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Kenwood Concert Smoothie Blender SB256 1.5 L

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11 Reviews

Brand: Kenwood / Blender Type: Work Top /

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    11 Reviews
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      08.10.2012 21:09
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      Save your money and buy a blender!

      A lot of old bits and bobs and applicances surfaced back in January this year when I moved house - including this Kenwood Smoothie maker which had been bought for me as a christmas present around the age of 15 or 16... Bit of a strange present to buy someone so young but at the time I was very much into buying smoothies when I was out and about and I wanted something to do my own at home! It had spent a good couple of years in storage in my parents attic when I lost internet in actually making smoothies, so when I got it back I was very excited to try it out - as was my daughter as she loves fruit! Another plus point would be another mainly silver appliance to put in my rather large kitchen!

      **********

      As I remember, my parents purchased this for me out of the Argos catalogue, and I had the choice out of this one and a pro/expert/better version - I do remember there being a bit of a difference in price and as I couldnt see much of a difference other than a slight appearance change and slightly better features I opted for them to get me this basic one - being a beginner smoothie maker!

      As mentioned above this smoothie maker is mainly silver in colour with black parts here and there to break up the main colour. Overall the design does look good especially if you are like me with silver accessories in the kitchen.

      The main thing that appealed to me on this blender as well as the attractive appearance was the ability to blend ice with its supposed amazing blades to do this and I remember reading online at the time this worked a lot better compared to some of the blenders out at that time. Within the jug where the smoothies are blended, for sure you have four tiny blades in the bottom to do this... but you do find yourself think they don't look very sharp and how are they going to cut through ice?

      The features on the smoothie maker include :

      * The dispenser tap which is located on the jug - it is easy to use to pour out liquid from this after use by clicking the tab towards you using your index finger and the liquid dispenses

      * The jug detachs from the base of the smoothie maker so you can pour out the liquid with ease

      * Stir stick - to stir your ingredients

      * Non slip rubber feet on the bottom - which stops the smoothie maker moving round when in use

      * The total capacity is 1.5L - and to me this makes enough for at least 2-3 large smoothies maybe more!

      * Made mainly out of plastic

      * 1 Year guarentee - which is a great thing to me, reading lots of reviews online there is experiances of the smoothie maker packing in on some unfortunate people after a couple of uses

      * You also get a free plastic goblet glass and smoothie recipe book

      * Lead storage - so you don't get a lot of loose wires hanging round... but to be fair the lead isnt that big, maybe a little longer than a meter long

      **********

      My verdict

      To sum it up in a nutshell I think you would be better off with a blender which I feel would do a better job at smoothing liquid - and ice - if you pick up a decent one at a fraction of the price.

      First niggle on the appearance - as previously mentioned the best part of this smoothie makers life it has been packed away in a box in an attic - and I probably used it about 10 times before this happened and maybe about 4 times since it took its place proudly in my kitchen. So you would expect it to be in pristine condition... Not the case. The appearance is shabby in the sense that the silver is chipping away and makes it look a bit worn and grubby even though it is neither... and I dont use abrasive sponges to clean it, just your basic dishcloth.

      Another issue to me would be to do with safety - although the blades do not look very sharp dangerous as mentioned above they do move quite quickly when in use and I'm sure it could do a lot of damage if a child for instance was to go near it... There is no sort of safety on it and if it was plugged in, lid off, a button was pressed and a curious child was to put their hand in I could imagine a very nasty trip to A&E - best advice supervise children at ALL times and unplug and put away safely when not in use.

      Then on to how the blender actually works - with the different blending button options available it never seems to blend fully... in the sense that when you use the dispenser to pour out your drinks it will release some of the blended mixture then come to a standstill - at this point you then need to get the stirrer out to spin some of the mixture around the jug and then attempt to blend again. In my experiance it can take around 3-4 occasions of doing this to dispense all the liquid in the jug. Not ideal. Also if you just pour out the jug instead of using the dispenser you end up with thin and thick mixture so you can't really get around this...

      Another awful point for me is how awkward the jug is to clean after use - due to the design its hard to reach certain bits such as round the blades and at the dispenser - however it is completely safe to dishwash so i usually just give it a clean to loosen away any liquid, leave the dispenser on OPEN / pulled forward (as if you are dispensing liquid) so that the dishwasher cleans right through. To date it has not come out the dishwasher dirty so I would recommend this.

      One other dissapointment to me is the current price - currently going for around £50-60 online which is a similar price my parents paid more than 6 years ago? Not worth it for what it does and in my opinion should of definetly come down in price by now...

      ... And finally the last BAD issue for me would be the noise - very loud. As much as my daughter was excited for smoothies she cannot stand to be in the same room when its in use. I don't own any pets but I would imagine it would also terrify a cat or a dog.

      Good points for me - as previously mentioned is the sleek modern design - it looks a lot better than some other smoothie makers out there considering the age of it... I like the idea of the dispenser (even though as previously mentioned the blades dont chop up ingredients / ice very well) and I like the fact that I got a very good smoothie recipe book (which I have used a lot and the idea's have turned out very well!)

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        02.09.2012 16:05
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        Great product but it could do with some improvements

        For a few years now the government and health specialists have been enforcing the idea that everyone should have five portions of fruit and veg a day, I personally find this a little tricky to keep up with and I'm always looking for cheap and easy solutions to ensure I get these five portions. An Idea occurred to me whilst I was reading my friend's innocent smoothie wrapper; it contained 2 of your five a day in less than 300ml! That's amazing. If only innocent smoothies were cheaper to get hold of. Eventually the idea clicked that I could just make my own smoothies from own brand products.

