Posts Tagged ‘ Vitamix Professional 300 ’

Mild Baby Kale Green Smoothie (★★★★☆)

We had friends over today for breakfast who stayed for lunch.  I told them to bring over whatever they wanted to blend up in the blender, and that breakfast would be green smoothies and waffles.   I was looking forward to mixing things in both the my new Blendtec Designer Series and my tried and true Vitamix Professional Series 300. (The Pro 300 is basically the same as a 7500, a good explanation of the different models is here.)

While we made a reasonably good green smoothie in the morning, I was shocked by how good the green smoothie I made for lunch was.  Unfortunately, I can’t ever replicate it, at least not exactly, because the fruit portion of the green smoothie was the left over fruit from that morning.

Here’s the recipe, as close as I can remember:

Mild Baby Kale Green Smoothie (★★★☆)
This was really, really easy to drink, and while no one else seemed to enjoy it quite as much as I did, I was very, very impressed with how good this tasted

2 medium handfuls of baby kale
4 oz of blueberries
2 strawberries
2 pieces of mango (similar in size to the strawberries)
2 orange wedges (seeds removed)
1 small carrot
1 celery stalk
1 small piece of cinnamon stick
ice and water (approximately 16oz, half ice, half water)

Added everything together and used the tamper on speed 10 on the Vitamix Pro 300.  Blended for approximately 40 seconds.

I don’t know how accurate that is, but the veggies are correct, and the fruit was mainly blueberries, but the small amount of mango really helped.  I was shocked by this because I was just using the leftovers we had, and I’m not usually a fan of kale or blueberries, but this particular mix was something I would definitely make again.

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Baby Kale, Peanut and Banana Green Smoothie (★★★☆☆)

We had friends over today for breakfast who stayed for lunch.  I told them to bring over whatever they wanted to blend up in the blender, and that breakfast would be green smoothies and waffles.   I was looking forward to mixing things in both the my new Blendtec Designer Series and my tried and true Vitamix Professional Series 300. (The Pro 300 is basically the same as a 7500, a good explanation of the different models is here.)

The first thing I made was whipped cream for the waffles.  Following that, I decided to make a green smoothie using baby kale, based on a recipe I received from a co-worker.  I am not a fan of kale, but I wanted to change that.  My coworker makes this green smoothie regularly in a Health Master her husband received as a gift using extra water and peanut butter and cinnamon powder instead of peanuts and cinnamon sticks, and leaving out the flax seeds.

I’ll go into more detail on how the two blenders matched up below, but here’s the recipe for anyone who’s interested:

Baby Kale, Peanut and Banana Green Smoothie (★★★☆☆)
The ingredients go well together, and the results is one of the most drinkable kale based green smoothies I have had.  I do not have a high degree of confidence in the ratios of the ingredients below, but the ingredients themselves work well together.

2 medium handfuls of baby kale
1 large banana
3-4 tablespoons of unsalted peanuts
cinnamon stick pieces (to taste)
2 tablespoons of flax seeds
ice and water (approximately 16oz, half ice, half water)

I used the smoothie button on the Blendtec, and used the tamper on speed 10 on the Vitamix Pro 300.  I started the Vitamix just after the Blendtec, turning it off just before the 40 second smoothie program ended.

The smoothie itself was a little better than I was expecting, but not as interesting to me as how the Blendtec would compare to the Vitamix.

I tried to make both sets of ingredients as equal as possible:

Getting ready to make Baby Kale, Peanut and Banana Green Smoothies in both blenders simultaneously

Getting ready to make Baby Kale, Peanut and Banana Green Smoothies in both blenders simultaneously

Adding ice to both blenders

Adding ice to both the Designer Series (left) and Professional Series 300 (right)

I broke out both the two “B” and two “V” cups that I made for blind taste testing the Banana Milk I made in my first side-by-side test of the two blenders, and served the green smoothie to my guests, and got two votes for the Vitamix with texture the only reason that either friend could articulate. I noticed that the Blendtec mix was slightly warmer, which is a trend I’m seeing, an issue that could be easily rectified in this recipe by using more ice and less water. Regardless, the difference between the blenders for this particular mix is small.

