Archive for September, 2012

Vitamix 7500 now available

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the Vitamix 7500.  Now it’s actually available.

I don’t have anything new to say about the blender, but I was interested to see the price, which wasn’t available a few weeks ago.  Right now, in my mind, the main options for people in the market for a Vitamix are a $529 Vitamix 7500, a $449 Vitamix 5200 with a compact container, or $329 Certified Reconditioned Vitamix 5200 with the 64-ounce container.  All three have free shipping with coupon code 06-006651.  (2017 Update: That code does not work, you can get free shipping by visiting Vitamix through this link.)

I basically said as much in my earlier post (the first link above), but now that I know what the actually pricing is, I’m very glad I bought the blender I did, when I did, for the price I did.  Make no mistakes, the non-refurbished models come with 7-year warranties instead of 5-year warranties, and there is something to be said for the joy of buying something that’s brand new as opposed to refurbished.  I am sure there are those would look at all the information and choose one of the more expensive of the two options above, but if my blender went missing tomorrow, I would buy the refurbished model again in a heartbeat.  Now, granted, my blender, which gets a lot of use, has already been serviced by Vitamix once, but I that was a very positive experience that is influencing my decision, ensuring that I have no regrets from my original purchase last year.

Edit:  Actually, I think I might be too quick in writing off the 7500.  I was making a green smoothie the day after making this post and realized that I was adding water to thin out the mix, and remembered reading about the “process dense ingredients” blurb about the 7500.  My 5200 blender is plenty powerful, that doesn’t mean the 7500 isn’t noticeably more powerful.

If anyone out there has first hand experience with both blenders, I’d be very interested in hearing some opinions from people who’ve been hands-on with both.

Hiyashi-chuuka (冷やし中華) sauce (★★★★★) and a busy blender afternoon

My wife and kids are still away, which means I’ve been fending for myself.  Just this afternoon I made a green smoothie (two small apples, four large sticks of celery, half a bag of spinach, some lemon juice, half a green bell pepper and a few ice cubes), peanut butter and a frozen mocha drink.  My wife’s cooking is both delicious and very healthy, and I’m regularly drinking green smoothies while she’s away in hopes of keeping the fruits and vegetables a reasonable chunk of my diet, they’re easy to make and easy to drink.  So far I think I’ve fended for myself pretty well.

One of the things I plan to cook for myself in the next few days is Hiyashi Chuuka, which is several orders of magnitude better than any explanation of it that I give will sound, but essentially, it’s chilled ramen(-esque) noodles with a soy and miso or sesame based sauce usually topped with some combination of sliced cucumbers, egg, ham, carrots and/or tomatoes.  Like I said, it’s way better than I make it sound, and with the sesame dressing, it’s one of my top five favorite meals.

The recipe for the sauce is simple enough, and is somewhat similar to the Creamy Sesame Dipping Sauce we use for vegetables dipping, in that they both start by blending a good amount of white sesame seeds.  Once the sauce is made, chopping up the vegetables, egg and ham is also easy, and the noodles just need to be cooked and chilled.  The only tricky thing about trying to make this dish in the states is that finding the right kind of noodles.  While cheap instant ramen is definitely not the right kind of noodle, you can use those noodles in a pinch (just throw the seasoning packet away) and it’s not bad.

Here’s the recipe for the sauce:

Hiyashi-chuuka (冷やし中華) Sauce (★★★)
3 tablespoons of white sesame seeds
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/2 tablespoon of rice vinegar (can be substituted with other vinegars if necessary)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Chicken bouillon (half of an extra large cube)
Water 4 table spoon
 
First, blend the white sesame first into powder, then add other ingredients and blend.  Chill before serving.

That should be enough to serve between 2-4 people, depending on how much sauce people want and the portion size.  Just pour that over the noodles and toppings, and then eat.

Definitely one of my favorite things to eat, and while instant ramen noodles don’t do it justice, if you haven’t had this before, and they’re the only noodles you have available, it’s still very good that way. 🙂

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

My wife and kids are away for a few weeks visiting her parents, and I stumbled upon the documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” the day before I took them to the airport.  I didn’t actually watch the movie that day because I wanted to spend time with them, but the next day, I came home from work, made a green smoothie and sat down and watched “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”.