        I went to Curry's as soon as I had some spare cash to spend on a relevant appliance to help me make my smoothies. I found the Kenwood Smoothie maker for just £25 on offer, I thought it was a little on the expensive side but seeing as it was on offer I thought I'd give it a try. Seeing as this was a while a go now you'll probably be able to pick this product up for the same price in many places.

        The smoothie maker has four components, there's the base, the jug the lid of the jug and a long pole which sits through the lid and acts as a tool to stir the smoothie. The fact that it has just a few components appealed to me as I have a habit of losing bits to appliances and having to buy new ones! The jug itself is made from quite thick plastic that feels sturdy enough in use and sits strong in the thick plastic coated base.

        To use the appliance you need to plug it in at the mains, then put all your ingredients in the jug with the lid on so its ready and safe to start smoothing. Setting up takes about 5 minutes which is a good time if you're not in any major rush. There are basic buttons on the mixer, mix, smooth, pulse and off. All of the buttons are pretty self explanatory, the pulse one just spins the blade around once in attempt to move any clunks of fruit that's stuck around the blade. I normally mix the fruit then smooth them after about 30 seconds of mixing and this seems to produce really smooth drinks. The smoothie maker can smooth almost anything, I tend to use frozen fruits and berries and the blade manages to smooth these within minutes.

        I found it extremely easy to use this product and I was impressed with the quality or drinks it produced, however one thing I'm not very impressed with is the way the appliance cleans. I find it really hard to get the jug sparkling clean like it was when i bought it, some juice residue always seems to stick whether I wash is by hand or machine, or even both. It's impossible to get a decent clean with this product! But on the other hand it cleans well enough to use again so I can't fuss about it too much.

        The only thing about this product that I will make a point to complain about is the amount of noise it produces!! It sounds like a lawn mower and it's not the most convenient thing to have on in the morning, best to use this product in the day.
        Overall this appliance has helped me achieve my goal of 5 a day a lot easier and quicker than I used to be able to and has been an asset to my kitchen! I recommend this to anyone who doesn't mind the noise. 4/5 stars, great product but could be improved.

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        19.03.2012 21:56
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        A smooth summer drink.

        Back in 2005 my husband and myself went round John Lewis composing a wedding gift list, and this smoothie maker was one of the items that we just had to have on the list at the time, and one of our dear friends was kind enough to get it for us.

        The Kenwood concert smoothie was around £50 back then. We find that it doesn't get used anywhere near as often as we thought it would. Every so often we will feel the need to have a health kick, and then the smoothie maker will come out, or we have a glut of something that needs using up, and then we remember that smoothies can be tasty but they can also be rather sticky and involve a lot of effort in chopping up the fruit you are going to use. I also find that if I have too many smoothies, my teeth become really sensitive, so I don't want to risk an expensive dental problem.

        The smoothie maker itself is quite large. The base measures 20cm wide by 18cm deep and is 27cm tall at its highest point at the rear. The front of the base is lower so that the mixing jug can sit on the base with the tap at a height where you can position a glass underneath to pour out your drink.

        It has a cable which is around a metre in length, and the base uses 500W to power the mixer.
        The jug height is 24cm, and it has got a capacity to hold 1500ml of liquid which is 4 smoothie servings. The jug is seethrough plastic so you can see where the level is in the jug very easily. There are also markings on the side of the jug to show you how much frozen and liquid ingredients to add to make 2 or 4 servings.
        The jug has quite a small mixing blade in the bottom of it. The blades are not particularly sharp. They can cope really well with frozen fruit, but it is not that good at smashing up ice cubes.

        The base has 4 buttons allowing you to mix, make a smoother smoothie with a more powerful mixing action, or just pulse it slightly. The final button is the off button. The machine is quite loud I find when you are stood right next to it.

        Ingredients are added to the jug by taking off the screw on lid. If you want to there is a slot in the lid covered by a plastic cover, and you can use a plastic stirring rod that came with the machine to move the ingredients in the jug without dismantling it all.

        I find that this machine copes quite well with making smoothies from raw fruits. I have never tried it with vegetables through personal taste. I have used harder fruits like apple, and frozen bananas, as well as bags of frozen fruit from the supermarket, and as long as I use the levels indicated on the jug, then I get reasonable results producing quite a thick liquid drink. I find I am not so fond of fruits like blackberries in it as the drink is quite bitty, and the same can be said for apples surprisingly. It gives it a very chewy texture which is not appealing at all to my kids. Things like bananas or strawberries in milk, or mango and pineapple with orange juice have been really popular.

        I find that when I am using the machine, it is really easy to get the drink out of the machine by using the lever on the tap to put it in the open position. As you get near the bottom, it can be hard to get out the last bit as there is about a centimetre at the bottom which is below the tap. I tend to lift the jug out of the base at this point and tip it to get the last bit out. I could also pour from the lip of the jug, but I don't like to do this in case I left any lumps in there.

        Washing up the machine is no problem. I tend to fill the jug up with hot soapy water. If it is really sticky, I may then whizz this in the blender, or I mostly just shake it about with the lid on, and then let the water out the tap to let it wash out the fruit residue in there. I then leave it to drip dry on the draining board rather than attempting to dry with a tea towel.

        My overall impression of this machine is that it is well made. It looks quite attractive with the silver and black base. The jug is well made with a sturdy handle if you want to lift it while full. I find that it can make 1500ml of smoothie within 5 minutes. It is really simple to operate, and it feels safe to do so with the plastic jug and the securely screwed on lid while in use.

        My main problem with it is it is just a bit too faffy and expensive to buy the amount of fresh fruit you need to make the sort of smoothies I like. It is a great way to make up some healthy drinks, and it is not something I would get rid of, but it is relegated into the cupboard for a lot of the year till the next health kick. Luckily it does split into two so I can store it more easily, as I did think it took up too much space in my kitchen while stood on the bench, and it also seemed to attract dust easily.

