People 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 →
Vitamix blenders are famous for their high power, but what does that power actually mean, and do they deliver the horsepower that Vitamix claims? Continue Reading →
Here’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 →
I came across this recipe on ChefSteps. You can use it as you might use cream, as a garnish on soups, or to add a little boost to a pasta or bean dish. Don’t expect it to taste like cream, but it is satisfying. The flavor is savory and has an unexpected depth, despite such simple ingredients. Continue Reading →
We started trying out a new weekly produce box,1 and ended up with a lot of Meyer Lemons. When life gives you lemons… make sorbet! This sorbet has a crisp lemon flavor and a silky smooth texture. Continue Reading →
This 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 →
Whether you are shopping for a gift, or are looking to optimize your own blending experience, here is a list of recommended blending accessories. I keep these items in my kitchen and enjoy using them. I’ve mentioned most of them on the blog before, but here they are, all in one place. Continue Reading →
It’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 →
2017 Update: Vitamix released the Ascent Series, and I think the A3500 dethrones the 780 as the top Vitamix for most people. The crazy thing is that the A3500 is $100 less than the 780. I don’t think the price reflects a difference in quality; I think Vitamix just decided to change their pricing strategy. You may prefer the 780 if you want the all-touch interface, or want to be able to use older Vitamix containers. (The Ascent Series uses NFC Self Detect chips in the container, and unchipped containers won’t work on Ascent models.)
I’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 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).
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I 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 →