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We try out eight of the best jug blenders for readers

Keep your healthy-eating goals on track with a versatile kitchen helper. By Kate Hilpern.

1. L'Equip RPM Professional Blender: £249, UK Juicers

If you're desperate for Blendtec (see number 7) but just can't justify the price tag of a professional-grade blender, this is an affordable alternative, blitzing foods with its eight-pronged blade which draw ingredients into the middle of the machine. Even raw foods like kale don't pose a challenge and we found it was good with dry ingredients too, milling grains and grinding seeds with the ease it promises.

2. Magimix Le Blender: £159.99, Amazon

This classy and compact looking blender comes in a range of colours, and aesthetics aren't all it's got going for it, with no unwanted lumps spoiling the smooth finish of your culinary creations - even when it comes to ice, which is often a sticking point for blenders. It's quiet, easy to keep clean and the new BlendCup - available separately - means you can turn it into a bullet blender. The recipe book is great, but the machine is heavy.

3. Russell Hobbs Creations Jug Blender: £49.99, Argos

The one thing most blenders struggle with making is pesto, but despite the low price tag, this one does it really well, revealing its capabilities when it comes to both wet and dry ingredients. We also found it good for soups and smoothies and even ice. It's a doddle to set up - including the extra grinder attachment - and the glass jug is built to last. But it's not the fastest and as you need to wash the blade by hand, be sure to have your Marigolds at the ready.

4. Sage The Boss: £299.95, John Lewis

You'll be hard pushed to make a smoother smoothie, puree or soup (which, by the way, you can reheat afterwards) than with this powerful machine, all thanks to the patented blade and bowl system. The five pre-set programmes and 12 speeds means it's got most ingredients and recipes covered, although be warned, it's loud. And while it's not the cheapest of machines, it's actually fifty quid cheaper than it was a year ago.

5. Philips Avance: £85.42, Amazon

You might need a bit of patience with this one, which isn't the quickest at blending, but the super-smooth results are worth it and it's pretty quiet too, as well as being simple to use and good value for money. Philips says it's the off-centre blade jug that creates the desired consistency - in which case, it's a damn fine invention.

6. Smeg Retro Style Food Blender: £149.95, John Lewis

With seven colours to choose from - including our favourite, the pastel pink - this retro-look compact blender will make an eye-catching addition to your worktop and it's nice and light, too. No need to bore yourself with lengthy instructions as it's a doddle to use straight from the box and it's great for everyday smoothie and soups, although we don't rate it for drier ingredients or frozen fruits or, indeed, for being quick.

7. Blendtec 575 Classic: £1,000, Amazon

No, you didn't read the price wrong, but there's nothing this American industrial-spec machine doesn't breeze through, which is why many restaurants and smoothie bars also use them. The blades are dull (so no cutting yourself), as well as being far thicker and stronger than most, and are designed to suck the ingredients down, rather than sending them around the jar. It's easy to clean (one drop of washing-up liquid and press the clean cycle), almost impossible to break and there's an eight-year warranty (longest in the industry). But it is noisy.

8. Kenwood Blend-X Classic Blender: £101.26, Amazon

Every blender claims to have some magic bullet to super-smooth results and with this one, it's a multi-layered blade. We found it excelled at everything - including vegetables, nuts and the acid test of crushing ice - and it doesn't make too much noise in the process. Not the best machine if you're in a hurry though or if you don't like cleaning, as the parts can't go in the dishwasher.

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