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          23.02.2012 19:35
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          A versatile smoothie maker that is easy to use.

          I have made all sorts with this smoothie maker from standard smoothies to soups and cocktails. I have owned it about 3 years now and it is still going strong.

          The appliance is easy to set up and dismantle and the only section that is awkward to clean is the dispensing nozzle, but leave it to soak for a bit and that usually does the job just fine. There is a handy guide on the side of the jug with measurements in millilitres and where to fill liquid and solid ingredients to for two or four servings.

          I was nervous about putting frozen ingredients in, but the blades have absolutely no problem with this. The only time I did have difficulty was when I hadn't included enough liquid and the blades only pulverise the solid pieces of fruit at the bottom and the rest just sit still solid on top - adding more liquid soon rectifies this though.

          The only downside I would say is the noise, which I think is extremely loud. I had intended to make smoothies for breakfast each morning but this would certainly wake the whole household up!
          Other than the noise I think this is a fantastic appliance that I have made such a huge variety of drinks using, I am definitely glad I bought it.

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          16.08.2011 18:21
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          Kenwood Smoothie maker

          We are quite healthy in our house and love to drink at lot of smoothies. In order to make them we have a smoothie machine, the Kenwood Smoothie Concert. Not too sure why it is called a concert but hey, it makes good smoothies.

          The smoothie maker has a motorised unit on which a 1.5L capacity plastic jug sits. The jug has a black plastic handle at the back on it and this allows you to easily lift the jug on and off the motor unit. I like the fact that it is plastic as this makes it a lot lighter than some glass jugs that you can get. The jug has measurements on the side going up in 100ml increments so you can tell how much you are making. Also, on the back side of the jug it shows you how high to fill your jug with liquids and then frozen ingredients in order to serve 2 and then it shows you the levels in order to serve 4. I think this is a really nice factor to the jug as you do need to get the levels just right otherwise your smoothie will not turn out correctly. If you don't have enough liquid which did happen to me in the beginning the juice just does not mix well and it will not be mixed up by the blades and just ends up as frozen fruit still stuck in the bottom of the jug.

          This smoothie maker is really easy to use. I really only use orange juice and add that first to the liquid line and then I add frozen fruit that I buy ready packaged from the supermarket. I think this is the best way to buy the fruit. If you look in the frozen section in Sainsburys you can find bags of different varieties such as summer berries, strawberries and bananas and tropical mixture and generally they are only £1 per bag. I tend to get about three different sittings out of each bag of fruit so I think this is quite good value. Then once everything is in the mixer you have three different buttons you can press on the motor unit, pulse, smooth and mix. To begin with I press the mix button to mix the whole mixture up and then I press the smooth button to really smooth up all the liquid. I find this machine really gets the fruit nice and mixed and smoothed together and basically just like one you can buy at speciality juice bars.

          On the front of the jug there is a tap which goes up and down in order to open and close the valve. Once the smoothie is mixed you place a cup under the tap, turn it on and wait for the juice to come out. The tap works ok, sometimes if the liquid is too thick it takes a while to come out and if you have a large piece of fruit that hasn't been pulsed up it will stick it the tap and mean no more liquid can come through. In order to dislodge this I just pick up the jog, give it a little shake and it is usually cleared. I have to admit though that usually I just pour my juice from the top of the jug as it has a spout from which to pour from.

          Cleaning the jug is really easy as I run water through the open tap in order to clean out all the little bits of fruit and then give it a wash afterwards. This is a great fun way to drink your 5-a-day!

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            20.08.2010 20:38
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            Making your own smoothies tastes much better than shop-bought ones.

            I bought my Kenwood Smoothie Maker nearly two years ago now and despite using it a lot when I first bought it, it has since spent long periods sitting idle in the cupboard.
            Every now and then we seem to suddenly remember we have a smoothie maker and out it comes. We all enjoy the various smoothies and concoctions we have produced using this machine, so I'm not quite sure as to why we seem to forget we have one!

            A few weeks ago, it was dusted off once again and brought out of the cupboard and this time I have promised myself I will use it more often, as it is really easy to use and the results are lovely. I must admit I hate cleaning things like this however, and that is probably the only downside (for me anyway) when using it.

            It really is a versatile machine and can be used for making smoothies, drinks and soups as well as being an efficient blender.
            Smoothies and milkshakes, however, remain the favourite in our household and it is a great way to use up leftover fruit by throwing it into the goblet with some ice cream and milk and making a delicious milk shake in seconds.
            After placing the contents in the goblets I find switching to MIX for ten seconds then SMOOTH for a further 10-15 seconds makes a perfect milkshake.
            It is important that you don't forget to check that the dispensing tap is closed before you add the ingredients!

            Ice and frozen ingredients can also be added to the smoothie maker though you must take note of the marked levels and only add frozen ingredients up the level marked 'frozen ingredients'. You always ensure when using any frozen ingredients that you add them last.
            Always use the MIX button first then finish off with SMOOTH. The buttons along with variable speed are housed to the right of the dispensing lever.
            As some liquids increase in volume and also due to the frothiness that occurs when in use, it is really important you do not overfill the goblet when adding the ingredients.
            There is also a stirrer included which is to assist when blending thick mixtures or when large quantities of frozen items are used. The stirrer slots through a hole in the top and you can use it by stirring in an anti-clockwise direction.
            The smoothie maker does cope with frozen items really well though. I must admit I was apprehensive the first time I tried it but need not have worried.

