|Cashew milk and cream|
When you spend as much time cooking as I do, good appliances make all the difference. I love ultra smooth soups and hummus, so after years of burning out blenders, I finally decided it was time to make a real investment in my kitchen: I bought a Vitamix. This high speed blender costs considerably more than a regular blender, but the greatly improved functionality and durability are well worth it.
In addition to creamy sauces, velvety soups, and perfectly smooth smoothies, I use my Vitamix to make several things that I used to buy: non-dairy milk, nut butters, and specialty flours. Being able to make these sorts of pantry staples saves money and is healthier, since I control exactly what goes into them: nothing but nuts and water, nuts, and beans, respectively.
Of course, the Vitamix isn’t perfect. With a 2 horsepower motor, it is very loud, so it’s not much fun to use it first thing in the morning.
And there is another downside: unlike regular blenders, the Vitamix does not have a removable bottom, so it can be tricky to get at the last couple of ounces of whatever I’ve made. After several attempts to scrape out thick mixtures with an unwieldy rubber spatula or an endangered finger, I came up with a solution, which is to make several compatible recipes in a row, starting with the thickest and ending with the thinnest. For example, whenever I make cashew butter, I follow it with cashew cream, and then cashew milk. The liquidy last recipe pours right out, and there is virtually no waste.
All in all, I love my Vitamix, and I figure between not buying a new, cheap blender every year, and saving money on homemade staples, I’ll break even in about 5 years, long before the warranty runs out. In the meantime, silky smooth soups and blended margaritas (yes, the Vitamix crushes ice like a pro) are just a bonus.
Click to read more about the Vitamix: