I Love This Thing: Ninja Ultima Blender

Happy super cold Thursday to you all from Minnesota. Right now the temperature reads 5 degrees F and feels like -13 with the windchill. It surely isn’t the weather that makes you want to lace up your shoes and head out for a run, instead I want to be cozied up in my warm house with hot chocolate and a good movie. I can’t complain though because I truly enjoy all of the seasons in Minnesota. As long as you bundle up in the appropriate layers, you will be fine.

Moving on. As you may remember, in September I attended the Healthy Living Summit which was held here in Minneapolis this year. Not only did I have a blast meeting so many wonderful bloggers and hanging out with my best blends, I was also able to meet many of the sponsors and vendors at the event. For the full list of sponsors, you can look here: HLS 2013 Sponsors.

Ninja Kitchen was one of our sponsors. They are the creators of Ninja blenders, food processors, and cooking systems, and the product they were so generous to let me review, the Ninja Ultima Blender.

You may have seen the Ultima in stores or on infomercials; whipping smoothies together and pureeing soups in a matter of seconds. When the kind folks at Ninja Kitchen told me that they would give me a Ninja Ultima to try for myself, I was thrilled!

ninja ultima

 

The Ninja Ultima advertises:

  • 2.5 Peak Horsepower Motor/24,000 RPM***
  • Only blender with Dual Stage Blending
  • Total Crushing & High Speed Cyclonic Blades
  • PRO Variable Speed
  • Gives you a wide range of speeds to 
    create anything from sauces to whole juices!
  • 2 Single Serve Cups with Sip & Seal lids 
    for personalized drinks on the go source

I couldn’t wait to tear into this thing! I have used the large blender for making homemade vegan truffle brownie, which includes walnuts, dates, and cocoa powder. This machine whirls those babies together in no time. I did have to scrape down the sides of the blender in between mixing because the batter was very sticky but that’s to be expected.

 

brownie bites from ninja ultima brownie bites from ninja ultima

 

I’ve also used the large blender for pureeing soups and plan to use it for making homemade tomato sauce in the future. What I love about the Ninja Ultima is that it whips everything together SO quickly and so smoothly.

The large blender has a nice pouring spout so that you aren’t making a mess when you are pouring concoctions out of the blender. Also, every piece of the Ninja Ultima (besides the very base of course) is dishwasher safe! How do you like that?!

This blender offers various speed options, that range from a gentle blend to a total crushing.

What I have gotten the most use out of is the single serving cups. My husband and I both use them almost every day for smoothies. We fill the cups up to the line with fruits, veggies, almond milk, etc, twist on the lid and let it whirl on the blender base. Literally within seconds I have a to-go cup of deliciousness.

 

ninja ultima

 

smoothie in ninja ultima

I use the single serve cup for when I make my two-ingredient pancakes. They whip together so fast and make for perfect pancakes.

two ingredient pancakes made in ninja ultima

I’ve used it to make veggie dip too!

dip made in ninja ultima

The clean-up is a breeze I can’t voice it enough. Seriously, this contraption is pretty amazing. I realize it is a little spendy, but it would be worth every penny for the mess of clean-up and time it saves and especially if you use it as often as we do. It is the most powerful, most efficient blender I have ever owned.

Thank you to Ninja Kitchens for allowing me to review your Ninja Ultima!

Disclaimer:  Ninja Kitchen provided me with a free Ninja Ultima blender to review; however, the opinions on the product are my own.

The Healthy Living Summit 2013: Full Recap

Happy Tuesday! Guess what I’m doing tonight? Going to a spin class with Dara Torres! Not only is it my first spin class, but I get to meet an Olympian at the same time?! I am super pumped!

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Healthy Living Summit 2013

It’s time for some Healthy Living Summit recapping. I am bound and determined to squeeze this all into one post. Last year I broke it into four posts. It might get lengthy, but I think I can do it. Grab a cup of tea and settle in a comfy chair for this one.

Thursday

I snagged my Caroline from the airport as we both gave each other the girliest greeting ever with lots of shrieking and hugs. Caroline and I met last year at the Summit in Boston. We have kept in touch over the past year and have become the best of friends. I adore her.

caroline melanie

This was her first time in Minnesota so we checked a couple of touristy things off the list: a walk around Lake Calhoun and a trip to the Mall of America. We spent the rest of the evening relaxing in our comfies and went to bed early to rest up for the festivities that lay ahead.

Friday

Wild Harvest hosted a tour of their test kitchens and labs in Eden Prairie, MN. Wild Harvest was the gold sponsor for the Healthy Living Summit and is an organic food company. They are responsible for the brands Wild Harvest, Essential Everyday, Culinary Corner, among others. You have probably seen these brands in your grocery store.

Being that I am a dietitian, setting foot into their facilities and seeing their test kitchens and labs was a dream to me. Back in college I had a couple of classes that focused on product development including taste testing, sensory labs, and ingredient adjustment. This brought back a lot of memories!

wild harvest

After the tour we headed out to the Hilton in downtown Minneapolis where the Summit was being held. We got all checked in, were greeted by the amazing organizing team, and got situated in our room.

