Vitamix 2017 Black Friday/Holiday Specials!

I know I’m not the only person who has interest in finding those great Black Friday, Cyber Monday and general holiday specials in hopes of finding a great deal.

I just found out about two Vitamix sales that are going on now:

Vitamix – Up to $70 off all new blenders with free shipping!
Vitamix – $50 off the Explorian Series E310 Blender



If you’re looking for your Vitamix holiday sale details, there you go!

Frozen Margaritas – easy mode (★★★★★)

Look, I know, this recipe is embarrassing.  I’ve been making frozen lime and mango margaritas for years.  I’d love to pretend that mine are sooo much better because I make them with fresh ingredients and love, but that’s just not true.

I made these because I wanted to have an easy way to have frozen drinks on minimal notice this summer.  And they disappeared.  I ran out of mix and had to get more.  Then I made them for a friend with a Vitamix, and she didn’t believe the recipe was as simple as I confessed when asked.  Then I made them again, and was told by yet a third group of people that they were the best frozen margaritas they’d ever had, and I had to scratch my head, because the recipe is as simple as this:  Ice, mix, tequila.

I’d love to say that the secret is the organic blanco tequila, or that I picked the Master of Mixes margarita mix after trying every option available, or even that I’m super careful about the mix of the three ingredients.  Nope.  This one really is one of those recipes that just works because the Vitamix turns ice cubes, mix and liquor into magical frozen beverages better than anything else can:

Frozen Margaritas – easy mode (★★★★★)
I love any halfway decent frozen margarita, but this has been too popular with too many people not to share

Master of Mixes Margarita Mixer
Ice
Tequila (I use 3 Amigos Organic Blanco)

Just eyeball it.  Really.  I throw in the ice cubes for the quantity I want, add the tequila I want, then add mixer until almost at ice level.  I keep the tequila in the freezer to reduce the amount of ice I need to use. Mix on high and enjoy.

Garnish with a lime wedge and/or salted rim if you like.  You can see how much effort I put into these, I threw the ingredients together and then threw it into some IKEA kids cups.  It was still a huge hit.

Shaved Hawaiian Watermelon Ice (★★★★★) using the Vitamix 7500

My wife and I are huge fans of high quality hawaiian shaved ice, or as they’re known in Japan, かき氷 (kakigori).  Much like my blender experience in Japan, good shaved ice was the norm, and easy to find at summer festivals throughout the warm months of the year.

Moving to the states, snow cones, Kona Ice and similar frozen treats weren’t quite scratching the itch, and shaved ice treats are not cheap here.  This summer we found a great deal and pulled the trigger on our own shaved ice machine so we could create our own syrups/toppings and enjoy shaved ice whenever we wanted.

iceshaver2

So why is this relevant for a Vitamix post?  Here’s why:  Prior to the Fourth of July, we were picking up a lot of food and drinks for a neighborhood party.  We picked up two “seedless” watermelons, and cut the first one open as soon as we got home.  It was right on the border of being overly ripe, and the party was still two days away.  I decided to blend the majority of the watermelon, and freeze the resulting juice in two 32oz tubs:

I used a strainer after blending, but no surprise, there was nothing to be caught in the strainer.

I shaved the one of the two watermelon blocks on July 4th, and I can only describe it as being like frozen cotton candy.  It was incredible!  It also made an incredible mess, which I cleaned up before realizing what a hit the shaved watermelon was, so I held off on making the second block until my wife’s family was visiting later that summer.

Again, even after multiple weeks in the fridge, the shaved watermelon is likely the best way to enjoy watermelon I have ever found.  Yes, the Vitamix cleanup is easy, but the shaved ice machine is not.

 

Shaved Hawaiian Watermelon Ice (★★★★★)
Seedless Watermelon

Cut out the watermelon, avoiding the rind, and put it in the Vitamix.  Blend on high until no pulp is left.  Pour into plastic containers and freeze.  Shave watermelon ice block as finely as possible.

IMG_5651

 

This is probably the best thing I have made with my Vitamix or shaved ice machine that I will not regularly make, just because of the concerns I have around clean up, but if you have access to a shaved ice machine and interested, I do highly recommend this, as it really is a special treat!

A new post appears!

I just finished talking with one of the guys that I work with, he was about to buy his wife a Ninja for her birthday.  We ended up in a long talk about Vitamixes, and my other coworker jumped on the call and confirmed that he also has a Vitamix (5200) that he loves and uses regularly.

 

Long story short, my coworker is buying his wife a refurbished 5200 and I had enough fun talking about blenders that I decided it was time to post again.  I used my Vitamix to turn watermelon into watermelon juice, and I’ll share the reason for that in a new post shortly.

Green Smoothies, Green Smoothies all the time!

On June 23rd my family headed to Japan for six weeks.  My wife and two kids flew to Japan where my two kids were each able to enroll in at least three weeks of school, and then have a few weeks of summer vacation in Japan before they come back on August 5th.

Today is the 41st day since they got on that plane, and it’s been rough.  I expected it to be rough six weeks, but it got significantly more challenging than I expected after I broke my arm badly early in June.  I’d say I’m normally in decent shape; I’m a healthy weight, love mountain biking, enjoy road biking as well, and my wife cooks incredibly healthy and tasty, usually Japanese, meals.  My expectation, prior to breaking my arm, was that during these six weeks I would be able to ride my bike to and from work most days, go out for long rides on the weekends, and have a lot of free time to exercise to offset whatever unhealthy diet decisions I made because of eating out.

