You might find a 2-horsepower motor in a small electric lawn mower, or in your outboard boat motor or in your blender, if you have a Vitamix.
I recently indulged myself with a Vitamix. I’ve been coveting one for 10 years, since I worked at a restaurant that kept one in the prep area. It’s one of those things — you see it, use it, lust after it, keep talking yourself out of it, until the idea of spending almost $400 on a blender is nowhere near as ridiculous as continuing to live without one.
Then you wish you’d caved years before.
The Vitamix is so powerful that it can grind frozen fruit and a little milk into ice cream while it’s still frozen.
Imagine, a blender that explodes whole carrots into thick liquid in a matter of seconds. That can blend cream soup and heat and cook it with friction, in 5 to 6 minutes. That’s right. Add fresh tomatoes and herbs, put it on high and in five minutes you have hot, steaming soup whirling in your blender.
It turns ice, sugar, citrus fruit and tequila into a frozen margarita on par with one drawn out of a rotating slushy machine. Imagine having a margarita party — set the counter with ice, sugar, tequila, peeled quartered limes and frozen fruit. Strawberry margarita? No problem. How about a peach-and-cantaloupe margarita? Lime and tangerine? Sure, give me 40 seconds.
The Vitamix pulverizes frozen fruit and milk so quickly and thoroughly that it turns into stiff ice cream right in the container in less than a minute. It grinds wheat berries into flour and sesame seeds into tahini. And I got the smallest home model.
There is really no need to peel anything, or even take out the core or seeds, for that matter. And all that fiber, all those nutrients, go right into your soup, sauce or smoothie.
CREAM OF TOMATO SOUP
Makes 7 cups
2 cups milk
1/2 medium baked potato or sweet potato
1 tablespoon butter or butter-type spread
1 teaspoon salt
4-5 medium ripe tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid. Select low speed. Turn machine on and then switch to high speed. Blend for 5 to 6 minutes or until heavy steam escapes from the vented lid.
— Adapted from Vitamix
WHOLE-FRUIT FROZEN MARGARITA
1 medium orange, peeled, halved and seeded
1 medium lemon, peeled, halved and seeded
1 medium lime, peeled, halved and seeded
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Grand Marnier or triple sec
6 cups ice cubes
Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid. Select low speed. Turn machine on and then switch to high speed. Blend for 40 seconds or until desired consistency is reached.
Serve immediately in salt-rimmed glasses.
HEALTHY PEANUT BUTTER-JELLY ICE CREAM
2 bananas, peeled and frozen, broken in large chunks
2 cups frozen berries
1/2 cup milk
1-2 packets stevia or 1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons peanut butter
Place ingredients in the Vitamix container in the order listed. Turn blender on low. Use the tamper to push the ingredients down to the blades. As soon as the mixture is smoothly ground, stop the blender and scoop into bowls.
Extra portions may be stored in the freezer, but will freeze hard. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour before scooping to soften.