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! Continue Reading →

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Goodbye, 2017!

Wow! We can’t believe that 2017 is almost over. It’s been quite the year!

Will and I are embarking on a new journey and will be driving across the country from California to Pennsylvania! We start driving Christmas Day (yes, today), and hopefully end up in Pennsylvania a few days into the new year.

We hope everyone enjoys the rest of 2017 – we’ll see you in 2018 with more blender fun!

Love, Will and Tini

Our Favorite Posts from 2017


7 Vitamix Hot Chocolate Recipes for the Holidays

When I think of the holidays, I think of hot chocolate. It’s just so cozy and comforting in the cold winter weather! Granted, Will and I have been living in California for the past three years, so it hasn’t been that cold. On Christmas day, though, we are going to be making our way back to Philadelphia for the long term, which is where we met! And Philadelphia can have some pretttttty cold, wet, and snowy winters!

Once in a while, I do like to enjoy hot chocolate from a packet, but we’ve found that there are many that contain hydrogenated oils, which we personally don’t like having in the foods we eat. Also, I highly prefer hot chocolate made with actual milk or almond milk instead of water. It just tastes so much better to me! Making hot chocolate in your high-powered blender, like a Vitamix or Omniblend, is so easy. The blades spin so quickly that you can heat a drink or soup through friction in 5-7 minutes. There’s no need to stir a pot of milk over the stove, or microwave your mug to the point it will melt your skin off. Maybe you can even reduce holiday stress a bit – just blend and pour!

Today, we’re gonna share with your our basic hot chocolate recipe. We like it strong, so feel free to adjust any measurements according to your own taste. But wait! It’s a festive season! Once you’ve got the perfect recipe for a basic hot chocolate, it’s time to spruce it up a little bit 🙂 Here are some fun holiday flavors as we get ready for the New Year.

*Note*: Not all high-powered blenders are made alike, so always use your appliance safely, according to the instructions included. Machines like Vitamix or OmniBlend can blend hot ingredients without any problems, but others may not be able to. If you cannot safely blend hot ingredients in your blender for long periods of time, blend the ingredients until they are smooth, then simmer it on the stove top set to low for about 10 minutes..

Basic Hot Chocolate Recipe

1 cup milk
2 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
1 tbsp sugar, or to taste
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients on high speed for 5-7 minutes, or until desired temperature. Double the recipe as needed!

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Make Vegetable Juice in the Nutribullet (3 Steps)

Justine from BlenderBrain here, with a brand new video on how to make vegetable juice in a Nutribullet the easy way! If you like V8 or all-vegetable type smoothies and juices, you’ll really love this recipe Will and I like to call “Wake-up Juice.” I’ll always remember the first time Will handed me a cup of wake-up juice. I drank a sip, and then secretly threw it in the trash. Ha! It’s ok, we’re married now so I can let that particular cat out of the bag.

The great thing about drinking a cup of fresh vegetable juice like this is that you might notice spectacular health benefits like I do. Personally, my skin clears up and glows. My appetite subsides until the next meal time. When I drink our vegetable wake up juice I feel so awake in the morning, which helps me be more productive. And there’s basically no sugar. I know, it sounds almost too good to be true, but try it out and you’ll become a convert just like I did!

Here at BlenderBrain, Will and I have been testing all different blenders for the past several months, and we want to know what brands can make a proper vegetable juice. If I’m being honest, the Nutribullet was never high on our radar. We heard so many horror stories from customers in our Vitamix demonstrator days. Additionally, while working in Nevada last year I purchased a Nutribullet and had a very bad experience. Of my three smoothie attempts, I had two green smoothie EXPLOSIONS. That machine is gone, but I was scarred for life!

While I love using our high powered blenders, I must admit, it’s better to have a medium quality tool than no tool at all. Visiting Austin, Texas recently, I found that precisely to be the case. The house I was staying at had a blender, and low and behold it was a Nutribullet. If you’ve been to Texas, you’ll know that it’s bbq and fried food central! So it became crucial for me to make vegetable juice in the mornings. So I decided to make this great video for you to enjoy!

