Oh, Joanna you just had to go and ask about the vita-mix. I thought I raved in the MoFo, but I don't think I ever got to it. I have not the words to describe my love for what may just look like a blender....this bad boy is expensive for a reason. It's got a 2 horsepower motor.
My first crush came when I worked in a restaurant at age 16 and when the bartender got busy, I got to make the "virgin" drinks. Then I actually bartended and made more than my share of coladas for the boardwalk bar. The perfect blended drink should be thick enough so a straw stands up, not have ice chunks, and be able to pour from the blender. Vita mix delivers every time.
Basic rule of frozen drink thumb is put in some ice or (frozen) fruit and then fill up to the level of the ice/fruit with liquid (juice, daiquiri mix, colada mix, whatever.) Blend on high for not even 30 seconds, and pour and enjoy.
Yeah, you can do this in a normal blender, but I'm telling you, the consistency is better from a vitamix. One of the bartenders used to make a dirty banana with the whole super ripe banana, peels and all. Perfect consistency.
So when I moved to Boston and got a real job, I missed the vita-mix. I really did. I bought mine probably 10 years ago, at some point in my life when I had extra cash, like tax refund or bonus or something. It was roughly the same price then, expensive. I think I paid slightly less than $500 for both the wet and dry containers. The dry container grinds grains.
Works as well now as the day I got it. In fact, I don't even use it enough. The dry container lets you grind whole wheat berries, then there is a recipe for bread where you add the ingredients and the vita mix kneads the dough, and you just bake. I haven't made it for awhile, but it's totally awesome and super fast. (Sorry, Jo, there are lots of other gluten-free things you can do with it.)
And purees soup to velvety consistency. There are speed controls, so lower speeds will give you chunkier results.
The newer ones look like they have better handles, and there's an additional smaller container.
My friend Mandy's brother inherited her mom's vitamix when her mom upgraded. Forcing Mandy to shell out for a new one. She bought hers around the same time as me. All still work great.
They use them at Jamba juice, and whatever one I see in malls. Orange Julius, maybe? I haven't been to a mall for awhile.
I need to use this more for nut milks. I think I made almond milk a million years ago.
Makes perfectly smooth hummus.
I could infomercial on and on.
They do sell refurbished ones, too, that are a little cheaper.
One of the chefs in the raw book suggests that every time you use your old blender, set aside a dollar and when the motor blows, you'll have some savings to buy a vita mix. Really, you'll never ever need another blender.
Here's my green drink from this morning. 2 frozen bananas, 2 TBS Trader Joe's Very Green powder stuff, some white grape juice that came off some TJ's jarred pears, and some OJ.
And unrelated to the vita-mix, here's another loaf of bread from my now chilled artisan bread dough. The chilled dough was easier to work with and stayed ball shaped. Made a nice puffy loaf. I can't wait to dig into this.