Mini-prep or single-serve blender?


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Mini-prep or single-serve blender?

SamCurt | | May 29, 2011 09:34 PM

I live in a rented apartment with my wife, and we share our cooking together. We're thinking of buying an appliance to deal with some blending needs associated with our cooking. However:

1. As we move into SE Asian cooking, the "dry" component of the spice pastes would need something powerful to grind, say, cumin or peppercorn. This rules out most food choppers.

2. There isn't much space in the apartment kitchen, so regular blender/food processors are also out.

So that left us with two options:

a. A Mini-prep, by brand--only Cuisinart's can grind seeds. Not even Kitchenaid.
b. A single-serve blender with a blending blade-- if I pursue this option, I would choose Cuisinart or Tribest which have better reputations.

Should we be using that for cooking, I'd certainly go for the Mini-prep. However, my wife have said she wanted to make smoothies herself for years, and it sounds a bit awkward to make smoothies in a mini-prep. So I wonder if anyone can answer any these questions:

i. Have anyone tried making smoothies with a Miniprep, suppose we don't chop ice?
ii. Can single-serve blenders actually do an acceptable job in blending, pureeing and grinding?

Thanks to all in advance!