So, up first: The Blender Bottle. (If you search around, you can probably find it cheaper through another site.)
Let me tell you: This is no gimmick. The little whisk ball you see in the picture zips around the inside of the bottle (powered by your shaking, of course) and mixes it all up. And I mean it all.
Note: I've tried the others. The ones with a little mixing grate near the top. Even one with a battery-powered blender at the bottom. (Well, actually, that one worked well but had no way of closing, so it wasn't exactly portable.)
It's truly a thing of beauty. Protein powder? Blended. Powdered greens? Smooth. Powdered egg white? Well, there we have one problem. It whips so well that my egg whites become frothy. So, yes, one could complain that it works too well.
Aside from the too-frothy egg whites, I also haven't been able to quite figure out how to drink right after shaking without dripping stuff off the lid. I've resorted to slurping off the lid before I sip. No biggie; it's clean.
Some nice touches:
- Measurements on the side for easy-ish reference. (The -ish is due to a clear choice of form over function, as the marks are formed in the plastic and not drawn on. This means that they will last and don't clutter the design, but it also means that they're quite often hard to see and read.)
- Incredibly easy cleaning. It's top-rack safe, but you can also fill it with hot water and a drop of dish soap and let it "self-clean" by whisking, rinsing, and repeating until water is clear.
- Easy-open and stay-open top. It stays in whatever position you place it. This means you don't get any green, purple, or whatever gunk on the tip of your nose from the cap falling shut. This should, theoretically, also help provide a way to reduce the drips, but all I can cause it to do is save the drips in the groove of the lid. See slurping, above, for my solution. No matter; this is a small price to pay.
- Smooth mixing. Did I make that clear earlier? Seriously, I'm not kidding. I recently added some protein powder to a relatively thick green smoothie, and it blended the powder evenly in seconds. That's probably the hardest challenge I've given it, and it passed with flying colors.
How I use (or have used) it:
- Before I bit the bullet and bought a high-powered blender, I'd buy a whole juice such as Naked Juice. Use half the bottle (8 oz.) of juice, add a little more water, mix in powdered greens and protein powder or egg white. Give it a few shakes, throw it in the work bag without fear of opening, store it in the mini-fridge until my morning snack time, remix for a few seconds, and enjoy.
- Ready-to-go reduced yolk egg mix. I mix something like three whole eggs with powdered egg whites equivalent to 1.5 cups, an appropriate amount of water, and mix away. (The fact that there's yolk in there cuts down on the frothiness.) Store it in the fridge and use on demand for many uses, including omelets, fried-rice, and breakfast mixes in my rice cooker (oatmeal or rice).
- Now that I have a blender capable of whole-fruit/vegetable smoothies, it's the perfect tool for bringing my smoothies with me. I pour half the smoothie into a glass for part of my breakfast and pour the other half in the blenderbottle. Any settling is easily repaired with a few flips of the wrist, and I'm ready to freak out my students with my often-green fruit/veggie smoothie. (They still want me to blend spaghetti and meatballs, but I keep telling them that they're missing the point.)
You can also use it for things like mixing salad dressing, but I've never seen the need. Honestly, with just the uses I've listed above, they've already been a fantastic value. If you make smoothies, protein drinks, or any other drinkables that need to be well mixed, I've seen nothing that beats this. Drink up.