One thing Will and I also learned in our Vitamix demonstrator days is, despite the imperfections, there are also many people out there who love their Nutribullet. It takes up a minimal amount of space in the kitchen. While the convenient to-go cup style is now also sold by Ninja and Vitamix, as well as other companies, this is a feature the bullet company truly popularized. Incidentally, you may find this video just as useful if you own a Vitamix S30, a regular Magic Bullet, or any of the many Ninja and other machines that now have the personal cup style container. Just know we haven’t tested this recipe in any of them! Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Getting Started

There are a few things to know before you make vegetable juice in a Nutribullet:

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Getting Started: 3 Easy Non-Green Smoothies

When you hear the word green smoothie, what do you think of?

Most of the time, people imagine a glass of green-colored juice. They start thinking of juices made with green ingredients, like granny smith apples, celery, grapes, and kale. Some people will even cringe at the thought of it. Even though green smoothies are a lot more popular these days than say, ten years ago, there are still a lot of people who “eat with their eyes,” and refuse to eat, OR drink, anything green.

One of the beauties of green smoothies, though, is that they don’t necessarily have to look green. Let me repeat that. Green smoothies don’t have to look green. In fact, Will and I make plenty of green smoothies that are chocolatey brown, bright red, or dark purple!

“Well, then that’s not a green smoothie!” some might say. Unbeknownst to them, these smoothies we make still have leafy vegetables hidden away in them. So if you have any picky eaters at home who can’t get past the green color in the glass, here are some recipes for you to try out 🙂 Continue Reading →


4 Easy Thanksgiving Recipes for Your Blender

a photo of an easy Thanksgiving meal that includes our cranberry relish, stuffing, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, and roast pork

The first meal we made with some of our easy Thanksgiving recipes


Everyone always prays for a smooth and easy Thanksgiving dinner celebration. Justine and I really enjoy cooking together, and for the past two years, we’ve had fun making our own little Thanksgiving feasts for two. This year, however, we will be spending Thanksgiving Day on an airplane, flying from Asia back to the United States. Since we won’t be able to cook this year, we would like to share with you a some of our easy Thanksgiving favorites! These recipes are also things we enjoy making year-round.

If you’re preparing dinner last minute, these are perfect additions to round out the meal. We all know, the best part of Thanksgiving is not the main dish, but the side dishes!

Whether you’re looking for easy Thanksgiving Vitamix recipes, or you’re using an OmniBlend or Blendtec, these recipes are going to come out great.

Easy Thanksgiving Recipes

Sweet Potato / Butternut Squash Soup

This one is SO easy – I love making it any time of the year. In fact, I used this recipe in my live demonstrations of high powered blenders for years. I always use raw sweet potato or squash, but cooked would also work well! My favorite way to make this recipe is with sweet potato, because you can just wash it, chop it into chunks, and throw it in to blend. Some people don’t like eating the skin sweet potato, but there’s a lot of extra nutrition in there! The skin is so thin, it won’t affect the final taste, and you’ll also have less food to throw away.

If you’re using butternut squash, acorn squash, kubocha, or pumpkin, then there will be some peeling involved. For Thanksgiving, it might be best to save yourself some time and buy the cut-and-peeled kind, which you can find in the produce section. After all, these are supposed to be easy recipes! You can double, triple, or quadruple this one, so make a whole container of it if need be.

1 cup raw or cooked sweet potato with skin OR 1 cup raw or cooked butternut squash
2 cups water, room temperature or hot*
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey
1/3 clove garlic
Tiny pinch of dry chipotle chile powder (optional)

Add all ingredients into high powered blender. Starting on the low speed, turn your machine up to high speed.
If using room temperature water, blend for 6 minutes, or until hot.
If using hot water, blend for 3-4 minutes, until smooth.

Starting from low speed, turn your machine up to the highest speed. Blend for the time specified above. 

*Not all high-powered blenders are made alike, so always use your appliance safely, according to the instructions included! Machines like Vitamix or OmniBlend can blend hot ingredients without any problems, but others may not be able to. If you cannot safely blend hot ingredients in your blender for long periods of time, blend the ingredients until they are smooth, then cook it on low on the stove top for about a half hour.

Cranberry Relish / Cranberry Sauce

This recipe has lots of flexibility. Justine like the crunchiness of a raw cranberry relish; she can even eat it plain by the spoonful. I prefer my cranberry condiments to be more sauce-like, so I can top off my easy Thanksgiving stuffing. Justine is usually in charge of making the cranberry stuff, and she will make it both ways by making a big batch of the raw relish, and cooking half of it on the stove. What a woman.

