Vitamix CIA Professional Series
Alex Juel rates this 4/5
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Nobody Can Compete Against The Vitamix CIA Series Blender From: Vitamix

It's one of the strongest and fastest blenders on the market and can turn nuts and seeds into powder and fruits and vegetables into liquid. I love how easy it is to clean too.

It's expensive. It's also a little tall when the container is on top of the base, so it might not fit under your cabinets in one piece. It's sort of loud when it's set on High too, but it wasn't unexpected.

The Vitamix blender is one of the best purchases you can ever make for your kitchen.

Nobody Can Compete Against the Vitamix Blender

I purchased the Vitamix CIA (Culinary Institute of America) series blender only a few weeks ago, and I've been using it like crazy. I've wanted a Vitamix for a long time, but I kept holding out because they're so expensive. I finally broke down and bought one though, after getting a 20% off coupon from Bed, Bath and Beyond and receiving a small bonus from work.

I own the Ninja blender and I have a Bullet blender as well, but neither of them work anywhere near as well as the Vitamix, no matter how long you let them run. For example, I made an almond nut spinach soup in the Ninja and it just couldn't chop up the nuts well enough. I didn't really enjoy the soup because of the large nut pieces. That wouldn't be a problem in the Vitamix.

The Vitamix is so strong, that it can blend the seeds in strawberries. It can turn nuts into power - or nut butter if you leave the nuts in a little longer. It runs so fast that it can warm up your soup in only a few minutes.

The Vitamix vs. The Ninja Blender

The Vitamix works so well because it has a super-strong 2+ peak hp motor that runs at speeds of 240 mph. I'm not sure about the mph of the the Ninja Blender, but it runs at 1100 watts. According to some quick research online, 746 watts = 1 horsepower. By that conversion rate, the Vitamix is somewhere above 1,400 watts.

That doesn't seem like a huge difference between the Vitamix and Ninja in terms of watts, but after using each of them, you ca definitely tell the Vitamix is stronger. I read a lot of reviews on the Vitamix before I bought it and one of the interesting statements that I came across is that it works so well because of the style of the blade. The blade is designed to suck food down into itself. The Ninja blade doesn't work that way. I believe this is the reason that the Vitamix is such a great blender.

Dry Blade vs. Wet Blade

Depending on where you purchase the Vitamix, it will come with either the dry blade or the wet blade. The only two brick and mortar stores that I know of that sell the Vitamix blender is Costco and Bed, Bath and Beyond (BBB). The Costco model comes with the dry blade and the BBB model comes with the wet blade.

My research shows that the wet blade can easily blend both wet and dry ingredients, but it can't blend dry ingredients as well as the dry blade can. That's not to say it still doesn't do a great job though. The dry blade is the most efficient way to blend dry ingredients, but it can't blend wet ingredients well at all. So the only reason you would want to purchase the dry blade is if you plan to use the blender primarily for dry ingredients. I highly recommend purchasing the wet blade version.

Costs of the Different Models

There are several different models to choose from, all of which come with a 7 year warranty.

If you go to the Vitamix website, the 5200 and the TurboBlend VS are the same machine, but they come with different extras. You can compare all of the extras from the Vitamix comparisons page (, but basically you can choose packages based on the containers (dry or wet blade), recipe books, and cooking utensils.

If you go to Bed Bath & Beyond, you'll have the option to purchase two different models - the CIA Professional Series or the TurboBlend 4500. The CIA model is the same thing as the 5200 on the Vitamix website. The 4500 though, is the same strength as the other models, but it doesn't have the variable speed control. The only speeds on the 4500 model is high and low, which is probably good enough for most people and it's more than $100 cheaper. I went all out and got variable speeds though, just so that I wouldn't regret it later.

The CIA series comes with a really nice recipe book that comes in a three-ring binder. I didn't count all of the recipes in the cookbook, but I estimate it somewhere around 300. The photos are beautiful and all of the recipes were created by to chefs in the industry. My Vitamix also came with a small CIA Master Chefs cookbook, containing 31 recipes and a  "Let's Get Started" DVD showing how to make a selection of what I believe are probably the most popular recipes.

Using the Vitamix

The Vitamix is more than a simple blender. You can make smoothies just like you'd find at Jamba Juice. No chunks at all. You can blend ice into slushees and you can make perfect margaritas. You can make soups and even warm them up, entirely in the Vitamix. You can make ice cream, peanut butter and you can even make dough.

I've even been blending MTC oil (a coconut and palm oil based supplement) into my morning coffee. Everyone knows that oil and liquid doesn't mix, but the Vitamix sucks it all up and mixes it together. It makes the coffee taste awesome and creamy, without having to put any type of dairy or creamer in it.

One of the best things about the Vitamix, and one of the reasons I've been using it so often, is because it's so easy to clean. All you need to do is pour 5 cups of warm water into the container, add three drops of dish soap and blend on high for 30-60 seconds. Rinse it out and put it away. I love it!


Want an idea of some of things you can make in the Vitamix? Here are a couple of awesome and simple recipes that I chose out of the recipe book.

Note: the following images come straight from the Create recipe book from Vitamix

Banana Blueberry Orange Smoothie

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 medium orange, peeled, halved
  • 1 small banana, peeled, frozen
  • 1/2 cup frozen unsweetened blueberries
1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
2. Select Variable 1
3. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High
4. Blend for 1 minute or until desired consistency is reached

Tortilla Soup

Soup Base:
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken, beef or vegetable broth
  • 1 roma tomato, halved
  • 1 carrot, halved
  • 1 stalk celery, halved
  • 1 thin slice of onion, peeled
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 thin slice of yellow squash
  • 1 thin slice of red bell pepper
  • 1 thin slice of cabbage
  • 1 mushroom
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
  • dash cumin

Optional Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup diced, cooked chicken breast
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup pitted olives
  • 1/4 cup unsalted canned corn, drained
  • 2 ounces baked tortilla chips

1. Place all soup base ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
2. Select Variable 1
3. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High
4. Blend for 5-6 minutes or until heavy steam escapes from the vented lid.
5. If adding optional ingredients, reduce speed to Variable 2. Remove the lid plug.
6. Add chicken, jalapeno, olives, corn and chips through the lid plug opening. Blend for an additional 10 seconds.

Whole Wheat Waffles

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk, low fat or soy
  • 2 large eggs, beaten or 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or honey
  • 4 ounces soft tofu
Note: Use 3/4 cup of wheat berries in place of whole wheat flour. Grind berries into flour using a Vitamix Dry Blade container for 1 minute on High prior to using in recipe.

1. Combine flours, baking powder and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl. Set aside.
2. Place milk, eggs, sugar and tofu into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid. Select Variable 1.
3. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
4. Blend for 20 seconds.
5. Reduce speed to Variable 4 and remove the lid plug.
6. Add the flour mixture slowly through the lid plug opening and blend an additional 10 seconds until incorporated.
7. Let batter sit 5-10 minutes before cooking to yield best texture and flavor.
Date Reviewed: May 14, 2012, 10:11 pm
Reviewed by Alex Juel
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