Vitamix S30 Personal Blender Review, Recipes & Giveaway!

Hello friends! I hope you are all doing great and keeping afloat in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  This time of year usually means lots of time spent in the kitchen, cooking for family and friends and baking awesome treats.  I love giving the gift of food to my family and friends for Christmas, it’s always greatly appreciated and you can really get creative with what you bake, and how you package and present it.   My son, of course, has a list of toys on his Wish List. :)

I am beyond excited to tell you Christmas is coming early around here, folks!  I have a huge giveaway for one of my amazing readers!  I was lucky to be included in Vitamix’s Canadian launch of their personal blender, the Vitamix S30.  They very generously provided me with a blender to test, review, go crazy making recipes with, and ultimately, fall in love with.  I use my S30 almost every single day, for smoothies, dips, sauces, and also for my favourite Sunflower Seed Pesto recipe which I will be sharing with you all today.

Vitamix S30  

First, I want to tell you a bit about this little powerhouse!  Do not be fooled by its size.  The S30 is crazy powerful, with a 790 watt motor, which translates into super smooth greens (no chewing those smoothies anymore! :) )

The Vitamix S30 arrived with a big book of recipes, in both English and French.  It’s filled with beautiful photos and recipes ranging from beverages, dips/spreads, dressings, soups, sauces and desserts.  This was a really nice added bonus to inspire new creations!  

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I tried several recipes from the book, and today I’ll also be sharing one from it.  This delicious Cranberry Smoothie was so easy to make, not to mention delicious and nutritious.  

Vitamix Cranberry Smoothie
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Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup ice cubes
  2. 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  3. 1/4 lemon, peeled
  4. 4 pitted dates, halved
  5. 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 3/4 cup plain unsweetened rice milk
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix 20-ounce container in the order listed and secure blade.
  2. Turn the dial to 1 and slowly increase the speed to 10.
  3. Blend for 40 to 45 seconds or until desired consistency is reached.
Love and Lentils http://loveandlentils.com/
Vitamix S30 IMG_7894-2 IMG_7904-2 IMG_7912-2

One of its greatest features is the portability of its container! In addition to the 40-ounce compact container which you would use for sauces, soups, etc., you get a 20-ounce personal container with a flip-top lid.  This is so convenient for blending smoothies on the go.  You can blend the smoothie directly in this container, remove the base, screw on the lid, and grab and go! It’s brilliant!  Honestly – in love with this feature!  

I’m not sure about you, but I have a pretty small kitchen, with limited counter space.  I like to keep my blender on the counter because I always notice I’ll slack on the smoothie-making if I store it and have to pull it out when I need it.  But, I hate the bulkiness and amount of room blenders normally take up.  The great thing about the S30 is its sleek and compact design which allows for keeping it on the counter without taking up a ton of room.  It measures approx 20”h x 9”w.  Also, the blender-base is removable and dishwasher safe, making things even easier. 

I made several of my own recipes using the Vitamix, including my homemade Hazelnut Spread, Berry Green Breakfast Smoothie, and a new recipe, Sunflower Seed Pesto.  I created this recipe to satisfy our love for basil pesto, but to make it nut-free.  My son started kindergarten this year, and his entire school is nut-free.  This has become a staple recipe in my house, the little guy loves it, and so do we. :)  It’s also vegan, to allow even more people the option of eating it! 

Vegan Sunflower Seed Pesto IMG_7926-2

So, here it goes:

Sunflower Seed Pesto

Yield: 1/2 cup

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup unsalted shelled sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients into your blender. Blend at low speed for 30 seconds or until desired consistency is reached. You don't want to blend until it is a runny pesto, a thicker consistency is best.
  2. Serve this pesto with your favourite pastas, as a base for your pizzas, sandwich spreads, toss with veggies, and even mix it into your salad dressings.
http://loveandlentils.com/2014/12/14/vitamix-s30-personal-blender-review-recipes-giveaway/

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Vegan Sunflower Seed Pesto 

Time for the fun!  Vitamix will be giving away one S30 blender to a lucky reader.  You must be a resident of Canada or the USA to enter.  This is a phenomenal value, worth over $400!  I’m so excited, guys!  Be sure to share this with your friends and family!  Enter using the Rafflecopter entries below.  Best of luck to you all. 

Thanks for being here,

sophia

 

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Matcha Green Tea Donuts

Matcha Green Tea Donuts - Vegan

I was recently contacted by the nice folks over at Kiss Me Organics and they asked me if I would be interested in reviewing their organic matcha.  I was thrilled, since I’m a huge fan of matcha and all its health benefits, and I immediately started thinking up recipes to share with you.  I received my bag of organic matcha and whipped up a smoothie right away, it was so delicious and as matcha is known for, it really does boost your energy.  I would highly recommend adding a teaspoon to your smoothies or juices. :) I started thinking up matcha baking recipes, as I wanted to use it in a more unconventional way.  Then, the stars aligned and I found a great set of donut pans at a garage sale, and I instantly thought: matcha donuts!!

