday, October 23, 2014

Nutri Ninja: Review and recipes

Note: I was given a  to try with no obligation to blog about it. I met with company representatives way back in June at Fitbloggin' and they said I might be receiving one. This review reflects my own experiences with the product but is not compensated in any way. This review also contains Amazon Affiliate links.

I was impressed by the smoothies created by the Nutri Ninja representatives at Fitbloggin', and thrilled when I received my very own Nutri Ninja pro to review This product has been sitting, unopened, until I got my midterm grades done and had a chance to play with it. I'm pretty experienced with blenders and food processors, so I wanted to see if this could replace both products. It comes with a motorized base, two different sizes of cups (18 and 24 oz.) with two lids and a blade attachment that fits both cups.  The idea is that you could quickly blend up a smoothie or juice blend and head off to start your busy day. There is also a recipe book with 30 recipes for smoothies, green juices, salsas, and dips.
Peanut butter was not listed as one of the applications, but that's what I use my food processor for, so I thought I'd give it a try.  My peanut butter has three ingredients: Unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, peanut oil, and salt. 
I loaded up the larger of the two blender cups and got started. I only roughly measure but it is about 1 tablespoon each of oil and salt to a full jar of nuts. I had to leave some of the nuts out because I didn't want to overfill the blender cup -- I added them in later after things had blended a bit. 

The instructions say to use short pulses instead of one long one, so I pulsed away for a while. I took the cup off and kind of shook it to make things mix a little more evenly. It took a little longer than in the food processor and the result was more liquid than I usually get, but it was easier to get the peanut butter out for storage.

I was planning to make a smoothie with peanut butter, so I decided to get as much of the peanut butter out of the cup and then use the same cup to make my smoothie, so as not to waste any. I scraped out the cup as well as I could and estimate that about 1 tablespoon was left in the jar.

 Berry Butter Smoothie:

1 cup frozen blueberries
1 small banana
1 cup lowfat plain kefir
1 cup baby greens
1/2 teaspoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon peanut butter

Nutritional info for entire recipe: 446 calories, 11.6 g fat, 70.6 g carbs, 8.7 g fiber, 48.7 g sugar, 21.2 g protein

As you can see, this recipe makes a meal replacement smoothie, not just a snack. If you want a snack, share it with someone. This ended up being my lunch today.

Be sure to measure out the fruit and not just estimate, as one cup of blueberries doesn't look like as much as you think, and the fruits (and nut butter) provide most of the calories in this smoothie. I did feel free to just pack in the greens, since one whole cup was only 7 calories.

Then I was ready to lid up and blend. The smoothie came together much more quickly than the peanut butter did.

Obviously you could make this smoothie in any blender and not just the Nutri Ninja. I noticed again that the consistency was much more liquid than I get from my blender -- my blender tends to leave things slushier. It's probably a matter of personal preference. However, that smoothness is why you can use this to make juices as well.

You can just put the lid on and go -- unfortunately, I found that my straw was not long enough to go all the way into the big cup, and I managed to get some peanut butter on the outside of the cup, so I decided to pour this into another glass. The smaller cup would be better for individual smoothies.

Everything cleaned up very easily by hand. I just put a little dish soap in the cup, filled it with hot water, and shook it to start rinsing it out.  It looked clean after a quick hand-ways, but it still smelled a little like peanut butter, so I was happy to see in the instructions that everything except the motor base (which can't be immersed in water) can go on the top rack of the dishwasher.

I don't think the Nutri Ninja can replace a food processor, just because it tends to liquify everything. If you want to make tabbouli or even chunky peanut butter, I don't think this is the device. There is a salsa recipe in the accompanying recipe booklet, but I think you would have to be very careful not to turn that into vegetable juice.  If you are someone who enjoys smoothies, protein shakes, or juices (especially green juices, which are hard to get smooth enough in the blender), this is very quick and convenient, and less expensive than some of its competitors.  It feels very durable and high-quality.

Do you have any favorite smoothie or protein shake combos to recommend?


  1. 11:51 AM

    I would never think to make my own peanut butter! Hopefully I'm still on the list for my own Ninja.

    1. 10:09 PM

      They had told me it might take a while to get mine -- hopefully yours ships soon.

  • 7:52 PM

    Thanks for your reply on this. I was wondering what is the diameter at the top of the cup with the lid off?

    1. 8:46 AM

      I checked the package documentation and couldn't find this answer. It looks to be about 4" but I'm guessing it's metric. Sorry I couldn't help!

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