It’s a challenge all homeowners face: many small appliances and kitchen tools only do one task and often wind up cluttering a kitchen. You’ve got a grinder for your coffee beans, a personal blender for your smoothies and a food processor for chopping. That’s where a blender that does it all stands apart. No matter how large your pantry or how vast your cabinet space, appliances that multitask can be the star of your kitchen.

Getting the most out of these versatile appliances starts with understanding the culinary possibilities. One that is often overlooked is grinding.

Why is grinding ingredients important?

Spices, grains, seeds, and coffee beans always remain freshest when they are stored in their whole form. Once ground, the flavor and freshness of these ingredients begin to fade. This is especially true when it comes to coffee and spices. If you’ve ever purchased premium coffee from a boutique roaster, they likely only sell their product in whole form and grind it to order if requested. These roasters know that the best flavor comes from a whole bean that’s ground right before it’s used. Spices face a similar freshness issue. While it’s easy to purchase pre-ground spices, they can linger in your pantry for years without use. If you grow your own spices, drying and milling can save you money and boost the flavor of your dishes. Purchasing whole spices and milling them yourself using a spice grinder can also be more economical and flavorful. They also have a longer shelf life, maximizing your budget. Grinding your own spices not only ensures freshness but also unlocks deeper flavors, resulting in a more balanced flavor profile in your cooking.

What’s the difference between grinding and milling?

Does grinding and milling deliver the same results? In many ways, these words are interchangeable and describe the simple act of processing something down to a smaller form. Milled spices are often slightly larger, or coarser, than ground ones. With a high-performance blender, it’s easy to achieve the texture you want – from coarse to fine. For a coarser texture, mill or grind your spices for a shorter period of time.

The Key to Grinding with a High-Performance Blender: The Spin

Not all blenders – or blender containers – can handle the task of grinding. If you’ve ever tried to grind grains in a standard blender, you may have noticed that the unit spins but packs the dry ingredients under the blade where they remain either partially mixed or in their whole form.

This is where a versatile high-performance blender with a powerful motor stands apart. With a Vitamix Dry Grains Container, you can grind coffee, grains, spices, seeds, and coffee beans easily. The blades in the container are specifically designed to create a reverse vortex, pushing dry ingredients away from the blades to prevent packing. The unique blade design can also mill small quantities of many spices. The container can grind whole grains into flours and process coffee beans quickly, functioning like a coffee grinder. It can also get other kitchen tasks done – like mixing batters or simulating the process of kneading doughs.

The container’s smaller size (32-ounce) assures you can do small batches, ensuring a consistent level of fineness. A larger 48-ounce size is also available if you’re grinding large quantities of flour for baking. One of our favorite flour recipes is turning almonds into almond flour

Selecting Your Ingredients

Freshness counts when it comes to purchasing any dry ingredient. Organic grocery stores will often have bulk food bins where you can select a small quantity of grains, spices, or nuts at a time. Many common spices, when stored properly and kept whole, retain their flavor for up to five years. Raw almonds can be used for about two years while nutrient-rich wheat berries can stay fresh for decades.

When selecting coffee beans, look for ones that are Fair Trade Certified™. Fair Trade Certified growers also undergo rigorous oversight and testing to assure not only a better growing environment but also more humane living and working conditions for harvesters.

Grinding Spices with Vitamix

The secret to spice grinding is the prep – specifically toasting them. Use a dry pan set on a low heat, add your spices and stir constantly. Once you notice the spice’s aroma, remove the seeds from the heat, allow them to cool a bit and add them to your blender.

When grinding spices, use the Vitamix Dry Grains Container if you have one. It can tackle both large and small quantities of spice and mill them to your desired consistency, creating a fine powder. Start the blender on low and immediately turn it to high until you’re happy with the grind.

You don’t have to limit yourself to one spice at a time. Our Berbere Spice Blend recipe mixes several spices together into a rub that goes great with fish, chicken, or beef. Store your spice blends in airtight containers to maintain freshness and preserve their flavor.

Milling Flours with Vitamix

Milling your own flour allows you to customize your diet to your needs. If you’re trying to eliminate gluten, you can mill almond flour or our tried-and-true All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour. Since store-bought ground flour has only a six-month shelf life, you can also assure you’re using the freshest ingredients when you mill your own.

To mill flour in a Vitamix, add your ingredients and start the blender on its lowest speed. Quickly increase to the highest speed. Blend for 60 seconds while using a tamper to push ingredients toward the blades.

Try our Whole Wheat Flour recipe.

Grinding Coffee Beans with Vitamix

Nothing smells quite as good as fresh ground coffee beans. A coarse grind will deliver the richest flavor – whether you’re using a drip brewer, French press or pour over method. It's the perfect balance.

Place your beans in the Vitamix Dry Grains Container. Select Variable Speed 1 and turn the machine on slowly, increasing the speed to Variable 8. Grind the coffee beans for 10 seconds.

If you’re a fan of iced coffee, you can even brew that in your Vitamix blender using the “pour over method!” Just take your coffee grounds and add them to a coffee filter basket (from a drip brewer). Add ice cubes to the bottom of your Vitamix and place the filter basket on top. Pour simmering hot water over the coffee grounds and allow it to drip through into the Vitamix machine.

Get the full recipe and other tips here.

Maintenance and Care for Your Vitamix

You may be wondering if you can use the same Vitamix container to grind flours, coffee and spices – or if the flavors linger and meld too much. With a little easy maintenance, one container can do the job, and deliver quality results. To keep your Vitamix clean, rinse out the blender with clean water. Add a little dish soap and water and blend. The container will clean itself. Pour out the soapy water, rinse and air dry.

More care and maintenance tips.

Get Started Grinding!

Your Vitamix is a workhorse tool for your kitchen, helping you prep smart and cook with more flavorful, freshly ground ingredients. Discover more recipes and ideas here.


  • Can I use any Vitamix blender for grinding spices, grains, and coffee beans? Your Vitamix is the perfect tool for grinding dry ingredients. We recommend using our Dry Grains Container to get the best results.

  • What is the recommended grind size for different spices? It depends on your recipe, although most dry spices distribute better in a recipe when you use a fine grind.

  • How do I prevent overheating while grinding with Vitamix? The Vitamix motor is designed with Automatic Overload Protection to protect itself from overheating.

  • Can I grind oily ingredients like nuts in a Vitamix? Yes. Depending on the nut, you can create both nut butters (cashews) or nut flours (almonds).

  • Are there specific containers for milling grains with Vitamix? Yes. We recommend our Vitamix 32-ounce dry grains container or larger 48-ounce size.

  • How do I clean the blender after grinding spices to avoid flavor transfer? Rinse out the blender with clean water. Add a little dish soap and water and blend. The container will clean itself. Pour out the soapy water, rinse and air dry.

  • How often should I replace the blades in my Vitamix blender? Vitamix blades are made from hardened stainless steel and should not need to be replaced, even after years of blending hard ingredients like nuts, seeds, spices, or frozen fruit.

Should spices be toasted before grinding? Yes, toasting spices on the stovetop will help release the natural flavors of the spice.