            The stirrer is something I don't actually use much personally, but a slight niggle I have with it is when using some food items they can somehow miss the blades and become lodged at the side. It can prove a little difficult using the stirring stick to reach them.
            Using the smoothie maker is also quite noisy. I was surprised at just how noisy it is when I first used it and half expected it to take off from the worktop! Fortunately, you only have to use the machine for a few seconds.

            Dispensing the liquids is via the tap at the front of the machine. Pulling it towards you dispenses the liquid. Some thicker drinks may require you to press the MIX button first but thinner drinks should dispense without any problems.
            I have experienced problems getting the last amount of smoothie drinks and found that if you add a little more liquid it will increase the flow.

            As you experiment with the smoothie maker the better you become at making the drinks and achieving the consistency you prefer. At first I was ending up with drinks too thin or too thick, but through trial and error I soon got the hang of exactly what quantities of liquid and fruit etc to use. Basically it's not rocket science. To make a thinner drink just add more liquid and likewise to make a thicker drink, add more frozen ingredients.

            The smoothie maker itself is a sturdy machine and does not look or feel flimsy in any way. The rubber underneath ensures it does not move around on your worktop whilst in use and it feels quite solid when putting it together and taking it apart for cleaning.

            Cleaning the smoothie maker is fairly easy, just make sure the goblet is empty before you unscrew it from the blade unit. It is however not suitable to use in the dishwasher and must be washed by hand.
            It is also recommended that you regularly dismantle the tap and clean it thoroughly. I think this part is my least favourite and probably why the smoothie maker hasn't been used as much as I intended to use it when I bought it.
            Whilst instructions are provided on removing the tap I do find it a little fiddly especially when removing the spring. If this process was a little easier then it would be a big improvement in my opinion.

            Having said that, I am making an effort to use my smoothie maker more and not get annoyed about cleaning it.
            It is an ideal way to use up fruit and also ensuring children are getting some fruit intake as some children may not like eating fruit but will enjoy a smoothie.
            I find it fun experimenting making various drinks and smoothies. A few recipes were enclosed in the instruction booklet and there are even a few alcoholic drinks I have made which are really delicious, such as Raspberry Refresher using raspberries, cranberry juice, raspberry sorbet and vodka.

            Also included with my smoothie maker was a separate book containing 27 smoothie recipes to try as well as hints and tips on getting the most from your smoothie maker.

            I bought mine from TJ Hughes nearly two years ago priced at £20. It is available from Amazon priced at £22.99.

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              31.07.2010 10:24
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              Quality smoothie maker from Kenwood

              Sitting up on our shelf, more for display purposes of late than anything else, is our Kenwood Smoothie Concert. No, there are no violins, and no woodwind section, nor is there a conductor stood anywhere wildly waving his baton around. This concert is all about bringing food together, mashing it to a pulp and giving you a refreshing drink.

              But it's so much more than that. A busily marked jug sits on top of the actual housing itself, fitting snugly in with support at the back and sides. From the front, you can see the entirety of the inside of the see through jug, which has a spout at the front. The idea is to put the ingredients you need to make your smoothie, select the setting, and then wait for your drink to be ready.

              What I like about this is the versatility options it gives you. The various different speed settings are lined up on the right, and you can choose to mix things or even pulse them, or have a high powered blend action. Within the jug itself, you are shown through slightly raised markings exactly what levels you should fill it up to, where to put the frozen elements (if you need to use them) and roughly how much to put in depending on how many people you're intending to serve from it.

              We have made a number of various drinks using this, usually using leftover fruit or whatever else we have had at the time. However, it's not just about making drinks with it, as you can easily use it for making soups, should you wish to. The blend action inside the jug actually makes it just as easy to do this as it is to make a drink. There is a dispenser on the front of the jug which means you can 'pour' the drink out by pulling the rubber handled nozzle towards you, in similar fashion to how a beer pump works. I really like this, as it saves you having to take the whole thing off and try to pour it out once you have removed the lid. For soups and the like, we tend to take it completely off and then pour into bowls either for heating or for straight eating if it's a cold soup. You can actually make a lumpy soup and then use this to blend it straight away to increase the smoothness should you wish.

              It feels like a firm and reliable model as well. The rubber feet stop it from sliding around the place, and I like the wide base and ergonomic design. The jug fits in snugly, and has a handle that gives you plenty of clearance space between your hand and the base unit and jug sides. The top sees a handle attached to a stirring rod that nestles at the top and is moveable at any time. The buttons for speed and type of mix action are on the right hand side, and it's all very well laid out, I must say.

              There's power in it, too, don't be worried about that. We weren't sure how it would cope with frozen food, as it says to put it more on the top than on the bottom, not completely sure of the reasoning behind this. What this does is allows it to attack the frozen ingredients whilst mixing them with non frozen ones. The blades are strong, allowing this to happen very easily, and it only takes a few moments really to get your contents mixed up really well. There's no real need to wait around for a long time here.

              The only thing that does bug me slightly, but that I understand is virtually impossible to fix, is when chunkier objects slide down the side and don't get reached by the blades. I find the stirring stick here doesn't always get these back into the middle, so we occasionally have to lift the lid and fish around inside to make sure there are no lumps left. A minor niggle, though, to be honest.

              Overall, this is a very good product indeed. I must admit that I can't remember exactly how much I bought it for, and I see it's available for £26.59 from amazon.co.uk at the moment. I'm sure you'd be able to get it for less if you have a look around. It's a very good smoothie maker, and can cope with most things you want mixed up, frozen or not. Ergonomic design, comfortable in the hand, and works very well. It's relatively easy to clean, although something with blades in the bottom and a dispenser tap will always be a bit fiddly when it comes to it; generally I find it a pleasure to use. I never think of it as a hassle because of the hard work it entails, just how nice the end product will be. Recommended.

