Posts Tagged ‘ five stars ’

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!

Homemade Peanut Butter (★★★★★)

In the past few months, Banana Milk has definitely become the main item prepared in the blender, being made almost every day.  (I’m also a big fan of making them with half milk, half soymilk, which is a bit of a variant on Kinako Banana Milk.)

That said, there are two other foods other foods I’ve ended up making quite a bit more than I expected:  Hummus and Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter has probably taken the most tweaking to get right.  I’ve bought raw peanuts and roasted them.  I’ve bought different kinds of oils.  I’ve tried a few different combinations of salt, sweeteners and oils, and I’ve found what I think is an absolutely amazing, healthy, affordable and easy combination that I can replicate to great results consistently.

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

Bulk Dry Roasted Peanuts, Unsalted (these are sold at my local supermarket for $2.99/lbs.)
Sesame Oil (This definitely seems to work better with the peanuts than other oils.  That said, I also love sesame, so this may be a personal preference.)
Maple Syrup (We’re using Grade A, Dark Amber, which is pretty watery)

For peanuts, I recommend more than ⅔rds of a pound, but less than a full pound, I find that .75 to .80 lbs. seems to work well in the blender and fit well in the peanut butter jar we put it in.  I put all the peanuts in the blender, turn it on, quickly power up to 10, turn on high, and use the tamper to help push the peanuts into the blender.  After about 30 seconds or so of this, I have a relatively blended, dry peanut butter in the blender.  I add about a tablespoon of maple syrup and maybe a little more than half that much sesame oil.  At this point, I just kind of know how much of each to add after I’ve blended the peanuts, but I think those are reasonable estimates.

I turn the blender on again after adding the Sesame Oil and Maple Syrup, ratching quickly to 10 and then high, and use the tamper to push the peanut butter into the blades.  After 30 seconds of this, it’s ready to eat or put into a jar.

So that’s it…no salt.  I just don’t think it needs any.  It’s not overly dry or oily, nor watery or too thick.  It’s a great consistency and flavor, and easy and cheap to make.