Review: The Vejo Is Like a Keurig, But for Smoothies and Juices
The on-the-go blender makes smoothies easier than ever
Smoothies and juices are usually one of two things: expensive or a pain in the ass.
As anyone who has ever been to one of those trendy, “healthy” spots would attest, outsourcing the production can get real pricey real fast. If you want a drink made from quality ingredients, it’s going to cost you. Does a $10 green juice sound familiar to anyone?
On the other hand, if you want to make one at home, things aren’t exactly hassle-free. First you have to make sure you’re stocked up on the necessary fruits and veggies. Then you have to actually make the smoothie. Then you have to clean the apparatus, which is never as easy as it should be. Plus, while they’ve certainly gotten cheaper in recent years, quality juicers and blenders aren’t exactly cheap.
Looking to get more fruits and veggies in my diet, but being the utterly lazy piece of crap that I am, I recently got my hands on a Vejo, a popular kitchen item I’d been led to believe might allow me to make smoothies with only moderate effort and without going broke.
How it works
If you’re unfamiliar with Vejo, think of it as the lovechild of a Nutribullet and Keurig — but portable. It’s a thermos-like container about the size and weight of a tall-boy; it’s compact and unassuming with a smooth matte finish on the exterior and very minimal branding. It works with pods not unlike the ones Keurig uses, with smoothies and juices coming in assorted flavors. You fill the Vejo with water up to a specified line, insert the pod of your choice and twist the lid closed. The Vejo will run for about 30 seconds. Once it stops, you take out the pod and dispose of it, then enjoy your produce-heavy beverage. Clean the Vejo with a little soap and the provided sponge-brush, leave it out to dry, and you’re done. Very easy.
What about their environmental impact?
Opponents to Keurig-like devices like this rightfully bring up how much waste they produce. There’s no getting around the fact that those pods are not great for the environment, but for what it’s worth, it’s top of mind for the folks at Vejo. “They typically decompose faster than a carrot in a commercial facility,” they told me. “With ideal conditions (in a commercial composting facility) the pod can break down in as little as 45-60 days and should not take any longer than 180 days.” They are even coming out with water-soluble pods later this year. Not bad, especially if you’re someone going HAM at the grocery store with plastic bags and/or pre-packaged fruits and veggies. And because it comes in an infinitely reusable drinking vessel, it’s also a hell of a lot better than getting a Razzmatazz or whatever in a big plastic cup from Jamba Juice everytime you want a smoothie.
But how do they taste?
The most important question obviously is whether these things are enjoyable to drink. And I can say without any hesitation that they are. A lot of the flavors are downright tasty. I would say that the fruit flavors are generally better overall than the green flavors, which tend to retain too much of their planty and earthy flavors. They’re not bad, but you definitely know you’re getting your vegetables when you drink them.
Most Vejo flavors have nothing other than freeze dried fruits and vegetables, so while it’s not entirely the same as throwing a bunch of fruit in a blender, they don’t contain a ton of additives that aren’t actually good for you.
A Vejo isn’t the cheapest kitchen item, but it’s not the most expensive, either. A starter pack (a Vejo and plus eight pods) will run you $130, while refills will generally cost you about $3.50 per pod. Again, not outrageously expensive, but you could probably do it for cheaper if you wanted. What you’re really paying for is the convenience and quality. You won’t have to worry about your fruits and vegetables going bad, or about only having half of the ingredients necessary for the smoothie you’re craving. You just grab a pod, pop it in, and you have your smoothie 30 seconds later. No prep work needed, and cleaning is fast and easy. On top of that, once the world gets back to normal, it will be incredibly easy to bring with you on your morning commute.
If you’re abiding by the Alton Brown rule that no kitchen item should be a unitasker, this probably isn’t for you. But if you’re looking for a reusable bottle that makes smoothies in 30 seconds at a pretty affordable price, it’s worth a look.
Nota bene: If you buy through the links in this article, InsideHook may earn a small share of the profits.