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Lucylu

Vita-Mix Blenders & Mixers

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As I mentioned earlier in this thread, or I think I did, there was an earlier thread also....

I love the VM for making and cooking cream soups. 

When several things are being prepared at the same time I often would forget to stir a cream soup and just a tiny bit of scorching ruins the entire batch, that vulcanized taste permeates instantly. 

Cooking them in the VM solves the problem and produces a wonderful creamy soup that is just perfect.

Andiesenji, while looking through your messages trying to find one on cream soups, I ran into Mrs. Obregon's dulce de leche recipe. Oh joy! Thank you for posting it. I've already printed out & made multiple backups of her enchilada recipe. Maybe you should start a Mrs. Obregon thread.

Now back to the subject at hand. About 7 or 8 years ago, riddled with guilt over the price, I picked up the phone & boldly ordered a Vita Mix. I've used it just about every day since it came. Every morning I start out with a lovely, creamy smoothie. As someone else mentioned, it makes a killer cup of Mexican chocolate with a head of foam worthy of a pint of Guinness. I have occasionally ground wheat into flour & it does an excellent job. It hadn't occurred to me to make cream soups in it. I hope Andiesenji elaborates a bit more on this.

Pat


I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance

Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.

-- Ogden Nash

http://bluestembooks.com/

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As I mentioned earlier in this thread, or I think I did, there was an earlier thread also....

I love the VM for making and cooking cream soups. 

When several things are being prepared at the same time I often would forget to stir a cream soup and just a tiny bit of scorching ruins the entire batch, that vulcanized taste permeates instantly. 

Cooking them in the VM solves the problem and produces a wonderful creamy soup that is just perfect.

Andiesenji, while looking through your messages trying to find one on cream soups, I ran into Mrs. Obregon's dulce de leche recipe. Oh joy! Thank you for posting it. I've already printed out & made multiple backups of her enchilada recipe. Maybe you should start a Mrs. Obregon thread.

Now back to the subject at hand. About 7 or 8 years ago, riddled with guilt over the price, I picked up the phone & boldly ordered a Vita Mix. I've used it just about every day since it came. Every morning I start out with a lovely, creamy smoothie. As someone else mentioned, it makes a killer cup of Mexican chocolate with a head of foam worthy of a pint of Guinness. I have occasionally ground wheat into flour & it does an excellent job. It hadn't occurred to me to make cream soups in it. I hope Andiesenji elaborates a bit more on this.

Pat

I don't often use a recipe for making soups, particularly the ones made in the VM.

In speaking of the 2-soup combos which look so pretty in the bowls, I was thinking of the combo of black bean and white bean soup that goes so good with Mexican meals. I just pour it so it is half and half in the bowls. A chef friend used to pour it so it would end up in the yin/yang design. I was never able to achieve that degree of precision.

Another is a combo of carrot/ginger/sorrel soup with avocado soup, these can both be served hot or cold. and the gold/green combination is beautiful.

Another combo I make quite a bit is a roasted red pepper soup combined with spinach soup or broccoli/cheese soup.

Any cream soup can be made in the VM. One does need to saute the aromatics in butter or oil first and do any pre cooking of the vegetables, roasting or steaming (I steam carrots, celery, etc)

and then the cream is gradually added at the very end of the process as the soup is being "cooked" by the blender.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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Oooh those sound so good, I fear I'm growing faint from hunger. Thanks very much for the pointers. I'll give it a try.


I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance

Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.

-- Ogden Nash

http://bluestembooks.com/

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Well, this thread and my recent discovery of Jamba Juice smoothies is really making me consider purchasing a Vita-Mix. At $5.00/smoothie from JJ, I figure I could recoup the cost of the Vita-Mix by the end of the summer. So..Does anybody have any suggestions on a model?

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I have a 30-year-old commercial model

and the newer Super 5000, and bought that because at the time they had a deal so I got the dry container for grinding grains free.

I don't use it much anymore because I now have a grain mill.

I recommend the 5000 over the 4500 turbo because the turbo has only two speeds.

The 5000 is variable speed from very, very slow to vrooooooom.......:biggrin:

Order direct from Vita-Mix here

Unless you can find one on ebay. There have been several in recent months. As long as the seller backs it up, and the price is significantly lower, go for it.

Note that the home models have a 7-year warranty.

You can get a Vita-Prep from J.Hufford that is the commercial version that only has a 3 year warranty. J.Hufford

shipping is free.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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I have the Super 5000 and couldn't be happier with it. It's been a real workhorse. I got mine before Ebay (can anyone remember life before Ebay?) Now, I would certainly check there first, but unless it was a huge savings, I'd probably cough up the bucks & order it directly from the company.

Pat


I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance

Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.

-- Ogden Nash

http://bluestembooks.com/

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I received a 4500 as a gift (and was thrilled and astounded!) and was wondering if I should quickly send it on its way back for a 5000?

I know the big difference is the variable speed option, but what does *not* having the variable speed capability prevent one from doing with the thing?

Could I not process certain items.... or does it really matter?

