Homemade Vitamix Zucchini Latkes for Hanukkah

Janna's Hanukkah Zucchini Latkes made with the Vitamix

My recipe is modified from Eating Well by Nina Simonds "The Lighter Latke"

Potato Latkes
Even though my grandmother swore by red potatoes. I prefer a starchier potato like an Idaho in this recipe. Serve the pancakes plain or with applesauce.

3 tsp. vegetable oil, preferably canola oil (I used olive oil as I had forgotten to buy this)
2 lbs. russet (Idaho) potatoes (4-5), peeled
¾ cup finely chopped onion (= 1 whole medium I used a sweet white onion this year)
¾ cup all-purpose white flour
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 large zucchini 10" or 2 medium, chopped

Set oven racks at middle and lower positions; preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare 2 baking sheets by brushing each one with 1 tsp. of the oil.

Using the Vitamix, begin the shredding process. Remember that it works best in stages. I used the large pyrex glass bowl to combine all the ingredients as I went. First, I sliced the zucchini into 3 pieces and shredded them, dumping the shredded ingredient into the bowl after each piece was complete. Then I peeled the skin off the onion, sliced it in half and shredded each onion half. Finally came the potatoes. I first peeled all 4 of the medium sized Idaho potatoes. Then I sliced each potatoe in half and after trial and error realized each potatoe half needed to be cut again in half in order for the Vitamix to successfully shred. Combine all of these ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Next add the flour, and salt; toss with 2 forks to mix well or use a spatchula. Add the eggs, and the remaining 1 tsp. oil; toss to mix.

Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of the potato mixture onto the prepared baking sheets and press lightly to form cakes. If your mixture gets too much liquid you can place the tablespoonful into your hands to squeeze the excess liquid before placing it onto the baking sheet.

Bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown on bottom. (Our oven works differently than the ones I am used to so I lowered the heat to 400 from 450 and found about 8-10 minutes was best this time.) Turn the latkes over, switch the position of the baking sheets, and bake for about 10 minutes longer, or until golden brown. You may want to flip them one additional time for 10 minutes if you want them to be more golden. 

Transfer to a platter, arranging the latkes browned-side up, and serve. Though I enjoy browned on both sides so I cook them for longer...(Latkes may be prepared ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.)

About 35 calories per latke: 1 G protein, 1 G fat, 6 G carbohydrate, 95 MG sodium, 9 MG cholesterol for a basic recipe without the zucchini and extra egg...add in the slightly higher cholesterol (replace it with egg whites if you are wanting to be mindful) and the additional fiber you get with the zucchini...

Notes from Janna about the recipe:

Before you put the latke on the baking sheet make sure that all the ingredients have been thoroughly mixed. The mixture is better if there is not much juice or liquid; this should be dealt with before forming the cakes. All the ingredients create a juice, especially after they have sat in the bowl while you add everything. To deal with this: either take an old sheet, a cloth or many paper towels works, and proceed to place it over the top of the bowl with the mixture. Then press firmly soaking up the liquid. Then retoss the mixture and do it again. Proceed until you think you have gotten the majority of the liquid away. This will help the cakes stick together better and be easier to form.

Motts applesauce goes excellently if you don’t feel up to making fresh homemade sauce. I think latkes need the applesauce. Some people also like sour cream as well. This is not as healthy or appealing in my opinion. I love using greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream. 0% Fage Greek Non-Fat is delicious and nutritious.

You can also jazz up the recipe adding things you might like: for example, spinach, parsnips, carrots, or other vegetables. This creates a fun mixture. I just happen to love zucchini...

Fun thing you can do with the kids if they want to help: use food coloring to turn the latkes into their favorite color. I still remember the year I got to make purple latkes…

By baking these latkes it is healthier than frying them but since you still use some oil you are being true to the spirit of the Holiday.

Happy Hanukkah! And remember, latkes are like potatoe pancakes and they could totally be made year-round if you love potatoes as our household does :-)

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Vitamix saves the day! Potatoe Onion Soup

N had emergency wisdom teeth extraction. While I was prepared to deal with the packing of gauze to stop bleeding, ice packs, salt water rinse etc I didn't have many soft foods on hand in the kitchen. After a surgery like that you need nutrients and I wanted him to have a hearty meal to get some of his energy back and help deal with the pain. This morning he said he would enjoy a warm soup (for breakfast) [24 hours post surgery]. I realized with the Vitamix I would be able to craft a meal that he could swallow since the swelling prevented chewing.