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                17.02.2009 20:31
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                Yummy smoothies in an instant

                The Original Kenwood 'New York' Smoothie Machine!
                Manufacturers details:
                1.5 ltr Smoothie maker
                2 way rotation
                Colour: Chrome
                Dimensions (H x W x D) in mm: 380 x 215 x 200
                Weight (Kg): 3
                Speed Settings: 3

                ****

                For anyone who appreciates the benefits of juicing fresh fruits and vegetables, blending their own yoghurt drinks, or making fresh fruit cocktails, the Kenwood Smoothie Maker is fantastic.

                This is the first New York style Smoothie Maker to be launched in the UK and is the perfect way to help start your day. Blend your choice of fruits for 20 - 60 seconds and you'll have a refreshing smoothie drink to perk you up in the morning and stave off hunger until lunchtime. In the evening experience fresh-tasting, natural fruit smoothie cocktails: invite your friends along for rum and banana smoothies, or slick strawberry vodka smoothies, or a bacardi berry smoothy, brandy and ginger cream smoothy it's all so tempting for a totally alternative party night!

                ****

                Since starting my health kick I was determined to ensure I have the optimal recommended 5 fruit and vegetables per day (the alcoholic smoothies are just ideas honest)!! What better way to take in optimum nutrition than with a delicious, refreshing, home made smoothie. With the Kenwood Smoothie Maker you can whip up a healthy drink full of essential vitamins and minerals at any time of the day or night. Smoothies are described as the milkshakes of the new millennium! As well as being incredibly tasty they are also very healthy! This machine is designed to blend any fruit, vegetables, ice, milk, yoghurt or icecreams. The wide funnel-shaped goblet means everything falls neatly onto the blades. The goblet has a volume marker on the side the capacity being 1.5 litres. It is also graduated to enable you to see how much fruit, ice or liquid to put in dependent on how many drinks you want to make at any one time. It isn't difficult to put together. The goblet sits easily on the base. Nothing technical or I wouldn't be using it!! It also has rubber feet to provide good grip and stability. A dispensing tap allows for continuous easy serving directly into a glass, just make sure you do actually put a glass in place as I once forgot and what a mess!!!!!!!!

                ****

                Anyway lets get on with the smoothy making. Place your fruit or vegetables into the goblet, add ice cream, yoghurt or ice cubes corresponding to the number of servings required. Screw the lid onto the goblet. Place the cap onto the lid and MIX. Usually mix for about 30 seconds and then press the SMOOTH button allowing the ingredients to blend until fully smooth. There is a stirrer provided to help blend thick mixtures. Just simply remove the cap and put the stirrer in the hole. If you want a thinner drink just add some liquid into the hole whilst mixing, rather than having to stop the machine and remove the lid. Finally the PULSE button operates the unit in a start stop action to allow you to control the texture of your drink. If you're mixing something particularly thick, pop in the stirring stick to make sure everything gets well mixed; this makes your smoothie even foamier. The powerful motor can cope with frozen fruit, ice cream or ice cubes and the high-speed Smooth button finishes your drink in under 60 seconds. The tap allows you to easily dispense the drink into a glass so you don't have to tip everything up to get your smoothie out.

                The smoothie machine is noisy especially when you put ice in and you are better to stay with the machine, don't answer the phone without switching it off as if you mix for too long it would burn out. If the family are watching something crucial on the TV they will miss it so shut your kitchen door. However if you follow the instructions correctly the noise will only last for 60 to 90 seconds so it's not too bad really.

                ****

                ~Tips~
                Always make sure the tap is closed before you start filling the goblet, it's not much fun when it starts pouring all over your worktop and floor!!
                I have also found that after blending some drinks may not be completely smooth owing to seeds, pith or the fibrous nature of some fruits. If you don't like 'bits' in your drink I advise running it through a sieve before drinking. But that's just a personal preference. It's also best to drink the smoothie straight away as some drinks may separate if kept.

                The smoothie machine cannot be doubled up as a liquidiser, the blades are raised above the spout of the tap to produce a nice 'smooth' foamy smoothie, so it's not to be used for grinding dry ingredients. This is directed by the manufacturer.

                ****

                ~Cleaning~
                Smoothies are a great way to enjoy your daily dose of fruit or vegetables. But if you're going to make smoothies every day you want a machine that is quick and easy to clean. The goblet, lid and stirring stick are not recommended for use in the dishwasher. The manufacturers suggest that before dismantling the blender half fill the goblet with warm water. Fit the lid and cap then switch to MIX. Whilst running the machine, open the tap and allow the water to drain into a container to clean the valve. This process can be repeated until the water runs clear.

                Switch off the machine before dismantling the unit. The goblet and blades can be washed using hot, soapy water and thoroughly rinsed. The lid, cap and stirrer can also be washed in warm, soapy water. If required the tap can be removed from the goblet to ensure thorough cleaning. It is advisable to clean the goblet immediately rather than allow food to dry onto it. I tend to fill it with water and let it soak as it really is a bind to clean if left.

                ****

                I am delighted with the machine and I love the smoothies especially knowing I am getting a good balance of fruit. I love fresh fruit and enjoy a fruit salad but once fruit starts to soften I cannot force myself to eat it. Having the smoothie has meant no more waste fruit as the soft fruit is easily mixed and tastes great. On the downside the cleaning can be annoying especially if bits of pith get caught. Also if you need sieves etc you can get in a bit of a mess. However it hasn't stopped me using it as the benefits outweigh the downside and I have had worse gadgets in the past.

