I recently joined the ambassador program for Froothie UK and the company kindly sent me an Optimum 9200 blender to review and play around with. Naturally the first thing I did was fill it with Oreos to make cookie butter.
I switched to using a high performance blender about five years ago, and while it can seem expensive to lay out so much dosh I believe it’s a worthwhile investment if you use a blender frequently, if you want to make day to day kitchen tasks easier (the smoothest hummus you'll ever eat, easy veggie chopping, fast smoothies), and if you're keen on making better tasting variations of products you would otherwise buy (nut butters and non dairy milks are a cinch).
The bar was high for me since it's not my first time owning a high performance blender, but my first impressions of the Optimum 9200A are great. It does everything my other blender does and it's so quiet. Gone are the days of questioning if it's appropriate to make a smoothie or soup at 2am (I live in a block of flats) when I wake up starving and don't want to wait until real people hours to eat.
It's still a lot of money, but I think its still a fair deal. The Optimum 9200A not only comes with an extended warranty of 6 years (with a 10 year option), but it’s such a workhorse that I don’t think I will ever need to cash in on that pledge.
The greatest flaw I have found with cheaper blender models, aside from how much less powerful they are, is their short life span. Either the motor blows or I pour hot liquid in and the glass shatters (I never said common sense was my strong point). The motor in this machine is powerful enough to work hard without burning out. Furthermore, the Optimum jug material is a sturdy plastic that can take jumps in temperature (in case, like me, you go from hot soup to iced desserts in the span of seven minutes).
So if you’re that person who goes through mediocre blenders regularly, consider spending a little extra for one that will both last longer and work a billion trillion times better than any brand you buy on the high street (not exaggerating here). I think the Optimum blenders are currently the best priced high performance machines on the market, and they do the the job as effectively as competitors.
Even if you’re not sold on it, Froothie offers a 1 month money back guarantee for your Optimum blender.
My only qualm, and it’s the same as with other similar products, is that it’s sometimes difficult to access all of the contents of the jug since much is trapped under the blades. I’m talking minimal food loss though, really, and if it’s for a sauce that’s forgiving of liquid quantities, a quarter cup of water whizzed around will make the remaining contents liquid enough to pour out.
Some of my favourite uses for the Optimum 9200:
Cream and ice cream: You can throw just about any frozen fruit in for an instant frozen dessert, but my standards call for way more fat and sugar than that. My home-made ice creams are fat intensive and my preference is to create a vegan single cream as a base, which involves blending soy milk and oil. The speed and power of the Optimum means the emulsification happens quickly, not to mention the fact that I can easily achieve a smooth base if I want to include cookies or other solid ingredients as flavourings.
Flour based sauces: blend all ingredients together and then heat to thicken. It’s a lazy way to skip the roux process if you want quicker sauces. Sometimes I will make a nutritional yeast based mac and cheese sauce while I'm boiling macaroni. When the macaroni is 90% cooked, I strain it and add both the sauce and pasta back to the pan to thicken and finish cooking the mac.
Stuff to dehydrate: when it comes to fruit leather and raw crackers the Optimum is my best pal. Everything goes in, gets blended to a pulp, and spread on sheets to dehydrate. From start to finish it’s a ten minute process (plus the four thousand hours to dehydrate, but that’s worth it too because it tastes good).
Crushed ice desserts. I'm big on shaved ice snacks (everything from American style Rita's Ice variations to Asian treats with sweet beans and fruit). I have a hand operated ice shaver that generally ends in tears and I want to pour vodka over my ice instead of sugar syrup in order to cope with how much manual labour it took to make a tablespoon of ice, but the Optimum means I can finely crush ice with minimal effort. The easiest dessert in the world to make if you have a high performance blender involves a bunch of Monin sugar syrup and ice, blended until smooth. Perfect on hot days or for sore throats (I believe in sugar as the cure for everything).
Flours: A high performance blender like the Optimum is perfect for milling flours fast. I use it to grind oats to flour for my Italian okara meatball recipe.
Powdered sugar: sugar in, pulse, powdered sugar out.
Non dairy milks and tofu: I know everyone says to soak nuts before making nut milks and nut based cheeses, but approximately 100% of the time I am too impatient for that. The great thing about a high performance blender is the recipe will still work – that almond milk will be as smooth and your cashew cheese as creamy. No problem. I make my own almond milk and it takes just a minute in the Optimum, plus another minute to strain. Boom, done. I also make my own tofu, and the process of blending the soybeans for soya milk takes almost no time at all with this machine.
Cinnamon Oreo Cookie Butter
Talk about easy, this cookie butter recipe is great on toast or by the spoonful. I used my Optimum 9200A, with two rounds of 20 seconds, scraping the sides in between.
- 1 sleeve (157 grams) Double Stuff Oreos
- 45 millilitres (3 tablespoons) soya milk (plus extra if necessary)
- 30 millilitres (2 tablespoons) vegetable oil
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Add the soy milk and oil to the blender, followed by cookies and cinnamon, and blend until smooth, scraping sides to ensure contents are mixed smoothly. If necessary, add extra soya milk by the tablespoon for a thinner consistency.
- Author: Kip Dorrell
- Makes: about 200 millilitres
- Cuisine: Desserts and Spreads
Full disclosure: Froothie sent me a complimentary blender to try, but all opinions expressed are my own. Links to Froothie are affiliate links and I will earn a small commission if you purchase from their website.