Archive for September, 2011

My first Saturday with the blender – Part 2 (Applesauce and Soup)

After making scrambled eggs successfully, I decided to try out a few other things:  Applesauce and soup.

For applesauce, I quartered four apples, leaving the skin on, removing the seeds, stems and fuzzy bottoms, and put them in a pot.  I used my Zojirushi water boiler pot to fill the pot with enough water for all the apples to float, and then let it boil for a few minutes.  I dumped the apples into a strainer and threw them in the blender with some ground cinnamon, turned the blender on, quickly dialed up to 10, and then threw the blender into high mode, and watched the apples get turned, pretty much instantaneously, into applesauce.

Since no one wants to eat hot applesauce (at least no one I know), I put it into a bowl and found space for it in the fridge away from the dairy and other, more heat sensitive, foods.

Then I got started on the soup.  The Whatever Half-Used Vegetables And Spices You Happen To Have Soup.  Basically, we had half a cucumber, half a green pepper and half an onion in the vegetable drawer.  I threw them in, liquified them and then figured I’d open a can of tomato puree and throw some of that in.  Since I was probably closer to V8 than soup at this point, I put in some hot water, curry powder, rosemary leaves, chicken broth powder, salt and pepper.  I probably threw in a few other things too, but that’s what I remembered.

It tasted decent enough, but it was still pretty mild and had a pass resemblance to V8, which my wife is not a fan of.  To give it some flavor and make it takes more like a tomato based soup than a vegetable drink, I opened the fridge and took out some cilantro and a nearly empty bag of “Finely Shredded Taco Style Cheese”, which was natural cheddar and asadero cheese with taco seasoning.  (I’m guessing my wife bought this for Taco Rice with no clue that the cheese had a small amount of taco powder.)  I put the cheese and cilantro into the blender and turned it back on.  By now steam was coming out of the top, which seemed like a good sign that the soup was ready to eat.

It was surprisingly good.

My wife said it tasted like Tortilla Soup, and I don’t disagree with that appraisal.  We ate it all, and knowing what went into it, I’d gladly have it again.  Hopefully the half used vegetables lying around next time I want to randomly throw things into the blender taste this good.

The applesauce still wasn’t cold or as hard as I’d have liked, but we took it out after the soup was done and ate it all.  Knowing it was made with fresh apples made it pretty easy to eat guilt-free, and it smelled amazing.  It wasn’t that different from normal applesauce, but I’m guessing it was better for me.

Update:  Here’s a newer post of the applesauce recipe.

The first two days with my new blender

Two days ago I got my Vitamix 5200 blender.  It’s a refurbished Vita-Mix 5200 blender, so the front actually reads “Creations”, but the front could just as well read, “I saved a good chunk of change by getting this refurbished”.  I was assured on the phone that it would be a 5200, regardless of what it was labeled as, and it seems to perform as a 5200 hundred should.

The first day I got this blender, I had to break out the most common use for my blender in Japan:  Banana Milk.

The recipe is simple, you freeze a banana in the freezer, and then blend your frozen banana with milk in a blender for an amazingly good drink.  (It’s basically a decadent banana flavored milkshake.)  The Vitamix passed this test with flying colors.  While there was no magically huge change in texture, it definitely blended this up quicker and easier than any blender I’d owned in the past, and still tasted delicious.

I also experimented with making green smoothies, which is basically any smoothy in which you’re blending up green leaves to make them easier to eat (hidden in the smoothy) and easier to digest.  I blended up some celery with frozen strawberries a banana and a bit of milk.


Yesterday I went shopping on the way home from work and picked up some fresh kale, mint, cilantro and spinach, as well as a tote bag of apples and some canned vegetables.  That gave me many of the ingredients that I needed for my experimenting today, but as far as yesterday’s blends went, used the rest of the large celery stalk on a similar green smoothy during lunch and in the evening I tried mixing the kale with an apple, frozen raspberries and lemon juice.  Again, they were both drinkable, but not great.  Then again, they weren’t a reason I bought the blender.

As for today, I’ve already done some really cool things with the blender that I’ll detail later today, but for now, I need to get in the shower and then out the door, as we’ve got things we need to do today.

My first Saturday with my blender – Part 1 (Scrambled Eggs)

Alright, I’ll admit that I was looking forward to my first Saturday with the blender maybe a bit more than is healthy.

On Friday I’d picked up a lot of fresh and canned greens and vegetables, and I had big plans for breakfast.

The first thing I made, which I find physically impressive, is scrambled eggs.  I say “physically impressive”, because the physics involved, the friction creating enough heat to cook the eggs, is not something that’s ever been possible with the blenders I’ve been able to use until now.  The basic idea is that if you put the eggs in the blender on high long enough, the heat generated by the friction of the movement in the blender is enough to cook the eggs.

Here’s the recipe I used:

Scrambled Eggs
Yield: 3

6 eggs
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
salt and pepper to taste
nonstick cooking spray

1. Spray blades generously with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
3. Select Variable 1.
4. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
5. Blend for 8 minutes or until sound of the machine changes and egg will stick to sides of container. Eggs will have a custard like consistency. Serve immediately.

Now, I didn’t actually follow that verbatim.  I didn’t have nonstick cooking spray, so I dumped some of our cooking oil in the blender, turned it on low for a few seconds, and then held it upside down to pour the cooking oil back into the cup we keep used, but still usable, oil in.  I then used a paper towel to wipe any excess oil off the sides.

I also didn’t pay attention to the order I put the ingredients in.  I took hot water from our Japanese water boiler and threw that, salt, a pinch of pepper and the milk into the blender before adding the six eggs.  I don’t think the order really mattered.

I turned on the blender, and let it go on high for a while.  About four minutes in, foamy egg was escaping from the lid and the eggs weren’t showing any signs of having changed.  I put a clean washcloth over the lid, followed by a bowl that was the right size to add pressure to the lid and an acorn squash on top of that to hold some weight on the lid and keep the washcloth in place.  Sure enough, about six minutes into to blending, the sound changed, and all the egg inside the blender was cooked.

They were the fluffiest scrambled eggs I’ve ever had in my life.  As in, maybe they were too fluffy.  My wife wasn’t crazy about them, I didn’t mind them, but my two young kids both liked them and ate a lot more than expected.  That alone is reason enough for me to make them again in the future.

As for clean up, the oil probably helped a bit, but did take scrubbing around the blade with a sponge to clean the blender.