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Or am I just doing it wrong? I have what I consider a typical blender that you might find in any American kitchen. It's a glass container with a cross shaped blade. The problem I have is that pieces often get underneath the blade and don't get blended at all. With smoothies in particular as well, if it's too thick the blade tends to spin too fast and keep everything pushed out to the sides and not actually blend. This is mostly a problem if trying to make a thick milkshake.

I have tried adding in thing like fruit while the blender is going in hopes that it wouldn't make it to the bottom without being blended but that doesn't seem to work really well. I've been reduced to blending multiple times (starting with a small amount of well blended material and slowly adding in the "chunks" from the previous attempt while the blender is running), but that is fairly time consuming.

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8 Answers 8

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Ahh, the complexities of blending. Have you tried pulsing the smoothie? Short bursts tend to stir up some of the stuff that sneaks below the blades.

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This sometimes helps but is far from foolproof. Probably the best answer out there though. –  Ryan Elkins Jul 10 '10 at 17:17

I find that I can great smoothies with a small stick mixer as it gives me better control. If you don't have one you also try pulsing to mix things up

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+1 for stick blender. I gave up on a regular blender long ago. –  Rebekah Aug 11 '10 at 18:20

I make a smoothie every morning for myself and my wife to take on the drive to work, and I've yet to have anything get caught under my blades - so although I don't have a specific answer to your question, I'll relay my process and see if it helps :)

Night: Take out 20oz fruit and put in fridge. Generally, 2 fresh bananas and a couple large handfuls of pre-bagged frozen fruit from our local warehouse store. Allow to defrost overnight.

Morning: Put 10oz vanilla soy milk, 3oz yogurt, 3oz greek yogurt into blender. Pour defrosted fruit on top. Blend on lowest setting for about 15 seconds, then increase speed every 5 seconds until I'm at the top speed. It takes me about 3 minutes to get my dogs' food ready, so I just let it run the whole time I'm doing that. Pour, enjoy!

I forget our exact blender model, but I know that it's slightly squared off, not completely rounded, and it also came with a food processor attachment so it's decent with a relatively strong motor, but far from professional or Blendtec-quality.

Even though I'm not working with frozen fruit, the smoothie is plenty cold between the dairy ingredients and the refrigerated defrosted fruit. But, if I want a thicker/colder smoothie sometimes I'll throw a little ice in as well.

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I had the same problem, and found that if you freeze the fruit beforehand it doesn't mush itself under the blades as much. I also generally start blending on high and, as the smoothie gets more blended, work down to lower and lower speeds.

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I have an Oster blender, and bought a special ice crushing blade for making smoothies. Stuff seems much less likely to get caught; the blade that came with it was almost useless as it would just cavitate under the food and spin uselessly.

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Yeah, I've noticed that sometimes the food doesn't have enough weight to push itself down onto the blades if it isn't wet enough. –  Ryan Elkins Oct 3 '10 at 14:40

Maybe you need to invest in one of these: Blendtec :)

I have a Kenwood Smoothie 2GO. It's pretty effective and I don't find ingredients getting stuck under the blades. Make sure you get one that has one of the blades that points down, this catches ingredients that sit below the blade quite well.

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I've thought about it. I actually work very close to their offices. Right now I have some regular cheapo blender. I'd love a Blendtec once I can afford that much for a blender. –  Ryan Elkins Jul 10 '10 at 17:17
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Power of the blender engine made all the difference for me. –  Kara Marfia Sep 30 '10 at 12:52
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@Ryan, I have a Vita-Mix (same class as the Blendtec) and it's totally bad ass. I've never had an issue with smoothies. Or making peanut butter. Or anything else for that matter. We hardly ever used our blender because it sucked. We use the vita-mix all the time. –  yossarian May 14 '11 at 17:24
    
+1 on the Vita-mix. Unfortunately, it's our $400 smoothie machine –  Ray Mitchell May 15 '11 at 17:23
    
@yossarian/@ray - i'd love to blow a few $$$ on a blendtec or vita-mix but.....for a sub $30 mixer the kenwood does a pretty reasonable job for the occasional smoothie/cocktail. –  Kev May 15 '11 at 22:09

It's best to add the juice before the frozen parts so that you prevent that the bottom gets icy, cold and sticky.

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I tip the blender over at an angle and shake vigorously giving a pulse of power when stuff has moved around enough. It works well. I should probably add that I am using a stick type with a bowl attachment but I would do the same with a table top blender.

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