So why is the Vitamix the only blender I will endorse? It is the Vitamix engineering. Vitamix has an extensive history and a warranty that backs their claims. And why not? This company has been going strong since 1921! Mine has been running strong since 2011 and I use it daily. There isn’t another appliance in my house that I can say that about. It is an investment into the health of my family.
When I was a little girl growing up in Massachusetts, one of my favorite memories was making coconut beans and rice with my grandma. It was an old family recipe from Jamaica that was made during the holidays. When we were making it, the wonderfully sweet smell of fresh coconut filled the house. I can remember sitting at the kitchen table with a cheese grater grating the coconut meat by hand and placing it on cheese cloth. I can also remember the stern look I got from her when she caught me sneaking a piece to nibble on. It was my dad’s job to “milk” the coconut. The cheese cloth containing the shredded coconut was tied and placed in a pot of boiling water for 20 minutes then squeezed and measured. My dad was the only one tough enough to handle the job. All of this took lots of time but the final dish was like no other. It was a labor of love so we didn’t mind.
Fast forward to the present. Because of the Vitamix, I can make fresh coconut milk in a fraction of the time, no scraped knuckles from the grater, with less mess and nary a burn from scalding water.
6oz fresh coconut meat
4 cups of water (total)
- Place coconut meat into the container and secure lid.
- Select Variable 1.
- Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then High.
- Blend for 30 seconds or until a fine mash is formed using the tamper to press the coconut meat into the blades.
- Turn machine off, remove lid, scrape container with a Vitamix spatula, add 2 cups of the water and replace the lid.
- Select Variable 1.
- Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
- Blend for 1 minute then pour contents into a Vitamix filtration bag to extract the milk.
- Return the mash in the filtration bag to the Vitamix container and add the remaining 2 cups of water.
- Repeat steps 6-8.
Time Tip: Coconuts typically contain 12-14 oz of meat. Freeze any unused meat in a dated and labeled freezer bag for future use.
Money tip: Coconuts are less expensive during the holidays so stock up, process and save.
For more information on picking and processing fresh coconuts, please see my blog post on that topic.
Time to toss the grater, folks! This is the fastest and easiest way to process ginger.
3 cups of fresh ginger root
- Wash (no need to peel) and cut 2-3 cups of fresh ginger root.
- Place into Vitamix container and secure lid.
- Select Variable 1 and turn machine on.
- Quickly increase speed to variable 10, then High.
- Using the tamper, press the ginger into the blades and blend for 1-2 minutes or until completely smooth.
Time Tip: Freeze ginger puree in “mini cube” ice cube trays and store them in labeled freezer bags. Each cube is about 1/2 teaspoon so there no guessing when it comes to measurements. Don’t bother peeling it. The Vitamix is powerful enough to blend the root and the skin so smooth that there are no fibrous strands in the puree. Plan ahead and keep some on hand in the refrigerator for easy mixing.
Money Tip: I looked up Ginger puree on line and it was going for $9 a pound. Fresh ginger root runs about $6-7 . Because of its strong flavor, only a small amount is needed. Keeping it in the freezer means less waste in the refrigerator and the convenient cubes are ready when you are.
ATTENTION: Make sure to get clearance from your doctor before trying any blenderized diet.
1 cup of peppermint or chamomile tea
2 oz of Avocado
2 oz of fresh Aloe Vera (optional)
3 cups of greens
Makes 2 cups
1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix in the order listed and secure lid.
2. Select Variable 1.
3. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to 10, then to High.
Blend for 1-2 minutes or until very smooth (no visible leaves).
Food Tip: When using this smoothie in the enteral feeding pump, it is vital that there are no leaf particles. Because the bag tubing, extension tubing and g-tube are all small in diameter, small bits of leaves can get caught and cause the pump to alarm and stop the feeding due to “No flow out”. Green smoothies do not work well without some type of fat in them. Outside of the health benefits, that’s why the avocado is added.Also, if formula is normally given, it is best to combine the smoothie with the formula and mix well. It has been my experience that straight green smoothies without the formula mixed in tend to separate. The pureed greens are lighter than the water so the water will go though the pump leaving the greens stuck in the feed bag. If Aloe Vera is used it must be food grade. Do not use fresh Aloe Vera unless you know how to properly prepare it.
Time Tip: How much smoothie to give depends on total volume and tolerance. It is best fresh within 2-3 days so I store the remaining smoothie in a container that allows me to shake it up before pouring.
Money Tip: Since they are going to be blended, buy greens in bulk and freeze any portion you do not use within 3-5 days. That way there is no waste from greens gone bad in the refrigerator. Fresh frozen greens such as kale and spinach break up easily once frozen allowing for easy measuring and blending.
This recipe came from our dear friend, Gary Mirabella. As you can probably tell by his last name he’s Italian so, when he suggested I make this, I had no doubt it was going to taste amazing! And, as with every recipe he has shared with us, it was. So try this tonight for dinner and, for those of you with someone restricted to a pureed diet, don’t forget to save some to puree for them!
