The issues I have are that most blenders struggle to blend ice properly, sometimes they will struggle to do much to it, other times you just end up with an air pocket and you have to constantly use a spoon to readjust the mix. When you add xanthan gum, things get worse. Xanthan acts as a thickening agent which takes the mixtures from a thick watery much to a nice creamy ice cream texture. Blenders don’t like this and the motors will either burn out or the plastic connection between the jug and motor will get stripped eventually.
I had better successes with an Andrew James hand blender, but that still only lasted a year, and it was a lot more work.
Eventually, I decided to just invest in a good quality blender, hoping it could handle the workload properly. However, good quality blenders are a LOT more expensive than cheaper ones. Initially, my eyes were set on the Magimix Le Blender which at £160 is extremely expensive for me, but quite affordable compared to some. I would have loved a Vitamix but at around £400 this was far too expensive just for making ice-cream.
Eventually, I came across the Nutri Ninja Blender Duo with Auto-iQ (BL642) which is/was currently on offer for £99.99. Still expensive but if it worked then it was worth it.
The package includes several accessories including the blending jug, but also several cups and with a grinding/juicing attachment.
One fo the things that caught my eye about the blender was the triple blade system which I hope would alleviate the issues with air pockets when blending ice.
The blenders itself is massive, or at least massive compared to all the other blenders I have used. While it is mostly a plastic build, it seems to be built really well, the mechanism that attaches the motor to the blender is plastic but it is several times larger and thicker than the alternatives I have used and I can’t imagine it being stripped by heavy usage.
The base has multiple options many of which use auto IQ. This is basically a pre-programmed routine that blends for a few seconds, stops, blends again for a longer person, stops and carries on like that. This seems to be to avoid the issues I have had of the ingredients being thrown to the outer edges and the blender not being able to do anything.
The blades of the blender are extremely sharp, which I found out all too painfully when I first used it, getting a nasty cut on my thumb removing the blades.
In terms of performance, it has done more or less exactly what I wanted. It blends through ice with complete easy. I used to have to part thaw my milk quite a bit before I could blend it, now I just thaw it enough to get it out of the container I put it in.
The mix does still require some adjustments to start, the crushed-up ice milk is a bit like blending dry ingredients so it is unavoidable. Adding the xanthan gum seems to have no effect on the motor and it happily carries on blending, even when I go over the top and add too much.
I have also use the juicing attachment and this is similarly well performing, everything I put in there just got mashed up with no effort at all. It is not my go to attachment for when I mix up Yorkshire pudding batter as the small cup is a perfect size for it, and I don’t have to worry about a lumpy mix anymore.
Overall, while this is an expensive investment compared to some of the blenders on Amazon it is a great buy. You get a great range of accessories and it has absolutely no issue blending anything I put in it. I’d love to be able to see how the Vitamix compares to this. But at 4 times the cost I can’t see why it would be a better buy for the majority of home users.