Foodhacks tips

The Lid Plug Hack

Next time you remove your lid plug to insert your tamper, take a closer look. Because you might have missed the fact that the lid plug is also a mini measuring cup, with 1/2 ounce and 1 ounce measures. This is great if you’re making a cocktail recipe or if you need to add a smidge more liquid to a smoothie or sauce to thin it down. It’s always nice to not have to get another measuring cup dirty.

Load Your Container Properly

The order in which you load your container is more important than you might realize. Always load liquids closest to the blades, then soft items, then hard or frozen items. Having the liquids on the bottom prevents air pockets from forming around the blades. And the weight of the frozen items on top helps to push the other ingredients into blades for a seamless blend. By loading your container in this order, you’ll prevent the blend from stalling or your machine from struggling with hard to blend items on the bottom. Remember this order for the 48oz and 64oz containers:

  • Liquids (water, juice, milk, yogurt)
  • Dry Goods (grains, seasonings, powders)
  • Leafy Greens
  • Fruits & Veggies
  • Ice & Frozen Ingredients If you have the 20oz personal container or the 8oz blending bowls remember to reverse this order because you flip the container upside down on top of your Vitamix.

Blend on High

Don’t let the high-power and noise of your Vitamix machine scare you. Almost everything blends better, faster and easier when you quickly increase the speed to high. Always start on low, but turn that dial quickly. When you blend on high, the motor also stays cool because the cooling fan is maximized. So yes, blending on high rather than medium (especially with thick items like nut butters) actually prevents your machine from over-heating. Blending for too long at too low a speed will overheat your machine and cause the Automatic Overload Protection to turn the machine off.

The Tamper is Your Friend

When you’re blending thick items like frozen yogurt and nut butters, the tamper is your friend. The tamper can help get the ingredients moving again and prevent air pockets from forming around the blades. The tamper will never come in to contact with the blades as long as the lid is on the blender, so feel free to use a little muscle and push those ingredients into the blades. The best way to do this is to press the tamper down toward the four corners of the container until your recipe is blending smoothly again. Just remember to never fill your container more than two-thirds of the way full when using the tamper.

Quantity Matters

One of the biggest problems I’ve seen this community have with my own recipes is when they’ve tried to cut my Vitamix recipes in half. The Vitamix needs a minimum amount of ingredients in the container to do its job properly. With too few ingredients, the blades will just splat those ingredients to the outside of the container. For instance, my Almond Butter recipe calls for 4 cups of raw almonds. If you try to cut this recipe in half and use 2 cups of almonds, it will fail. There’s simply not enough ingredients to create friction with the blades and turn the almonds into almond butter. Likewise, you need to be careful with over filling your container. Always keep an eye on the maximum fill line.

Wet versus Dry Container

For all of the Vitamix recipes on my website I use the wet container (though I could’ve used the dry container on my Powdered Sugar recipe). So what’s the difference between the two containers? The blades on the wet container blend things together and the blades on a dry container blast things out and up. Another way to think about it, the wet container creates a super smooth texture of your recipes with a vortex. The dry container keeps things chunky with a reverse vortex. Because I predominantly make smoothies, dips, soups, nut butters and other creamy items the wet container works perfectly for me. The dry container is great if you plan on grinding coffee beans, making nut flours, milling grains, etc.

Getting Thick Ingredients Out

When you blend thick ingredients like hummus or nut butters you absolutely need the under blade scraper. This is like a squeegee for the sides of the container and gets under the blades easily, which means you’re not wasting any ingredients. I chat about this more on my Vitamix Comparison and Accessories post. One of my other favorite hacks after you’ve made almond butter and scraped out as much as you can is this. Add a cup or two of Cashew Milk (or other nut milk) and a banana, then blend. You’ve now got an almond butter banana smoothie to enjoy and a fairly clean container.

Cleaning Your Container

Cleaning your Vitamix container is super easy. Just fill it halfway with warm water and a drop or two of dish soap. Then run it on high for 30 seconds. If you have a cleaning cycling on your machine, you can press that button as well. Over time, you may notice that your Vitamix container has become cloudy. The best way to prevent this is with a thorough cleaning after every use and to not allow residue to sit in the container. But if you do have a cloudy container, it’s usually from blending spices, blending mineral rich ingredients or from hard water. Here’s how you can clean that film off your container:

  • Pour one cup of white vinegar into the container.
  • Fill the contain half-full with warm water.
  • Let the container soak in an upright, standing position for several hours or even overnight.
  • Pour the contents out and use a soft pot scrubber to clean the remaining residue. Blending rough ingredients like sugar (to make powdered sugar) can also create minuscule scratches to the inside of the container, making it appear cloudy. Unfortunately, this isn’t reversible. If you do plan to blend rougher ingredients regularly, I recommend you purchase an extra container (I have several myself) so that you’re always blending rough ingredients in one container and smooth ingredients in another container.

Keeping everyone’s clothes organized

For many years campers have been looking for tricks to keep their clothes from wrinkling when camping. Many of us struggled with different hacks and tricks until we were introduced to hanging sorters. The hanging sorter is a genius idea that has made it easy for campers to keep their clothes wrinkle-free. You can also get one for hanging up your outdoor utensils.

Keeping your tent cool

You may find yourself camping under the scorching sun that could make your tent unbearably hot. You can use a reflective blanket to repel/deflect sunlight, keeping your tent cool. Just spread the reflective blanket on top your tent (directly against the sun) and let it reflect the sun away.