Photo credit:  Photobucket - mrhill3232

Photo credit: Photobucket – mrhill3232

If there’s one gadget over all others every guy should have in his kitchen, it’s the Vitamix. This amazing device can chop, grate, crush, mix, shred, mince, knead, puree, emulsify, and yes, blend. It’s an extraordinary appliance with which you can create almost any dish or beverage, including margaritas, smoothies, blended coffee drinks, muffins, pancakes, sorbet, pies, dips, spreads, dressings, sauces, and soups, using fresh fruits, vegetables, hard and soft cheeses, ice, milk, almonds, chocolates and everything in-between. You’ll be hard pressed to need any other kitchen tool beyond a paring knife and spatula.

Contrary to urban legend, recipes in the “Getting Started” book accompanying your Vitamix instruct you to peel, halve and hull your fruits prior to placing them into its patented, BPA-free container. Vegetables, on the other hand require no peeling or seeding. You can choose between selecting a preset speed or one from the variable speed control based upon your skill and comfort level. Use the High setting when processing hot soups and sauces. The four whirling blades generate enough friction to create cooking heat. The wide-mouthed container with a contoured pour spout and easy to grip handle attaches to a well-balanced, stable control base complete with a master “on/off” switch providing you a safe and worry-free user experience as its very sharp blades blend your ingredients perfectly.

Prep time for most dishes is relatively short, 10 to 30 minutes and processing time in the Vitamix is literally just seconds. Key to success is to not over process, especially recipes containing oil as that may cause overheating and recipe failure. Because the machine is built with a high-efficiency motor, equipped with a radial cooling fan and built-in thermal protection, it is rare for the motor to overload and burnout. You’ll find the Tamper to be indispensable for breaking up air pockets that may form while processing thick mixtures and fully blending all ingredients. Its tapered form is specially designed to prevent it from coming into contact with the machine’s blades.

This summer, turn heads with quick, easy to make, crowd-pleasing frozen treats and iced beverages. It’s very simple to do, especially if you keep some vanilla yogurt and frozen fruit on hand. In less than 10 minutes (five of those minutes are spent watching the fruit thaw) you can serve a healthy and tasty refreshment like my Blackberry Yogurt Freeze pictured here.  Mix 1 cup of vanilla yogurt with 16 oz. of frozen blackberries for 40 to 60 seconds.  Its gourmet look, feel and taste will have your guests guessing from what specialty grocer such a creation was purchased.

Photo credit: Paul Quadrini

Photo credit: Paul Quadrini

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