Archive for the ‘ Videos included ’ Category

Broccoli Cheese Soup (★★★☆☆) using the Vitamix 7500 (with video)

After my last post I decided to make a soup that I’ve made a few times in the past.  It’s very easy, pretty good, but not popular with my kids, which is why I can only give it three stars and why I haven’t posted about it in the past.  This time around I decided to make a video showing how easy it is to make.

Broccoli Cheese Soup (★★★☆☆)
2 cups (480 ml) whole milk
2/3 cup (80 g) shredded cheese
1 bag (12 oz /340 g) of frozen broccoli florets
2 teaspoons worth of onion
2 teaspoons of cornstarch
1 large chicken bouillon cube

Steam or microwave the frozen broccoli florets.  While doing that, prepare the correct amounts of the other ingredients.  Put two-thirds of the broccoli in the blender along with all of the other ingredients.  Blend on high with the tamper for about 5-6 seconds or until steam is coming out of the top of the blender.  Once the soup is done blending, pour into bowls and garnish the bowls with the remaining steamed florets and shredded cheese. 

This recipe is twice the size of the Vitamix Whole Food Recipes recipe that I based it on, and can easily be cut in half if making it for one or two people.

a serving of soup after adding florets and shredded cheese

Here’s a serving of soup after adding florets and shredded cheese

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Homemade Peanut Butter (★★★★★) using the Blendtec Designer Series (with video)

I thought a good challenge for the Blendtec Designer Series might be peanut butter, as it is one of the recipes in the Blendtec Fresh Blends cookbook.  I made a post back in 2012 that included a video of me making peanut butter in my Vitamix 7500.  I used the same recipe for the Designer Series that I’ve used with my Vitamix over the past three years:

Homemade Peanut Butter (★★★★★)
Definitely not as sweet as store brand peanut butter, but my two children devour it

1 lbs. Bulk Dry Roasted Peanuts, Unsalted
3/4 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp. Maple Syrup

Blend for one minute, and use the tamper to push the peanuts into the blades.  That’s it!

The difference here is that the Vitamix has a tamper and is not limited to 50 second cycles, so while I knew that the same ingredients should work, the method of mixing would need to be adjusted.  Here is what the Fresh Blends cookbook recommends:  “Add peanuts and salt to jar and secure lid. Press “Speed Up” to Speed 9 for remainder of cycle. Using a spatula, move peanuts towards center of jar, add oil and secure lid. press “Speed Up” button to Speed 3 and run full cycle. Stir and secure lid. Press “Speed Up” to Speed 5 and run full cycle.”

As you’ll see in the video below, the recommended steps don’t work as expected, but I try to follow the process recommended.

After recording, I tried the peanut butter, but it was not mixed nearly enough and the texture was somewhere between peanut butter and peanuts, so I mixed it again for a full cycle at Speed 5.  That left me with a hot, liquidy peanut butter that I could pour into a plastic container.  It now has a more smooth texture than I would normally prefer, but outside of texture, which is a substantial change, it tastes the same as the Vitamix blends I’ve been making.  It was still not set after sitting in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, but it firmed up, and by the next morning it was the consistency of the smooth peanut butter sold at grocery stores.

I am a bit surprised by how much more of a process it was to make peanut butter with the Blendtec than the Vitamix, but it certainly can be done, although I will probably stick to making future batches in my Vitamix Pro 300.

For anyone out there who is shopping for a powerful Vitamix or Blendtec blender, the best deals tends to be buying directly from either Blendtec or Vitamix, as Vitamix will give you free shipping at Vitamix.com, and Blendtec offers free shipping when visited through this link.  I also recently wrote a detailed post on how to choose the right Vitamix model.

Edit (04/08/2013): A Blendtec employee reached out to me after seeing my blog and this post and let me know that my Twister Jar is very well suited for dense mixes like peanut butter.  I will try that the next time I’m making peanut butter, and would be happy to hear from any Twister Jar owners that have made peanut butter with it.

Making a Banana Milk in the Vitamix Pro 300 and Blendtec DesignerSeries side-by-side (with video)

Back when I bought my first Vitamix, a 5200, one of the very first things I made, and one of the reasons I bought it, was Banana Milk.  Basically, blend a frozen banana and milk.  Made correctly, it’s awesome.  Unfortunately, it will eventually (or quickly) break normal (weaker) blenders, and getting the entire banana blended so there are no chunks left takes time or a good blender.

Banana Milk is a pretty demanding test for any blender, so when I bought my 7500 back in 2012, I compared it to the 5200 by making a Banana Milk in both blenders simultaneously:  Making a Banana Milk in the Vitamix 7500 and Vitamix 5200 side-by-side (with video)

Not long after that video, unique circumstances lead me to get a Professional Series 300 and returning my 7500, though the two blenders are essentially identical.  That is the blender that I have been using regularly for a little over a year now.

Exactly one week ago I got a Blendtec Designer Series, and while I broke out my camera to document the physical differences (Physical Comparison: Vitamix Professional Series 300 vs. Blendtec Designer Series) between the two blenders, I was far more interested how their performance compares, and that’s what I set out to by making a Banana Milk in both the Pro 300 and Designer Series.

Last time, I subjected both blenders to an overly grueling test, as I did not include as much milk as I normally would, and did not use the tamper.  You can watch that video if you want to see how a Pro 300 or 7500 performs without a tamper, so I thought I would use a tamper this time to reflect how I normally make Banana Milks in the Vitamix.

While I documented the various run times of the pre-programmed cycles on the Blendtec, I hadn’t actually used them before this video, so I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but the Smoothie cycle seemed stronger and longer than the Milkshake, so that is what I decided I would use for the Blendtec.

