When we think of gardening tools, our minds generally picture hand-held devices.
Things like shovels and trowels used for digging into the soil are easy to imagine. Or maybe clippers, saws, and pruning shears for shaping our shrubs and trees.
Much of our intent in using these devices is for the production of the visual beauty that we receive from our home landscape of those shrubs, trees, flowers, and lawn.
But, quite often, those of us who love “digging in the dirt” are intent on gardening for the purpose of food production. I’m thinking of those ever popular homegrown tomatoes, peppers, beans, squash, corn, and other natural goodies that go straight from our garden to our kitchen table.
So today let’s take a look at another useful tool, one that would be found in your kitchen cabinet rather than in your garage or your backyard tool shed.
I’m talking about the Vitamix blender. The reason I’m mentioning this specific brand is because we’ve had one of these handy devices in our assortment of kitchen “tools” for a very long time.
Everyone knows about smoothies that we make from blending fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs, protein powders, and other supplements into a healthy and creamy concoction that we drink.
And the kitchen blender is certainly the tool of choice for creating these nutritious dietary additions.
Some blenders offer other food processing options, but the Vitamix seems to be the champion of flexibility in terms of all the foods we can prepare for consumption.
Because of the high speeds generated by the moving blades, we can actually prepare hot soups. At the other end of the temperature spectrum, we can even make frozen desserts with this dandy machine.
Other possibilities include making baby foods, nut butters, dips and spreads, dressings and sauces, and bread doughs.
On a personal note, one of our past summer’s over-production of tomatoes led to the Vitamix being pressed into service to process the red wonders into a winter’s worth of canned tomato juice.
Also, the Concord grapes were blended (seeds and all) into a rich nutritious juice that was poured into molds and popped into the freezer to make popsicles for the kids!
A nice feature of the Vitamix is that it is basically a self-cleaning machine. After you’ve finished using it, just run a blend of warm water and a drop of dish soap for about a minute. No need to disassemble the parts in order to clean it.
As I said, the reason for talking about this particular brand is that it’s the kind we own. They are a bit expensive but work well, have multiple uses, and seem to last forever.
But for whatever brand of blender or food processor you choose, think of these handy items as another useful “garden tool” among your arsenal of helpful devices.