I thought it was pretty good.  Definitely worth a watch, especially if you live in the US, where you can watch it for free.

With my wife and kids gone, I’m fending for myself in the kitchen, which means a lot of green smoothies.  I don’t bother posting those recipes any more because I find the most entertaining smoothies to be those that I throw together off the cuff, but I definitely know that the following things work really well in my green smoothies:  Spinach, celery, tomatoes and cilantro.  Grapes, cucumbers, zucchini, onion, strawberries, mangoes and pineapple have all made their way into recent smoothies, but those first four are the staples I tend to go back to for healthy but delicious green smoothies.

Anyway, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” is entertaining, and if you’re remotely interested in drinking green smoothies or vegetable juice, you’ll definitely want to after watching this film.

Vitamix 7500, coming soon to a kitchen near you

Update: I did buy a Vitamix 7500, see my unboxing and a side-by-side comparison

Update 2: I comment on the new 7500 features in this post.

So, I just checked my mail today, and I had a large envelope from Vitamix.  They were writing to let me know that the Vitamix 7500 is coming.  Apparently the Vitamix 7500 will be available from September 17th.

Now, I usually tend to get excited about buying new tech toys, and sometimes get a little bummed when my toy is no longer the newest, fastest thing on the block…and while the 7500 looks cool, I actually don’t really see anything that makes me care that I have the “old” 5200.

The letter I got does mention some of it’s new features:

  • Greater than 2 horsepower motor to process dense ingredients with ease
  • Vibration dampening technology for noticeably quieter performance
  • Ultra-responsive Variable Speed Dial and pulse feature for precise recipe creation
  • 64-ounce container designed to fit under most kitchen cabinets.

Now, considering that I didn’t buy my blender, let alone my car, on a published horsepower figure, I’m not sure how that compares to the 5200, although I don’t have a problem “processing dense ingredients”.

The quieter performance will probably matter more to other people, but to be honest, a quieter blender than the 5200 could, and likely will, still be significantly loud. You don’t buy a blender this nice, and this powerful, without simply accepting that noise will be a byproduct of it’s usage.

The speed dial seems unchanged, but rather than a “variable/high” switch, they’re going with a pulse feature.  I don’t know if that means that “high” will now be 10 on the speed dial and pulse will be something you have to hold down, or how that will work.  Since all my recipes and experience with my blender are based on the “variable/high” switch, I’m actually wary of change in this area, as I’m not sure if this new feature would actually be an improvement based on how I’ve learned to use my blender.

As for the 64-ounce container being designed to fit under most kitchen cabinets, this is something I definitely see being helpful for other people, but my blender base and blender container are both prominently on my cabinet counter top at all times, so, again, not a benefit for me.  I do like to make smaller recipes if I’m just making a drink for myself, so the skinner, taller container seems like something I might prefer, but I can absolutely see the shorter, fatter container being a selling point for people who don’t want a blender on their counter at all times. 🙂

Looking at the New at Vitamix part of the Vitamix website, there’s not yet any mention of the Vitamix 7500, but it looks very similar to the Professional Series 750 blender that is available on that page for $689.00.  (The two main difference I would expect to see are that the 750 on that page includes some icons in addition to a speed dial that goes from 1-10, and I expect the 750 costs more than the 7500 will.)

Either way, I don’t think the new blender is likely to disappoint people, but I’m definitely very happy to continue rocking my 5200 for the next however many years I have until my warranty expires, and even then, I’ll probably just use my 5200 until it just doesn’t go any more. 😉

My guess is that the 7500’s pending release is why the Reconditioned Blender with 64 oz. Container is in stock in black, red or white for only $329, and despite my tendency to like shiny, new toys, that’s probably the route I’d take if I were in the market for a blender today.

Update (3/23/2013):  In addition to the refurbished
Vitamix 5200 I mentioned, there is now a refurbished 7500/Pro 300/Creations Elite available.  I wrote a post about it, and I think it’s a fantastic option to consider for anyone thinking about picking up a Vitamix.