Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Vitamix Strawberry Lemonade
The most common reaction I get when I mention our Vitamix is, "It costs too much. I could never spend that much on a blender." I'll admit, I thought the same thing when I first heard about the Vitamix years ago. Now, I consider our purchase of the Vitamix 5200 an investment in our family's health. It was my birthday, Christmas, Valentine, Mother's Day present, and we use it every day. We are eating more fruits and veggies than ever before.
A friend recently asked me about the price of all of the produce we use to make our smoothies, so I thought I'd explore how I save money with my Vitamix. Last weekend, we were in the area of a local farmer's market so we stopped in to see if there were any good deals on produce there. We found a stand selling grapes in two pound bags for one dollar. Fifty cents a pound is a pretty good price. We were offered a twenty pound flat for eight dollars, making the price per pound even cheaper. We were also able to get a flat with eight one-pound packages of strawberries for six dollars, making them $.75 per pound. They also had lemons three for one dollar. Stocking up on great produce deals when you find them is an excellent way to fill your Vitamix while saving money.
We were able to have lots of grapes and strawberries for smoothies, snacks and freezing. To freeze grapes, line a jelly roll pan with waxed paper, fill it with a single layer of washed, dry (we used a salad spinner) grapes, and place it in the freezer. Once they are firm, I put the frozen grapes in a gallon zipper freezer bag. Strawberries are handled similarly. I take washed, dry (again in the salad spinner) berries, remove the tops, and place them whole on the waxed paper lined pan and freeze them, then transfer them to gallon zipper freezer bags. (The tops don't have to be removed to blend them in the Vitamix, but sometimes the berries get used for other things, so I do remove them. Sometimes I will quarter the berries to freeze them for other uses like fruit and yogurt parfaits.)
Saturday night, we made strawberry lemonade with the neighbors for around a quarter per 12-ounce glass. Sonic sells their smallest, sugar(probably HFCS)-laden no-fruit slushie for fifty cents during happy hour (regularly $1.00). We had whole fruit slushes for about half that price.
3 cups fresh or defrosted grapes (red or green)
1 slice lemon 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick with the zest still on
4-5 fresh or frozen strawberries
Up to 1 Tablespoon honey, optional
2 cups ice
Start your Vitamix on variable speed 1 and quickly turn the dial up to 10, then switch to high. Blend on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Makes approximately 36 ounces.
Strawberries can be omitted for plain lemonade.
For limeade use a 1/4 to 3/8-inch thick slice of lime with the zest still on instead of lemon.
This post linked in Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace.