Make It Fresh with Oster (December 8, 2016)

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Last week, I attended a demo event at Gourdo's SM Megamall featuring Oster's Versa Blenders. They are expensive (at Php18,700 ish per unit), but the price is justified by the additional features and benefits that it has. For one, its extremely fast blades give the user the real power to make ice smooth (like legit smoothies we'd get from Starbucks or Jamba Juice). It also has a soup function wherein it not only mashes the ingredients you put in but also heats it up so that the moment the process is done, the soup you have is literally ready to serve. This can, in theory, turn all sorts of foods into a mashed form the way you have never imagined before. 

This is how the controls look like. There's a pulse button, and you have a choice for the speed of the blades. The programmed settings include smoothie, soup, and dip.

For the pumpkin soup, the process is streamlined because once one boils the pumpkin and cuts it up to small cubes, it can go straight to the Versa. Just throw in the other spices and seasonings, and in this case, coconut milk. It saves the homemaker so much time because one doesn't need to manually mash. One also doesn't need to mash (or perhaps use a normal blender) and then reheat because this already does the heating in situ. 

The end result is impressive because the pumpkin already has this very smooth, velvety and creamy texture. It's light but it has structure. The key highlight is that due to the machine's power, the usual powdery and stringy textures from the pumpkin are totally gone. My mom always puts boiled pumpkins into a blender whenever she's making pumpkin soup, but the end result is not as smooth as this. It's as if one strained out the pulpy parts and served only the smoothest puree. I find this to be perfect for those with babies and toddlers because it can save so much time. The end result is also baby friendly because it's smooth and no longer pulpy.

Another key application where the Versa comes in is when one wants to add texture to dishes using vegetables not commonly used for such dishes. And when one wants to substitute potato for less carbs. The example is this Mac and Cheese with a hybrid mashed potato sauce thanks to pulverized cauliflower.

Cheese and cauliflower are added to the Versa and are pulsed for a bit. One can pulse longer for a more smoothie like texture and pulse shorter for a more mashed potato like texture. They went for the latter.

For this recipe, the macaroni was put in the milk from the beginning and was simmered slowly. This is in contrast to the usual wait for the liquid to boil before putting in the pasta. After the macaroni was more or less halfway cooked, the mashed cauliflower was added to thicken and give body to the dish.

And of course, since this is mac and cheese, the was no holding back with all the cheddar and mozzarella.

After simmering for a little more, the mixture is now thick and hearty.

One can immediately assemble the macaroni on a casserole dish like this and add some cheese and then bacon on top.

One can also pop this into the oven in order to melt the cheese on top. It depends. But this was very, very good. Macaroni and cheese is this kind of dish that tends to feel dry at times when the cheese is cooling down, but with the cauliflower, it's literally a lot like eating mashed potatoes mixed into macaroni. It's a very new take on the dish.

The Versa also does smoothies with little to no effort. Simply throw in fruits, milk, and honey. 

And the Versa can take on a lot of ice. Unlike other blenders, this turns ice into real smoothies. It doesn't end up like a slushie.

The last item for the day is this banana chocolate chip muffin recipe. This recipe is very unique because it's flourless. The "flour" is the oatmeal that you see in the Versa. The Versa is powerful enough to pulverize oat into a flour like state once the liquids are added in. It's not just mixing this into the liquids (they used yoghurt that day), but it's also pulverizing it. 

Even if you zoom in on this photo, there is barely any visible piece of oat. It literally looks and feels like any other muffin batter out there.

But the results are definitely the opposite of pathetic. We kind of have this impression that flourless foods taste icky, bland, or "imcomplete." But honestly, this muffin is so good that you can feed this to a picky child and not hear any complaints. It's moist, smooth, tasty, and filling. The moisture is reaaally exceptional. It's hard to believe that this is actually fully cooked with how moist it is. 

For those who are looking for good gifts to give to newlyweds and starting families, the Versa is a good choice if you have the budget. 

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