I’ve been on a bit of a smoothie kick lately. Perhaps it’s something to do with the winter weather that apparently doesn’t want to go away. A pretty pastel smoothie in the morning goes a long way to help me forget about the cold. Especially when there’s coconut in there. A tiny taste of the tropics, if you like…
Two factors have helped satisfy my smoothie cravings recently are my new KitchenAid® 5-Speed Diamond Blender and my copy of Monica Shaw’s Smarter Fitter Smoothies. (please note that although I do some sponsored work for KitchenAid Canada and although Monica Shaw is a good friend, I have not been asked by either to write this post. I write about products I truly believe in and these two happen to fit that bill!)
I’d been on the lookout for a blender for most of last year – we had an older blender that wasn’t particularly powerful and if I’ve learned anything about making smoothies, it’s that you need one with some guts to it – to break down the ice and/ or frozen fruit. I had been eyeing some of the higher end models as well as the KitchenAid Diamond model and in the end, I “won” this one at a Silent Auction at KitchenAid’s Cook for the Cure Culinary Showdown late last year. It obviously was meant to be!
I’ve been impressed with the blender so far. I’ve found that most ingredients blend together quickly and efficiently, the motor appears pretty robust and it’s not even that noisy (it’s not quiet either but it’s not as bad as some I’ve heard). The Intelli-Speed® Motor Control apparently senses contents and will maintain the optimal speed to power through all ingredients (I’m not sure about this but I do notice that the motor seems pretty powerful even though it doesn’t look like it’s blending that fast). There are 5 speeds (stir, chop, mix, puree or liquify) and the option to crush ice as well as a pulse mode which works with all speeds for staggered blending. And apparently it stands up to the competition pretty well too!
Coincidentally, Monica’s book came out late last year too and I was thrilled to find it waiting for me on my return from Australia after Christmas.
If you follow Monica on Instagram, you’ll know she posts almost daily smoothie pictures and following her last year as she developed the recipes for the book made me re-think my idea of a smoothie. She uses both fruits and vegetables “that will rock your world and make you feel awesome!” All her recipes in the book are
- Dairy Free
- Soy Free
- Gluten Free
BUT – this isn’t just a book for vegans; it’s for people who appreciate whole, “real food” ingredients in the food they eat, so while it is a perfect book for those on dairy free, soy free, gluten free or paleo diets it’s actually a book that will appeal to anyone. The photos are gorgeous and vibrant, the ingredients are simple, real food ingredients that you won’t have to hunt around at specialty food stores to find and, more than anything, it’s a book of inspiration.
Monica’s book is much more that just recipes though – she talks about “tools for the job”, lists pantry essential ingredients, gives a ton of money and time-saving tips, talks about the nutritional aspect of smoothies and their health benefits and breaks down the “anatomy of a smoothie” (it needs fruit and veggies, creaminess, sweetness, liquid, and optionally, ice and other add-ins for flavour. A lot of information there that helps you make better choices about what you add to your smoothies. I’m thoroughly enjoying my “smoothie learning curve” 🙂
A (Canadian) giveaway!
Because I think everyone should “smoothie all the things”, thanks to the kind folks at KitchenAid Canada, I have one KitchenAid® 5-Speed Diamond Blender to give away to one lucky Canadian resident and because I think it’s a great companion to a new blender, I’m throwing in a copy of Monica’s Smarter Fitter Smoothies too!
How to enter:
There are 2 ways to enter (maximum of two entries per person for the duration of the contest).
1. Leave me a comment on this post telling me your favourite smoothie ingredients.
2. Tweet the following message: Enter to win a @KitchenAid_CA blender + @monicashaw ‘s Smoothie book on @eatlivtravwrite (Canada only) Details: http://bit.ly/MGWZSl then come back to leave a second comment letting me know you did.
Eligibility and contest rules:
– Open to Canadian residents only.
– No purchase of any product necessary for entry.
– Winner will be chosen randomly (using www.random.org) from all qualified entries on Sunday March 16th after 6pm EST.
– Winner will be notified via email Tuesday March 17th.
– The prize consists of of one KitchenAid® 5-Speed Diamond Blender and one copy of Monica Shaw’s Smarter Fitter Smoothies (to be shipped separately)