Thursday, 21 July 2011

Vitamixology 101

Yes folks, it's here. My brand new (refurbished) Vitamix 5200 variable speed blender. This thing had been recommended to me by two nutritionists and after seeing the possibilities on the website, I was convinced. Initially scared off by the price, I saved a whopping $200 by going through the Canadian dealer and getting the refurbished model. I was so excited to try this baby out that I didn't even take my boots off when I got home - straight into the kitchen! In preparation for its arrival, I had been stashing serving-sized bags of prepped fruit in the freezer so that I could do smoothies without ice (and daily fruit shopping). Christening the Vitamix was as simple as adding a frozen sliced peach, and another bag of mixed fruit (blueberries, grapes, raspberries and melon), as well as about a cup of water to help things move around. In less than a minute, the fruit was transformed into a smooth, rolling liquid of blueberry purple. A lot of it, in fact - three good sized servings out of two bags of fruit! I'm not going to say that it tasted better than any smoothie I've ever had - it tasted like frozen fruit that had been professionally blended. But, cost of the appliance aside, it's about $1.50 for a serving (as opposed to $5.00 and up in Yaletown). That kind of satisfaction tastes pretty good!

My first effort a success, I thought I'd up the stakes a little - making a savoury sauce for some quinoa spaghetti that I'd been looking to try. There is something so perfect about pasta and tomato sauce - but I've been warned off tomatoes (even though I got away with a bit in the cauliflower recipe). I decided to risk it a bit and use up the other half of the can I opened earlier this week. So into the Vitamix went:
  • half a can of diced tomatoes
  • a generous handful of fresh spinach (vitamin A, folic acid!)
  • half of an onion, peeled
After a few seconds on medium speed, the tomatoes were juice and a few spinach leaves had been sucked into the maelstrom. The onion sat heavily on top.
I gradually increased the speed until the leaves started to give way to the whirlpool beneath, and the onion succumbed. In less than a minute I had a very smooth, very spinach-y liquid that did not look as appetising as I had hoped. I poured it into a saucepan in the hopes that cooking it would soften the flavours (especially the onion). It did - and the whole thing became bland. Thinking about it, I wasn't actually that surprised. I looked through my fridge and cupboard for something that would rescue it, and decided on a healthy tablespoon of ready-made pesto. Voila! Spinach-loaded pesto. Not vegan - but parmesan is still on my list of permissible foods, so I'm taking it!


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