Posts Tagged ‘ VitaMix ’

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!

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

Crazy good Black Friday, Cyber Monday Vitamix and Blendtec sales on now!

Vitamix and Blendtec were both running good sales leading up to Thanksgiving, and in years past, those have been the best deal on a blender that you’ve been able to find.  It looks like this year they are both kicking their sales up a notch and putting out some once-a-year level Black Friday specials.

Prior to today, Vitamix was already running the best pricing I have ever seen on their Classic model, matching their Mother’s Day pricing of only $299 for their
Standard Reconditioned unit, which comes with a 5-year warranty.  As of right now, the Standard Reconditioned unit is only $285 at Vitamix.com.  That is the best price I have ever seen for that model, and is both the first Vitamix I ever bought, and the model Vitamix is best known for.  I do not know if that pricing will be good through Cyber Monday, or if that is just a Black Friday special, or if it is only available for a limited quantity, but it is available as of writing this post.

This deal is only available from Vitamix directly, and you can get free shipping by visiting Vitamix through this link.

Blendtec’s sale similarly gives free shipping as well as an additional $50 off all the sales the were already running on their refurbished blenders.  In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, they were on sale for  $229.95, with free shipping and without tax in most states.  That price has dropped another $20, making it available for $209.95.  I believe that deal is good through Cyber Monday, provided they do not run out of stock.  The Blendtec does offer a full seven year warranty, instead of the still impressive five year warranty of the Vitamix.  (Which I have used on two separate occassions.)

The best deals on the Blendtec blenders are available at this link.  The best pricing on the Vitamix Standard and Next Generation models, as of this blog post, are:

Standard:
5200 Standard – Getting Started (New, rubber handle and Whole Foods cookbook, comes with a 7-year warranty)
Turboblend VS (New, plastic handle, filtration bag, vegan and vegetarian cookbook, comes with a 7-year warranty)
Standard refurbished (Reconditioned, comes with a 5-year warranty)

Next Generation:
7500 (New, comes with a 7-year warranty)
Next Generation refurbished (Reconditioned, comes with a 5-year warranty)

Certified Standard Vitamix Blender promotional pricing confirmed through Thanksgiving 2014

I wrote in this recent post about the current promotion pricing on the  Standard Reconditioned unit over at Vitamix.com.  Shortly after noticing the promotional pricing that’s currently in effect, I received this in my inbox, which confirms that the current pricing is good through Thanksgiving.

Now through Thanksgiving, enjoy additional savings off the already unbeatable prices of our Certified Reconditioned Standard machines. We've backed them with a 5-year warranty and reconditioned them by hand right here in Cleveland (to make sure they'll look great under a certain evergreen tree.)  $299 (was $329)  Add $50 for brushed stainless finish

Now through Thanksgiving…

As has been the case with promotional pricing in the past, you can combine that sale with free shipping when you order from Vitamix.com.

Hopefully that helps keep people on the fence from being caught off guard when the price goes back up after Thanksgiving.

The best deal on a Vitamix Blender in the 2014 holiday season

This is my 100th post, and this blog just celebrated its three year anniversary!  And to think I was concerned when I bought my first Vitamix that I might not get enough use to justify the cost!  Here’s hoping year four of this blog is as fun as the first three!

I actually got a message on my blog today asking me what the best deal on a Vitamix currently is, and if there’s a good deal coming up at some point in the Christmas season.  Before I answer that question, it’s important to be clear on what blender you want.  I do also have a Blendtec Designer Series in January of last year, but this message was asking specifically about a deal on a Vitamix, so I’ll stick with that.  There are a few model lines that Vitamix currently sells, and while there are a lot of ways they are rebranded and packaged, there are really three choices.  I wrote a detailed post, How to choose the right Vitamix model for you, and for the sake of this post, I’m going to assume a potential blender buyer is looking at the Classic series and/or Next Generation models.  (Confused?  Read through the link on choosing the right model.)

Regardless of whether you are looking at the Classic series or the Next Generation models, the best deal on a Vitamix currently advertised is from Vitamix.com directly.  I have posted in the past about deals at Costco and Bed Bath and Beyond coupons, and I’ve also seen some “deals” at hautelook that haven’t ever beat what you can find at Vitamix.com.  The vast majority of the time, the best deal on a Vitamix is available on Vitamix.com once you know what model you want and track down the best offer.