1 19oz can of Progresso Lentil soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove of garlic minced
¼ cup diced onions
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
¼ grated Romano cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
8 oz macaroni salad pasta
Directions: In a medium sauce pan sauté the onions until they are translucent. Add in the spinach and garlic and continue to sauté until the spinach is wilted. Over medium heat, add soup, cheeses and seasonings. Stir to combine. When the mixture begins to bubble and the cheeses begin to melt, reduce heat to low and continue to cook stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and add to soup mixture. Top with a sprinkle of Romano and/or Parmesan cheese and serve with a side of fresh steamed vegetables.
- Place 1 cup of Pasta Lenticchie and 1 cup of vegetables into the Vitamix and secure lid.
- Select Variable 1.
- Turn machine on and increase to Variable 4.
- Blend for 15-30 seconds using the tamper to press the ingredients into the blades. Increase speed and liquid as needed to reach the desired texture.
Food tip: When preparing dinners, make sure there are no food allergies to the ingredients. Using canned soup is fine but making your own ensures only the freshest ingredients go into it.
Time Tip: Double the recipe and puree the leftovers in the proportions listed above and freeze in ice cube trays covered in plastic wrap. Store in labeled and dated freezer bags.
Money Tip: Making your own soup from dried lentils saves money. Shop in markets that sell beans in bulk bags or bins. Store dried lentils in airtight bins in a cool dry place.
Yesterday felt like Christmas here at the Barton home. My new 32oz Vitamix container was delivered! The story begins like this: Last week my daughter was making almond milk in the Vitamix and she heard a high pitched sound we don’t usually here when running the machine. She let me know and I check it out right away. I heard what she heard so I switched containers to see if it happened again. When the sound didn’t return I turn my attention to the blade assembly on the 32oz container. Sure enough the blade was not turning as freely as it usually does. So we switched to using the 64oz container and called the company to let them know what was going on.
When we purchased the Deluxe Complete Kitchen it came with a 7 year warranty . We added an extra year because we have a large family. That gives us coverage until 2019! I have never had any company back their product like that! I ended up speaking to a very nice customer service representative who not only placed the order for my replacement container but also gave me great tips on nut butters easier to blend and remove from the container. It was like talking to an old friend rather than a rep just trying to get off the phone to get to the next call. This family owned company really knows how to take care of their customers!
Take a moment and click on the “Vitamix Coupon” in my blog roll and check out all they have to offer. There is something for everyone. Remember, if you order through the coupon link in this blog or over the phone with code #06-009912, you get free shipping with machine order.
1 lb dried pinto beans
6 cups of water
2 tsp beef bouillon
Salt (to taste)
Quick soak- Place washed and sorted beans and the water into a 3 quart saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low for 1 hour. After 1 hour stir in the bouillon. Continue cooking the beans for 1-2 hours or until they are tender. Properly cooked beans should easily mash with the back of a spoon. Stir in salt to taste and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain the beans and reserve 1 cup of the broth.
- Place 3 cups of drained beans into the Vitamix.
- Select variable 1.
- Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10.
- Blend for 30 seconds using the tamper to press the beans into the beans. Add small amounts of the bean broth to reach the desired consistency.
- Repeat steps 1-3 until all the beans are pureed.
Food Tip: Use them as a side dish, to make burritos, tostadas or as a base for 9-layered dip. Add them to soups and stews as a natural thickener with the added benefit of adding extra protein.
Savings Tip: Because they are inexpensive, buy beans in bulk and store in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dry place. Under these conditions, dry beans can last up to a year. Also watch for sales in Mexican or farmer’s markets. These markets often have sales that are better than buying pre-packaged beans.
Time Tip: Cooked and pureed beans can keep for up to 6 months in the freezer. Double the recipe and freeze them in 1-3 cup size containers. When defrosted, use within 3 days. If using them as baby food, freeze them in standard ice cube trays covered in plastic wrap. Once frozen, put them into labeled and dated freezer bags for fast, fresh, individual portions.
All of my pureed diet recipes must pass a taste test. I feel, if I won’t eat it, why would anyone else? I sampled this recipe and it a tasted like an amped up Cream of Wheat. I had one of my girls taste it and she cleaned the plate!
1/3 cup of water
4 pancakes (or 4oz by weight)
- Add ingredients the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
- Select Variable 1.
- Turn machine on and increase speed to Variable 10.
- Blend for 10-15 seconds using the tamper to press the ingredients into the blades.
Food Tip: Serving this warm with maple syrup has all of the flavor of my whole grain pancakes minus the chewing. Increase or decrease the water 1 tablespoon at a time to reach the desired consistency.
Food Tip: If fiber needs to be restricted, use my whole grain pancake recipe but use ½ cup of oat flour, ½ cup quinoa flour and ½ cup of all purpose flour instead of the combination listed.
Money Tip: Of course you can use a prepared pancake mix or frozen pancakes but those will always more expensive.
