Hi everyone, and happy Friday!
This week we are going to review my two FAVORITE kitchen appliances. Most things get hidden away in cabinets and pantries in our kitchen to avoid clutter, but these two babies get the best seat in the house. I never put them away because I use them so much. Meet my two kitchen must-haves: the Vitamix and the Nuk Cook-n-Blend Baby Food Maker.
I get asked all the time: “Blender or juicer?”. I say Vitamix, hands down, every single time. While I know so many people love their juicers, I am just not a fan for us and our lifestyle. There are usually a lot of parts that are messy and time consuming to clean. I want to get every ounce of goodness from veggies and fruits I’m having, and you lose the fiber and pulp with juicers (although I know some people have great recipes for using this and not wasting it!). Finally, I have very little room in my kitchen, little patience for pulling machines out of cabinets, and a limited budget. This means my appliances need to pull double duty or they get kicked out. A juicer does only that – juices. Enter – the Vitamix (cue harps and angels singing).
Let me tell you the numerous things I’ve made in my Vitamix in addition to juice: almond butter, salad dressing, soup, baby food, pesto, aioli, protein balls, roasted tomato and pepper sauce, quinoa and oat flours and pancake batter. This barely scratches the surface of what it can do! All the nutrients stay in the food I’m making – no loss of pulp, vitamins or fiber. Clean up is a breeze. I’m not even kidding, it’s awesome. You just fill up the container half way with water and dish soap. You then turn on the machine for one minute and it CLEANS ITSELF. Did you hear that? I said it cleans itself. No parts to remove, no scraping, no hassle. That alone should make you go get it.
I know for some people the cost seems prohibitive, but we found ours through the Vitamix website as a “certified reconditioned” unit. That means someone sent it back for some reason, they fixed it, and sold it at a decreased cost. It’s still certified by Vitamix and under warranty. We just got the basic unit with no additional containers. I make flours in our regular container no problem, even though you might consider the additional container specifically for that if you plan on blending a lot of dry grain. You are really limited only by your imagination with the Vitamix. It’s been worth every single penny for us!
Nuk Cook-n-Blend Baby Food Maker
This has earned it’s spot on our counter since our daughter turned 5 months old in the fall and wanted to start eating some solids. A good friend of mine (thank you Gwen Trowbridge!) gave us this machine and I stared at it for months not sure how exactly to go about using it. Once baby girl started wanting her own food in addition to breast milk, I had to figure it out and fast. I could either spend mucho money at the store on packaged foods I wasn’t sure about for her, or I could make my own for much less money and much more peace of mind. Enter the Nuk Cook-n-Blend (and more harps and angels singing).
If you aren’t a parent with an infant, you might still be interested in this as a gift. I’ve now bought one for all my friends having babies as I love it so much. I had always planned on making my own food for our daughter, but I really thought the Vitamix would do the trick. My first batch I actually tried using the Vitamix instead of pulling out the Nuk. Let’s just say there is a reason the Nuk is specifically designed for baby food. Because I was experimenting with what foods she liked and allergy eliminations, I was making very small batches. I found the Vitamix wasn’t equipped for such a small batch. The food was actually all under the blade because there was so little of it, so it wasn’t getting blended. I had to push it down and move it around numerous times, and even then it just didn’t work. The next time I decided to pull out the Nuk and go for it. It whipped that squash into the quickest puree I’ve ever seen. Oh, and did I mention it steamed it for me first?? No separate steamers, no microwave. Again, an all in one machine.
Basically, you fill the vessel with water for the steam (like an iron). You put whatever cut up food you want into the steamer, which goes in the blender container itself. Push the start button and it will beep at you ten minutes later when it’s steamed. Take the lid off, pour the steamed food straight into the blender container (with the steaming liquid that’s already there), put the lid back on and hit the blend button. That little blade is a beast and whips the food up into a perfect puree. I then pour it into silicone ice cube trays and freeze it. I can grab my cubes and defrost whatever I need. (I’ll do another post in the future with more details on baby food!).
Clean up for the Nuk is easy as well. I just rinse out the container with soap and water and let it dry. I give it a really good scrub if needed, but usually it rinses right out. It seriously is so easy to make your own baby food with this machine! I buy an extra bag of organic frozen peas when I’m at the store and put it in the Nuk while I’m making our own dinner. Next thing you know I have peas for days!
So there you have it – my two favorite kitchen gadgets of the moment! I was not contacted by and am not getting compensated in any way for this post. These are simply my own opinions on two appliances that I absolutely adore.
Have a great weekend!