Friday, October 1, 2010

Smoothie Anyone?

For the past four or five years, I have carefully collected and hoarded any bits of birthday or Christmas money that I've been given by parents or others, knowing that there would eventually be something special I'd want to use it for some day.  A couple of months ago, that little fund tumbled from its balance of $550 down to nothing.  Nada.  I spent it all...on one single thing that I found on sale.  In fact, I overspent my fund by $50.

I bought a new blender.  Not just any blender, but a two-horsepower Vitamix kitchen appliance that chops, dices, purees, blends, mixes, whips, grinds, kneads, and crushes (ice).  It's the same kind of industrial-strength blender that they use in smoothie stores in the malls.  Here's my new baby:

I tell you, this thing can emulsify the bejeebers out of anything that's put into it...and I'm loving it.  So far, I've made soup, (healthy and delicious) ice cream, sauces, and tons of smoothies in it, and have yet to try making nut butters or grinding grains for bread.  Oh, I can even make a pretty awesome cold cappucino that beats the heck out of the Tim Horton's version, in both taste and healthiness.  What I particularly like about the vita-mix is that I can put whole foods into it (eg. strawberries with the green top still on it) and the machine breaks down and emulsifies the food so completely that it not only tastes great but helps release more nutrients from the food.  It's totally different than a juicer in that way.  I use my Vitamix every day.

My favourite thing to make in it so far are green smoothies.  I've acquired quite a taste for them (and yes, it was an acquired taste).

I've been making these several times a week for a while now, and must say that my body actually feels better!  Even Matthew is starting to like them; after being able to tolerate only one spoonful the first time he tried one, he's now up to a half-cup portion.  My most common recipe, which is plenty for me to sip on throughout a morning or afternoon, is:
  • 1 mango (or about a cup of diced, frozen mango that can be purchased at Costco). I find that the mango flavour is actually not discernible, but it helps tone down the strong flavours of the remaining ingredients.
  • 2 large leaves of kale (including the ribs)
  • 1 handful of fresh parsley (stems and all)
  • 2 handfuls of mixed spring greens
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1/4 of a lemon, including the pith and seeds (adds a bit of a citrusy flavour, again moderating the strength of the other flavours)
  • about 1-1.5 cups water
  • 1 handful of ice
  • a bit of hemp and/or flax, which gets freshly ground right in the machine as the smoothie blends.
  • sometimes a squirt of agave nectar to sweeten it a bit, depending on my mood!
A friend recently suggested substituting mixed, frozen, berries for the mango and this, too, is excellent.  I'm guessing that one of these smoothies provides 6-7 servings of fruits and veggies, which I'm thinking can only benefit me.

One of Matthew's favourite, sweet, pumpkin-orange smoothie combinations includes the following ingredients (he doesn't know about the veggies in it!):
  • 1 banana
  • 1 orange
  • 1 apple
  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water or fruit/veggie juice
  • ice cubes

So...anyone hoping to visit our house in the next while needs to anticipate that, at some point, I may well be offering you a bit of something from the new the very least, I will want to introduce you to the new baby in the house.

PS.  No, this is not a paid endorsement, in case anyone's wondering!!  They've never even heard of me!


  1. Well I totally think that they should pay you! After having only 1 smoothie at your house made from the vitamix and hearing about how much you like it I would love to have my own and am eagerly anticipating the next smoothie!

  2. We have a Vita Mix as well (finally broke down last year), and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! We use it everyday. I use it to whip up smoothies with whatever produce I have in the 'fridge, as well as whole wheat breadcrumbs and different types of flour (e.g. oat flour). It's awesome! I'm going to give your recipes a try tomorrow morning. I'd love to know how you make your Tim Horton's smoothie. :)


    P.S. I was not paid to endorse the product either, although that would be a nice little side income!

  3. My mom bought a vitamix about 17 years ago. She still has it and uses it all the time! You can't wear them out!
    Enjoy blending and juicing!


  4. I have a vita-mix too and love it. It's one my sister found on ebay, and it's from 1969 or somewhere around that time (you should see the awesome pics in the recipe book!). Still chugs fantastic and whips up some yummy smoothies for me! :) mmm mmm.

  5. Wow - at least three others have a vitamix, and another of my online friends in BC, too. I'm so glad to hear that they last so long, too. I figured the odds were good, given that the company offers a 7-YEAR complete warranty.

    If anyone has other good recipes for the Vitamix, feel free to send them my way. I'm in love with the thing!



  6. lovely!! thanks for the recipes..i always hear smoothies are so good for you, but what to make? what to make? i'm glad you are happy with your big purchase! i wonder how much my little magic bullet could handle. :)