1 8-oz bag fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
1/2 to 1 cup cane sugar
1 orange, peeled
1 tsp orange zest

Add all ingredients into high powered blender; start with 1/2 cup of sugar, and add more later for desired sweetness. Chop on low speed 3 or 4 until evenly chopped to your preferred texture. It’s ready to serve raw.

For cooked cranberry sauce, simmer raw relish on the stove over low heat for about 10 minutes. Or, for a totally smooth and cooked sauce. blend ingredients on top speed in your high powered blender  for 6 minutes.

easy Thanksgiving recipes

Last year’s easy Thankgiving meal! See the two jars of cranberry condiments 🙂

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate is super simple to make in the right high powered blender. You can add any extra flavor you like! It’s a crowd-pleaser, and great to serve before, during, or after your Thanksgiving meal. Justine likes to make hot chocolate in our high-powered blender with room temperature ingredients. She will let it blend it until it gets hot while she does dishes or something. I, on the other hand, do not like waiting for my hot chocolate to heat up, so I like to give it a head start by adding hot water first. Here’s my favorite to make at home:

1 cup dairy or non-dairy milk (Try our easy almond milk recipe, it’s perfect for this!)
1/2 cup hot water*
1 tbsp cocoa powder (cacao powder ok if that’s what you like)
1 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon or 1 sprinkle pumpkin spice blend
2 oz Irish cream liqueur (optional)

Add all ingredients into high powered blender. Start on low, and turn your machine up to the highest speed. Blend until piping hot, about 4 minutes. Add Irish cream to mug before pouring in the hot chocolate.

*Not all high-powered blenders are made alike, so always use your appliance safely, according to the instructions included! Machines like Vitamix or OmniBlend can blend hot ingredients without any problems, but others may not be able to. If you cannot safely blend hot ingredients in your blender for long periods of time, blend the ingredients until they are smooth, then cook it on low on the stove top for about a half hour.

Holiday Spice Whipped Cream

This easy thanksgiving recipe is something everyone who has a high powered blender needs to try at least once. Make a few tablespoons, or a whole quart! The texture is a bit less airy than a whipped cream done by hand or with a stand mixer. I love it for frosting cupcakes, on top of hot chocolate, and especially on my Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. This recipe requires some paying attention, but only for a few seconds. If you blend too long, you get a really delicious dessert butter, so you can’t really go wrong. This may be the easiest Thanksgiving recipe of all!

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp cane sugar or other sweetener
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp cardamom powder OR 1/8 tsp pumpkin spice

Add all ingredients to blender. Blend on high speed, and listen to the sound. It should change in pitch after about 10 sections, making a loud WHOOSH sound. TURN IT OFF RIGHT AWAY. Your whipped cream is ready to serve. You can jiggle the carafe around and see it’s a stiff whip.

The best thing about Thanksgiving is that it’s a holiday of tradition, especially when it comes to cooking. What are your favorite easy Thanksgiving recipes? Share a photo or recipe with us in our Facebook group! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


The Easiest Way to Make Almond Milk

learn to make almond milk with blender brain!

One of the most delicious ways to save a ton of money with your high powered blender is to make almond milk at home. To us here at BlenderBrain, choosing among the huge number of available dairy-free products in the store can feel pretty overwhelming. We have discovered that our favorites by far are home-made, in our blenders.

But Why Would Anyone Want to Make Almond Milk?

The fact is: commercially made soy milk, almond milk, and rice milk are one of the biggest scams of our generation. They are composed of over 90% water, yet they’re priced like regular cartons of milk in the store! That’s a pretty big mark-up for bottled water. Think about it; in the United States, almond milk can cost up to twice as much per gallon as gas. That’s nuts!

Plus, with mysterious additives like carrageenan and added sugar, the ingredients list on that milk substitute doesn’t always sound so wholesome. Now, we’re not saying that those milk alternatives at the store are bad for our health; in fact we have bought them just like you have! But for many reasons, the best milk alternative is really the one you make at home. You can control how rich and creamy the milk is, and you can flavor it however you’d like. Once you make almond milk and have a taste, the brands at the store are going to taste so bland!

