A good blender is a must! I am a big Blendtec fan. After having had mine for 10 years I feel like I cannot live without it. It micronizes everything. Imagine liquifying your smoothies so that they are smooth. It is a great tool for raw dips as it can make a raw carrot based dip taste smooth just like a cooked pureed dip. Great for quick soups, blended juices and even making flour out of grains.
I use this appliance a few times a day and it has proven more than worth my initial investment which was considerably high.
There are a few different varieties of Blendtec including certified refurbished ones.
Mine has the top lid for noise softening Amazin link and I snatched it on a sale.
I am in love with my masticating juicer. It is made with all ceramic parts so less oxidation occurs. It can be used for juicing leaves which the centrifugal juices are not good at. It practically masticates everything and just a little fry pulp comes out the other side. It is good for banana ice cream as well as well as making nut butters.
I have this one Omega 8004. It is an older model but I highly recommend it. I am sure their more current models are also as good. Nowadays my older model is at a lower price so I think it is a great deal for a juicer that can last you 30 years. I have also broken one of the small parts and they replaced it for free.