Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tip #4: Use a high speed blender

I have owned my Vitamix for over 5 years now and many people ask me if I think it is worth it. A high speed blender like the Vitamix or the Blendtec is quite expensive, with most models at around $500, so it is an understandable question.I also have read some criticism that drinking your food may not be good for you because it may raise your blood sugar faster than if you eat the food whole. I have to say, though, that, in my experience, my Vitamix has been a wonderful addition to my kitchen and to my health and worth every penny.

I would say that I use my Vitamix practically every day. I start my morning usually with a green smoothy (like the one in the picture, with those ingredients, or similar). I also use it to make delicious salad dressings, soups and desserts. Let me explain each in more detail:
  • Salad dressings: I like that you can use natural ingredients to create amazingly rich and creamy dressings. For example, a simple one is an orange (or a banana), 4 tablespoons of vinegar, a handful of walnuts (or any other nuts) and a handful of raisins.So, so good. 
  • Soups: One great thing about the Vitamix is that it will heat your soups, so you can just put any ingredients you want and blend for 3 to 4 minutes, and voila, you have warm soup. For example, you can try a can of beans, a tomato, some pepper, a carrot, spices like cumin, you can add a bit of cashews to make it creamier, and you have another delicious concoction with no preparation in less than five minutes.
  • Desserts: You can make amazing ice cream like desserts just with frozen fruit, a bit of (soy) milk and cashews, with some dates added for sweetness. No nasty, unpronounceable ingredients that are bad for you. For my husband's latest birthday I made this delicious raspberry ganache fudge cake from Ani Phyo, no cooking involved. It was amazing. (By the way, in her video, she uses a food processor. I have never had one, so I don't know how it compares to the Vitamix, but I've never felt the need for one).
  • Flours: Lately, I have been grinding chick peas to make garbanzo bean flour that can be used for Falafels, for example (particularly good for anyone with gluten issues). Here's a great recipe for them.
  • Milks: If you are trying to avoid dairy, or even soy, you can just make milks out of nuts or rice easily in this machine. Here are the recipes for seven of them.
  • Chop: I also use my Vitamix to chop onions in seconds and, with newer models, you can also chop cabbage easily. You can chop other hard veggies, like carrots or celery, but I personally don't like them that small, I prefer bigger chunks.
I will add that it is very easy to clean, which is very important to me, as I always have lots of things to do (just like everyone). In general, some of the things I have mentioned can be made in a regular blender, but the Vitamix will still be faster no matter what. I really think that by using all natural ingredients and avoiding processed foods, you definitely contribute to your health, and the Vitamix is perfect for that.

And, as far as the criticism about raising your blood sugar levels too fast, I have to say that that has not been my experience, as I actually need to have my blood sugar tested every month. Of course, I definitely do not recommend smoothies full of fruits only, or adding too many sweeteners. Or even the cake I showed before, I would only have that very occasionally. But, the truth is that dates will always be better than any sugar, as they are much less processed and they are the real fruit. And with the Vitamix, dates are very easily ground.

So, I definitely think it is worth spending that money and my friends who have bought one are all pretty happy with theirs. There are refurbished models that are cheaper and still perfect and also big stores like Costco have specials once in a while.

So, what do you think? Do you have any questions or comments? I'd love to hear them.

PS: That picture shows my attempt to talk to Kris Carr, my hero, through Twitter. It hasn't worked yet (I stalk her, she ignores me), but one day I know she will finally say hi! (I'm just going to keep trying!).