5-6 small potatoes, rinse off, cut off ends, poke hole with knife in each potatoe, put into pyrex dish with water on bottom, place in microwave, cook on high for 6 minutes, remove to cool

1 chicken broth bouillon cube dissolved in 2 cups boiling water
1.5 cups milk 2%
2-3 small now cooked potatoes (with skin)
oregano & salt shaken into vitamix
dash of olive oil maybe 2-3 tablespoons worth
1/2 onion first sauteed then added

All of the above poured into the vitamix blender, cap placed, turned to On, Variable 1, slowly turned up to Variable 10, then flipped to High speed for 2 minutes

Then added remaining 3 small potatoes at Variable 3 for 30 seconds. Poured into bowl - this created a little bit of a thicker consistency with some peel visible.

However, this had too many pieces for N after his wisdom teeth surgery so I then poured the soup through a strainer into another dish, thus collecting all the pieces he would've needed to chew so that I created just a smooth soup consistency that he could "drink" with a spoon.

Thanks to the Vitamix I was able to create a relatively easy and fairly quick (healthy too) soup for my dear. I think this will help him recover just fine :-)

VITAMIX: ***06-008785 *** GET FREE STANDARD SHIPPING (a value of $25US/$35CN) USE MY AFFILIATE CODE To order call 1-800-848-2649 

Summer Drink from Smashed Fruit?

Nectarine Limeaide Smoothie
1 cup limeaid
3 overly ripened Nectarines

Have you ever bought fruit and had it begin to get squishy or look like it had gotten smashed between the store and your house? I know I tend to have a hard time eating "ugly" fruit. Somehow the squishiness is too much for me. Thanks to the Vitamix I can now not waste or even hesitate at eating these. Begin by mixing these up to high as soon as possible. A quick high setting should be enough. 

Taste Comments: Perfect hot summer's day drink! I got 3 servings of fruit in this drink! For when our temperatures were 100+ and I came home overheated and dehydrated this helped me recover quickly!

VITAMIX: ***06-008785 *** GET FREE STANDARD SHIPPING (a value of $25US/$35CN) USE MY AFFILIATE CODE To order call 1-800-848-2649 


Saw 'Bambi' on my way home from work...she was quite casual about snacking on the side of the road and then slowly crossing. Needless to saw I fawned over the fawn.

Can't take the city girl out of me...such a shock & delight to see nature. Thankfully I saw her so I was able to stop and brake and she didn't jump out and actually spook me!

Rolled Chicken a la Goat Cheese, Parsley, Mushroom in a Cilantro Sauce

Rolled Chicken a la Goat Cheese, Parsley, Mushroom in a Cilantro Sauce
5 thinly slice chicken breasts
1 zucchini
~10 mushrooms
handful of cilantro
handful of parsley
1/4 cup water

Begin by mixing the cilantro with the water in the pan. Next lay out the chickens. In Vitamix, blend the goat cheese with the parsley after finely dicing it. Next, spoon stuffing on chicken and layer mushrooms on top. Attempt to roll up as best you can and place into pan, cover chicken with light sauce and place tin in over to 425 degrees F for 30 min. with tin foil. 

Taste Comments: Next time try at 400 degrees F for 45 min. to attempt to keep moisture in chicken so not as dry on top. Also cover chicken in sauce and fill chicken with more stuffing. Otherwise, a gourmet meal which only took about 10 min. prep time! Quite healthy too - can't wait to try other stuffings...

VITAMIX: ***06-008785 *** GET FREE STANDARD SHIPPING (a value of $25US/$35CN) USE MY AFFILIATE CODE To order call 1-800-848-2649 

Nutella Cherry Smoothie

Nutella Cherry Smoothie
1 peach
1.5 cups frozen cherries
~4 strawberries
1 tablespoon Nutella
1 cup water

Taste comments: You know when you have that craving for chocolate...the one where it nags you in your head until you break down and need to eat chocolate? If you don't know, that's okay, you must not be a chocolate lover. As an aficionado I struggle to keep my sugar craving for chocolate in check with my brain and knowledge of what is healthy. This is the ultimate tasteing give-in treat that actually is delightfully not sin-ful. The cherry paired with the nutella was extravagant and I enjoyed drinking every sip of this dessert in the mid-afternoon!