And the best part? It’s cheap. It feels wonderful to turn a half-handful of almonds into a whole gallon of milk.

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Healthiest Vegetables for Smoothies: 10 Greens Beyond Kale

Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables in the world

Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables in the world


Kale is definitely one of the healthiest vegetables in the world, and one of our favorites here at BlenderBrain. But the fact is, for all practical purposes there are an infinite number of vegetables to try! In this article, I will focus on other, less fashionable leafy greens.

For most people, greens are the healthiest food out there. One of the best ways people can figure out what the healthiest vegetables are is using the ANDI score, developed by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. ANDI stands for “Aggregate Nutritional Density Index.” This measure represents a food’s overall nutritional content per calorie. It’s a lot like measuring like the number of miles per gallon your car is getting. How much nutrition are you getting for each calorie you eat? In a certain sense, the higher the ANDI score number, the healthier the food! Kale measures 1000 on the ANDI score list, which is the highest the measure goes.

If you want to read a deep technical article about the ANDI score measurement, check out the article on Dr. Furhman’s website at this link. He’s got a pretty thorough ranking of foods there too that’s very easy to understand – and not just greens. Doctor Furhman is a food scientist and an overall cool guy who advocates for increasing your vegetable intake. I met him in New Jersey once when I was demonstrating the Vitamix 5200 at a Whole Foods Market, and I still feel starstruck. This other website called Nutrientrich also has a great list of foods with ANDI scores.

Green leafy vegetables are going to blow the socks off of any of those expensive heavily marketed “super foods,” like goji berries, raw chocolate beans, flax seeds, etc. Cheap greens will provide nutrition that will overshadow any expensive powder; don’t believe the hype! This is not to say your flax seeds and powders are worthless — their nutritional content is of course very different than even the healthiest vegetables. The message I’d like to convey here today is that greens are the best foundation for healthy eating. Those other foods are great to consider, but only after the greens are taken care of. So let’s get started.

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Getting Started: 3 Easy Green Smoothie Recipes

Having a few go-to easy green smoothie recipes can be one of your most powerful tools for healthy living. But many people make it so hard for themselves! Making easy green smoothie recipes every day will give you far better health results than drinking a complicated magic potion only a few times per month.

I have a confession to make. Will and I don’t drink green smoothies every day, but I would say we’re the most faithful smoothie drinkers when we’re working, and we’ve been doing a pretty good job drinking smoothies most days on our travels around Asia. I love that drinking green smoothies keeps my skin from breaking out, and Will just wants something healthy to fill our bellies so we aren’t just eating junk food all the time.

This post is for the busy (and lazy) people, because WE UNDERSTAND! Sometimes we can fall into that rut when we don’t make anything – this can happen to anybody! I’m also writing this for people who just got their first high-powered blender, but they don’t know where to start or what to make first. We want to make sure you don’t let that new investment go to waste. When I first started getting into making breakfast smoothies years ago, I always had so many ingredients I wanted to add. The very first smoothie I made for myself was orange, cucumber, apple, spinach, grapes, and strawberries. It was brown but tasted okay. After just a week, I stopped blending. I ended up in a rut, because I thought it was too much hassle to have so many ingredients on hand all the time.
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Make Your Blender Quieter: Prevent Hearing Damage

Make Your Blender Quieter

If you’re going to be blending regularly with any high-powered blender, it’s a good idea to explore your options and make your blender quieter. In fact, noise level is among the most common concerns people express when considering starting on the health journey of blending! Unfortunately, this concern stops an enormous number of people from trying at all. It’s sad, because the health benefits one can achieve using these tools are profound. But these careful people are not wrong to be concerned!

As the experts, we have a different experience using high powered blenders from most people. We didn’t just use it every morning. Tini and I were around the loud sound of the Vitamix for 12+ hours a day for years! I did that job for eight full years. After I left, I realized I miss the detail I heard in music when I was a kid. It’s a sad fact, and one I wish I had considered; this change in my hearing is likely permanent. However, even if I didn’t fear for my ears, I abhor the sound of exposed blenders now! I will always use a sound enclosure to make my blender quieter, because I know the health benefits are worth the investment.
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