Simple Vegan Tomato Soup

Tomato SoupIt’s hot soup season! This tomato soup is simple and satisfying. The classic Vitamix tortilla soup, is blended until hot, but this recipe is instead cooked on the stove to develop different flavors. A Vitamix can heat soup, but it generally won’t cook vegetables. If you don’t cook onion before blending, you have to use only a tiny bit, because otherwise its flavor is much too strong. And a cooked onion can really improve a soup.

(Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can always purée vegetables and then cook them on the stove. I did this once with onion and cauliflower, and the result was awful.)

This recipe uses canned tomato, which is great for late fall and winter when flavorful tomatoes are hard to find. Canned tomato is also already partially cooked, so it doesn’t need to spend too long on the stove.  Continue Reading →

Vitamix 780 Review

Vitamix 780I’ve spent the past two weeks trying out the new Vitamix 780. It is Vitamix’s fanciest blender, and now here is my review. Disclosure: Vitamix did not sponsor this review nor provide the machine. If you make a purchase after following a link from this site, Joy of Blending may receive a referral commission (at no cost to you), and I am grateful for your support.

The short version

The Vitamix 780 is Vitamix’s priciest model, and it is the only one that has a smooth touchscreen control panel. You can get the same blending results with lower-priced models, but, if you like the look of the shiny glowing screen, and you can afford it, the touchscreen does not disappoint. The 780 is also the quietest Vitamix model so far (really! more details below). Continue Reading →

Maple Pecan Vegan Ice Cream

Maple Pecan Vegan Ice Cream top viewI love vegan food, but a lot of vegan versions of traditionally-non-vegan dishes can be disappointing if you are expecting the traditional version.1 This recipe doesn’t make any sacrifices on texture or taste—it is creamy and densely flavorful. In fact, I think the flavors are improved by not being diluted with dairy or eggs. I’ve served it to traditional ice cream lovers who enjoyed it. They were surprised to hear that it is vegan and doesn’t have any cream. Continue Reading →

Final days of sale and a new model

Red-5200Vitamix-Pro-750[750 Sale extended; not sure for how long]
Today and tomorrow are the last days to take advantage of the sale that includes both ends of the Vitamix spectrum. You can get a Certified Reconditioned 5200 for $299[price increased; still good deal at $329], or a Professional Series 750 for $629. The Reconditioned 5200 sale has been extremely popular, with two out of the three colors selling out. Continue Reading →

Fig Pecan Smoothie

Fig Pecan SmoothieI came across frozen figs at Trader Joe’s and decided I had to make them into a smoothie. I blended them with pecans and a pear, and this combination is delicious! Sweet, aromatic, and out-of-the ordinary. (The Trader Joe’s figs are green skinned, which is part of why the smoothie is so light colored.)

The fig seeds blend up nicely in a Vitamix. Their texture was undetectable on the tongue, and just barely noticeable as fine particles if you ran the smoothie between your teeth.

Figs are so delicate that I think getting them frozen is a great idea, especially for smoothies. (If you thaw and eat them whole, the texture is a bit off, but that is a non-issue for smoothies.) Continue Reading →

Ginger Beet Hummus

Ginger Beet HummusIt’s been a while since the last recipe post! Part of the delay came from working on building an interactive tool over on the Vitamix Comparison page, which is now complete. If you feel like checking it out, I’d appreciate any feedback. And if you know anyone who is deciding which Vitamix to buy, I hope it can help them out.

This zesty spread/dip is a modified version of a recipe from Vitamix chef Bev Shaffer. I first sampled her version on a visit to Vitamix headquarters. I was making it at home and accidentally misplaced the jalepeño that her version calls for, so I substituted ginger instead, and it was delicious. Continue Reading →

Simple Fruit Fly Trap

Fruit-fly-trap-top-view-200x200I think everyone who eats fruit must have had a fruit fly infestation at one time or another. Wait too long to take out the compost or leave out some overripe fruit, and the flies can quickly invade.

The first thing to do is to figure out what they’re swarming around and get rid of it or put it in the fridge. Once you’ve done that, putting out a trap can help get rid of the fruit flies. Continue Reading →

Blueberry Peach Smoothie

Blueberry Peach SmoothieIt’s peak peach season, so I figured it’s time for a new peach smoothie. According to Russ Parsons (author of my favorite book about produce, How to Pick a Peach), the warm winter led to a 2015 peach crop that will be short and sweet. Don’t miss out on this year’s peaches!

It’s been a while since I’ve discussed this, so I just wanted to point out that in this recipe, like most of my smoothies, I put the power of the Vitamix to work by using whole nuts and water. This saves money and convenience compared to buying nut milk. (I previously wrote up some price comparisons for buying vs. blending your own.) In addition to not having to store nut milk, using water ice cubes is generally more convenient than frozen cubes of nut milk, which you would need to chill this sort of smoothie without making it too watery. Continue Reading →

All-Green Smoothie

All Green SmoothieAs I’ve written before, sometimes it’s nice to make a smoothie that has a pure vibrant color. Here’s one with all green ingredients. Berries plus greens can be tasty, but the combination often results in a muddy brown color. This recipe is a bit of a liquid salad, and it’s refreshing. In spite of its bright green color, it does not have an overwhelming vegetable flavor.

Avocado gives it some thickness, turning it from a total juice into a smoothie. The avocado also makes it less frothy. (Check out the difference between the picture on this page, and the recent spicy green drink.) Continue Reading →