Categories
RECIPES

Easy Homemade Hummus


For the recent Eagles VS Vikings playoff game, Will and I had our first football watching party. For the very first time, we actually planned to spend time with people watching the game. Lo and behold, we were able to witness the Philadelphia Eagles win the game that would bring them to the SUPERBOWL to take on the Patriots!

The last time the Eagles played the Patriots in a Superbowl, I was in high school and living in New Hampshire. You can probably guess who I should have been rooting for at that time. Even though I’ve never been enthusiastic about football, that was a memorable time because the Patriots winning resulted in me in having a couple days of no homework! But now that we live in Philadelphia, it’s probably best that I join in and cheer on the Eagles.

Anywho, watching the playoffs was actually a ton of fun, and Will and I are looking forward to watching the BIG big game (I have never thought I would ever say that in my life). Most of all, we’re excited about the food that’s usually associated with Superbowl/football parties, and this year, we’re going to make a boatload of hummus. Not because we’re going to a really huge party or anything, but homemade hummus? Give us any reason to make it, and we will.

I actually used to be on the Chrissy Teigen’s “hummus sucks” team, but homemade hummus is soOOoOOoo goooOOoooOoOd. Maybe because it’s made with love, who knows. Also, it’s super easy and the ingredients are readily available at your supermarket – that is, if you don’t already have them laying around at home.

Easy Homemade Hummus

1 can of chickpeas, drained
1 garlic clove
Juice of 1 big lemon
1/2 cup tahini
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt, more for taste as needed

Place all ingredients except water in a high-powered blender. Start blending on speed 1, slowly turning the dial to speed 10/high. User tamper as needed. If the texture is too thick, slowly add a little water at a time and continue blending until desired consistency.

Homemade Hummus Variations

Now, I know you didn’t think we would just stop at a basic hummus recipe. Will and I have tried many different variations of hummus – some good, some ok, and some bad. But experimenting is fun. You could make many different types of hummus. It’s as simple as adding one extra ingredient to enhance your hummus to the next level. These three are our favorites, but feel free to experiment and up your hummus game to the next level (or be the superstar at the next Superbowl party)!

Categories
RECIPES

5 “Magic” Vegetables for Smoothies

When I first started making smoothies, I mostly used fruits. It didn’t occur to me at the time to use vegetables for smoothies, let alone make an all-vegetable juice with my blender. One day, before I had developed a taste for veggie juice, I found some leftover celery in my fridge. I decided to put it into my smoothie. Big. Mistake.

I actually really love celery on its own, but I did not love it in my smoothie that day. The taste was so strong, and it took me quite a while to finish what I had made!

The second time I added a vegetable to my smoothie was when I had some leftover baby tomatoes. I know what you’re thinking: they’re technically a fruit! But I can assure you, the tomato flavor still dominated the rest of the fruits I had used in a way that I did not enjoy.

When I met my future husband Will, he introduced me to smoothies that had spinach in them, and it wasn’t bad! Maybe it was because he is so handsome. I started to add spinach to my smoothies because I knew it would taste okay. Sadly, I was afraid to add anything else! Eventually, I grew a little tired of drinking the same smoothie every day, but I was too afraid to continue venturing with new ingredients.

Later in life, living as Vitamix demonstrator and blending over 10 hours straight a day for many years, I learned about five magic vegetables for smoothies that have little or no taste when you mix them with fruit. These vegetables are great and considered “magic” because you can sneak them into smoothies, frozen desserts, or even a blended coffee drink, and their flavors are well-hidden! To truly test out the true “magic” of these vegetables, I started adding them to various recipes in the Vitamix demo, and serving them to unsuspecting strangers. Sure enough, my customers would always be so surprised when I told them, “That frozen coffee drink has a small handful of spinach and carrots!

It’s definitely possible to add so much of a vegetable that you start to taste it, but I find that you can add more of any of these five vegetables than most people would expect before there is a noticeable taste. Just start with just a few pieces if you’re feeling unsure about the outcome. Generally, you can add up to half a cup of “magic” vegetables to a 3 cup smoothie recipe. It’s ok to add just one type of vegetable, or you can combine all five! Either way, they will magically disappear into your recipe, and your body will thank you for it.

The 5 “Magic” Vegetables

Baby Spinach

Baby spinach one of the most popular greens to add to smoothies. When it’s fresh it has the lowest flavor-profile, meaning you can really add more spinach to a recipe than most other leafy greens. Baby spinach is a wonderful leafy green to start with when you’re just starting to explore the world of green smoothies. Of course, it’s not as easy to hide the color of spinach as it is to hide the taste! But you can use this to your advantage by pairing it with other “green” food flavors. If you’re not ready to drink a smoothie that’s green, try making a green apple sorbet, using spinach as the food coloring.

Green Apple Sorbet
1/3 can apple juice concentrate
1/2 cup spinach
1 banana
1 small slice lemon
2-3 cups ice

Place ingredients in high-powered blender in the order listed. Blend on high speed for 45 seconds to a minute, or until a smooth, frozen consistency. 

Baby Bok Choy

If you’re looking for a leafy green alternative that doesn’t super-stain your drink green, baby bok choy is a good one to try. It also has a very mild flavor-profile, and the green color isn’t as strong as spinach. In fact, we made a really beautiful smoothie with dragonfruit and loads of bok choy, which resulted in a very beautiful magenta drink!

Categories
BLENDER FAQ

Top Questions on How to Use a Vitamix

Happy New Year, everyone! Will and I finally reached Pennsylvania last week, after driving over 3000 miles across the country. It was definitely just in time, too, as we woke up to a few inches of white fluffy snow on the ground. January is such a great month because it’s the first month of the new year – a clean slate! And that means many people are getting into the groove of resolutions to be healthier and happier. I know it can be difficult to maintain these goals throughout the year, but BlenderBrain is gonna be here with you every step of the way! (insert funny picture of us)

We’ve heard that a lot of folks just got brand new Vitamix blenders, and every year, we see the same questions on how to use a Vitamix over and over again. So what better way to start off the year by giving everyone a little boost of confidence! Even if you’ve been a Vitamix owner for years and years, these may still be very helpful to you. Today, we’re going to answer the top questions we get asked about using a Vitamix, and you can also check out our post with first-timer tips if you’re a totally brand new owner.

“I made a thick recipe and there’s a burning smell! Is my machine broken?”

Especially if you have a brand new Vitamix, it’s normal to experience a slight burning smell during your first few blends. This is especially true if you’re blending really thick recipes. During our demonstrations, the burning smell would go away after 3 hours of continuous blending, but it may take longer if you’re using it at home just once or twice a day!

Even if you’ve had a Vitamix for years, but never made any thick recipes like ice cream or peanut butter, you could still experience that “breaking in” smell when you finally do make something of a higher viscosity. However, if you feel that you’ve already broken in your Vitamix and there’s an actual problem with your machine, just call the Vitamix customer care team at 1-800-VITAMIX and they can help you out!

“Do I need to peel that? What skins can I eat?”

When in doubt, follow this rule: “If it’s thin, leave it in. If it’s thick, it will make you sick!”

This means, YES, you can blend the skins of apples, pears, kiwis, plums, peaches, grapes, tomatoes, potatoes, and yams.

You probably SHOULD NOT blend the peels of pineapples, oranges, avocados, butternut squash, mango, cantaloupe, and bananas – check out our nifty little chart below!