Acorn Squash Soup (★★★★★)

This is my third autumn since we’ve moved to Upstate New York, and our local farms are selling locally grown acorn squash again, so it’s time to start making Acorn Squash Soup, which is my favorite soup to make with my Professional Series 300 Vitamix.  (Yes, it’s basically the same as a Vitamix 7500, a good explanation of the different models is here.)

Now, over the years, I my recipe has gradually evolved from the original version to what I make today, and I recognize that my current version is based on my personal preferences, but if you’re a fan of richer soups and acorn squash, I think you’ll really like this.

Acorn Squash Soup (★★★)
This recipe can easily be halved, and used to be half this size.  I’ve simply gotten in the habit of using an entire squash when making it. The Acorn Squash is the star of the soup, and tremendously aided by quality milk, so the difference between this soup made with sub-standard milk and below average acorn squash and this soup made with fresh, in-season acorn squash and local farm milk is a big one.

1 medium acorn squash
2 large bouillion cubes (2 cups of broth worth of bouillon cubes)
4 cups of whole milk
2 teaspoons of maple syrup
pinch of nutmeg (to taste)
cinnamon stick pieces (to taste)
pinch of extra virgin, first cold pressed olive oil
a sliver of fresh ginger
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)

The easy way to cook the squash is to slice it as cleanly in half as possible.  Clean out the seeds, which I like to roast separately, and put both halves in a pyrex tray large enough to hold them, putting just enough water in to prevent air from getting in/out of the squash.  Microwave the squash for approximately 10-15 minutes, depending on how large it is. (May need longer depending on the microwave)

While the squash is being microwaved, put the milk, cinnamon sticks, ginger, nutmeg, maple syrup, extra virgin olive oil and bouillon cubes in the blender, and blend on high for about a minute so that everything is very well blended before adding squash.  You can easily add more cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger as needed, but you can’t take it out, so err on the side of caution if you’re not sure how much to add.  Ginger and cinnamon both help bring out the flavor of acorn squash.  While I personally add a reasonable amount of cinnamon, I haven’t had anyone successfully identify the ginger before being told it’s in there.

Once the squash is done being cooked in the microwave, it should be reasonably easy to turn the squash over and scoop out the meat out, leaving only the skin behind.  If the squash is still tough, it needs to be cooked longer next time.  After putting all the squash meat into the blender, you’re dealing with a pretty full container.  Blend until well mixed and taste.  Add nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon to taste and blend.  Then add salt and pepper to taste and blend.  May need to be heated further in a pot before serving.

My wife and I both love the fluffy, whipped texture the blender gives it, and this newer recipe gives it more milk, more flavor and a slightly higher ratio of squash to liquid than the original recipe.  It may not be quite as light, but if you don’t mind a filling soup and like acorn squash, I think the changes are all for the better.

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 Blackberry Sorbet (★★☆☆☆)

Our backyard has a fence that’s lined with blackberry and raspberry bushes on the other side of it.  The blackberries are at their peak and we we’re bringing in about a pound a day this week.

Based on how good the Fresh Peaches Sorbet was, we decided to try to recreate that magic with fresh blackberries.  Unfortunately, the blackberries are smaller than what you’d see at the grocery store, and have a substantial number of seeds per berry.  Despite blending them for a reasonable length of time, the gritty, sand-like seeds in the sorbet meant the excellent flavor was ruined by the unfortunate texture.

Fresh Blackberry Sorbet (★★☆☆☆)
Might work better with large, juicy farm berries, but still not something I’d recommend based on the gritty texture added by the berry seeds.

1 lbs. of blackberries (half frozen, half refrigerated)
Raw honey (approximately 3-4 tablespoons)
Ice

Freeze half the blackberries in advance.  Then put the blackberries and two cups of ice in the blender.  Blend on medium to high, using the tamper and adjusting the blender intensity to ensure everything is well mixed.  Add approximately three tablespoons of honey and taste.  Sorbet can be sweetened with additional honey or diluted with additional ice.  Serve immediately.

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It looked good and had nice flavor, but it’s not something I’ll be making again.   Neither this nor the berry juice I made last year seem to be great uses of the berries.  Maybe I’ll come up with a great recipe involving the berries and Vitamix next summer.

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