Time Tip: As with all of my pureed recipes, any leftovers can be frozen in ice cube trays and stored in Ziploc bags for future use.
½ cup all purpose flour
½ cracked wheat or whole wheat flour
¼ cup oat flour
¼ cup quinoa flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tsp double-acting baking powder
1¼ cup of milk (any kind)
3 tablespoons melted butter
- Combine dry ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl and set aside.
- Combine eggs and milk in the Vitamix container and secure lid.
- Select Variable1.
- Turn machine on and blend for 3 seconds.
- Turn machine off and remove lid.
- Add in dry ingredients and secure lid.
- Select Variable 1.
- Increase speed to Variable 3 and blend for 10 seconds.
- Turn off machine and remove lid.
- Add the melted butter and secure lid.
- Select Variable1.
- Increase speed to Variable 3 and blend for 5 seconds.
- Set the batter aside for 5 minutes to allow it to thicken (liquids take time to soak trough the brand of whole grains).
- Pour batter directly from the Vitamix container onto an electric griddle preheated to 350 degrees or a standard griddle over a medium to medium high heat.
Food Tip: The combination of flours makes these pancakes light and full of flavor. Maple syrup adds the finishing touch but you won’t want to use much. They are also great straight out of the toaster plain. The whole grain flours are a great source of fiber and protein.
Money Tip: Homemade pancakes take a little more time and effort than pre-made batters but they are far less expensive (not to mention they taste so much better). Frozen prepackaged pancakes may be a quick grab but they are even more expensive than the pre-made batters (Again, taste is an issue).
Time Tip: Pre-grind a portion of your whole grains into flour and keep on hand for quick addition/substitution to your favorite recipes. Making these pancakes with a mixer takes a lot longer and pouring directly from the Vitamix container saves time on clean up. Keep the leftovers (if there are any) in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for 3-5 days but trust me, they will not last that long. You can also double the recipe and freeze the extras in stacks of 4 in a Ziploc Freezer bag.
Here in southern California the summer heat is just beginning to ramp up. With temperatures that hover near 100 degrees sometimes into October, staying cool and hydrated is high on our list of priorities. My husband came across this recipe on Foodwishes.com and asked me if I could make it. I just happened to have half a watermelon in the refrigerator so my answer was, “Absolutely!” I researched the heath benefits of watermelon and was surprised at what I found:
Despite popular belief that watermelon is made up of only water and sugar, watermelon is actually considered a nutrient dense food, a food that provides a high amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for a low amount of calories.
Watermelons have become synonymous with summer and picnics, and for good reason. Their refreshing quality and sweet taste help to combat the heat and also provide a guilt-free, low maintenance dessert for kids and adults alike to enjoy.
Along with cantaloupe and honeydew, watermelons are a member of the botanical family Cucurbitaceae. There are five common types of watermelon: seeded, seedless, mini (also known as personal), yellow and orange.
This MNT Knowledge Center feature is part of a collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods. It provides a nutritional breakdown of watermelon and an in-depth look at its possible health benefits, how to incorporate more watermelon into your diet and any potential health risks of consuming watermelon.
Nutritional breakdown of watermelon
Along with cantaloupe and honeydew, watermelons are a member of the botanical family Cucurbitaceae.
One cup of diced watermelon (152 grams) contains 43 calories, 0 grams of fat, 2 grams of sodium, 11 grams of carbohydrate (including 9 grams of sugar and 1 gram of fiber) and 1 gram of fiber. One cup of watermelon will provide 17% of vitamin A, 21% of vitamin C, 2% of iron and 1% of calcium needs for the day.
Watermelon also contains thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, choline, lycopene and betaine. According to the National Watermelon Promotion Board, watermelon contains more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable.
Despite being a great source of the above nutrients, watermelon is made up of 92% water.
(Excerpt taken from Medical News Today. Originally published: Sunday 10/6/13)
6 cups fresh scooped or chopped watermelon
2 cups cold water
Simple syrup or other sweetener to taste (optional)
1. Place watermelon and water into the large Vitamix container and secure lid.
2. Select Variable 1.
3. Turn machine on and increase speed to Variable 10, then High.
4. Blend for 30 seconds.
Food Tip: This recipe makes 2 quarts but it can but cut in half and made in the smaller container. Unlike with a standard blender, there is no need to strain out the fibers from the watermelon seeds. The Vitamix blends so completely that, not only are there no fibers, there is very little recognizable pulp when you drink it. Watermelons are typically at their peak of sweetness between June and August so, unless you have a serious sweet tooth, there is no need to add any sweetener. Don’t like watermelon? Try the same recipe with cantaloupe. It is just as refreshing!
Money Tip: As with any fruit, buying watermelon in season is always cheaper especially if you buy them at a farmer’s market. I recently purchased a 25 pound watermelon on sale for just over $3.
Time Tip: The original recipe used a standard blender that required 1 minute of blending. When made in the Vitamix it took 30 seconds and there was no time spent on straining.