Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder

The Vitamix — A blender like no other

I have never done this before, but I decided to dedicate a whole article to my newly acquired kitchen appliance — the Vitamix.

I have never done this before, but I decided to dedicate a whole article to my newly acquired kitchen appliance — the Vitamix.

I had walked past this blender a few times and sampled countless smoothies during demonstration done at Costco, mostly dismissing it as another expensive gadget. After destroying another $100 blender by crushing ice and making thick, heavy dips, I decided it was time give the Vitamix a second look.

After two months of use, I can confidently say that the Vitamix is a blender like no other. It is Lamborghini in the blender world. With its two horsepower motor it acts as a grinder, a food processor, an ice cream maker, a juicer, a smoothie maker, a cappuccino maker and so much more in one amazing package.

It can make hot piping soup from scratch. The Vitamix does not have a heating element within the blender and that is the neat trick with this. The friction and high power generates heat which heats up the soup while it is being puréed.

You don’t need to finely chop all the ingredients either, just course cut — celery stock into two pieces, zucchini into chunks, and peppers into quarters — add liquid and start blending. It takes about two minutes to get the soup really smooth and about three more minutes to get it piping hot. A couple of extra seconds lets you chop and mix in additional ingredients to add a little chunkiness into the soup. In about six minutes you can eat hot soup made from fresh whole ingredients, all in the time it takes to open and heat a can of sodium-soaked, store-bought soup.

The velvety texture of the resulting soup also gives the illusion that heavy cream has been added but there isn’t making Vitamix soups appealing to calorie reduced dieters and Vegans.

It is also a great way to use up extra produce that is shriveling up at the back of your produce drawer; just toss it into the turbo-charged blender and process it until it’s as creamy and frothy. Throw in a few herbs, a complementary spice or two, a grating of pepper, and voila — gourmet soup without the cooking!

The high power also comes in handy when you are making green smoothies. If you’re new to green smoothies, they are a simple blending of vegetables such as spinach, kale, or chard with sweet fruits like bananas, apples, mangoes, oranges, or pineapples. Though it looks green, the sweetness of the fruit predominates “hiding” all the greens that are elusive in our diets. Because of the fibrous nature of most green vegetables, my older blender gave these smoothies a chewy characteristic, with a few chunks of vegetable. With the Vitamix, however, it is smoothie magic; the greens are converted into a beautiful silky puree, giving the drink a milkshake like consistency.

Another aspect of the blender that has me wanting to sing its praises is its ability to grind; with ease ice cubes turn into slush, raw oats into a powder grains or flour, and granulated sugar magically convert to icing sugar. For people who want to make their own nut butters, this is a dream come true. It easily beats up chick peas into a creamy hummus and mug of cappuccino with a frothy milky head.

Saving the best aspect for last, my number one favourite think about the Vitamix is the ease of cleaning it. Since the blender is one piece, you no longer have to struggle with the base as is the case in the old blenders. You simply, fill half of the blender with water and a little dish soap, then blend at high speed for about 15-20 seconds. Rinse once or twice and bingo, your container is completely clean and ready to use!

My one complaint with Vitamix is their recipes for ice cream. Most require ice to “freeze” the ice cream. While this is great for showcasing the ability of the Vitamix to convert ice cubes into slush, the resulting flavour ends up tasting, at least to me, more like — well ice. But this is not a blender problem just a recipe hiccup that easily be fixed by using frozen fruit or re-blending the ice cream mixture once it is previously frozen.

The Vita mix, the total nutrition centre model, is approximately $500 at Costco, as well as through www.vitamix.com. Maybe a bit pricey but if you are serious about cooking it is a serious tool and serious tools are expensive in any trade.

Here are some of my tried recipes using the Vitamix but follow me on Twitter @madhubadoni to see more of my Vitamix adventures.

Madhu Badoni is a Red Deer-based freelance food writer. She can be reached at madhubadoni@gmail.com or on Twitter @madhubadoni..

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