Sunday, May 15, 2016

Review: Breville Blend-Active

I already have a piece of kit in my kitchen which blends, crushes, powders, chops, emulsifies and kneads. I have a Thermomix, which although is technically a domestic product, is more commonly found in commercial kitchens. It's a perk of working with the catering sector and I love it, except it's a pain in the behind to clean if you only want to make one little smoothie.

I've had 'cup' blenders before, an especially cheap one via a Groupon deal finally burnt out the motor a couple of years ago and I wrote them off. I'm aware of NutriBullet as well, but couldn't help but wince at the astronomical price tag, especially when I don't need something super powerful alongside the Thermomix. The Breville Blend-Active was an Amazon recommendation after looking at the NutriBullet and I was intrigued. I bought the 'Breville Blend-Active Family Pack' which includes 4 bottles & lids, the blade part & the blender for £27.00, and it's now reduced to £23.99 via Amazon.

So the concept, for the uninitiated, is that you place your ingredients for a smoothie or milkshake or whatever you fancy into the bottle, screw the blade part of the blender on to the top, where you'd normally find a lid, slot the whole thing to the blender base, blend, rinse the blades and use the same bottle to drink your beverage- minimal washing up, maximum convenience.

In the box:


As mentioned, mine came with 4 bottles- 2 x 600ml and 2 x 300ml plus 4 lids which fit both sized bottles and have a rubberised seal to prevent leaking and a flip off cap over the drinking spout. There are packages available which include fewer bottles and are therefore a bit cheaper (the version with 2 bottles is sub £20). I opted for 4 because it gives me flexibility to prep ahead for a bit further.

1 set of blades. These are straightforward to clean and store easily sat in the top of the blender base or screwed onto the top of a bottle. Hurrah for no awkward ridges or nooks that make cleaning a mammoth job.

1 blender base. The bit with the motor. You use the blend function by holding the front button- you can't switch it on and leave it, but for soft item, you shouldn't need to. I usually pulse my smoothies a few times and then hold the button to blend continuously for 10-20 seconds depending on the contents of my smoothie or shake.

Does it work?

Yes. It does. It happily blends my fruit and smoothie mixes, banana & milk protein powder shakes, and liquids. It's quick- less than 30 seconds to get everything blitzed down. There's minimal cleaning- often the blades only need carefully rinsing and the bottles are dishwasher safe as well.

But- this is not a powerful tool- blitzing frozen dense fruits (frozen mango, papaya and pineapple for example may leave you with a frozen slushy sitting in part of the bottle with other parts less blended. This is also a snag on using bottles. You can use it for ice, but keep it to small amounts.

If you're looking for a reduced size blender that will make everything from  smoothie to a nut butter, this is not for you. Invest in something with a more powerful motor. But it is great for the purpose it is advertised- drinks, smoothies, shakes etc.

Breville BlendActive Review CMB

Would you recommend it? 

Yes. I think it's a great and well priced product. It does what it says on the tin (box?). I love being able to make my own pre and post workout shakes with ingredients more interesting than protein powder and milk, it's been a key tool for me to make a breakfast that is convenient and all the parts are easy to store and clean.

I don't think it's the most versatile piece of kitchen kit I own, and for that reason I wouldn't recommend it if you are looking to economise on the volume of appliances you own and need something that fulfills more functions. It's a very convenient piece of additional kit if you have space and you regularly make smoothies, milkshakes or blended drinks.

And to wrap it up, here's a favourite post training milkshake recipe of mine. A treat after a 1 hour+ work out.

print recipe

Peanut Butter Recovery Milkshake
An easy milkshake that I enjoy after workouts of more than 1 hour.
  • 200ml Milk (dairy, almond, soya)
  • 0.5 teaspoon PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter OR
  • 1 teaspoon Peanut Butter
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 scoop (optional) Protein powder of choice
  • 3 cubes Ice
Cut or break banana into piecesAdd milk, banana pieces, peanut butter or PB2, ice and protein powder to blender bottle Blend until smoothEnjoy
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 serving

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