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Tom’s Cookbook Library: Power blenders gain new strength

The blender is no stranger in the kitchen, but the latest generation of the appliance has justifiably caught the attention of home cooks.

Food writer and blending appliance expert Vanessa Simkins tells what the buzz is all about in her latest book, “Power Blender Revolution” [Harvard Common Press].

Simkins shares information on selecting and maintaining a high-power blender and unlocking its full potential.

She weighs in on the versatility and convenience of such brands as Vitamix, Blendtec and Ninja.

The book offers 300-plus useful recipes covering smoothies and shakes to spreads, dips, sauces and dressings. Kiwi Colada Smoothie (see recipe) provides a fine example of the ease and speed that power blenders provide.

Other topics cover entrees [falafel patties, pan-fried mushroom ravioli], breakfast items [vegan orange marmalade muffins, gluten-free citrus pound cake] and desserts [orange mango pudding, no-bake individual cheesecakes].

Simkins also is known for her website at and her book titled “The Juice Lover’s Big Book of Juices.”

Journalist Tom Witom, who lives in Elgin, has written extensively for years about food and the food industry. Feedback on the column can be sent to

Kiwi Colada Smoothie

Makes 12 to 16 ounces

1/2 cup canned light coconut milk

1/2 cup cold water

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 cup chopped pineapple, rind removed

1 peeled and chopped kiwi

1 tablespoon honey or agave

1/4 cup crushed ice

Add the coconut milk, water, lime juice, pineapple. kiwi, honey or agave and ice to your blender container. Blend on high until smooth or fully combined. Serve immediately.

Variation: If you love essential oils, add one drop of lime or lemon essential oil to the ingredients before blending to enhance the flavor and add nutritional benefits.

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