Vanilla Fig Smoothie

Vanilla Fig SmoothieI came up with this blend because I wanted a snack, but was out of fresh fruit. In the freezer I had frozen mango and figs. I wouldn’t have guessed that they would go together, but, combined with vanilla, the result is surprisingly delicious.

I’ve previously written about how you can use vanilla pods in smoothies, but this time I just used extract. For most things, I think extract is the way to go, because it is cheaper/easier, and you don’t sacrifice too much flavor.

Both mango and figs have plenty of fiber, so the smoothie comes out relatively thick, but still fully drinkable. Continue Reading →

How to Make Frappuccino Blended Coffee Drinks

Vitamix FrappuccinoPeople have been asking me how to make Frappuccinos at home. They tried, but got disappointingly separated ice and liquid, even using a Vitamix. I looked up the Starbucks list of ingredients, and found the secret ingredient: xanthan gum. In this post I will cover how to use xanthan, and also give a whole-food alternative for making satisfying Frappuccinos.

If you are a frequent drinker of Frappuccinos, you can save a lot of money by making them at home, plus you can customize them to be exactly how you like. They’re super easy too: a Vitamix will blend one in about 20 seconds. Continue Reading →

A golden smoothie with a kick

Golden SmoothieHere’s a zingy and refreshing smoothie:

¼ cup water
1 orange, peeled
⅓ pineapple, peeled (~1.5 cups pieces)
fresh ginger (piece ~¾ inch on a side)
turmeric (fresh piece ~¾ inch on a side, or ¼ tsp powder)
1 cup frozen mango

Blend on high until smooth. Makes 2 medium servings.

Depending on how much of a kick you want, you can increase the ginger and turmeric. Continue Reading →

Deluxe Carrot Soup

Vitamix Carrot SoupThis carrot soup is a bit more work than my usual recipes, but the result is rich and delicious. I was inspired by an amazing soup I had at Chez Nico in Innsbruck, Austria a few years ago. The idea is to make it all about the carrots, and it has a simple premise: cook carrots in carrot juice, then blend. Besides making a silky smooth blend, a Vitamix works great for juicing carrots as well (with the help of a filtration bag). Continue Reading →

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 →