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Matcha Green Tea Donuts - VeganWho doesn’t love donuts, right?  I thought, what better way to healthify them than by baking them instead of deep frying and adding in the organic matcha.  Matcha is extremely high in antioxidants and lifts your vitality while boosting your metabolism.  Not to mention, this high quality grade matcha is pure indulgence, rich in flavour and aroma.  I absolutely loved the green colour of the donut glaze, and fought my son to lick the spoon clean. :)

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Matcha Green Tea Donuts - Vegan

Of course, the easiest way to have matcha is by simply adding it to boiling water and enjoying a green tea – but I promise this is one of the easiest recipes I have ever made.  Also, it’s really quick; you’ll be all done within 30 minutes.  My son was immediately attracted to these green donuts as well, he gobbled them up!  They have a moist, cake-like texture, and you won’t miss the fact that they aren’t deep fried.  They also go great with a nice hot cup of green tea. :)

So, let’s get to the recipe, and then, we’ll get to the giveaway! Woot woot. :)  

Matcha Green Tea Donuts

Yield: 6 donuts

Ingredients

  • Dry Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Wet Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup plain almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • Matcha Glaze:
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon organic matcha powder
  • 3 tablespoons plain almond milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined and a soft dough is formed.
  3. Scoop dough into a greased donut pan (either with cooking spray or coconut oil) and bake in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Begin making your glaze.
  4. In a bowl, mix the icing sugar, matcha powder and almond milk. Once the donuts have cooled, dip each donut into the bowl of icing, and set on a cooling rack. You can add sprinkles if you prefer. Serve at room temperature. I recommend that you consume these donuts on the same day, otherwise store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
http://loveandlentils.com/2014/08/09/matcha-green-tea-donuts/

Matcha Green Tea Donuts - Vegan

Kiss Me Organics is generously offering one of you lucky readers your own bag of top grade organic matcha!  It is available exclusively through Amazon, and a bag should last you about 6 weeks.  :)  All first time customers also receive a free PDF file of matcha recipes to also inspire you!

Matcha Green Tea Donuts - Vegan

Matcha Green Tea Donuts - Vegan

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I’d love to hear, do you enjoy matcha?  What’s your favourite way to prepare it?  

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Signed,

A green tea latte addict xx

 

Summer Chickpea Salad with Chive Blossom Vinaigrette

Summer Chickpea Salad 

Hello all!  I hope you have been enjoying your summer.  It’s been beautiful in Montreal, and with the summer season being so short, I’ve been spending much less time behind the computer screen and more time camping, picnicking, playing in the park, and running through sprinklers with my boy.  So I hope you understand my slight absence from here. :)  And I hope you’ve been eating great nonetheless!  We just came back from a week of camping (and a bit of indulging on vegan sausages and campfire marhsmallows) so we’re back on track and feeling great – energizing with green smoothies and plant-based, whole meals.  When we returned, my chive blossom vinegar that I’ve been working on was vibrant, aromatic and ready to be used!  If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you’ve probably seen the life cycle of the vinegar, starting off with chive flowers from the garden mixed with white wine vinegar and canned for a couple of weeks. The process is so simple, and then you are left with a delicious vinegar to add to your summer salads.  I just love the colour so much, too!

The first salad the chive blossom vinaigrette was paired with is this summer chickpea salad.  It’s probably one of the easiest salads you can whip up, and the ingredients are filled with protein and nutrients.  My son would not stop saying how delicious it was, so when your five year old is happy, I think it’s worth sharing. :)

I’ll get straight to the vinegar recipe, and then the chickpea salad recipe below.  Enjoy, everyone, and have a happy Monday. 

I also wanted to mention that I have a great giveaway coming up for a bag of Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder by Kiss Me Organics.  I just received mine and I’ve been busy making smoothies and such and they were very generous in offering one lucky ready a free bag and free shipping as well (it’s sold exclusively on Amazon).  So, come back soon. :)

Thank you for reading,

Sophia xx

Chive Blossom Vinegar IMG_5850 IMG_6501

Chive Blossom Vinegar
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups chive blossoms, stems discarded
  2. 1 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
Instructions
  1. Place the flowers in a large bowl of cold water and swish them around to remove any dirt or bugs. Pour the flowers into a colander and strain the excess water.
  2. Place the flowers into a mason jar. Pour the vinegar into the jar just enough to submerge the flowers. Place a small piece of parchment paper over the jar, then close the jar with the lid. You don't want the vinegar to come in contact with the metal as it will change the flavour of your vinegar.
  3. Allow the vinegar to steep for a minimum of 2 weeks, the longer the better. (The one pictured here was steeped for 1 month). Place the jar in a cool, dark place and allow it to brew.
  4. When the vinegar has brewed, pour it through a fine sieve into a glass bottle, and discard the flowers.
Love and Lentils http://loveandlentils.com/
 Summer Chickpea Salad