I’ve been asked about the potential for Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday specials, and if recent years are any indication of what to expect from 2014, you won’t get a better deal on just a blender by waiting.  Larger bundles have seen slight discounts and containers have seen discounts, but the various blenders themselves do not normally see a Black Friday or Cyber Monday discount.  That makes sense since Vitamix’s shipping tends to get backed up as you get closer to Christmas, which is likely their busiest season.

To add to that, Vitamix is already matching the best pricing I have ever seen on their Classic model, matching their Mother’s Day pricing of only $299 for their Standard Reconditioned unit, which comes with a 5-year warranty.

Now, you can save some additional money buying from Vitamix.com directly, you can get free shipping by visiting Vitamix through this link.) Once that free shipping is factored in, buying reconditioned models from Vitamix directly is most affordable way to buy a Vitamix, and usually means Vitamix.com is the best price on new models as well. So what are the best deals at the end of 2014?  I dug through, and as of today, the best pricing on the Standard and Next Generation models are:

Standard: 
5200 Standard – Getting Started (New, rubber handle and Whole Foods cookbook, comes with a 7-year warranty)
Turboblend VS (New, plastic handle, filtration bag, vegan and vegetarian cookbook, comes with a 7-year warranty)
Standard refurbished (Reconditioned, comes with a 5-year warranty)

Next Generation: 
7500 (New, comes with a 7-year warranty)
Next Generation refurbished (Reconditioned, comes with a 5-year warranty)

Find a better deal on a Vitamix blender?  Have any questions?  Let me know in the comments!

Frozen Summer Drink Recommendations

It’s finally summer here in upstate New York, which means my blenders are very happily being used to make a lot of frozen drinks and treats.  Here are my personal favorites and recommendations:

Banana Milk
Frozen Piña Colada
Grown-up Polar Cup

Matcha Milk Frappachino
Mocha Frappuccino

I’ve made all of those in June, most recently frozen piña coladas, but I didn’t grab a photo of that.  Instead, here’s a photo from a few days ago when I was using both my <a title="Vitamix 7500 arrived! Uploading an unboxing video as I type this." Vitamix and Blendtec to make both the Matcha Milk Frappachino and whipped cream at the same time.

Making Matcha Cream Frappachino in my Vitamix 7500 at the same time as making whipped cream in my Blendtec Designer Series.

Making Matcha Cream Frappuchino in my Vitamix 7500 at the same time as making whipped cream in my Blendtec Designer Series.  Complete overkill, but it was fun using both blenders at once.

Blender Usage Update (Vitamix Vs. Blendtec)

Over four months have passed since I got my newest blender, a Blendtec Designer Series in January.  I got my Professional Series 300 a year before that in January 2013, although I had two Vitamix blenders before that.  I still tend to use the Vitamix the most, but I’ve got over 120 mixes clocked in on the Blendtec, and I figure it deserves an update on what I’ve found it well suited for, and what I use the Vitamix for.

The Blendtec has proven very useful for Matcha Milk Frozen Drink and frozen sports drinks.  Because the blender won’t mix properly without the right balance of ice and water, it’s easy to know if I need to add more milk to the matcha mix or water to the ice and powered sports drink.  It’s also easy to hit the button to start the blender mixing, and then put away the milk or Super VAAM sports drink powder or whatever other ingredients I have while it’s mixing.  The blender has a tendency to start dancing off to the left while mixing at high speeds on my counter tops, but there’s a hot water pot that keeps it from jumping off the counter.

The smaller Blendtec Twister Jar is also great for sauces, whipped cream, and very small mixes.  It sounds like it might also be significantly better suited for making peanut butter than the larger container, but I need to eat our existing peanut butter before I make more.  Sadly, neither Blendtec jar, nor any Vitamix I’ve had has done a great job as a coffee grinder, so while these blenders can do a lot more than a traditional blender, they’re no replacement for a coffee bean grinder.

As for soups, green smoothies, sorbets and similar thick mixes, I find it extremely satisfying to mash away with the tamper while blending.  The Vitamix is also great for the right texture on frozen smoothies and banana milks, and with its very sharp blades, I would trust it for Kinako Powder and almond powder.

I’m sure I’ll get more comfort with the Blendtec as time goes on, but I wanted to share my experiences and how I’m using both for anyone who might be interested.  If you have a specific question, please feel free to fire away in the comments.c