It's visionary to eat healthy. What we put into our bodies today will, in many ways, determine our health tomorrow. God gave us food to delight us as well as to nourish our bodies, and there is beautiful balance in the natural foods He has provided.
Over the years I've tried to feed our children as healthy as possible, knowing that in certain seasons it is less possible than other seasons. For example, after a new baby comes into the house, the spelt pancakes and raisin carrot muffins for breakfast go flying out the door...and in walks the cheerios, raisin bran, and frosted (anybody judging?) shredded wheat.
I have been on serious health food kicks over the years. Probably the worst experience was when we tried to "go raw" for a while.
OK, a week.
My husband put an end to that after the third night of an undefinable, seedy type of casserole followed by a "cheesecake" (his favorite dessert) made with ground nuts.
The recipe said it tasted EXACTLY like the real thing.
My husband said, "NOT".
One of the frustrating things about trying to eat healthier, whole foods, is that it takes more preparation time, and when you get busy with more and more children, prep time is at a minimum. The other frustrating thing I've found is that when I don't have the right tools, I can't do the right things, well...right.
Enter the Vitamix. I've made whole grain pancakes and waffles, applesauce, smoothies, crushed ice, chopped onions and carrots, play dough, soups, peanut butter, and chocolate malts. (Hey...chocolate malts are very good for the soul...if not for the gut.) I even used my Vitamix to help me go into labor.
How did I live without this machine? I think I will forevermore look upon my life as "pre-Vitamix" and "post-Vitamix".
"Pre-Vitamix", I had a friend and her children over for the day. I made some kefir and berry smoothies in my regular style blender. She watched while I painfully wrestled with the blender and the ingredients for 10 full minutes before I finally had something blended well enough to choke down. There was only enough for each person to have a tiny glass. This is why smoothies, while healthy, were not something I would anticipate making...and therefore made only on rare occasions.
And I believe our "going raw" experiment would have been more pleasant and realistic had we owned a Vitamix.
Seven Reasons to Love a Vitamix
1. The size of the container is HUGE. It holds 8 cups worth of whatever you are making. That's enough for our family of 10 to each have a 6-7 ounce glass, if we are making smoothies. It also holds enough batter to feed our family the number of pancakes/waffles we need...and then some.
2. It is LIGHT. My old blender container, made of thick glass, weighed a TON. This one is so light it makes lifting and pouring easy...even for kids.
3. It blends up smoothies and blender pancake/waffle recipes with any kind of ingredient painlessly. And we're not just talking bananas, berries and milk here. I can put an entire carrot in there...and it will blend it up with my fruits smooth as silk. In 30 seconds.
This morning I put whole flax seed and almonds in our strawberry banana yogurt smoothie...and it was smooth and creamy rich. With my old blender, virgin coconut oil would never get completely blended into the smoothie. Instead, we could feel the tiny globules of coconut oil in our mouths. (Raw, virgin coconut oil is good for your gut.) But with the Vitamix, I can dump in a big spoonful of the stuff...and it gets completely emulsified in with the rest of the ingredients. In 30 seconds.
I've thrown in fresh spinach leaves and avocado...without telling my kids...and it blends up so well, they have no idea those things are in there.
With my old blender, I had zero success with whole grain blender batter recipes that call for blending whole grains in with the other ingredients in one step. With the Vitamix, I can throw in any whole grain to make a pancake or waffle batter that rivals anything we've ever tasted in the past. My family loves the pancakes and waffles I make, and I'm able to add flax seed, almonds, just about any ingredients you can imagine. You can puree baby food in seconds with this machine as well.
4. The lid doesn't fly off when pureeing hot foods. I can't tell you how many times I've had hot, pureed veggies for cream soups splattered all over my ceiling, counter top, and face with my old blender. Not any more. My face is safe, thanks to Vitamix's unique lid that "locks" into place. Creamy asparagus soup is heaven to make. And even more heavenly to eat. With a clean face.
5. I can weed out several other appliances from my kitchen, thus simplifying life and conserving space. I no longer need my blender, food processor, coffee grinder or grain mill. Yes, if you have the dry container, which is an add on, you can grind coffee beans and mill any kind of whole grain into flour. You can crack whole grains too in order to make hot cereals like oat groats.
I run a soap business where I often need to grind organic herbs into a powder. Not a problem with my Vitamix.
6. This machine enables me to feed my family more whole foods, more painlessly and pleasantly than any other piece of equipment I have ever owned.
7. A seven year warranty. Free shipping to their repair center and back should your Vitamix need help.
Isn't it Just a Glorified Blender That Costs a Mint?
Not everyone can afford a Vitamix. We certainly could not until this year. This post isn't intended to cause coveting, bitterness or nagging of husbands. However, even when we've been quite poor, God has graciously enabled me to creatively figure out ways to acquire tools that I feel are helpful to my homemaking.
So why haven't I owned a Vitamix before now?
I wasn't convinced it was necessary.
I thought it was just a glorified blender...and that it would be ridiculous to spend hundreds of dollars on a blender that would do the same thing as the one on sale for $40 at Target. (We've been through 4 sub-par, painfully laborious blenders in the past 20 years.)
The Vitamix is so much more than "just a blender". It is the best way I've discovered, thus far, to incorporate healthy, whole foods into my family's diet.
Save your shekels. Say "no" to other things and save for this one. Ask for money for your birthday and Christmas...and put it aside for a Vitamix. This is how I've been able to acquire some of my most beloved, quality homemaking tools.
And just for the record, I am not a Vitamix distributor, nor am I getting paid to write this post! I'm just a satisfied owner. (I've heard Blendtecs are amazing as well!)
Creamy Spring Asparagus and Potato Soup
I want to leave you with one of our favorite and most amazing spring time recipes using delicious, fresh asparagus from the garden...and made in the Vitamix. This recipe serves 8 hungry people who are looking for something to tantalize their taste buds and fill their stomachs. They won't even KNOW it's healthy. (This recipe is adapted from Sue Gregg's Soups and Muffins cookbook which I highly recommend!)
1. Throw in a stock pot and simmer for 10 minutes:
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 2 lbs fresh asparagus (from your garden is best!)
- A BIG handful of baby spinach (or more!)
- 3 medium sized potatoes, diced. (And by all means...leave those skins on!!)
- 1 large sweet vidalia onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
3. Now put the following into your Vitamix or Blendtec and whiz away until smooth:
- 1 quart warm milk
- 4 T. butter
- 2 T. flour
- 1 1/2 t. salt
4. Pour milk mixture into stock pot with soup and stir until hot and thickened.
5. Serve with warm, crusty bread for lunch. Add a big salad with it for a fabulous dinner.