                The Kenwood Smoothie Maker includes an instruction and recipe booklet suggesting 14 different healthy smoothie drinks and six alcoholic drinks you can make at home, all specially created for this machine. Or to be honest just throw anything in and see what it tastes like. A leftover fruit salad makes a great smoothie. I have tried a couple of the recipes but have just recently purchased a book called 'Smoothies and Juices' The Essential Recipe Handbook by Gina Steer which has some delicious ideas for drinks and cocktails, compliments the Kenwood Smoothie Maker.

                Enjoy getting healthy. Perfect for summer. ( I know what summer)!

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                  05.12.2008 16:25
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                  Great Little Blender

                  They are a fairly modern craze, smoothies, drinks made from loads of different fruits, and even vegetables, blended together with milk or yogurt or whatever else you can lay your hands on I suppose. Over the past few years the craze has seen smoothie bars opening up all over the place offering long menus of freshly mushed fruit etc..

                  Home made smoothies make a much healthier alternative to bottled and cartoned fruit juices and similar that we buy in the supermarket, as these quite often have all sorts of added flavourings and colourings, not to mention added sugar. Obviously the much healthier option is to make your own, then you will have full control over exactly what goes into it, to do this you will need a blender, liquidiser or, ideally, a smoothie maker. One of the best names in kitchen appliances is, of course, Kenwood and I will now review the Kenwood Smoothie Concert.

                  Design

                  The design of the Kenwood Smoothie Concert is fairly simple really and is designed in a way that it will fit in with almost any kitchen, modern or not, meaning you could quite happily leave it out on the worktop along with the kettle and toaster, making it always ready for use. The base is made from tough plastic, which is finished to look like shiny chrome or stainless steel. It is very similar to any blender in its design really, in that it is a fairly standard round shape and made up of a base with the controls on and with a jug that sits on top. The jug is made from frosted transparent plastic and is dishwasher safe which is very handy for cleaning.

                  The main difference you will notice with The Kenwood Smoothie Concert, over a normal blender, is the fact that the jug has a tap on the front of it. Where the jug fits in to the base and at the front, where the tap is, the base is curved inwards creating an area where you can hold, or stand, a cup or glass, in which to dispense you freshly blended smoothie from the tap built in to the jug. To the right of the tap are the four control buttons, and also the name 'Kenwood Smoothie Concert'. The jug also has a black lid with a hole in the middle, the hole has two fittings; a plug which fastens in and seals the top completely, and a 9" 'stick' which fits in and can be wiggled about to ensure all your bits of fruit are pushed in to the metal teeth and are blended nice and smoothly.

                  In Use

                  The Kenwood Smoothie Concert is extremely easy to use. It is advisable to clip in to place the lid and feed your fruit through the hole in the centre of it, then use the 'stick' piece described above to move everything around ensuring a nice smooth consistency is reached.

                  The best thing to do is decide what you would like in your smoothie, there are loads of smoothie recipe books out if you are struggling to come up with any ideas, then chop the ingredients in to smallish pieces, this will make them blend better. If you put all your fruit in fridge before blending, then obviouly the smoothie will be nice and cool, however you can add ice in the smoothie maker, or even frozen ingredients. Then you simply drop about half of your ingredients through the hole in the lid and blend away!

                  The Smoothie Concert has four control buttons on it, they are; pulse, smooth, mix and off. the last one of these is self explanatary, mix is, basically, 'slow', smooth is 'fast'. Pulse only spins when you press it, so if you have loaded the jug up with quite a few solids, you can give this a few presses first to get everything softened up a little before hitting mix or smooth, pulse is also very good for crushing ice, simply half fill the jug with ice and then hit pulse 8 - 10 times for about a second at a time, this gives you about a quarter of a jug of crushed ice. Once your ingridients are slightly mushy, you can then keep adding more a bit at a time until they are all in. Then hit 'mix' or 'smooth' and sit back for a minute or so until it is all blended to a pulp! Next serve via the handy tap at the front and enjoy!

                  The jug has measurments on the front on one side in ml up to 1500ml in 100ml increments, and on the other side it has recomended levels for a serving of two or four, for liquids or frozen ingridients. There is also a handle on the back of the jug so you can lift it out and pour the last of your smoothie out if it won't go through the tap. To clean, simply lift the jug away from the base and, like I mentioned above, it is dishwasher safe, however I find a really good rinse with hot water normally does the trick, and also it means you can open the tap up and run some water through that also. The base just simply wipes clean with a damp cloth very easily.

                  Recomended ?

                  Would I recomend this blender / smoothie maker? To be honest, we are not big smoothie drinkers in my house, but we are big cocktail fans, and the main reason for buying it was to make blended cocktails, however one of my wifes favourite blended cocktails has bannana in it so we have used it to blend fruit! I quite often make frozen cocktails in it also (a cocktail with crushed ice in it) and it copes with both of these jobs very well. The main reason we were drawn to this model was the tap on the front and in use this is very handy, as quite often you can spill a lot of your cocktail, or smoothie, when trying to pour it out in to a glass. We also make quite a lot of home made soup and, as we do not have another blender, we use the smoothie concert for blending this also. It makes short work of anything we have tried in it (including, carrot and corriander soup, broccoli and stilton and tomato), it has not been affected in any way by the temperature either. So I think it has been more than tested, even though it has never actually made a true smoothie, and we are more than happy with it. I think if it broke tomorrow, I would go out and buy the same one again, so yes, I would recomend it.
                  This all said, I have found one negative point, it is a very small problem but one I feel I should mention, and it is simply to say not to over fill the Smoothie Concert. When I say over fill I mean make sure it is no higher than the 1200ml marker on the front of the jug, even though it goes up to 1500ml. I fould this out the hard way the first time I made soup in it and I covered the kitchen, and myself, in very hot tomato soup, the lid does not seal properly! This might have been due to it having hot soup in it, when it is actually designed for cold drinks, however, I have not tested it above 1200ml since!! This is the only negative point I can come up with though and is not a problem at all if you know about it.

