Saturday, January 31, 2009

My new best friend

How did I get through my life before I met my new best friend Vita Mix (I call her Vita)? In looking back before Vita (B.V.), I actually thought that I was content and quite fulfilled. Silly, silly girl. Now when I reflect back on my life B.V. I realize that I had a huge gaping hole in my life that was begging to be filled with delicious smoothies, soups, and homemade frozen treats. Poor poor B.V. Katie. She was so ignorant and naive.

My relationship with Vita began so serendipitously. I had wanted a mill to grind my own wheat way back when, long before wheat became the devil in my house. I lusted after my Mom's superb mill that made gorgeous finely ground flour that later turned into the most phenomenally delicious homemade bread. My desire for a mill sat on the back burner next to other items on my "wish list" such as an essential oil diffuser, Le Creuset cookware and my own set of Wusthof chef knives. I was content to leave the mill percolating in the back of my mind for a day that I somewhere found some extra cash lying around. That all changed when I packed home $40 worth of specialty flours all made from gluten-free grains.

When you begin your voyage into gluten free baking you realize quite quickly that it means a heck of a lot more than buying a few bags of rice flour. It has become such an art form to bake the perfect loaf of gluten-free bread that doesn't come out looking like a heavy brick. The art includes combining different types of flours together and adding xanthun gum to replace gluten and to act as a binder. Well the types of flours I was buying were: garbanzo bean, tapioca, popcorn (yes, that is what I said), rice, potato starch and quinoa. Most of these come from Bob's Red Mill packaged in 1.5 lb. bags. They are tiny and so expensive. I realized that I would be paying for a mill in no time at all if I ground my own flour. When I spoke to Phyllis (my gluten-free guru) about it she mentioned that she ground her flour in her Vita Mix.

Just days later I was doing my research online when I stumbled across a blog in which someone had written about their Vita Mix and specifically the grinding aspect. I was definitely on to something. Wouldn't you know it that on that very same day an old friend of mine posted on his facebook status: "Audie is enjoying a homemade apple-orange-carrot-lemon-parsley-spinach-watercress-Amazing-Meal (TM) smoothie." I was intrigued with his post and inquired about the recipe. When he mentioned that he made this in his Vita Mix my interest became heightened. I got back online and started reading all kinds of interesting reviews and message boards from Vita Mix owners. I realized that this was exactly what my family needed. I hesitated bringing it up to John because these aren't cheap machines. When I explained what they were, John said, "they have Vita Mix people at Costco right now". How cool was that?

We decided the next day when John came home to go check them out. We had Becca with us. We explained to the demonstrator (Sally)that Becca was on a strict GFCF diet. Sally proceeded to give us the most fabulous customized demo for the next 30 minutes. She made smoothies using all kinds of fresh veggies and fruit. They tasted so delicious and you never would have guessed there was squash and carrots in the delicious frozen strawberry delight. She showed us the grinder attachment and actually ground rice flour for us to see for ourselves. Then she made taco soup in the Vita Mix and it ended up being nice and hot. We couldn't believe that it did it all by friction and that there wasn't a heating element. During the demo there were two old men (at separate times) who came by and commented that they both adored their own Vita Mixes and owned them for 40+ years. John actually followed one of the guys later to see if he was a plant (suspicious minds that we have). The demo had us sold from the beginning but lets just say that the delicious "ice cream" (not really ice cream so much as delicious frozen dessert) really put it over the top. We were chowing the samples and giving them to Becca. She was lapping them up! We grabbed our new friend Vita and put her in the cart right next to her grinding attachment "Millie".

I swear we have not wanted to leave the house since we brought Vita home. The kids are in on the action as well. They love to help us come up with things we should try for smoothies. They suck them down so fast and are back for more. We love it because the Vita Mix doesn't require a lot of food prep. You don't have to peel most things and you rarely have to cut anything up. You just wash it and pop it in. There is a plunger thing that helps you push the solid items down to the blades. When you eat or drink your concoction you're getting all the fiber and wonderfulness of the produce unlike a juicer that only extracts the juice and leaves the rest of the good stuff behind. So far we have made countless smoothies, tortilla soup, taco soup, 2 kinds of "ice cream" and have ground rice flour. The Hannon family unanimously loves our new best friend Vita!


Audie said...

Yay, Katie! I didn't know you had a blog!

Good ol' Vita! And Millie. I'm so happy to know there's someone else out there in the VitaMix siblinghood -- someone, that is, who understands.

I haven't done much in the way of soups. Is it really good for those? I have done a slaw type thing of my own invention that worked pretty well, and yes, there are those "ice creams." It is really such a health-helping tool! I'll stand by, to hear more about "Adventures With Vita and Millie!"


Lolene said...

Okay, so I am REALLY lusting after your Vita Girl! Ever since I talked to you, I can't get Vita out of my mind. Someday I WILL own a Vita-Mix of my own. Your enthusiasm is contagious!