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This Surprising Appliance Has Become My Most-Used Kitchen Gadget This Year

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Tiny-space living usually means needing to pass on cool kitchen gadgets or clearing your space of the ones you thought you had to have but now barely use. In the past six months, I’ve done three apartment clean-outs and my kitchen took a pretty big hit — turns out I’m a semi-predictable home cook. One thing that did remain, though, replacing both a blender and a juicer, is the Ninja Foodi Nutrient Extractor and Smoothie Bowl Maker. Powered by 1200-peak watts, it’s designed to quickly blend through produce with minimal liquid, which I haven’t been able to achieve with any blender that costs less than $400. I make spoon-thick acai bowls at least twice a week, often just with the frozen berries and a banana — no watering it down.

Making juices in my Ninja Foodi is not only way easier than setting up, using, and cleaning out an actual juicer, but it also liquifies and incorporates a lot of the fibers I was missing out on by juicing. In a matter of 10 minutes, I can make smoothie bowls for two, rinse the vessel, whip up some fresh OJ, and do a final cleanup. I’ve started freezing everything from banana chunks to dates and will blend them with spices, vanilla, or even citrus juice and make all kinds of nice cream. As summer came to an end, my Ninja Foodi transitioned as well into my 30-minute dinner hero. Steamed or roasted pumpkins and potatoes turn into soup in seconds without the need for added cream (which my vote’s not against, by the way).

Because it’s so powerful, its electric base has a lever-controlled suction feature to keep it still — and it certainly does, as I’ve never felt it so much as wiggle while blending. It’s loud, but only as much as any other hyper-powerful mixer would be… and my cat is more afraid of the sound of the vacuum. It also gets the job done so quickly that after about a minute, all is forgiven. It’s compact and only takes up a fraction of the space that my blender and juicer did in my cabinets. It also uses portable (and machine washable!) cups, so you don’t have to find extra space for a big, traditional blender vessel.

Before my Ninja, I lost steam when it came to making breakfast. My blender became unreliable and my juicer made the process way too long. Now, I’m practically jumping out of bed for breakfast smoothie bowls and looking forward to whatever autumn veggie soup I can make for lunch. This Ninja Foodie Nutrient Extractor has easily become my most used kitchen gadget this year.

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