Thanks!

:-)

Andrea

http://tenacity.net


"You can't taste the beauty and energy of the Earth in a Twinkie." - Astrid Alauda

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Food Lovers' Guide to Santa Fe, Albuquerque & Taos: OMG I wrote a book. Woo!

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This is what I know about these blenders:

4500: Hi and Lo speeds only

5000: Hi and Lo speeds; a knob that allows you to go lower than the low speeds for making chunly uff like salsas, chopped herbs, chunky type pestos. If you ask me, you can use your mini FP for this.

Super 5000: Tyhe only difference from the 5000 is that it comes with another bowl-like container for doing dry stuff like grains etc.

You decide if it's worth it. That dealer suggested another blender to me that he says is much better than all the Vitamix blenders but is in the price range of the 4500. In fact, i believe that the recommendation is the one that Jamba Juice uses. He convinced me. it has variable speeds and times pre-programmed.

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I agree with Cala Massey. I bought my Vita Mix before mini-processors came on the scene. Now that I have one, I use my mini-processor for just about everything I used to use the VM at low speeds for. These days I mostly use the Vita Mix for things like smoothies, ice creams & soups (which it does splendidly). The variable speed is handy for making a slower transition from low to high, which keeps liquids from crashing against the lid, but hardly necessary. The lid has a nice tight fit.

Enjoy your 4500. (Wow, what a fantastic gift to have received!)

Pat w.


I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance

Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.

-- Ogden Nash

http://bluestembooks.com/

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The vita-mix is just a very heavy duty blender, the thermomix is a blender with a heating element plus some other function and cost $500 more.

What makes the vita-mix special is the extremly heavy blades and the heavy duty moter this is what allows it to puree so well. Most other blender have weak blades and moters that can't stand up to heavy use and eventially die.

The Thermomix is a multi purpose type of blender, it has a heating element that can mix foods at low or high rpm and heat at the same time, or you can use with out heat (vita-mix heats with high rpm and friction). it can also weigh ingredients.

I have both and use them for different things, but if I were to choose just one I would go for the vita-mix.


We may live without poetry, music, and art; We may live without conscience and live without heart; We may live without friends, we may live without books; But civilized man cannot live without cooks.

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Got a possible issue to be troubleshot with my 4500.... (can ya tell I work in tech support???) :hmmm:

I've made several smoothies lately with a generous milk base, and added protein powder, possibly some fruit, and lots of ice. I blend for about 30 seconds, and when I pour out the result, I get a creamy liquid studded with flaky ice clumps - not the smooth smoothie texture I was expecting at all.

Am I just not going long enough? FYI, my ice is starting out as "crushed" from the ice maker in my freezer, not whole cubes.

Andrea

http://tenacity.net


"You can't taste the beauty and energy of the Earth in a Twinkie." - Astrid Alauda

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Food Lovers' Guide to Santa Fe, Albuquerque & Taos: OMG I wrote a book. Woo!

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shot in the dark: maybe too much ice?

IIRC, the instructions state that, since the vitamix crushes ice so well, you'll get a large drop in temp very quickly. Using too much ice may result in the mixture starting to crystalize/freeze again.

<edit: too early this morning (at least for me) -- fixed working>


Edited by daves (log)

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Try blending everything except the ice then adding it through the center opening while the mixer is running. That is what I do and I have no problems. Often I skip the ice because I use frozen fruit, even bananas, cut up then frozen in small ziploc bags pre-measured for one container full.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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Thanks andiesenji and daves - I'll keep tweaking and hopefully I'll master the smooth smoothie. :-)

Andrea

http://tenacity.net


"You can't taste the beauty and energy of the Earth in a Twinkie." - Astrid Alauda

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Food Lovers' Guide to Santa Fe, Albuquerque & Taos: OMG I wrote a book. Woo!

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I have good mixers (a Kitchen Aid stand and Cuisinart hand held) but I'm woefully disappointed with my blender. The blender that I have is a Kichen Aid. I got their high end 'Professional' which is 5 speeds and the stainless stell container.

The part that was my fault was getting the stainless steal container. What a dumb move. I don't know what its benefit is suppose to be, but not being able to see what is going on is certainly not among the benefits. It looks great but has no function.

As to the overall function of the blender, there is no way to do small projects effectively. I either need to use more volume or more liquid, and frequetly more liquid than desired.

A litte over a year ago I took a class that John Ash gave and he commented (while blending something) that Vita-Mix was the only one that was effective with real small quantities and with very little liquid. While I certainly have confidence in what John said about them I'm wondering what experience others have had with Vita-Mix blenders? I'm ready to plunk down the bucks and get one, and while I realize good and cheap don't go together (never have never will) at a price of about $400 (plus or minus depending on the model) I'm just looking for some feedback before making the final plunge.

Thanks


Charles a food and wine addict - "Just as magic can be black or white, so can addictions be good, bad or neither. As long as a habit enslaves it makes the grade, it need not be sinful as well." - Victor Mollo

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I can't speak for the vita mix.

