Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Blendtec vs. Vitamix, what do you think?

Ever since my Thermomix foray, I've been thinking about how much I miss its blender skills.  The power of the Thermomix was one of the key elements I was looking for when I bought it, but when my other expectations fell short I decided to sell, even though it was an awesome blender. But I knew I could get a top of the range blender for around half the price of a TM.


Now that spring is here in Sydney I really want to be able to make icy smoothies at home, and almond milk and healthy sorbet.  In the last few weeks I've been doing a lot of research on blenders. I know I'm after a high powered one, I've already got a very average one sitting in my cupboard. It struggles to make banana smoothies (from fresh bananas!) so really it sits in the cupboard all the time.

Vitamix 5200

So, I've narrowed it down to a Vitamix or a Blendtec.

Both seem to have some advantages and some cons.  Vitamix seems to be the blender of choice for the green smoothie brigade, which is one of the reasons I want one. They are also much more widely available in Australia, even if they are twice the price of the States. 

But Blendtec seems to offer an easier-to-use blender, with its square base (making it easier to clean) and pre-selection buttons. I also have loved their 'will it blend?' advertisements for years and years. Check out their YouTube channel here.  They really are a brute of a machine!

Blendtec- Wildside

Price wise they are about the same. Depending on offers etc they are available for around $800.

What do you think? Have you tried out both? Or are they not worth it?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

what I've been up to, tamari almonds and chocolate chia pudding

It's been a long long time. Yes I know. Honestly I just haven't felt like blogging. My food obsession is most definitely continuing, and you can catch me much more frequently on Instagram.

After much pondering and searching I decided to buy a waffle machine for home. I LOVE IT!  Not a huge investment, think it was all of $15 from Big W. So really using it just the once made it cheaper than a breakfast at a cafe.

New runners. I'm totally in love with my bright, bright Nikes!

Green smoothie at Nourished in Avalon. Such a lovely cafe, and the new addition in Mosman, Bloom, is even more beautiful.

Feeling like salads again as Sydney has burst into spring this year. We've already had a 27 degree day and that was officially in winter. This one was fresh spinach, roasted pumpkin, Jarlsberg, sesame seeds and rocket.

Rosewater & Pistachios from Jude Blereau's new cookbook Wholefood Baking. The icing too is a healthier version too. This one contained coconut milk and rice milk, and came out fluffier than a traditional buttercream.  

I've heard the raves about Coyo for ages and have been avoiding it. I truly love dairy and yogurt in particular so I didn't see any reason to try something positioned as an 'alternative' for vegans and veggies. I was so wrong - it is the most stunning product. I only chose the plain version, and will definitely be trying the fruit and frozen ones, asap!

Oh Pimm's. I love you. Welcome back.

And I also thought I'd post a few simple recipes:

Tamari Almonds

1 1/2 cups raw whole almonds
1 Tbsp tamari
1/2 tps sea salt

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and allow to sit for at least 2 hours.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Bake on a metal tray for 10-15 minutes, turning every 4 minutes. Make sure to check on them as nuts can get burned very quickly!

Allow to cool

These are so moorish and I can really get through so many more almonds this way over raw. Although I do love those too.  They are also so easy to do, I won't be paying double for tamari almonds in the shops again!

I would also recommend doubling or tripling this recipe. We can get through this amount in a day at our place.

Chocolate chia pudding

The gorgeous Heidi Apples posted this recipe earlier in the week. I wouldn't generally re-post something so quickly but I've had more than a few requests for it!

I found this pudding to be very rich and decadent, so although others might choose this for breakfast I would rather have it as a mid-morning snack or dessert. Mainly because I'm not a chocolate at breakfast-time person. Apart from maybe a little Lindt on Easter Day that is.

This recipe also takes a few hours to be ready-to-eat, or you can allow the chia to soak overnight which is what I did. Chia soak up an incredible amount of liquid. I must admit, at first I wasn't sure the quantities are correct, but by morning there was absolutely no liquid left.

Serves 1

2 TBSp Chia Seeds (any colour)
3/4 cup Milk (almond, regular or soy would all work really well)
2 tsp Raw cacao
1/2 tsp  Maple Syrup
3 Medjool Dates, finely chopped

Serve with yogurt, fresh fruit or nuts

Combine all the ingredients, cover, and place in a fridge for at least 2 hours.

Stir prior to serving and top with extras as desired.