VITAMIX: ***06-008785 *** GET FREE STANDARD SHIPPING (a value of $25US/$35CN) USE MY AFFILIATE CODE To order call 1-800-848-2649 

4th of July Sorbet

4th of July Sorbet
1 cup milk
3 cups frozen fruit: I did the Market Pantry from Target, mixed fruit frozen bag which is resealable (strawberry, mango and pineapple)

Taste comments: We had our dear friend Carolyn visiting us for the 4th. After venturing out for the fireworks we decided it was way too hot and muggy/extremely crowded in the park so we would rather try to watch the fireworks from the roof of our apartment. When we got back after turning on the AC I thought a sorbet would be an excellent way to cool off from the summer heat. This took literally a few minutes from start to finish. I definitely overestimated how much fruit to use as we have serious leftovers. This actually was cool because when I checked this morning, the sorbet froze really well. So good to know - you can always make more than you intend with the Vitamix and the product will retain freshness and quality. This is by far the healthiest sorbet you could make with no added sugar and honestly the sweetness of the fruit was enough. A cool summer treat!

VITAMIX: ***06-008785 *** GET FREE STANDARD SHIPPING (a value of $25US/$35CN) USE MY AFFILIATE CODE To order call 1-800-848-2649 

Mast-o-Khiar (Iranian cucumber and mint yogurt)

Our favorite healthy snack is Mast - o - Khiar which is a cucumber yogurt dip for chips, veggies, or even by the spoonful!

The Vitamix saved time and energy making this a quick and easy healthy recipe!

Mast o Khiar
2 persian cucumbers
1.5 cup greek yogurt - I use fage 0%
1 stem of mint, cilantro
1 clove garlic

Taste comments: It is best to first grind the mint & cilantro with the garlic so that they are finely ground. Next add the cucumber and finally the yogurt. See if you can try to not finish it in one setting!

VITAMIX: ***06-008785 *** GET FREE STANDARD SHIPPING (a value of $25US/$35CN) USE MY AFFILIATE CODE To order call 1-800-848-2649 


2 avocados; each halved
¼ onion
sprinkle salt

Taste comments: This was way too much onion which kinda overpowered the guac. Luckily I love onion however I would not use this ratio again.

VITAMIX: ***06-008785 *** GET FREE STANDARD SHIPPING (a value of $25US/$35CN) USE MY AFFILIATE CODE To order call 1-800-848-2649 

First Time Vitamix-ing

Growing up with influential women who cook is a sanctuary for blossoming creative growth in the kitchen. With an aunt with numerous impressive cookbooks to delight to a grandma who had a fun children's cookbook to my mom who won a Turkey contest - I always delighted in Kitchen Chemistry with my grandfather. My fond memories of licking the raw brownie batter with grandma in the kitchen still make me smile and my date nights cooking for my grandpa are memories I cherish now. I've never been one to be able to follow a recipe to a T. I have plenty of stories of the problems that created (who knew baking powder mattered that much)?! 

While I did sit down and watch the Vitamix DVD, my first attempt needed to be authentic, creative and definitely not following any direction. 

Nika and I attempted to make a green juice smoothie on our first date so that is what I attempted first:

Green Fruit Smoothie
½ cup water
1 cup frozen strawberry
½ cup frozen mango
5 baby carrots
1 handful salad mix
½ frozen banana

Taste comments: This turned out to taste a bit tart, almost sour. Obviously something to counterbalance; like a sweet fruit or I guess honey or brown sugar would’ve helped. I loved it but Nika said he would definitely prefer a normal smoothie for next time!

VITAMIX: ***06-008785 *** GET FREE STANDARD SHIPPING (a value of $25US/$35CN) USE MY AFFILIATE CODE To order call 1-800-848-2649 

Fueled by Vitamix!

I am beginning to adjust to being an adult, in that, I am for the first time living in a real apartment not connected to a school or university and I have a kitchen for the first time. As many recent graduates face the challenge of preparing healthy meals at home and while on a budget I thought sharing my experiences would be helpful.

I contacted Vitamix to be able to chronicle my adventures in healthy cooking, snacking and blending! They sent me a refurbished 5200 to be able to write about my love affair with all things from smoothies to sauces to soups!

