Monday, December 10, 2012

New old Vitamix, and drinking my spinach

We needed a new blender. After doing a little bit of research, I decided the best use of our blender budget was to buy an OLD blender--specifically, a Vitamix 3600 Plus.

These absolute beasts of blenders were made in the 1970s, and at least according to the internet, most of them are still running now. Besides their being powerful and time-tested, I love that the pitchers are made of stainless steel instead of plastic, and I totally dig their retro-Jetsons-spaceship-y looks.

I scored a complete 3600 Plus in perfect condition on eBay for a great price. When it arrived, I couldn't open it right away because I was taking care of Kamal--so I asked Adam to break it out and set it up. Isn't it pretty?

So excited this machine is going to enjoy a renaissance in our kitchen. 

Back when she was editing the Hawai'i Women's Journal and I was a contributing columnist there, the brilliant Jenn Hee wrote a piece about green smoothies. Then I read more about green smoothies on Jenna Weber's stellar Eat Live Run blog. Both Jenn and Jenna wrote about the health benefits of these dubious-sounding drinks in terms glowing enough to overcome my skepticism and pique my interest. I adore greens and happily eat piles of them--but usually sauteed and once in a while in salads. I couldn't imagine how drinking them would be good, and so in spite of my curiosity, I kept putting off trying them.

Then our new old Vitamix arrived, and a green smoothie seemed like the perfect maiden voyage. 

Into the pitcher of the Vitamix, I threw:

Two big handfuls of fresh spinach, including stems
Just shy of a cup of homemade coconut milk (recipe from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything)
Half a cup of frozen organic wild blueberries (from Trader Joe's)
One smallish Granny Smith apple, from Ray and Barbara's orchard
A very heaping tablespoon of natural, creamy peanut butter
A tablespoon of black chia seeds

Most of the green smoothie recipes I've seen call for ice, but consuming very cold things is not recommended in Chinese medicine--they are thought to slow down your digestion and adversely affect your overall health. So although I'll make the occasional exception for, say, Adam's homemade ice cream, I mostly stick to room-temperature beverages. (The half-cup of frozen blueberries I used wasn't enough to make the whole smoothie very cold.) Also according to Chinese medicine, black foods are tonifying to the Kidneys, which, as I explained in my granola post, are need extra replenishment after childbirth. That's why I always buy black chia seeds (and black sesame seeds, and black lentils, and...) when given the option. 

I blended up all the ingredients--the Vitamix did an amazing job of smoothing out all the bulky stuff--and poured the resulting dark-greyish sludge into a mason jar, screwed a lid on, and schlepped it with me to work, where it sat on my desk looking absolutely revolting.


I saw a patient, looked at the sludgy jar, felt skeptical and mildly grossed out, saw another patient, got hungry, screwed up my courage, and took a sip. And it was delicious.

Seriously, you guys. It was really, really good. Creamy, lightly sweet, fresh-tasting. And incredibly filling! I felt terrific after drinking it, too--energetic and focused. I'm a convert. 


  1. Congratulations! That is a FANTASTIC piece of equipment and extremely long lasting. So, here's the other thing you may want to consider w/ vitamixes, they can also make soup (so i've heard). They can blend so quickly that it apparently can cook the ingredients. You may want to check if that model can do it. Yay!

    1. Hi, Surfrunner!

      Yes, the 3600 Plus can do that! And also grind grains into flour and peanuts into peanut butter. Yesterday I made a cake batter in it--it's amazing!

      Hey, thanks for being my very first comment here EVER. :)

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