Boom.  Break my arm, plans change.

My arm was broken badly.  It was an intra-articular, displaced, open fracture of my distal radius with multiple large fragments.  Multiple doctors told me to expect surgery following the break, expecting the bone fragments to shift after an initial reduction and plaster cast that set the bones well.  In other words, while I’ve had a CT scan and seven sets of X-rays since the break with an eight set coming up Tuesday, I’m extremely lucky that I managed to avoid surgery.  I managed to escape with just the excitement of a bi-valve, antibiotics, multiple casts and a now a split.

That said, the break was bad enough that for the first several weeks I was told not to use the hand, keep it elevated and not move it any more than necessary, which I took very serious to maximize my chances of avoiding surgery.  But long after the injury, I’m home alone.  A long handled bath brush helped with bathing, but I still needed to take care of feeding myself, except now I had to do so with one hand while also needing to cut back on calories to account for my lack of physical activity.

As a result, my Vitamix has seen basically daily use for the last month and a half.  My green smoothie recipes have basically all followed this pattern:

Green Smoothies, Green Smoothies all the time!

Green leaves (choose one):

Baby Spinach or Spinach (I use this the most often)
Turnip Greens
Baby Kale or Kale
Arugula
Daikon Greens (I’m growing daikon in our garden, otherwise I don’t know how you’d get this)

Vegetables (choose four to eight):
Carrots

Broccoli
Cucumber
Celery
Bell Peppers
Vidalia Onion
Green Onions
Sugar Snap Peas

Flavor Vegetables (optional, usually none or just one):
Cilantro

Garlic
Ginger
Shiso Leaves

Fruits (choose one or two):
Frozen/Fresh Banana

Frozen Mango
Frozen Berries Mix
Frozen Strawberries
Frozen/Fresh Blueberries
Frozen/Fresh Cherries
Fresh Apple
Fresh Apricot
Fresh Peaches

Other Addtions (usually all three):
Plain Yogurt

Almonds
Flax Seeds

 

A good amount of leaves, small bit of each vegetable, a flavor vegetable or two, a handful of fruit and then yogurt, almonds and flax seeds along with a mix of ice and water blended to make a frozen green smoothie.

That list includes all the ingredients needed for the permutations I can remember off the top of my head.  A coworker I’ve been sharing my green smoothies with was most impressed with one that used shiso leaves, as that seemed to be a surprisingly good addition to what would have otherwise been an unremarkable green smoothie.  Yogurt and almonds also help more than I would have expected.  I’ve also occasionally enjoyed a banana milk for breakfast or lunch, which are especially enjoyable on the hotter summer days, and are hopefully giving my healing wrist that much needed calcium.

I’ve managed to keep working through this injury, and I’ve managed to avoid gaining weight during this injury.  If I didn’t have my Vitamix, I’m fairly certain I’d have been eating out more, gaining weight, spending more money and getting less nutrients.  Staying at my current weight means one less hurdle to deal with as I go through my recovery.

I won’t lie and say I’m in great shape now.  I tried jogging after moving from the cast to the splint.  Jogging was tougher than it used to be, and I’ll need to exercise regularly to get back in shape.  But an almost daily green smoothie helped me ensure that I was constantly getting a good mix of vegetables and other healthy foods in a quick, enjoyable, low-calorie way.  Even when my arm was aching and I didn’t feel good, I could whip up a green smoothie without too much trouble and ensure I was eating well.

My family will be home this week, and I should be able to gradually do more and more with them as the wrist continues to heal.  Hopefully my recovery will continue to make steady progress, and I’m looking forward to getting back into shape.

This is why I haven’t been posting lately:

First cast

Second Cast

Third CastAnd this injury happened just a few weeks before my wife and kids got on a plane to fly to Japan for six weeks.  So Dad’s been home alone with a badly broken wrist and fending for himself.
The good news is that I’ve been making and drinking a lot of green smoothies.  I have a green smoothie pretty much daily.  The bad news is I haven’t really been able to type until now, so I’m just now getting to the point that I share some news and green smoothie recipes.

Expect more posts in the near future!

Warm weather, bike rides and frozen Banana Milk (★★★★★)

It’s warm out!  After that last winter, I’m ecstatic to finally be out riding my bike and not be trapped inside any more.

I love frozen drinks, and the summer is the best time of the year for them.  Hands down the best thing to enjoy after a reasonable workout is a frozen Banana Milk.  It’s brain dead simple to make with a Vitamix:

Banana Milk (★★★★★)
The best way to cool down and get your body what it needs after a workout

1 frozen banana
milk

Break the banana in two and put it in the blender, then add milk to achieve your desired consistency.  I prefer the consistency of an easily drinkable milkshake.  It’s very important to use the tamper when making this to avoid having any banana chunks remaining.  I find I get the best results when I blend it on high for about 20-30 seconds using the tamper while blending, then check the consistency, adding more milk if needed, and then blending for another 20-30 seconds before serving.

For the absolutely best tasting Banana Milk, I personally prefer a 60:40 mix of whole milk from a local farm and soy milk.  But just milk and banana is the easiest way to make it.  All I have to do is remember to throw a banana in the freezer before I go on a long ride.