I'm now also a Vitamix affiliate so if you want to buy a Vitamix too you can and if you use my code below then you will get free shipping & handling on your order! Stay tuned for my blogs on why Vitamix is the healthiest decision you could ever make!

***06-008785 ***

Unpacking/Unboxing the Vitamix for the first time pictures below!


The Aquapac large camera case gives you peace of mind with your camera with all the functionality one would wish for. Being able to swim or kayak with your camera without worrying about water damage is amazing. This bag delivers! The adjustable neck or shoulder strap allows you to decide how to wear it to take pictures. It can hold anything from a large camera to a small. I used it first with my SeaLife as a precautionary measure and then after that test used it with my Lumix successfully. I did find that it was necessary post-swim to leave the camera case bag propped open to get any residual moisture to air away after the tropical climate swims. One desiccant sachet lasted for over a month of use when used post-swim to help it air out. I was able to get fantastic pictures thanks to this!

The Aquapac belt case is submersible and gives you peace of mind when exploring that your valuables can be with you and safe and dry. The adjustable belt works for either a man or woman. The bag is solid and what you put inside is not visible for added security. It fit my small Lumix camera, passport, cash, & credit card comfortably. I would recommend this especially for those who enjoy going on tours or trips - we used it for our day-trips snorkeling & kayaking in Koh Tao and Ang Thong Marine National Park. It allowed me to leave my bag and towel on the boat but feel like I had my important items with me!

I did not pay for this product but I do not believe that I let that color my review. I selected this product after doing careful research about the best products of its type and requested a sample to test in my own practice.

Mission enduracool instant cooling towel

The Mission enduracool instant cooling towel in size large is a genius invention that I was so thankful to have when I was in the sweltering jungle heat. The fact that the towel can be activated by either pouring water on it, submersing it briefly in water or by your own sweat is inventive and highly functional.

It is highly absorbant and the size was perfect for keeping next to my mat as I worked out. I easily could grab it and wipe away my sweat but the coolness allowed me to continue my exercise without getting hot.

When I began to develop heat exhaustion during exercise due to the high temperatures of over 110 degrees fahrenheit, no AC and lack of clean drinking water, this towel saved me. It helped me to cool down my core body temperature so that I didn’t overheat more and get sicker. I used a towel on my neck, forehead and chest that day in the jungle and my skin slowly returned to a cooler temperature and my skin redness receeded.

After a month of use it amazingly didn’t reek from moisture, sunscreen, bug spray or sweat. It proved itself as a staple in any gym bag!

The Max Muscle Rehab roll on gel by Mission works without a doubt on sore muscles. Whether you’ve been hiking, doing yoga, running, swimming, kayaking etc this gel works like a charm on aches and within minutes you will feel relief. This product is an excellent addition to a gym bag and to be in a medicine cabinet. It even works on sensitive skin!

I even used it to soothe my sore hip and legs after walking for hours through the streets of Paris!

I did not pay for this product but I do not believe that I let that color my review. I selected this product after doing careful research about the best products of its type and requested a sample to test in my own practice.

Yogitoes rSkidless

The Yogitoes rSkidless Yoga Mat-Size in peacock is just as fun as it is practical. It allows you the flexibility to take your practice everywhere. The mat rolls and folds easily - it fit in my carryon bag on the plane so that I was able to roll it out at the airport for some light stretching during one of my 4+ hour layovers during my international travel. This mat has the patented skidless grips on the bottom that hug it to the floor, your mat or even the sand! It wicked away the sweat from my hands and feet and even my back when I did floor stretches. I loved the bright colors of the mat with colors that haven’t faded even with wear, tear and the sun! I feel like I am doing my part since it’s sustainable and supporting the environment as it is made out of recycled bottles yet is surprisingly soft and comfortable. From the jungle to the beach to the gym, this is a go-to mat to practice on.

I did find myself wishing that the mat were actually a little wider than it is as sometimes when I do certain posture like savasana my extremities would fall off the edge of the mat which wasn’t as comfortable.

Overall, this mat combines function, service and fun to create a useful tool for encouraging your practice to be moveable to wherever you may find yourself. I definitely recommend this!

I did not pay for this product but I do not believe that I let that color my review. I selected this product after doing careful research about the best products of its type and requested a sample to test in my own practice.

