Owing to Chip's diminutive size, and my weird craving for Oli's protein milkshakes he stashes away at the bottom of the trolley every week and hopes I don't notice (£3 a pop!), we recently decided to jump on last year's bandwagon* and buy a Nutri wotsit blender thing.
The theory was that I could have a daily protein shake to help boost my, er, protein intake, in the hopes that it would help Chip put on weight. But more honestly, it was an excuse to buy a gadget. And everyone loves an excuse to buy a gadget.
Anyway, decision made, we then did some googling and found out that pregnant women shouldn't take high protein supplements, rendering the whole purpose of getting one redundant, but we were too committed by then, so we ploughed on regardless.
We spent about three hours (no joke) in Lakeland trying to decide what the difference was between a blender, a juicer and a fancy pants Nutribullet thing. No one seemed to know. All the Lakeland staff insisted that a blender was basically the same as a Nutri thing but better cos they're bigger and you can do more with them. Like blend baby food.
Ha! Another good excuse! SOLD to the saddos desperate to buy something!
So we came home with the KitchenAid Artisan Blender in lovely retro red.
Everyone loves a bit of KitchenAid don't they? I wish I could bake just so I have an excuse to get the Mixer thing they all use on Bake Off and 'decorate' my kitchen worktop with it (sidenote: GBBO starts again next week - woo!).
Anyway we used our lovely retro blender once to juice some carrots, celery, ginger and apple juice. It created carrot sludge. It was not drinkable, at least not until after we'd strained it through a sieve and chucked away the good stuff. Lesson learnt: blenders do not make drinks.
It also broke the first time we used it. We couldn't get the jug to click back into the base. So we went back to Lakeland (very impressed with them actually, they have a brilliant money-back guarantee) in a grump and swapped it for the Nutri Ninja Pro. Slightly cheaper than the better-PR'd Nutribullet and slightly more ugly, but we liked its robustness, and the fact that it has some kind of artificial intelligence button that you press and it knows exactly how to blend what you've put in there to the right consistency.
The difference, we've learnt, between a traditional blender and a Nutri thing (these need a proper name, it's getting wearing now) is the power. I am sure this is obvious to the rest of the world but anyway. The Nutri things are super powerful, and really do obliterate the contents, meaning you can get near-drinkable consistency from whole apples and carrots. You do however, need to add a lot of water to them (or juice - no, not lost on me that this kind of defeats the point somewhat) to make them liquid enough to not need a spoon to 'drink' them with.
If you want proper JUICE, you have to buy a juicer basically (one where you can chuck everything in and it separates the pulpy stuff from the liquid). What these Nutri machines make are smoothies.
We've had it for a good few weeks now and my verdict is that it's a winner. We've used it every day, and our fruit consumption must have doubled. We mostly make the same thing: a blend of frozen berries, apples, oranges and limes, with some chia seeds chucked in for good measure (the only safe protein option for pregnant ladies). We also tried using low fat yoghurt with the fruit which worked well but needed honey as a sweetener.
Today, to mix it up a bit, we made lemonade with mint, honey and ice. It was quite 'thick' but tasted exactly like the stuff they serve up in jam jars in restaurants and charge you £4.95 for, so felt quite smug...
It may well turn out to be a gimmick, and we may well get bored of it in a month or two, but for now I'm quite pleased with our purchase.
There's only one thing to bear in mind if you get one. The likelihood is you will then walk around supermarket fruit aisles claiming things like 'kiwis are too nice to blend' and 'oh, but it seems a shame to blend a pineapple'.
And then the irony will strike you: in the First World, we're all slightly insane.
*apologies if you already have one of these. You probably all already have one of these, and have probably already got tired of it and relegated it to the back of the corner cupboard. I'm late to the party as always...