I admit it, I love QVC. I can’t help it. I’m an information junkie, and when I see a product I am interested in, I like to know all there is to know about it. I LOVE the easy-pay option, and the fact that I can shop from my den, it’s just amazing. I may obsess over a product that may be frivolous, or out of my reach, but every time it comes on QVC I will watch it, and think about buying it, hard. And then I go on their website and I read all the reviews, and then I’ll obsess some more. Is it worth the money? Will I really use it?
Just before we moved into our new house, I bought a Kitchen Aid Architect food processor from QVC. It was a great deal, easy pay, free shipping, and a Today’s Special Value (that means a one day only lower price!) It was beautiful, and I made room for it on my counter. And I looked at it a lot. On occasion, I tried to use it. I made a vegan cashew cream sauce for pasta. It was messy and I had a lot of cleaning up to do afterwards. My daughter made guacamole in it, and decided that doing it by hand was far more efficient. I tried the shredding blade to grate carrots, and the last big piece of carrot would get stuck and just whoomp around the bowl like an unbalanced tire. That was pointless, and wasteful. The only thing it seemed good at, was making breadcrumbs. I paid $200 for a food processor to make breadcrumbs? Our little Black and Decker mini chopper could do that, and that cost $15. I would have returned it (very easy with QVC) but I’d waited way past the 30 day return policy period. Sigh. I sold it, like new, on Craigslist for $80.
I became obsessed with the Vitamix. My heart told me not to get involved. That I would just be let down again. But I couldn’t help it. The promises, the power, the legacy. I had to have one. But could it really be justified? What would my husband say? It certainly seemed like the appliance of my dreams when I watched it on QVC. From Ice Creams, to Smoothies, to Hot Soups! Dips and sauces! I watched every youtube video, and read every review. I decided that if I was going to go for it, we were going big or going home. I wanted the most powerful motor, and one that would last through the test of time. I’d heard that these things were handed down in families, and lasted forever! I’d also heard that the Vitamix warranty and customer service were unparalleled. That turns me on! A 7 year warranty? Sign me up.
I learned that while QVC does sell some models of the Vitamix blender that you can purchase in a store, some of the models are exclusive to QVC, in other words, made just for them. The blenders on QVC come with a 5 year warranty as standard. Not that that’s anything to cry about, but me, being me- I had to have the extra 2 years.
I decided after much research and price hunting, to go for the Vitamix 750, for several reasons. Number one on the list was the short, squat 64 oz. blender container which ‘fits under the cabinets’ on your countertop. I didn’t want to have to find a home for that thing every time I used it. I also wanted the most powerful motor and 7 year warranty. I wanted to maximize this appliances potential to be used! It turns out that the blender container and unit fit on my countertop under the cabinets, but without the lid. So, the lid’s permanent home is in the dish drainer…
Long story short. I love this thing.
Out of the box, we made smoothies like there was a Jamba Juice sign over our front door.
In our house, it is my husband with a very sensitive stomach, and myself, my 26 year old nursing student/vegetarian daughter, and my 65 year old father-in-law, who has Celiac disease, which means he lives a gluten-free lifestyle, and of course four precious dogs. There were infinite possibilities ahead of me to feed this tribe of humans and canines.
My daughter is a big fan of smoothies, green smoothies, fruit smoothies and her new favorite is the raw cacao and coffee smoothie. At about $5 per smoothie out in the world, I’d say she’s living the life with this thing in the house. Her recent facebook post, “I was going to move out, but then my mom bought a Vitamix,” says it all.
I recently bought my other daughter, (23 year old yoga student who lives in the crunchy green mountains of Vermont) an Omega masticating juicer for Christmas. It was about $400, and top of the line as far as home juicers go. I was crushing hard on that one myself for quite awhile! I still kinda want it, but when it came down to which would I get MORE use out of, I went with the Vitamix. However, she loves her juicer- and there are times I wish I could make juice that is thin in consistency and ‘juice-like’ as opposed to thick and more smoothie-like. But when she recently came home for a week to visit, she was definitely loving the smoothies I made for her every morning.
I have a recipe posted on this blog for a ‘cream’ soup that I made using the Vitamix, but I have not made a soup JUST using the Vitamix. It can be done, but I haven’t done it yet. The power of the puree definitely fools your mind into thinking it’s creamy and fattening, but it isn’t. It’s great!
Fruit smoothies are the easiest and most refreshing summertime breakfasts! Add a scoop of your favorite powder and you’ve got a meal. We use Amazing Grass Green Superfood Powder, in the original flavor. A typical smoothie will be a few frozen strawberries, half of a frozen banana, a handful of frozen blueberries, maybe a few pieces of frozen mango or pineapple, a half cup of almondmilk, a scoop of SuperFood powder or a tsp. of Matcha powder, maybe some hemp seeds, or a tsp. of soaked Chia seeds, and a few ice cubes. It blends up so smooth and creamy, so perfectly blended, it’s a pleasure to drink.