                  Recipes

                  Below are a few of our favourite blended cocktails, sorry there are no smoothies, although I suppose these are just alcoholic smoothies!! All measurments are approximate and are per serving:

                  Barman's Breakfast

                  Ingredients: 50ml Bailys, 25ml Frandgellico, 75ml Milk, 1/2 A Bannana, 6 Ice Cubes.
                  Method: Pulse the ice cubes six or seven times and then add all the liquids, pulse this lot three or four times then add the bannana and press smooth, wait about 30 seconds and serve.

                  Frozen Margaritta

                  Ingredients: 50ml Tequila, 50ml Triple Sec, 3 Limes Juiced, 10 Ice Cubes.
                  Method: Pulse the ice cubes six or seven times then add everything else pulse about the same again and then serve.

                  Strawberry Daiquiri

                  Ingredients: 100ml White Rum, 1/2 A Lemon Juiced, 8 Strawberries Cut In Half, Pinch Of Sugar, 6 Ice Cubes.
                  Method: Pulse the ice six or seven times then the rum and lemon juice pulse again a few times then add the strawberries and sugar and press smooth for about 30 seconds, serve.

                  Price And Availability

                  I have just Googled it and the cheapest for a new one seems to be Amazon at £27.39 including post and packing, however we bough our earlier this year from a car boot sale and paid just £3.00!! For this we got a boxed like new version of this great blender, and I have to say since buying it I have seen about ten more at car boot sales ranging in price from the £3.00 we paid up to about a tenner, so it might be worth looking at your local car boot this weekend if you are after one!! There are also quite a few on ebay going for about the same money but plus postage.

                  Thanks For Reading, Also On Ciao!

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                  • More +
                    11.02.2008 23:07
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                    A decent good looking smoothie maker

                    It is a well-known fact in my house that my other half is a gadget magnet; whenever a new gadget comes out he is the first to buy them. The problem with this is he also thinks that I like all these gadgets for the kitchen and he marvels how they will save me time, like the bread maker I mean it takes me 5 minutes to pop to the shop and buy a loaf of bread and about 2 hours to make one! That's just an example but you can see what I mean.

                    But for once I actually asked for a kitchen gadget from my mum for Christmas, I decided not to ask the other half as I just wanted a plain smoothie maker and not one that looks like it has bean beamed down from space and takes me 6 months to read the instruction manual! The reason I actually wanted one is simple really I don't eat enough fruit, to be honest I don't eat any and it is also getting harder to get my eldest boy to eat fruit also, so I decided to try making smoothies to see if I could at least make it look like I am being healthy! So was this just another wasted gadget or the answer to my problem?

                    WHAT I GOT FOR MY MUMS MONEY!

                    My mum is certainly less gadget friendly then the other half and would have looked for a smoothie maker that looked nice rather then any fancy extras and this one certainly looks good.
                    When I first opened this product I realised that I would have to put it together but to honest it was quite easy even for me! You get a nice smart looking silver base that also has 4 buttons up the side of it to work the smoothie maker. You then have the jug that is in a few pieces but you just screw the nice looking tap bit into the hole you can't over tighten this as there is a little marker to stop you turning it. Then you have the blade bit and you just screw this bit onto the bottom of the jug, you also get a rubber seal to put in between. Then you have the lid, which comes in 2 pieces, you get the main lid with a hole in the middle and then you have the smaller bit that you put in the hole so you shouldn't have to take the lid completely off when using and you can stir through the little hole, you also get a black plastic stirrer. Also in the box you get your warranty, instructions and recipe booklet.

                    USING

                    So finally I had my new smoothie maker on Christmas day and so I put it away looking forward to playing with my new toy, about a week after Christmas I finally remembered where I had put it and toddled off to the shops to buy lots of lovely fruit to start experimenting!

                    I then remembered that this time of the year isn't the best time for all the fresh fruit I like so I headed to the frozen section of the supermarket and stocked up on all sorts of frozen fruit mixes and apple juice, so I was finally ready to play with my new toy.
                    Obviously I washed all the bits of the smoothie maker before I started to use them, I decided to just have a basic fruit and juice smoothie the first time I used it. On the jug you have the levels, you put your liquids in first to either the first level for 2 smoothies or the second level for 4. You then add your frozen fruit again to either the first frozen level or the second.

                    The liquids level can either be juice, yoghurt, milk and fresh fruit and the frozen level is a bit obvious really either frozen fruits or ice. The appliance holds up to 1.5 litres of liquid, which is enough for 4 decent size glasses.
                    So when you have the jug loaded you then press the mix button that is on the side of the base unit for about 30 seconds and then you press the smooth button and this one stays on between 20 to 30 seconds. The other 2 buttons are pulse and stop, I haven't used the pulse one much but it can be handy if the fruit gets stuck and occasionally this does shift it.

                    The only problems I have come up with when using the smoothie maker is that firstly you have to make sure that the frozen fruit is not in big chunks otherwise these can get stuck and you will find yourself stopping the maker and having to constantly use the stirrer to try and get them chopped down. Also this appliance is not going to win any awards for quietness! In fact it really is noisy to the point it can even drown out my monsters noises and that is no mean feat!
                    After you have finished you should in theory be able to use the nice tap thingy to pour out your smoothie into glasses but I don't seem to have mastered this yet when using frozen fruit, mine seem to be too thick for the tap to pour it and it comes out really slow and as patience isn't my strong point I tend to pour it straight out of the jug. When using fresh fruit it does come out of the tap easier and my boys can then help themselves.

