An ultra-convenient cordless smoothie maker that’s made to fit in with a busy lifestyle
- Blends in 30 seconds
- Compact and portable
- Limited capacity
- More food prep is required
- Frozen food needs extra blending
If your vacuum cleaner and your power tools can be cable-free, then why can’t your blender? That appears to be the thinking behind Ninja’s first cordless blender, the Ninja Blast Portable Blender.
Rechargeable, lightweight and compact enough to take with you to the office, the gym or even on a picnic, it’s just the thing to have on hand for making everything from smoothies and milkshakes to salad dressings and cocktails. And, for those who have a cramped kitchen with limited storage or those who use a busy shared kitchen, it’s the compact blender of your dreams. While it might take more than one blitz to create the ideal consistency, the fact that it can tackle ice and frozen chunks of food proves that, though it may be small, it’s still mighty.
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Ninja Blast Cordless Portable Blender review: What do you get for the money?
When you can pick up a small personal blender for £20, why would you splash the extra cash on one that’s more than twice the price? The simple answer is convenience: something the Ninja Blast Cordless Portable Blender has in droves. There’s no need to plug it in to power it. Instead, you charge its battery – via a USB to USB-C cable, in less than two hours from flat – and from one charge it will run around ten times. That’s according to its makers, though; in testing it ran for twice as many cycles, which might mean you only need to top it up once a week.
The Blast is also small enough to fit into a handbag or gym bag: it’s just 9 x 8.5 x 27cm (WDH) and weighs a very portable 790g – much less than a laptop or an average pair of trainers.
However, beyond this convenience, it’s light on accessories: there are no extra bottles or cups. There’s just a sip lid, with an integral carry handle, that you can use to drink from the 530ml blending vessel – both are BPA-free and dishwasher-safe – and there’s a base you can screw onto the bottom once you’ve removed the blending unit. There’s also a blade cover so the stainless-steel blades don’t get damaged, or cause damage, when they’re not in use.
There are no other speeds or settings, either. The Blast only features two buttons: a power button to turn it on and off, and a start/stop button. That said, the illumination around the blending button does provide some handy information about its status: flashing purple means it’s not ready to blend yet, while solid purple means it is; flashing white lets you know that the vessel and base aren’t aligned; flashing orange tells you that the blades are blocked; and low battery and no battery are yellow and red, respectively.
For a Ninja product, which typically come with a lot of recipe inspirations, the Blast is fairly light on ideas to get you started – just five recipes are included in the Quick Start Guide, none of which has any helpful pictures.
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Ninja Blast Cordless Portable Blender review: What’s good about it?
The Ninja Blast Cordless Portable Blender is as simple to use as they come: there’s only one button to start it blending, then it runs for 30 seconds and turns off automatically, though another press can stop it early if you need to.
To clean it, simply fill it with warm water and a squirt of washing-up liquid, and run it again. While I found this didn’t deliver a perfect clean – seeds still tended to stick to the sides of the blending vessel – it will suffice until you’re home and can wash it properly. Fortunately, thorough cleaning is equally straightforward since the blending vessel is wide enough to clean by hand, and the blades are separate so you won’t have to tangle with them. Unfortunately, the blade unit itself can’t be submerged, so it has to be rinsed under a tap, and using a washing-up brush to get around the sharp edges is advisable. On the plus side, the removable parts are all dishwasher-safe.
But how is it at blending? I experienced mixed results, depending on the ingredients of my smoothie. Ice was no problem; its blades are definitely sharp enough to make short work of that. Softer foods, such as bananas and dried fruits, were blended quickly and thoroughly, though smaller chunks tended to work best. Fruit with edible skin, such as apples and pears, could sometimes leave flecks of the skin behind, though this varied depending on what was blended with it. Larger chunks of frozen food, such as chopped spinach, needed extra blending – they were mostly blended in after one cycle, but a few smaller pieces often remained.
In short, you may end up running a couple of cycles if you prefer your smoothies as smooth as possible, but for less texture-heavy drinks, such as protein shakes, one blitz should be plenty. It’s also worth noting that each mixture needs a minimum amount of liquid (175ml) in order to blend properly.
Performance aside, I especially liked the Blast’s colourful base. It might only be a small thing, but it feels a world away from some of the unattractive glossy plastic finishes on other personal blenders. Other than the more standard white and black, the Ninja Blast currently comes in a stylish denim blue, and there are other colours planned, from muted green to berry shades.
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Ninja Blast Cordless Portable Blender review: What could be better?
One ingredient that always seemed to need another cycle of blending was smaller seeds. For testing, I used flaxseeds, which my full-sized blender blitzes without a trace every time. However, in the Ninja Blast, some flaxseeds stuck to the sides whole or were only partially blended. The instructions recommend shaking the blender to free stuck ingredients, but this didn’t usually make much difference.
I also thought it was a shame that there’s no pulse option on the Blast – you can stop and start blending by pressing the start button if you don’t need a whole cycle, but it lacks finesse.
There are a few other quirks to work around. For example, unlike some blenders that won’t run unless you make sure the lid is on before you blend, there’s no such failsafe with the Blast – it will still run if the lid isn’t on properly, potentially resulting in a mess. And while I found the sip lid easy to drink from, its flexible carry handle feels less robust compared to the rest of the unit.
My only other quibble is with the length of the charging cable: at only 45cm, it’s arguably too short. However, it’s only a USB cable, so you could easily purchase a longer one that’s still compatible for more flexibility when recharging.
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Ninja Blast Cordless Portable Blender review: Should you buy it?
If you’re the sort of person who feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day, let alone enough time to eat healthily, then the Ninja Blast Cordless Portable Blender could be a great fit – it’s compact and convenient, ensuring that smoothies, drinks or dressings aren’t too much of a hassle. It’s also good for those who like to blend fresh, and don’t relish the idea of drinking a pre-prepared smoothie that’s discoloured or separated out.
It won’t be suitable for everyone, though. Those who like to blend larger volumes will be frustrated with its size, and there’s slightly more food prep involved in order to get the best results. However, if all you’re looking for is a stylish personal blender that won’t take up much space and will fit into a busy lifestyle, the Ninja Blast ticks those boxes and a few more.