Archive for August, 2013

Vitamix Container Blade Recall

Vitamix has just announced a safety recall for the “64-ounce Low-Profile” container that comes standard with both the Vitamix 7500 I had and the Pro 300 I currently have that I just had a blade assembly issue with.

That explains why I ran into an issue with my blade assembly, and hopefully means that I won’t run into issues with the new container when it arrives.

This recall applies only to the short, fat 64 oz. container, not the tall container that came with the 5200 and similar models.  If you think you might be affected, please visit:

www.containerbladerecall.com

There’s discussion of this over at Reddit with some potentially good information.

Vitamix is, as anyone who’s dealt with them would expect, being very good about this.  If you are in the recall group, you get the following message:

Your container has been recalled.

We apologize for the inconvenience, but are concerned that your container’s blade may pose a potential safety issue.

To make this up to you, Vitamix will:

1. Replace the blade in your container with an updated design
2. Extend your blender warranty by one year
3. Include a free Vitamix gift when we return your container to you

Request a Return Kit

Please use the form below to request a return kit. When it arrives, follow the kit’s instructions to return your container to Vitamix. Vitamix will install a newly designed blade in your container, and ship it back to you within 5-7 business days of receiving it.

If you have questions at any time, please contact us at 888-350-4386.

Your information is secure, Vitamix does not share customer information with third parties.

Update: Here is a link to the Consumer Product Safety Commission‘s details around the recall.  Note that it mentions it is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Worn down blade assembly (with photos)

Turned on my Vitamix 7500 today with some frozen coffee ice cubes and milk in it,and the blade assembly spun while the blade stayed where it was.  That’s not good.

Fortunately, I’ve had two experiences in the past where I’ve spoken with Vitamix support, so I had no doubt they’d take care of me.

Sure enough, I called Vitamix support, after a short wait I was connected to a woman who looked me up, and they told me they’d have a new blender container in the mail to me shortly, and that I’d get a tracking number by e-mail once it was shipped.

Here’s two photos showing what happened:

Worn Blade Assembly (top view)

Normally the hole in that blade is a square, which sits firmly on the square post of the blade assembly. (Note: You can click on the image for an extremely high resolution version where the wear is much easier to see.)

Worn Blade Assembly (angledview)

As you can see, the square peg has progressively rounder edges towards the top, and the side of the square hole on the blade are rounded as well. (Note: You can click on the image for an extremely high resolution version where the wear is much easier to see.)

I know my Pro 300 spent most days in the summer having some kind of frozen coffee or fruit blended in it, and that use my Vitamix quite a bit, but it’s still unfortunate to see this happen.  I’m thrilled Vitamix is sending a new blender container, and hope that this was a one off, and that the new container will be up to handle whatever I throw at it.

Vitamix Certified Reconditioned Series Update

I got an e-mail in my inbox with a link to information about Vitamix Certified Reconditioned Series, and it had some information I wasn’t familiar with, and I thought it’d be great information to share.

There are a lot more reconditioned options than I’d previously been aware of.  Here are the five options that currently exist, ordered from most-to-least expensive:

Vitamix Certified Reconditioned Next Generation Programs

This option applies specifically to the Professional Series 750.  It is essentially the new 7500/Professional Series 300/Creations Elite with the addition of preset program options.

Vitamix Certified Reconditioned Next Generation Blenders

This option refers to the Vitamix 7500, Professional Series 300 and Creations Elite models, which are essentially the same blender body in different colors with a different faceplate and name.  I purchased a 7500 when it first came out and I currently use a Pro 300.  In my post, What is the difference between a Vitamix 7500 and a Vitamix Professional Series 300?, there are photos of the two blenders side-by-side and the DVD and cookbooks they came with.  As I describe in this post, the refurbished next generation option is what I would lean towards if I were purchasing a Vitamix today.

Vitamix Certified Reconditioned Standard Program Blenders

This option applies is either the 6300 or Professional Series 500.  Similar to the Professional Series 750, the body is the 5200/Creations II/Professional Series blender body with the addition of preset program options.

Vitamix Certified Reconditioned Standard

This is what I bought way back before I started this blog.  It was my first Vitamix, and it cost more back then than it does today.  There are a large number of blender models this can refer to:  5200, CIA Professional Series, Creations II, Creations GC, Professional Series 200, Total Nutrition Center, or TurboBlend VS.  Mine was a Creations II, which continues to make smoothies, hummus and more on a regular basis at my parents house.

Certified Reconditioned Two Speed

This is the blender I know the least about.  The reconditioned two speeds can refer to either the TurboBlend Two Speed, or the CIA Creations.

The blender bodies themselves are equally functional to the other models in their classification.  The big difference, as seen in this post, is the extras, but each of the models listed above is very clear about the extras (cookbook, etc.) that they include, so you know exactly what you’re getting with the exception of the name on the face plate.

In my post explaining why I think Vitamixes are worth the price, I list several reasons.  All of those reasons apply to the refurbished models as well, which all come with a 5-year warranty.  Both new and refurbished models can be ordered directly from Vitamix with the free shipping, and the free shipping combined with the saving on the refurbished models make ordering a refurb directly from Vitamix.com the most reasonable way to pick up a Vitamix blender that I have found.

Fresh Peaches and Red Grapes Sorbet (★★★★☆)

My parents have been raving about the peaches and red grapes sorbet that they’ve been making repeatedly.  They bought a huge box of fresh peaches, and after making multiple batches, they strongly believe that the red grapes are better than both the honey sweetened and pineapple sweetened versions.

Hearing them rave about it as much as they have, I decided to try and make it for myself.