                    If you do have to stop the appliance to stir the ingredients you don't have to take the whole lid off, you just take out the plastic bit in the middle of the lid and that is big enough to put the stirrer into, but remember to put the plastic bit back after using or your kitchen could get decorated in a smoothie!
                    After using the appliance I wash the jug straight away so no fruit bits get congealed on the jug and I can say it really is easy to clean. All the bits come apart easily and even if I don't use the tap I always run some clean water through the tap just to make sure it is clean. Just to let you no you can't put this into a dishwasher for those of you lucky enough to have one!

                    So as for taste well I am really happy to report that I am currently on a smoothie a day and do feel better for having more fruit in my diet, I do like experimenting and trying some of the recipes that are in the booklet but my eldest monster just prefers apple juice mixed with the frozen fruit as he says its more like a slush puppy than something healthy! It has also got him trying lots of different kinds of fruit including things like mango and kiwi, which if I had given him this from the fruit bowl he would of turned his nose up and refused to eat it.

                    SAFETY BITS

                    All the usual things when using electrical appliances plus:
                    When removing the jug from the base wait until the blades have completely stopped, always make sure the lid is firmly on before using, if using hot liquids make sure they have cooled before using in this appliance, obviously keep away from little monsters, don't use the appliance for longer than 60 seconds continuously, never blend dry ingredients or run the appliance empty.

                    EXAMPLES

                    In the books that you get with the appliance there are loads of useful recipes for lovely smoothies, the best one I have found for the kids is:

                    FRUIT SMASHER
                    Nectarines cut up
                    100g fresh strawberries
                    100g fresh raspberries
                    100ml lemonade
                    100ml apple juice
                    6 ice cubes
                    Place the juice and the fruit into the jug, put the ice cubes in last. Switch to mix for 10 seconds and then smooth for 20 seconds.
                    This really is refreshing and my monsters love it!

                    There are also some great ones for adults that include alcohol and just for experiments sake you understand I have tried quite a few of these!
                    You can also make soups in this appliance and I have also had a go and can report that the soup I made was lovely.

                    PRICE

                    Now as this was a present I felt it would be a bit rude to ask my mum what she paid for it but then she is used to me being rude to her! But instead of asking her I looked it up on Amazon and you can pick one up for around £23.99.

                    So would I recommend this appliance? Yes it does everything I want and I can actually say that this is one gadget that will not be gathering dust in the loft! The only little problem is the noise and to be honest it's only on for a short while and on the plus side it drowns out my monsters arguing! It is also really nice to see my eldest monster having fruit and actually enjoying it.

                    Property of madmum71 & lisa8871

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                    • More +
                      07.03.2007 21:28
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                      A great smoothie maker at a reasonable price

                      I bought the Kenwood Smmothie concert in January whilst I was on a New Year health kick, the health kick hasn't lasted too well but the smoothie maker has.

                      What is a smoothie maker?
                      A smoothie make is a blender specialsed for drinks and the creation of smoothies.

                      So what is a smoothie you are asking?
                      Smoothies generally contain fruit, which can be put in to the Smoothie Concert frozen or fresh. (I often use frozen raspberries and blueberries.)Combined with apple juice and orange juice, all mixed up to make a thick healthy drink.
                      Not all smoothies contain fruit and in the reciepe book that accompanies the Kenwood Smoothie Concert there is a Ginger and Chocolate Smoothie, whose ingredients are milk, ginger wine, and dark chocolate ice cream. I haven't tried one yet I have been sticking to the healthy ones. The reciepe book that accompanies the smoothie maker has 27 reciepes. some of which have canned fruit in the ingredients, some have ice cubes and some have frozen fruit. The kenwood smoothie make can cope with all these. Ice presents no problem.

                      So what does the smoothie maker look like and what do you get for your money?

                      The smoothie maker is silver and black and has a clear plastice jug where all the ingredients are place. It is a stylish looking piece of kitchen equipment.

                      The base unit which you plug in is the silver part , the controls are situated on this base.There are 4 buttons on the base unit , OFF, MIX, SMOOTH and PULSE. The Clear plastic jug where the ingredients are place is seated on th base unit. In the bottom of the jug the blades are fitted. These can be removed for cleaning by unscrewing the bottom of the jug and the bottom fitted with blades comes off. There is a tap located towards the bottom of the Jug. This is to enable you to dispense your smoothie once blended. The lid which fixes into the top of the jug is black plastic with a centre hole. In the centre can be fitted a black cap which just seals the lid or a stirring rod can be fitted in. This gives the drink an extra mix when blending. The stirrer is good when blending thick mixtures.
                      As well as getting all the parts mention above you also get a good instruction manual which explains in detail how to fit the smoothie maker together and how to operate it. You also get a reciepe book as mentioned earlier with 27 different smoothie reciepes by Jenni Shapter.

                      How does it work?
                      You simply fill the clear plastic jug with your ingrdients place it securely on the silver base unit put on the lid and either fix in the stirrer or the cap . The you need to press the MIX button for about 30 secs before pressing the SMOOTH button,when all your ingredients are blended (a couple of minutes) switch off and dispense your drink using the tap.

                      Cleaning:
                      The smoothie strips down easily to allow all parts to be cleaned. The parts are not dish washer proof so hand washing is required.

                      Overall Comments:
                      This model of smoothie maker has everything you need and is easy to use. It is a little load when in use but that is it's only downside.
                      I just should use mine more.

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                    • Product Details

                      Powerful 500W motor / Fully calibrated goblet / Ice crushing blades / Ergonomic handle for ease of use / Stir stick / Dispenser tap with rubber grip / Stylish shiney chrome finish / Non slip rubber feet / Short name: Kenwood SB256