My mom gave my husband and me an early wedding present called the "Vita Mix" which has since then, but an absolute staple in my cooking routine.
The Vita Mix makes delicious smoothies, hummus, soups, and even bread dough! It has an amazing level of destruction power and will destroy anything you put in it to pieces so small in order to liquidize it. And then, to clean it, you simply put a bit of soap and water and mix it again and wa-la, it's clean! The plastic it is made out of is nearly indestructible by usage means as it is the same plastic the windows from a plane are made out of! That's neat!
I've been experimenting with the Vita Mix and the various ways I can use it to sneak healthy vegetables into it for my husband and myself. Most recently, I put some carrots into a mix of orange juice, frozen strawberries and blueberries, and banana and you couldn't even tell there were carrots in it (except for the texture which was a bit different), I then tried the same mix but added celery too. That was a bad idea as the celery texture and taste were both so strong, it made the drink taste "too healthy." My most recent creation was inspired from the Costco man advertising the Vita Mix while I was there to pick up fruit and a rotisserie chicken. I couldn't remember everything he put in it so I improvised, but the important thing was only HALF a banana - which would account for why it did not come out in this weird quickly solidifying liquid wanna be form. I put in a couple handfuls of spinach, green grapes, white grape juice, half a banana, an orange (with the orange part cut off but the white stuff still on as that is where the nutrients lay!), and some ice. In a mere seconds, I had created a fun green healthy smoothie with enough fiber that it kept me full until about 11:45 AM (drank it around 8 AM) which is pretty good considering I didn't have any wheat toast to supplement it with.
In the past, I've also made hummus in my Vita Mix (canned beans, olive oil, some salt, and done) which took about 2 minutes and lasted us for about 3 weeks and went perfectly with celery and carrots, and even as a spread on sandwiches. I plan to make a variation of the hummus by adding in cilantro, tomatoes and whatever else my lil heart desires!
The Vita Mix is just so easy! It's unfortunately not sold on TV, only at Costcos and comes in white and black (we have black to match the rest of the kitchen appliances... absent our yellow stove).
It is so easy, even a kid could do it (with adult supervision of course) and when my niece came into town, she was evidence of that! She was so excited to help me put in the different ingredients and with me holding the lid on, was able to use the mixing stick and actually help make it!