I was SO excited to see Becky and Katie! Caroline, Becky, Katie, and I all roomed together for the weekend. I know you’re thinking that’s crazy: four girls and one bathroom sounds like a nightmare, but it actually worked out just fine! It was never a problem.

We headed to a presentation given by Nancy Clark, RD about proper refueling post-workout. After that we got sweaty with an Insanity workout. I only did it at half speed and I was still dripping sweat by the end of it!

Next on the agenda: dinner at Kindee Thai. There was a group of 12 of us girls who met there and I got to meet so many great ladies and eat tasty chicken and veggie stir fry. Let’s see if I can remember everyone at dinner: Gabe, Jen, Becky, Natalie, Katie, Amanda, Kim, Hannah, Katie T., and Caroline. Did I do it girls? I will feel terrible if I forgot someone!

Kindee thai

After dinner we headed across the street to the Guthrie Theater where our cocktail party was being held. If you’ve ever been there, the event was held on the endless bridge. The views are gorgeous!

We mingled, made new friends, and had some serious fun in the photo booth. In the photos below: Caroline, Jen, Becky, Katie, Hannah, Kim, and Me.

hls cocktail party

The evening flew by and before I knew it I was snuggled into bed. Unfortunately I cannot sleep well for the life of me on the first night in any new place, so I got a total of five hours that night maybe.

Saturday

But that’s okay because there was plenty of healthy food and beverages to keep me perky during the day on Saturday! I even had my first experience with Energy Bits which are made from 100% organically grown spirulina algae, and loaded with 40 nutrients and protein. They are a healthy energy boost and 100% natural whole food which is the only way I would ever take an energy supplement.

hls 13 food

Saturday was spent listening to panels and interacting with new blog friends and the sponsors at the event. My girl Katie was one of the presenters! Go Katie!

conferences

I took away some new tips for the blog and am hoping to make some great changes and enhancements to Beautifully Nutty!

Sponsors: Wild Harvest (gold sponsor), Driscoll’s Berry (my jam), Blue Diamond, Ninja Kitchen, Musselman’s, Refuel Got Chocolate Milk, Sargento, 360 PR, Ortholite,  and CocoVia.

hls sponsors

In the afternoon we had a little down-time, so the girls and I headed out for a walk around the area. Even though I am from Minnesota, I don’t get to the downtown area very often, so the whole weekend was so much fun for me. I was discovering new places to explore in MN!

hls roomies walk

Saturday night we had plans to get all dolled up one more time and go out to dinner. Our plans changed when we got into our hotel room at the end of the day, got into our comfy clothes, and sat down. Not to mention it was also raining outside. A roomie vote concluded that we would not be going out to dinner. Instead, we picked up Chipotle and a bottle of wine and snuggled into our hotel room for the evening. Our honorary roomie Tara, joined us too! We were all giddy that we decided to stay in!

Sunday

I slept WAY better the second night and was ready for the HLS13 5K bright and early Sunday morning. It was a walk or run depending on however you wanted to tackle it. Our group decided to walk it. We made our way over to the sculpture garden where we got real corny posing in front of the big cherry on a spoon.

hls roomies by the cherry

The air was crisp and we decided a Caribou Coffee stop was necessary for the way back. Once we got back to the hotel, we joined everybody in the main conference room for a farewell breakfast. Heather and Julie, the main organizers of the event, thanked us all for coming and then revealed to us the location of HLS for next year: Madison, WI! Just a 3.5 hour car ride from me!

I have to give a HUGE shout out to the whole HLS planning team. You ladies rock my socks. You are so organized and thoughtful, and made the summit so memorable once again! THANK YOU!

Here was the swag damage…

hls 13 swag

 

Whoa baby that’s a lotta swag! So many companies donated amazing swag. We even got a Kona Kase and a Nature Box! So many goodies!

And the fun continues. The lovely ladies from Driscoll’s had heaping amounts of leftover berries, and since I drove to the conference and didn’t have to worry about flying berries home, they sent me home with mounds of berries.

driscolls berries

 

Berry heaven. I froze the berries and will be using them for the next 5 years few months in smoothies, sorbets, and who knows, I might even make some homemade jam? You’d like that Tara, right?! Although I didn’t win any of the giveaway prizes over the weekend, I feel like I won with these berries!

And now for the cheesiness. I also feel like I won because I had the most incredible weekend with my girls. I love spending time with these women—they are all truly amazing. I got to meet so many wonderful ladies who all have a story to tell, and who are all beautiful and unique in their own special way. It’s incredible being at a function like this where everyone has a common interest and passion. You never run out of things to talk about! Thank you HLS for another great year! Until next time. xoxo.

One last note: the Hilton Minneapolis was the perfect place to stay for the summit. Our room was plenty big for four of us girls plus all of our clothes and swag. They were extremely accommodating and I would recommend this hotel to others visiting the area.