Summer Chickpea Salad with Chive Blossom Vinaigrette
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Ingredients
  1. 1 - 19oz can organic chickpeas
  2. 4 lebanese cucumbers - chopped
  3. 2 small red bell peppers - chopped
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  5. 1 tablespoon shelled hemp seeds
  6. 1/4 cup pepita seeds
  7. Vinaigrette
  8. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  9. juice of half a lemon
  10. 4 tablespoons chive blossom vinegar (see recipe in post above)
  11. 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  12. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  13. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Pour all ingredients into a jar, cover, and shake vigorously to combine all ingredients.
Love and Lentils http://loveandlentils.com/
Summer Chickpea Salad

Chickpea and Spinach Couscous (Vegan, Quick & Easy)

This is a dish that is on my ‘I have nothing in the fridge’ or ‘I have no time to cook‘ or ‘I want something healthy that my kid will love‘ recipe roster.  It’s something that I have been cooking for years and is still a family favourite.  I love the simplicity of it, and the versatility.  If you don’t have chickpeas, go ahead and use white navy beans or kidney beans.  If you don’t have spinach, use collard greens or kale.  Like I said, I’ve been making variations of this dish for a really long time, and it always works. :)

vegan chickpea and spinach couscous

You’ll love how quick this will be on your dinner table.  It’s ready in 25 minutes and devoured even quicker!  Since we’re looking to making this quick, we are using canned tomatoes and chickpeas.  Of course, if you have more time, by all means use fresh tomatoes and dried chickpeas.  Otherwise, it’s best to choose organic canned tomatoes.  If you’re new to vegetarianism or eating plant-based, or even looking to simply add more plant-based meals to your dinner menu, this is a super easy and delicious meal that will deliver!

vegan chickpea and spinach couscous

Chickpea and Spinach Couscous

Ingredients

  • 1 cup couscous (preferable whole wheat)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Hungarian paprika
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes with juice (preferably organic)
  • 2 cups baby spinach, washed
  • 1 can (400 grams) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup cashews, lightly toasted

Instructions

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, add your couscous, cover the pot and turn off the heat. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Remove lid, fluff up the couscous using a fork. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, paprika and lemon. Stir. Add tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add spinach and chickpeas. Stir, allowing the spinach to wilt. Taste, and adjust any seasonings if needed. In the meantime, lightly toast the cashews in a small pan on the stove top. Spread your nuts out in an even layer and heat over medium, shaking often – don't overcrowd your nuts. Keep stirring or shaking for about 5 minutes, or until nuts are fragrant and browned.
  4. To serve, spoon the couscous into a shallow bowl, then spoon the chickpea and spinach mix overtop. Top with toasted cashews.
  5. Enjoy!
http://loveandlentils.com/2014/06/22/chickpea-and-spinach-couscous-vegan-quick-easy/

vegan chickpea and spinach couscous

vegan chickpea and spinach couscous

If you’re new to Love and Lentils, I’d love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

sophia

Mint Chip Milkshake (Vegan, GF)

Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Milkshake

I do believe I just made the drink of my childhood dreams.  My all time favourite icecream flavour has always been mint chocolate chip, and today, it’s my son’s favourite as well.  He never, ever gets anything different, it’s mint chip all.the.time.  I was also a huge fan of milkshakes growing up (who wasn’t??) and thought of combining these two delicious childhood favourites into one leaner, greener drink.  

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I had so much fun making this and photograpphing it.  It was really hard not to take sips of it, but then I finally sat and enjoyed my awesome milkshake on the porch with a huge grin on my face.

There’s no artifical colour here, the beautiful green colour comes from healthy baby spinach.  The flavour has the perfect amount of mint, and you can top your milkshake with chocolate chips like I did, or cacao nibs for a less sweet, more bitter flavour.

Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Milkshake

Mint Chip Milkshake

Yield: 1 large milkshake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach
  • 1 large frozen banana
  • handful of fresh mint leaves, stems removed (about 10-15 sprigs)
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 1 tablespoon vegan chocolate chips for garnish

Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips into a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a chilled glass and garnish with chocolate chips. Enjoy!
http://loveandlentils.com/2014/06/05/mint-chip-milkshake-vegan-gf/

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If you’re new to Love and Lentils, thank you for being here – feel free to join me on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter    

sophia

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