As you’ll see in the video, in addition to preparing equal amount of milk and equal sized bananas that were frozen in my refrigerator over several hours, I took four kids cups from Moe’s and wrote B on the bottom of two and V on the bottom of the other two, the idea being that I would mix two glasses of the Banana Milk made by the Blendtec and two glasses made by the Vitamix and mix them all so that even I didn’t know which was which, and see if I could tell the difference between the two.  Watch the video to see how the actual mixing went:

The Blendtec pre-programmed blend was definitely not up to the task, and even on various manual settings, I could not find a good setting that effectively blended the banana.  As I noted in my physical comparison, the Blendtec has two large, dull blades, while the Vitamix sports four sharp blades.  It seems that the combination of the blades and blender container design make the Vitamix more effective at blending a large, thoroughly frozen banana with milk.  Another side effect of using the Blendtec that have noticed in my limited use is that the Blendtec seems to more effectively heat the mix it is blending than the Vitamix.  That could be great for soup, but it’s not great when I’m blending something frozen and the Blendtec already needs to significantly longer to blend.

So what were the results after the camera stopped rolling?

The Blendtec was warmer, still had large chunks of unblended banana, and lacked the whipped, rich, creamy consistency that makes Banana Milk such a treat.  The Vitamix wasn’t perfect, there was a very small chunk I missed, as I was trying to pour the Vitamix glasses a tad earlier than I normally would, in anticipation of the Blendtec being ready to pour at the end of it’s 40 second cycle (the Blendtec does count down it’s cycle in seconds on the LCD panel, which is a nice touch), but it turned out the Blendtec was nowhere near ready to pour.

Yes, it’s a disappointing result for the Blendtec, but it’s very likely the Blendtec Smoothie program is not the best way to make Banana Milk.  As with the issue that I had trying to use the Blendtec to make powdered parmesan cheese like I do with my Vitamix, it’s likely that part of the issue is my lack of familiarity with the Blendtec.   I’ll move on and try some of my other favorite recipes and I’m looking forward to hopefully finding some areas where the Blendtec shines.

Hummus (★★★★★) using the Vitamix 7500 (with video)

My original post of this hummus recipe is hidden in between two other recipes in a post back in 2011, and since it’s the most requested dish I make, I think it deserves a post of it’s own and a video showing how easy it is to make.

Hummus (★★★★★)
2 Cans of Chick Peas/Garbanzos (15.5 oz), one strained, one with all the water from the can
¼ cup of raw sesame seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup of lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, peeled
1 teaspoon cumin
a pinch of sea salt

Put everything in and blend on high with the tamper for about 30 seconds or until everything’s well blended.  Chill if not serving immediately.

As I mention in the video, unless it’s a particularly large garlic clove, I tend to use two or three smaller cloves, but I’m a big fan of garlic, so adjust to match your tastes.

Homemade Peanut Butter (★★★★★) using the Vitamix 7500 (with video)

Looking back at my peanut butter recipe, it’s not nearly as short or clear as it could be.  You can still view that one if you want, but this is the short, simple version, and it comes with a video.

Homemade Peanut Butter (★★★★★)
Definitely not as sweet as store brand peanut butter, but my four-year-old son devours it

1 lbs. Bulk Dry Roasted Peanuts, Unsalted
3/4 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp. Maple Syrup

Blend for one minute, and use the tamper to push the peanuts into the blades.  That’s it!

Again, if you want a longer version of above, with slightly different ratios, go ahead and checkout my peanut butter recipe from 2011.

For those of you who are most interested in hearing how the Vitamix 7500 compares to the Vitamix 5200, or how well the 7500 blends dense mixes, I can say that the 7500 made great peanut butter my first time making peanut butter in it, and that the 5200 seemed to have a work a little harder, but also made great peanut butter time after time.

Making a Banana Milk in the Vitamix 7500 and Vitamix 5200 side-by-side (with video)

One of the very first things I made with my 5200, and one of the reasons I bought it, was Banana Milk.  Basically, blend a frozen banana and milk.  It’s awesome.  Unfortunately, it will eventually (or quickly) break normal (weaker) blenders, and getting the entire banana blended so there are no chunks left takes time or a good blender.

Now, with the 5200, I got pretty good at learning how to use the tamper to quickly make awesome banana milks with no chunks, but I wanted to see if the 7500 could do the job in a reasonably similar amount of time without using a tamper.  I also just wanted to blend something in my 7500, and I knew my son would help me drink the second banana milk.

I made a video, which is below, but the summary is:  Yes, the Vitamix 7500 handles a frozen banana without a tamper better than the 5200, likely because of a combination of the larger jar circumference and improved power.  I would likely still use a tamper regardless, but who knows, maybe with the right mix of milk to banana, I might find myself skipping the tamper altogether for future banana milks.

Anyone interested in asking questions about the 7500, 5200 or the differences between the two?  Let me know in the comments!  Anyone interested either of the blenders in the video?  (The Certified Reconditioned Vitamix 5200 or the new Vitamix 7500?)  They’re both at Vitamix.com and you can get free shipping with coupon code: 06-006651)

Update (3/23/2013):  In addition to the refurbished 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.

Vitamix 7500 arrived! Uploading an unboxing video as I type this.

My Vitamix 7500 arrived today!  I went looking, to no avail, for an unboxing video of a 7500 before I ordered mine own, I thought I’d make my own.  I’ve never made one before, so I have no doubt it’s horrible, but here it is:

I also made another video putting it side-by-side with my current Vitamix 5200 to compare basic differences like height, cable length and noise level, which should upload as soon as the unboxing video finishes.  I’ll put that video below once I have a link for it.  (Edit:  Added video)

For anyone who’s interested in asking questions about the 7500, 5200, or the differences between the two, please fire away in the comments below!

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