Kale in a vitamix
(Cut N'Shoot, Texas)
Q: I just got a new Vitamix Pro 200 and set about to making "Mean Green".
The recipe I used called for 8 kale leaves, a cucumber, 2 green apples, lemon & ginger. I added a cup of water and went to it, but it would not process the kale! I actually had to stop, dump it all out into a bowl, cut up the kale and process it first then add the rest plus more water. I am really disappointed that it took so much time to process the kale - it started to get hot!
I chose the Vitamix because it was the most cost effective way for me to "juice".
Any advice about greens in a Vitamix?
A: Hi Kathi! Congrats on your new Vitamix! I think we can resolve this problem. Okay, so, a few things...
The mean green recipe by Joe Cross from his documentary is meant to be done in a juicer. These ingredients in a juicer would produce an easy juice. Blending does require more liquid, in the form or water or juicy vegetables to work well.
Because juicing is not blending, you will have to modify your recipes and add a lot of water in some cases, especially when working with non juicy fruits and veggies (like greens). If you were processing cantaloupe, pineapple or watermelon in the Vitamix with the greens, you probably wouldn't need to add water. But the mean green is not a juicy recipe at all.
To make this recipe and other green recipes, it will turn out better as a smoothie. And you might have to decrease the amount of greens to make it palatable.
8 kale leaves is a lot for the blender but not a lot to juice, so next time, decrease the amount of leaves or don't add them all at once.
Also, did you use the tamper? Put the Vitamix on a speed of 6 and under, and then use the tramper through the lid to push down the greens. When making something to juice, it should move freely, so if its not, add more water or stop it and mix to make sure something isn't stuck under the blade.
I find putting the more watery fruits in the blender first, then adding the greens last, and using the tamper works best. It often times does require a cup of liquid or more. If it was getting hot, it makes me think that some of it got stuck under the blade or the speed was increased too quickly.
So...try to use juicy fruits, use less greens until you know how many it can easily process, use a low speed with the tamper at first until all in incorporated (then increase speed to make it smooth) and don't be afraid to add more liquid.
Have fun coming up with new green juices and smoothies with your Vitamix!
Here are some green smoothie recipes that you might find helpful.