Fresh Peaches and Red Grapes Sorbet (★★★★☆)
Fantastic frozen dessert when peaches are in season so you can pick up naturally very sweet peaches at a reasonable price. Well suited for utility peaches. Serves approximately 4-8 people, depending on serving size.

10-12 frozen peaches (cut and pits removed)
A handful of red grapes
Ice/Water

Freeze the peaches in advance. Then put the peaches and grapes in the blender. Blend on medium to high, using the tamper and adjusting the blender intensity to ensure everything is well mixed. Add ice and/or water to dilute the mix to the desired strength and consistency. Add more grapes for additional sweetness, substituting honey or sugar if concerned about making grape flavor too strong. Serve immediately.

I used the last of the ripe, local, seasonal peaches I had, which were so good they didn’t need much help. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be the same with lower quality peaches.

I just don’t like grapes that much.  There, I said it.  That’s why this a four star recipe, and not five.  If I had to pick a favorite between the pineapple and grape versions of the peach sorbet, I’d pick pineapple, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to hear that I’m in the minority.  Either way, if you’re making peach sorbet with pineapple or fresh red grapes, you’re in for a delicious treat.

I’d love to have people sound off in the comments if they’ve tried both, letting me know which fruit they felt worked better as a sweetener.

Collection of Vitamix 5 star recipes

At the request of a family member who called me asking about my hiyashi-chuuka sauce recipe, saying they couldn’t find it on this blog, I’ve put together a collection of all the 5-star recipes I’ve posted to date:

Dips and Sauces
Hummus
(video)
Hiyashi-chuuka (冷やし中華) sauce
Yogurt Herb Sauce

Drinks
The Best Tasting Banana Milk (half soy milk, half milk, I also really like adding roasted soybeans to banana milks made with just milk (video))
Hot Chocolate

Frozen Piña Coladas
Homemade Frozen Mocha Frappuccino

Sorbets and Italian Ices
Fresh Peaches Sorbet
Homemade Grown-up Polar Cup

Other
Homemade Peanut Butter (video)
Kinako Powder
Acorn Squash Soup

There’s plenty of stuff I rated four stars that I still make pretty regularly, but this is a pretty good representation of most of my favorite uses for my Vitamix blender.

Fresh Peaches and Pineapple Sorbet (★★★★☆)

As I mentioned at the end of a recent post, I decided to try frozen peaches with canned pineapple.  The idea was to recreate/tweak the awesome flavor of Fresh Peaches Sorbet without needing any honey or sugar, and pineapple seemed like a great complement.

It is absolutely fantastic, and the only reason I’m not giving it five stars is because my parents felt that the pineapple flavor almost overpowered the peach flavor, and that they enjoyed the Fresh Peaches Sorbet because the peaches were the star.

Fresh Peaches and Pineapple Sorbet (★★★★☆)
Fantastic frozen dessert when peaches are in season so you can pick up naturally very sweet peaches at a reasonable price.  Well suited for utility peaches.  Serves approximately 4-8 people, depending on serving size.

10-12 frozen peaches (cut and pits removed)
1 can of pineapple chunks
Ice

Freeze the peaches in advance.  Then put the peaches and pineapple in the blender.  Blend on medium to high, using the tamper and adjusting the blender intensity to ensure everything is well mixed.  Add ice and/or water to dilute the mix to the desired strength and consistency.  Add honey or sugar for additional sweetness.  Serve immediately.

Again, the magic ingredient is the ripe, local, seasonal peaches, which are so good they don’t need much help.  I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be the same with lower quality peaches.

My parents tell me they were able to make a phenomenal sorbet using fresh peaches and red grapes in the 5200 I gave them.   I still have enough frozen peaches remaining for a small batch, so maybe I’ll pick up some red grapes and try that.  (Update:  Used the last of my peaches with red grapes.  Also very good, but I think I personally preferred the pineapple.)

Fresh Peach Banana Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Smoothie (★★★☆☆)

Maybe I’m being a bit too harsh in rating this, as it was really tasty and everyone devoured it.  That said, it was in that awkward middle zone between being a sorbet, frozen yogurt and a smoothie.  We just threw a lot of frozen peaches, a banana, some strawberries, the rest of the plain yogurt we had and some ice and water into the blender.  As you’d expect, it definitely tasted good, but had too much water and ice to be a good frozen yogurt, too much yogurt to be a sorbet, and not enough water and ice to be a smoothie.

Fresh fruit pretty much always tastes good when blended into a frozen treat, but having a structured goal or better recipe would have bumped this up a star or two.

Fresh Peach Banana Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Smoothie (★★★☆☆)
As you can tell from the name, this tasty frozen treat didn’t know what frozen treat it wanted to be.

4 frozen peaches (cut and pits removed)
1 banana
6 strawberries
plain yogurt
Ice/water

Freeze the peaches in advance.  Then put the peaches, banana, strawberries and yogurt in the blender.  Blend on medium to high, using the tamper and adjusting the blender intensity to ensure everything is well mixed.  At this point you have tasty frozen yogurt.  Frozen yogurt diluted with additional ice, water and/or yogurt as desired to create a smoothie or milder frozen yogurt.  Serve immediately.

sorbetsmoothie

Ripe, local, seasonal fruit is so good it doesn’t need much help, so no amount of random mixing on my part was able to make this not taste good, but trying to make a sorbet, similar to the peach sorbet I made, or a frozen yogurt or a smoothie would have been better than just randomly throwing things in the blender and ending up somewhere between the three.

I do plan on trying to make a pineapple and peach sorbet, as we picked up a lot of fresh, locally grown peaches recently, and I think the pineapple and peach might go well together in a sorbet.