I firmly believe that culinary success depends upon being well equipped; that isn’t to say that every doodad has its place- frankly, most kitchens tools are completely useless. But the ones that are useful in my kitchen, I consider part of the family.

Whenever I find myself cooking in someone else’s kitchen, I oftentimes have to hide my frustration over their lack of essentials; but it’s unreasonable to hold it against anyone, because if they don’t know, then they simply DO NOT KNOW; which is why I wanted to share my go to kitchen essentials!

Initially I had envisioned one post; but then I realized that most of you don’t have time to read a digital novel, which is why I’m going to divvy up the post for easier reading; why? Because I care!

I love smoothies; and anything to do with blending. I blend at least once a day; and on a particularly busy day, my blender can see the light of day up to five times. And although I enjoy juicing, I find blending is superior because of one key ingredient- fiber. When we juice we remove this essential nutrient; and while juicing has a laundry list of health benefits, it will not replace eating whole fruits and vegetables. Smoothies on the other hand are nutritionally equivalent to eating the whole fruit. However, when it comes to blending, equipment wise, you often get what you pay for.

I’d like to tell you a story.

When I embarked on my healthy living quest, smoothies were my safe harbor; I loved their ability to help me meet my daily nutritional requirements without being a slave to fruits and vegetables. I went from one smoothie a day to, at times, three smoothies a day- I was immediately hooked; you could say I was under the influence of smoothies!

My equipment of choice was a dinky Magic Bullet; now, I loved my Magic Bullet, it served me well, but there is only so much a small machine of that type can handle. And one day, it just died. It was early in the morning; I had a big day ahead of me; and nothing. It was kaput. What ensued were tears, yes tears, yelling, panic, denial; and finally acceptance. A week went by and my energy waned; and I felt nothing like myself.

So when I was detailing my ordeal to my mother; as I expressed my need for a new Magic Bullet, she says to me, calmly from a mothers perspective, “maybe you should look into a more robust machine; your needs are obviously beyond that of a Magic Bullet.” Moms are great aren’t they!

So I went about sourcing a machine that could handle my needs. I looked into the Vitamix; but I didn’t have a minimum of $600 to spend- wouldn’t that be nice?! And then I looked into drug store brands; but after reading reviews I knew that they were not going to be able to handle the nature of my smoothie needs. I mean, I’m blending carrots, beets, nuts for butter and the like. Then I read on Twitter about Blendtec.

I found their prices were more affordable than the aforementioned Vitamix; and, yet, they could still stand up to nuts and root vegetables. So after I waxed and waned on whether I could afford $400, my mother, ever the wise one, said “How could you afford not to buy it, this is your career”– goodness she’s smart. So I took the leap and bought the Blendtec Classic Four Side Blender; and I haven’t looked back since.

This machine is hands down my number one kitchen staple; I would be lost without it. Without her, yes she’s female, I wouldn’t be able to give birth to all the smoothie creations that give me so much joy and vitality.

This red berry smoothie has frozen strawberries and raspberries; and my Blendtec Blender manages to pulverize them without dispute! A word on this refreshing sipper, it makes for a perfect morning smoothie because of the caffeine provided from the green tea; make no mistake it will give you a boost. Because not only is brimming with antioxidants and energy from the steeped nectar; but also from the contents of one tea bag as well. The tartness of the berries and the zing from the mint combined with the green tea make this an exhilarating way to wake up!


Red Berry Green Tea Smoothie

Makes 1

2 mint green tea bag

1 ½ cups boiling water

1 tbsp raw honey

2 oz frozen raspberries

2 oz frozen strawberries

2 ½ tbsp Greek yogurt

1 tbsp Organika Ultimate Fiber Blend

Boil the water and steep 1 tea bad with the honey for 15 minutes. The tea must be strong. Remove the tea bag and cool the tea completely. In a blender combine the strawberries, raspberries, Greek yogurt, Ultimate Fiber Blend, the contents on the remaining tea bag and the steeped tea. Blend until complete smooth.