SteriPen Freedom

Drinking water is something I had taken for granted. I had never considered all the times that I used clean water until I went to the islands of Thailand. Having my Steripen Freedom gave me the peace of mind during my trip that everything from my water bottle to the water I used to brush my teeth was safe from the pesticides in the dirty island water. After a month in a third-world environment, I have returned without any serious illness, thanks in part to my Steripen Freedom. It created clean water for me no matter where I was. All it took was less than a minute with the pen in my water bottle to sanitize it so that I did not have to worry about what I drank. It gave me the freedom to explore and enjoy my adventure without being scared of the horror stories I had heard about unclean water.

I highly recommend the Steripen Freedom. Not only did it fit in everything from my purse to my yoga bag to my rainjacket pocket it also turned into a handy flashlight when the island lost power (as it used generators and didn’t have electricity so you can imagine that was often).

"I did not pay for this product but I do not believe that I let that color my review. I selected this product after doing careful research about the best products of its type and requested a sample to test in my own practice."

Yogibags sport mat bag

The yogibags sport mat bag is one of the best yoga mat bags on the market. At first glance, it appears to just be the simple sling mat bag that is everywhere. However, it is not only durable but supportive. It can hold two pro-sized mats with extra room! It worked well for holding my main mat, 2 full size towel mats, a sweat towel, water bottle, and notebook with room to spare. The design is a crossbody strap that could also be worn over your shoulder depending on your preference. It even has a small pocket on the end for your keys or chapstick. It comes in a multitude of colors from fun purple or pink to a practical or manly black. This bag can be packed small for travel with its flexible design and shape. It has breathability holes so that your bag doesn’t collect the smells from your workout gear that you pack and it is water resistant so if it begins to rain while you’re in transit you don’t need to be concerned about your mat getting soaked. It’s unisex so based on your color selection you and your man can even match going to class! I would highly recommend this bag for your classes - it makes my commute so much easier to have everything at hand and stylishly at that, not to mention it is made right here in the United States!

I did not pay for this product but I do not believe that I let that color my review. I selected this product after doing careful research about the best products of its type and requested a sample to test in my own practice.

Rowve Carry-all Bag (Large)

The Rowve carry-all bag in size large is a fantastic multi-use bag. I used both the gorgeous pink laminate and the black canvas for my trip and they were more than practical but extremely functional! First off, they worked for so many uses that I could see packing for a trip with multiple of these bags to have the best organization! I love that they are lined with laminate so that you don’t have to worry about an item spilling inside or sticking in a wet swim suit or dirty shoes to packing lotions/sunscreens or medicines. I used these two bags for the duration of my almost 2 month trip abroad and found I was constantly repacking them as I used up items and they made it less of a headache to travel. They held over 15 sunscreen bottles on my international flight and held them securely so I didn’t have to worry about them exploding and creating a mess when I opened my checked bag. It held my medication bag at one point with everything from Benedryl gel to body lotion. It also held my wet swim suit and a towel when I went to the beach for a day and it held dirty clothes on the trip back.

I highly recommend this bag whether you are a traveler, a yogi (it fit my yoga towel mat, water bottle and towel) to a mom who needs to carry childrens’ clothes and diapers. I see this bag as a useful investment. Ideally I would have these in every size and at least 3 in each size and then packing a suitcase for a trip would be an absolute breeze!

I also love that it’s a small company and their products are produced in the United States and it was created by a mother-daughter team!

Suggestion for improvement: The small wrist strap on the side felt strained when I filled the bag to its capacity and it was heavy. I think if it had a strap on the top of the bag rather than on the side it could provide more stability.

Suggestion for an extra-large bag. This would be awesome addition to your line of bags! This size would be maybe almost twice the width of the large bag and would be perfect for a suitcase in particular to lay flat and pack dirty clothes at the end of a trip or pack delicate clothes that you want to keep clean and nice (i.e. thinking of the idea of packing 1 outfit for a nice occasion in the bag so that it doesn’t get as wrinkled when traveling). This would definitely need the strap at the top of the bag. (strap like the Longchamp small cosmetic bag le pliage.)

I did not pay for this product but I do not believe that I let that color my review. I selected this product after doing careful research about the best products of its type and requested a sample to test in my own practice.

Embodily Defined

Express your spirit to embody wellness!

em·bod·ily Adverb

1. Express or give a tangible or visible form to (an idea, quality, or feeling).

2. Provide (a spirit) with a physical form.