Raw Cacao smoothies consist of organic raw cacao powder, a handful of soaked cashews, 2 pitted medjool dates, hemp seeds, chia seeds, cacao flavor SuperFood powder, a cup of almondmilk or soy milk, or hemp milk, etc. 2 Tbs of (REAL) Maple Syrup (we don’t use any artificial sweeteners or Agave or Stevia, sorry – we found out Agave was really not good for you at all) a handful of ice cubes, and a tsp of fresh dry coffee grounds. Better than a Frappuccino! So energizing and so good for you! I get requests for these daily. Try to use top shelf raw cacao, it makes all the difference.
Now, you might think the huge price tag is a bit much just to make smoothies on the daily. But we do like to entertain, and I can see frozen daiquiris and margaritas and pina coladas in my summertime future! I have an idea for a Frozen White Wine Sangria Affogato, that I think will be amazing, I’ll keep you posted! Hummus is going to be big in the summer too, chickpeas, sesame seeds, olive oil and lemon- and add some sun dried tomato, or some red pepper or some pignoli nuts, and voila. I’m psyched. White Bean and truffle dip, Black Bean dip, good times ahead!
But it is getting warm out now, it was 80 degrees in April in New Jersey yesterday… where did the Spring go? I can see myself using this a LOT as well in the winter, making Sunday gravy, purees for soups, etc. For now, I really think my Vitamix will help get me through the summer! I hate to turn on the oven, or even the stove once it gets hot out. I cook outside on my amazing Holland Grill (you’ll see a review here very soon!) – and I know that marinades are going to be big, I tell you! Big!
Cleaning: Couldn’t be easier. Kind of fun too. You just rinse out the blender container and lid. Then fill the container half way with warm tap water and an itty bitty squirt of dish detergent (even the low sudsing organic dishwashing liquids get bubbly and soapy!) and set the unit on the auto clean setting. When that is done, just take it back to the sink and rinse. If its something crazy sticky, or those pesky Chia seeds, you may have to rinse a little extra and/or use a sponge to loosen or remove something in there, but in general, it’s simple. NOTHING like cleaning a food processor. The blades don’t come out of the vitamix, so it’s pretty simple, there are no hidden areas to clean.
The unit came with a HUGE hardcover ‘cookbook’ that I have yet to really explore, but I did notice it had all the areas covered, smoothies, soups, deserts, dressings, marinades, etc. It’s a very nice cookbook for a bonus! It also came with the patented ‘tamper’ that is to be used only while the Vitamix is in use, through the top opening, to help move around whatever large pieces or ice need to get closer to the blades. The tamper will not hit the blades as long as you only use it through the top opening. How often do I use the tamper? Pretty often, especially when making a frozen fruit smoothie or sherbet or ice cream.
As far as grinding flours, it works very well with oats – so far the only grain I’ve tried. Nut butters, I’ve tried almond, but I had to add some maple syrup in order for it to really get to the texture I wanted. I think if I had filled the container maybe halfway with almonds that it would have worked better. I have read that the heavier the contents, the better ‘push’ downward there is, due to the cyclone effect created by the blades. In fact, there is an order to which ingredients should be placed into the Vitamix for maximum effect:
Liquids first, then soft fruits or vegetables, greens, and Ice on top.
As far as making hot soup in the Vitamix, the way it heats the soup is through the friction of the blades. Strange? Yes. But it works. The 750 Pro model has its’ own settings for soup, smoothies, ice cream, sauces and cleaning. These aren’t necessary, nor did I buy it because it had these settings, but I do use them all the time. Throw in a cooked potato and chicken broth, maybe a clove of garlic and a few rosemary leaves and set it on the soup mode, you’ll have a nice creamy potato puree soup in minutes. Maybe a cooked potato, a handful of cooked broccoli and some chicken broth, salt and pepper, set it on soup mode, pour into a bowl and add some cheddar cheese shreds. Yum. Good eats.
I have found myself gravitating towards the frozen fruits section of both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, and buying frozen organic Kale quite often to add to my smoothies. I prefer buying frozen over fresh because it’s easier, and often times works out to be much cheaper. It’s very convenient to have frozen fruits in the freezer to toss into the Vitamix at any given moment; strawberries, pineapple, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, mango, papaya, blackberries, peaches. Freezing fresh banana is very easy – just peel whole, cut in half and freeze in ziplock bags. Frozen banana is very easy to cut when it’s frozen. I use fresh apples, fresh mint, fresh oranges, lemons, lime, plums, pears, whatever is on sale!
This machine has definitely boosted the health of our family. Instead of grabbing a Starbucks, I’m taking a smoothie with me to work, and so is my husband and my daughter. That’s definitely worth it. I’m still exploring this great appliance, so stay tuned for some great recipes to come!