Vitamix S30, S50, and S55 Review: In-depth Testing & Comparisons

Vitamix S30 full set2015 updates: Vitamix has added three new offerings to the S-Series: the Vitamix S50, the Vitamix S55, and the Certified Reconditioned S30. The S50 and S55 add preset programs, but are otherwise identical to the S30, so all of the tests in this review apply equally to all of these machines. I have added a section describing the preset modes to the end of this review. For the budget conscious, make sure to consider the value of Vitamix Factory Certified Reconditioned.

I’ve been testing out a Vitamix S30 for the past few months. Now that I’ve had a chance to put it through its paces, here is my Vitamix S30 review and performance comparison to the other Vitamix models. Continue Reading →

Fennel Smoothie

Fennel BulbHere’s a new smoothie idea—fennel! Fennel is similar in flavor to anise and licorice. I found the flavor to be distinct without being overpowering. (Note that many people who dislike black licorice end up enjoying fennel.) If you’re looking for variety in your smoothies, give it a try.

I kept this recipe simple so that the fennel doesn’t get tangled up with too many other flavors.
Continue Reading →

New Feature: Recipes by Season

4 smoothies: beet, orange, purple sweet potato, and kiwi cilantro recently turned two years old, and previous years’ recipes have become a bit buried. (This is the 100th blog post!) I often post seasonal recipes, so I decided to add a feature to browse recipes by season. Just look for “Recipes By Season” over in the right sidebar, or you can head straight to fall recipes. Note that you can view recipes by ingredient or category as well.

If you’re on a phone or tablet and you don’t see the sidebar, try turning your device to a horizontal landscape orientation and see if it pops up. If your device is still not wide enough to display the sidebar, you can go to the Vitamix recipes page, which now includes links to recipes by season. (The recipes page is also always linked from the top menu bar.) Happy blending!

Vitamix Carrot Juice: 100% Undiluted

Vitamix Carrot Juice in glassesIf you’ve ever had carrot juice, you know what a treat it can be—bright orange, sweet, and bursting with carrot flavor. But can you make carrot juice with a Vitamix? Traditional juicers remove most of the fiber, whereas blenders leave it in. If you blend a super-juicy fruit like grapes or watermelon, you will get a liquid; but if you just blend carrots, you will get a thick purée—similar in consistency to applesauce—not a juice.

You can make a purée drinkable by adding liquid and/or various juicy fruits, which is what I do with my usual smoothies. Vitamix and Blendtec both have recipes for a “whole-food” or “total” carrot juice that add water, ice, and lemon juice to carrots (Blendtec also adds a bit of ginger). I’ve tried those recipes and they’re perfectly enjoyable, but they’re just not the same as a pure traditional carrot juice. They end up a bit watery (which is what the addition of lemon tries to compensate for). Continue Reading →

Ginger Sesame Dressing

Vitamix Ginger Sesame Dressing on ChardHere’s another version of the zesty dressing from Real Food Daily that I described previously. This recipe comes from Ann Gentry’s second cookbook, Vegan Family Meals. It’s a similar idea, but different flavor, because the watercress and garlic are replaced with ginger and white pepper. (If you don’t have white pepper, black pepper will suffice.) Continue Reading →

Watermelon Mint Agua Fresca with a Vitamix

Watermelon Mint Agua Fresca Fresh From VitamixI’ve been meaning to make watermelon agua fresca all summer, and now that I’ve made it, I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner. I usually make something at least a few times before posting about it, but this was just too good, and summer is running out, so I’m posting right away. If you haven’t already been making aguas frescas this summer, go get a watermelon and try making one now!

This drink is cool, light, and refreshing. It’s not thick like the usual smoothies. Continue Reading →

Vitamix Pistachio Sorbet Recipe

Pistachio Sorbet made with a VitamixThis pistachio sorbet recipe uses the same technique as my previously described chocolate sorbet. I’ve come to realize that high-performance blenders like Vitamix and Blendtec are particularly well-suited to making nut-based sorbets. They can blend nuts to a smooth consistency, and they can easily make a sorbet/“ice cream” without needing an ice cream maker. Continue Reading →

Smoothie Recipes without Bananas

Smoothies without bananasIf you’ve been following this blog you may have noticed that all of my smoothie recipes are without bananas. I strongly dislike the smell/flavor of bananas*, so I avoid them altogether. While browsing other people’s smoothie recipes, I’ve found that the majority use banana. If you are like me and can’t stand bananas, you’ll be glad to find that all recipes on this site are banana-free. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with bananas, but even if you like bananas, you may still enjoy some more variety to your smoothies. Read on for banana substitutes in smoothie recipes.  Continue Reading →