Someone sent me an immersion blender and since that time I have completely stopped using the blender with the pitcher, in fact I plan to do away with the pitcher blender on my moulinex all together to save counter space when I replace the moulinex.

I can say that the hand held immersion type blender has become my blender of choice for several reasons. I keep it always plugged in and tucked within easy reach. The reason why it is so great is that I can blend just about anything in any container I want to, without dealing with the mess of having to put the stuff into the blender pitcher and then scraping it out again, losing valuable ingredients in that area down at the bottom where the blade is. It is perfect for small quantities too.

The "common sense instructions" in the user manual say don't use it to puree hot liquids because you risk getting burned. But within the first couple of days I'd mastered how to eliminate splatter. It is now the most useful tool other than the moulinex that I have and I use it for one thing or another during every meal preparation. Get one with high wattage, different speeds and a whisk attachment if you're ready to pay a little more, they all come in handy. Here in Europe the one I got ran about €40. I put it through some pretty hard use and it is no worse for the wear after 6 months.

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I have an immersion blender, (Bamix) and two regular blenders, the Waring Pro and the Breville. I use all three a lot depending on what I'm doing. I looked at the KA and I think it's one of the few appliances that they don't make well. I use the Waring Pro for certain dressings and purees and the Breville mostly gets used for bar drinks, the immersion blender for soups and sauces. The stainless steel container for your blender is probably intended for chilled blended bar drinks. The Breville came with both a glass jar and a stainless steel one.


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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A litte over a year ago I took a class that John Ash gave and he commented (while blending something) that Vita-Mix was the only one that was effective with real small quantities and with very little liquid.  While I certainly have confidence in what John said about them I'm wondering what experience others have had with Vita-Mix blenders?  I'm ready to plunk down the bucks and get one, and while I realize good and cheap don't go together (never have never will) at a price of about $400 (plus or minus depending on the model) I'm just looking for some feedback before making the final plunge.

Thanks

I've owned a Vita-Mix Vita-Prep for many years and can vouch for its reputation. Go into any well equipped bar and you'll almost certainly see one in use. They're bullet-proof and very effective.


Michael Harp

CopperPans.com

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I have a Vita-Prep (food service model), and we wouldn't give it up for anything. Works with large quantities. Works with small quantities. Purees soups incredibly well. Makes great daiquiris.

But the price. Ouch! A year after we bought, we see a roadshow at our local CostCo selling the consumer model for a ~$150 discount compared to what we paid. Ouch!

I'm pretty sure there are few differences between the food service and consumer version: NSF container, housing color, and warranty. We liked the black casing on the FS model better, and we figured anything warranted for 3y in a potential 24x7 work environment was good enough for us.

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I have a Vita-Mix 4500 and I love it. I do notice that most of the posters are not too keen on the KA blenders though.

I have what I affectionately refer to as my Blender Army which consists of my Vita-Mix, two KAs, a Waring Pro, a L'Equip RPM (This was the one that Alton had in Gear, the cool one with the tachometer) and an old Cuisinart I've had since college. Other than the Vita-Mix, to me, the KAs seem to be the best of the bunch. Oh well, to each his own I suppose.


Gear nerd and hash slinger

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Check ebay. There are a lot of Vita-Mix units listed and you can find them with a "Buy it Now" price, no waiting for an auction to end. A couple of the vendors offer free shipping which is a good deal at the V-M is heavy.

I can't praise it enough.

The only "fault", if one would consider it such, is that after grinding really hard stuff for many years, the inside of the bottom of the container is a little scratched and no longer crystal clear.

Compared to the problems other people have had with the glass containers breaking, I am happy with that little flaw.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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I got a vita mix 4500 on e-bay a few months ago and love it. I use to have a KA blender, could not stand it. It did everything poorly and ended up in the garbage. The KA really cannot be compared to the VM. The Vitamix does everything great, soups, sauces, purées... Well worth its pricetag. I also have a immersion blender (waring pro) that I use regularly. They are really 2 different tools, just like a food processor is different from a blender.

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While I don't like my kitchen aid blender, I did buy a kitchen aid immersion blender that absolutely rocks.

I've decided to go ahead and buy the 5000 model. I think I"m going to forego the extra 80 bucks for the dry blades though. I don't see myself grinding grain for breads nor do I make that much bread to begin with. When I do make bread I have my Kitchen Aid Stand mixer. I think too, that if I become obsessed with the vita-mix I could probably just buy the extra container and blades separately anyhow.


Charles a food and wine addict - "Just as magic can be black or white, so can addictions be good, bad or neither. As long as a habit enslaves it makes the grade, it need not be sinful as well." - Victor Mollo

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New, perhaps dense, question: I think I understand the difference between the 4500 and the 5000, but what are the differences between the Super, Deluxe, Ultimate, and Better-Than-Perfect? (OK, I made that last one up.) Here's the Vita-Mix link for reference. The J. Hufford website suggests that the Super simply adds a dry blade container for no additional cost ($399 and free shipping there). Is that so?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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