Most blenders are similar when it comes to their use and function. Get together your ingredients, stick them in the blender and start blending.
But when it comes to vacuum blenders, you’re doing more than just blending – you’re getting rid of the oxygen in the container beforehand. This way, the delicate nutrients released while blending don’t become oxidize in the process.
Blender and juice machine manufacturer, Froothie, kept this in mind while developing their own new Optimum VAC2 Vacuum Blender. They wanted to address the concerns of individuals who were looking to maximize nutrition and get the most from their smoothies.
What Is Vacuum Blending and What Are The Benefits?
Vacuum blending refers to a blender that creates a particularly tight seal when creating smoothies. In the case of the Optimum VAC2 Vacuum Blender, it allows users to activate a vacuum pump accessory, which removes air from the blended mix.
By removing oxygen from the blender, you’re receiving multiple benefits:
1. Reduced Oxidation: when you remove air bubble from a smoothie, you’re also removing oxygen particles. Oxygen causes oxidation (the process that makes an apple or avocado brown when you slice it, for example). Most fruit and vegetables oxidize quickly when exposed to the air, and it can completely change the colour of your smoothie after a quick blend session. Removing the air from the blender helps slow this process down.
2. Increased Nutrition: oxidation makes smoothies less healthy by destroying the delicate antioxidants like vitamin C. In his book, The New Optimum Nutrition Bible, leading nutrition expert, Patrick Holford, points out that vitamin C and the fat-soluble vitamins A and E are particularly prone to oxidation, and are lost over a relatively short period of time (1).
3. Better Tasting Smoothie: with a vacuum blender, the ingredients are more tightly compact, and there is less foam and bubbles – meaning a more powerful burst of flavour and more creamier texture. The absence of air in the blender also helps keep the colours bright (as you’ll soon see in my experiment below).
4. No Separation: leaving a smoothie out to sit after being blended in a traditional blender will often result in separation of the ingredients (as will be shown below). Vacuum blending emulsifies the ingredients better than non-vacuum blending, meaning no separation. When you use a regular blender to create a smoothie, the water from the ingredients will start to settle towards the bottom of the container, while the remaining components float on the surface.
Optimum VAC2 Vacuum Blender
One of my favourite vacuum blenders I’ve had the chance of using in my own kitchen is the Optimum VAC2 Vacuum Blender.
Not only does this blender provide you with an option for vacuum blending, but you can also use it as a conventional blender to make soups, nut butters, and to grind up flours or whatever else you have in mind.
Upon opening the VAC2 Vacuum Blender, I was greeted with a brilliantly shiny red blender base, 2L jar, two-part lid, tamper tool, a full-colour recipe book (with over 70+ mostly vegan recipes), two spare vacuum seals, three spare vacuum seal buttons and of course, an instruction manual.
The blender also comes in the colours black and silver. I’ve never owned a red blender, so I was quite pleased by the choice that Froothie picked out for me!
The build of the blender itself is extremely sturdy. It comes with a strong BPA-free two-litre jar, meaning no nasty chemicals from the plastic are making it into your food. The tamper is also useful when making thicker blends like nut butters, sorbet, and for pushing down ingredients that just aren’t blending. Some blenders don’t come with tampers, and I can’t begin to tell you how inconvenient it is to stop the blender, take off the lid, push the ingredients down and repeat (x5). Blenders that come with tampers are as good of an invention as vacuum blenders themselves!
The VAC2 lid is comprised of two parts. The main lid that secures onto the blender, and the smaller inside lid that can be removed to insert the tamper. The smaller lid is mostly used for when you want to use the vacuum function, or if you’re not using the tamper and just want to do some regular blending.
The larger lid is, I admit, a little tough to remove from the blender. The soft plastic they use to secure the blender lid to the blender is to ensure no air can enter back into the blender once you vacuum it all out. So while the lid is designed for that specific purpose, I still have to wrestle with it a little bit every time I need to take it off.
