I’m a notoriously lazy piece of shit when it comes to cooking. It’s not that I don’t enjoy actually cooking food – I like the process of stirring and waiting for something to cook itself in the oven, for example. It’s the PREP I hate. Cutting, dicing, mincing – it’s exhausting, fiddly, and usually leaves me with a severed finger to be honest.
I’d heard good things about Ninja blenders. They were being praised as the life-saver for anyone low on time who wanted to be healthy. The one I’d heard the most about was this guy:
But to be honest, I never drink smoothies and I’m not one for green drinks either. So while all my super healthy mates praised their Nutri Ninja, I was sort of like “cool, seems useful but not for me”. I’m not one for blended brekkie.
THEN, the brand contacted me about this thing, called the IntelliSense:
This was like the top tier version of a Ninja – something that didn’t just blend your drinks, but could cut down on bloody annoying meal prep. Given I’m trying to save money after a particularly expensive trip around Australia, I figured why not give it a test run on a few meals I’d normally cry over having to prep?
My first thought was – where the hell am I going to store this thing. It’s convenient in that the main base is sleek, square, and has quality suction pads – meaning you can pop it on your kitchen counter and leave it there, removing the attachments as needed. But there are a LOT of attachments – if I were keeping this, I’d probably bin the ones I’ll never use, or at least move them to storage elsewhere – this thing with all it’s bits could take up an entire cupboard in a small apartment.
I got the most use out of the processing attachment and the spiraliser – this is because I don’t do smoothies, but if you were a smoothie person the blend-and-go attachment would be a lifesaver IMO.
Anyway, I started by sticking to the Ninja websites recipes – they explain how long you need to use the settings for, which makes things easier when you’re a newbie. There’s a big focus on healthy meals and treats, like these no-bake doughnuts.
But they also have recipes for REALLY fun stuff. Ice cream. You can make ice cream in this thing. Also, snow cones. There’s a LITERAL button for snow cone making.
I personally avoided anything healthy and went for the bad shit – brownies. And salsa.
The salsa was insanely easy – I would NEVER make salsa normally, but because the Ninja can blend tomatoes and coriander to a pulp, it meant in minutes I had a delish little salsa dip with little to no mess, because I didn’t have to chop anything by hand. You know when herb bits and tomato juice get everywhere, even when you’re making a simple salad? ANNOYING.
Salsa requires a margarita (obviously), so I gave their marg recipe a go. It’s from the US site which was accessible easily on my phone (not so much on desktop).
A quick note – the IntelliSense is a newer product for Ninja Kitchen, so there’s less recipes that cater directly to it and it’s settings. BUT I found it was easy to work out the variables between the Nutri Blender and other products, and the IntelliSense. It features many of the same buttons, and when it didn’t it’s not too hard to work out how to mince or chop something – then I just ran the setting for the same length of time. But the recipes that cater directly to the IntelliSense were the easiest to master.
The margarita was GOOOOOD and the ice blended well in the machine, but I’m also aware that you can blend ice in a basic blender, too. So on that front it didn’t change my life.
Next, I went for brownies. THIS blew my mind – the IntelliSense has a special dough attachment that features plastic blades that act like spatulas, essentially. When you pop your flour, eggs, butter and milk (or whatever’s going into your baking goods) into the machine, it’ll mix them together expertly so you don’t have to – and do it in record time. My brownies came out crispy on top and perfectly moist in the centre, like I was a profesh chef. If you’re into baking, I think this machine could revolutionise your prep.
Then I tried the machine on a recipe that wasn’t from their site. I wanted to do this because reality is, you probably have meals you already like to make and just want to minimise the prepping stages. One meal I LOVE, but find immensely annoying to prepare, is cauliflower pizza bases. I love pizza but I’m trying to be a bit healthier and since I do absolutely 0 exercise, wanted to master replacing some carbs with cauli. But if you’ve ever blended cauliflower with a hand blender, you’ll know it’s messy as HELL.
It definitely was quicker and easier to blend the cauliflower in the IntelliSense, and I used it again later to blend some cauliflower rice to go with a stew I made. I also diced the onion for the stew in the blender, and chopped some parsley in there.
I guess if I were to wrap this review up, I’d say the best benefit was being able to chop, dice and mince annoying messy ingredients like onion, garlic, cauliflower and herbs – and then just dishwash the add-ons so you didn’t have to bother with fiddly cleaning. It meant my pre-prep for recipes was done and I could get on with the fun part of cooking.
Plus, eating healthy and substituting carb-heavy stuff when you don’t exercise enough to warrant carb-heavy stuff nightly, like pasta and rice, means a LOT of prepping veggies, and the spiralizer/processor made this easy for me. It meant I was less likely to go for the pasta out of ease – I find zucchini noodles totally fine, just a nightmare to usually prepare.
So would I buy it? Maybe not – I didn’t need all the add-ons and found I only used the processor and spiraliser. If I did the smoothie thing, I absolutely would, because then the price tag would be warranted. I’d be using all the elements and using them daily.