Monday, January 12, 2015

My New Vitamix, Peanut Butter, and The Best Darn Sandwiches Ever

I did it. I finally bought a Vitamix. I've been wanting one for several years, pretty much since the moment I went vegan. Everybody told me that every vegan must possess a Vitamix (or other high end, high speed blender.) I resisted. It's a big expense. I wanted to see how much I could do without one, and if you read back through the blog, you'll see I've done plenty. Certainly one can be vegan without a blender of any kind. Just as certainly, it's more fun and creative with one.

I bought a "regular" blender, and used it for a while. Then I bought a NutriBullet, which I had a lengthy love-hate relationship with. My blog post on the Bullet stirred a lot of conversation, and has more comments than any other post I've written. I'll have to go back over there once more and note that I finally decided to spring for the Vitamix. And, as many people told me would happen, I have a bit of reverse buyer's remorse, as in, Why didn't I do this sooner???

My bullet is going to live at my Dad's, so I can use it for simple things when I visit him, and my beloved food processor so far seems kind of redundant in the presence of the mighty Vitamix. I've tucked it away in a cabinet, just in case, but so far, the right tool for every job so far is my one and only new favorite "Barbie Dream Blender," the elegantly hulking Vitamix.

The other morning I was writing up a post for Eating Vegan In Portland, about PBJ's Grilled, up on 23rd. Talking up those miraculous peanut butter sandwiches, I found myself yearning for one right that very minute. I headed straight for my micro-kitchen to see how well the Vitamix makes peanut butter. I heard that it could. I've seen the videos. But I wasn't going to believe it until I tried it for myself. I filled 'er up about half full of peanuts, flipped the dials and switches, and moments later I had a vat of warm, fresh peanut butter. (Oh, heaven. Hand me a spoon.) Sandwiches were on the way, but not before I planned ahead to dinner and made peanut sauce too. It's the perfect way to "clean" all the peanut butter from the blender. By making a sauce, it was thinned down enough that it was easy to pour and scrape out nearly every last bit. And this way I only had to do the soapy cleanup once. Kind of brilliant, I think.

On to the next round - grilled PB and J's with... drumroll... caramelized onions, jalapeƱos, apples, and cranberries. Oh yes indeed. Inspired by my new favorite food cart, these delectables are hopping out of my ever-so-lightly-oiled skillet left and right these days. The first one I tried was peanut butter (store bought, but still good), apricot jam, grilled apples, fresh rosemary, lemon zest, and Daiya Cheddar. Swoon.

The original from the PBJ's food cart is PB, marmalade, fresh basil, Sriracha sauce, and curry powder. It's incredible.

My mind is swimming with possibilities, and the experiment with caramelized onions was a great success. Do try this at home.

Peanut butter, from a Vitamix or from a jar, can be more magical than you ever imagined. And yes, having one powerful, versatile, wonderful machine is every bit as satisfying as I'd hoped it would be. Plus it allowed me to clear some counter space, which is a very big deal in a small kitchen.


Kathy Lowe said...

So glad you indulged. You will love the capabilities. We have used ours at least once or more times a day since we got it about 4 years ago.

Love the idea about peanut sauce to clean out the inside!

Tina said...

Which Vitamix model did you buy? Also thinking of finally giving in and doing the Vitamix but not sure which in the range is sufficient - being able to whip up almond butter would be amazing. Thanks for your post!

Kim Miles said...

Hi Tina - I got the one they carry at Costco. The 5200. I still love it! You might want to check the height to be sure it will fit under your cabinets. It's a tall one. Blendtec would be the other one to consider. Every bit as beloved by owners as Vitamix, with a lower profile. Happy blending!