The VAC2 jar comes with six blades, instead of the standard four that come with most blenders. There are two horizontal blades, two angled blades, and two extra below the main blade unit. They are longer than those in the Vitamix, so they reach further and ensure everything is blended, with no chunks left behind.
The one thing I don’t like about the blender is that you can’t remove the blades. So, anything you are wanting to blend up that isn’t as liquid as a smoothie gets left behind at the bottom (a bit of a waste here!). While you can’t remove the blades to get thicker mixes out of the base of the blender, it isn’t much of a problem when trying to clean. As demonstrated in the video below, all you need to do is put a little bit of warm water at the base, add some soap, pulse on the blender for 5-10 seconds, and voila! Your sticky mess is taken care of.
Another feature I really liked about the blender was that the jar attaches to a motor housing covered in a rubber cushion pad. This creates a nice, snug fit when the jar is set in place, and it also helps absorb the vibrating sounds that are less than pleasant without a little cushion.
Using The Optimum VAC2 Vacuum Blender
I’ll admit, the first time I used the blender I didn’t read the instructions very well, and came across a couple problems. So I’d highly recommend reading the instruction manual carefully before using the blender. I guess my excitement to start using the blender made me get a little ahead of myself.
What did I do wrong? First, I filled the jug past the two-litre mark (yes, I drink A LOT of smoothie for breakfast!). Then, I turned on the vacuum, and plugged it up. Then, I wasn’t sure how to take the lid off, as it was vacuum sealed and wasn’t budging.
Well, how about we learn from my mistakes and start by remembering that the manual was put there for a purpose (yes, I am laughing at myself).
Operating the blender is actually quite simple. It has a large, bright LED display, and it comes with four one-touch presets; smoothie, veg&fruits, nuts, and soup. There are also manual functions that allow you to pulse, set the timer and blender speed via a large dial, and of course, the vacuum function. While you can set a time and speed, you aren’t stuck with that speed while blending – you can use the dial to increase or decrease the speed even if you made it a pre-set function.
The vacuum function can only be used with the smoothie and veg&fruits function. It shouldn’t be used with the other functions, as they tend to heat up, and destroy nutrients in the process. So vacuuming the blender beforehand would be a little pointless.
Froothie also claims that as long as the jar stays sealed after vacuuming and blending, the food within it will keep most of its nutrients. So if you want to make a smoothie in advance, you can put the jar into the fridge until you’re ready to drink it. While you shouldn’t leave it in the fridge for days on end, leaving it overnight wouldn’t oxidize the ingredients as quickly as would a smoothie blended up in the Vitamix.
For my experiment (as shown in the video below), I blended granny smith apples in a Vitamix and the VAC2 blender at the same time. They were both blended for the same time periods, and at the end of the cycle, I let both apple blends sit in the same glass cups for 10 minutes. After just 10 minutes, the apples blended in the Vitamix were brown, and the ingredients were separating. The apples blended in the VAC2 blender, however, were still as green as ever, and no oxidation present.
Now would probably be a good time to insert the review video I did on the blender – check out the magic for yourself!
To wrap it up, the Froothie Optimum VAC2 Vacuum Blender features all of the following:
– Clear and easy-to-use LED touchscreen panel
– Vacuum seal to preserve nutrients
– 2238 Watt motor
– BPA-free 2-litre jug with lid and cap
– Wet and dry multi-purpose 6-blade stainless steel assembly
– Heavy duty tamper tool for improved processing and mixing
– FREE 70+ page recipe book (mostly vegan to boot!)
– 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
– Access to expert support team
– 10 year warranty
– 24/7 support and warranty team
– International warranty
Currently, the Froothie Optimum VAC2 Vacuum Blender is on sale for $368 USD – not a bad deal at all!
Disclaimer: All views and opinions are my own. This particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer. However, the manufacturer did give me the product for testing and review purposes.