August 20, 2014

Considering Vita-Mix

I’ve always thought of Vita-Mix blenders as a health food, hippy blender, one that has been replaced by juicers. Nevertheless, in the back of my mind I can ‘t help wondering if it is the answer to my ice crushing, smoothie making needs.   seems to feel the same way, but she finally gave in and purchased one.

At some point in my distant past, I had acquired a Vita-Mix, lured by devotees who swore by it. It could grind grain! Make soup! Make ice cream! It could grind the fiber, stems, seeds and skins of vegetables to a puree, unlike a blender, a processor or most juicers. You waste less, since the machine lets you use whole foods.

Reader, I never removed my Vita-Mix from the box, so intimidated was I by the large, powerful machine. My cat is fond of the original packing box as a scratching post.

Then Vita-Mix, a family-owned company in suburban Cleveland, sent me notice that they had a new version, the 5200 model, with a shatterproof container that is BPA-free and a more efficient motor. (BPA is the substance that leaches out of common household plastic containers and may be harmful.) The improved model came in red, a color I can’t resist when it comes to kitchen appliances or shoes.

Vita-Mix sent a pro, Wendy Manfredi, to put the monster through its paces. First, she dumped some ordinary brown rice into the Vita-Mix container and in a couple of minutes, voila! We had fine, evenly ground rice flour. You could use the flour to make rice noodles, if you felt ambitious, or you could use it to bread foods, or just as a soup thickener.

The machine operates at a velocity so fast it can create heat, and it sounded like an airplane taking off. At first, I backed across the kitchen. Then, I got used to it.

Next, Manfredi made tortilla soup. We didn’t even peel the carrot that went into it. No seeding the tomato, either. She made a smoothie, strawberry stems and all.

For ice cream, she tossed frozen peaches, soy milk and a little honey into the container. When the mixture forms mounds, she cautioned, it is done; blending too long will cause melting.
 

The Vita-Mix comes with a 64 ounce container which has its pros and cons- it holds almost all you could want to make, but is so large it is difficult to store.  A smaller 32 ounce jar is available for purchase separately.  Vita-Mix is not sold in stores but can be purchased online at vitamix.com. The 5200 model begins at $449.

Vita-Mix Introduces New Flagship 5200 Blender

The Vita-Mix Corporation has been extolling the virtues of a whole food diet for decades, quietly amassing thousands of loyal customers who have made Vita-Mix high-performance blenders an integral part of their healthy lifestyles. Today, Vita-Mix is proud to announce the first new Vita-Mix household blender in 15 years the Vita-Mix 5200. The Vita-Mix 5200 introduces a brand new container made from a new material by the Eastman Chemical Company called Tritan copolyester, a shatterproof material that is BPA-free, a first in the home appliance market.With its new, more efficient 2 peak HP motor, whole foods arent just blended in the 5200; they are pulverized seeds, stems, skin and all. By rupturing cell walls and creating more surface area, the Vita-Mix releases the full bioavailability – and flavor – of what you put in it, making it the ultimate whole food machine.

The Vita-Mix 5200 adheres to our founders vision of producing an appliance that goes well beyond what is expected from a conventional blender, explains John Barnard, CEO of Vita-Mix Corporation. Partnering with Eastman Chemical Company on our new container material will give our customers a super-strong, state-of-the-art product that delivers the performance and legendary durability for which our company is known.

Appliance Ferris Wheel

I just came across the site www.halfbakery.com, which as the name suggests, is a site where people can share and discuss their half-baked ideas. One I particularly liked is for an appliance ferris wheel that stores small appliances under the counter and brings them up to be used at the touch of a button.

The main body of the device (and most of the appliances) remains hidden under the worktop. Ok, I’ll have to sacrifice some cupboard space, but chances are that the space was being taken up by the long-forgotten appliances anyway.

Press the ‘Forward’ or ‘Back’ button on the worktop, and the wheel whirs into motion, only stopping when you take your finger off the button.

Fresh coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice and some freshly baked bread, anyone?

There was some follow-up discussion about the cords getting tangled as the wheel turned, but I just figured the appliances would remain unplugged with coiled cords until needed.

Let’s see, mine would have the coffeemaker, toaster, mixer, food processor, blender, bread machine… it’s going to have to be a big wheel.

The Rose Parade Uses Blenders!

During the last few days of December, volunteers show up by the hundreds to decorate the floats that will be on display during the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.  One of the regulations for the floats is that they must be completely covered in plant matter.  No paint, wallpaper, plaster or cardboard is allowed to show, only flowers, seeds, bark, leaves, stems, grasses, beans, etc. 

Rose Parade Float under construction
My family and I visited the construction barns only two days before the parade and the volunteers were hard at work.  Even ropes were being dipped in glue and then onion seed to turn them black and to qualify them to be on the pirate ship float.

The Port of Los Angeles had many parts of their float being assembled and we discovered that the beautiful white color of The Love Boat came from crushed rice.pc300193.JPG
That’s where appliance.net perked up and we asked how they crush the rice—BLENDERS!  It is a staff position to provide  massive quantities of crushed rice.  I tried to get the decorators to name a favorite blender, but they declined. 
pict5922.JPG
It seems that blenders aren’t just for the kitchen anymore and that creative uses for our everyday appliances are around if we keep our eyes and ears open for them.   Who knew we’d find blenders at the Rose Parade?