Pomegranate Yogurt Smoothie. And at last: the Vitamix!

Pom smoothies, Maureen AboodThis past year has upped the ante in a big way for the appliances in my life, and I can’t help but find it thrilling. I’m not a woman who shrinks from a gift of a great tool (for the kitchen, not the tool shed).

Jewelry or perfume have their place of course, but so do pizza ovens and Vitamix blenders. For years I’ve pined after both, with little decorum about my desire (here, here, here, and that’s just on the blog).

Vitamix, Maureen Abood

Getting started, Maureen AboodI have sung arias to my unrequited Vitamix blender, a pro-tool that makes a smoothie smoother and a hummus hum. In 2014, an auspicious year for dreams-really-do-come-true in the life of Maureen, my Vita-dream was realized.

My brother Tom and his wife Amara, they put that baby in my hands after I took care of their baby, my godson, on their first trip away from him. I think they must have known that I’d cry like a baby myself when I had to leave him after being with that boy all week; here was something special to ease the pain (I’m sure they were just saying thank you, but I was in deep) and replace the tears with a smile (the tears kept coming, but I smiled right through them over the blender).

Camille feet, Maureen AboodMaybe my affinity for fine gear is in my blood: when I sat down to one of the most memorable meals of my life in my Aunt Rita’s kitchen years ago, her story poured out like a precious vintage wine. She spoke of her marriage as a teenage girl in Lebanon, to a Lebanese-American who had come back to the village in the old country to find a wife.

It’s not an unfamiliar story, but Rita told me it was going to take some persuading for her to enter into the plot line herself. That’s because her sister (who would eventually become my grandmother) years before had played out the same story, and while the arranged union took my grandmother to the land of opportunity in the U.S., it did not assuage her broken heart for the boy and family she loved back home.

Pom juice, Maureen Abood

Chia, Maureen Abood

Paper straws, Maureen AboodAunt Rita didn’t want to repeat her sister’s pain. Wisdom at such a young age. When the young man courting her came to call, she gave him advance warning (through an intermediary of course) that he better not come to ask her hand without the Bishop by his side. And he better beware this: he’d have some convincing to do.

Then she told me with no irony whatsoever that as her suitor and the Bishop sat across from her and her mother, their litany of reasons why she should marry him included one very important message: her life in America, if she’d have him and set sail, would include an electric vacuum cleaner. With great ease she would go about her household business each day.

Her response: Okay then. I come.

Where I come from, the power of a good appliance simply can’t be overestimated.

Pom smoothie up close, Maureen Abood

Pomegranate Yogurt Smoothie
Makes 2 8 oz. smoothies

1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 cup labneh, plain Greek yogurt, or plain yogurt
1 cup ice cubes
Big handful frozen raspberries or strawberries
Heaping scoop protein powder (optional)
Handful pomegranate seeds

In a strong blender, combine all of the ingredients and blast until the smoothie is, well, very smooth. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds on top, and if you have them, pop in a pretty straw.

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  1. Sean Rami Abass on November 7, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    Hi Maureen,
    that’s too funny!
    How does your Vitamix compare to the new Professional Ninja Blender that I recently got with my wife?

    Thanks for the story and laughs,
    Sean R. Abass

  2. SallyBR on November 7, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    Muareen, allow me to say hello and tell you I found your blog today, and fell in love with it – subscribed quite quickly and was thrilled to already have my first notification of a new post on the same day – serendipity at its best!

    I am Brazilian-American, biochemist, love your type of cooking and intend to spend some of my weekend indulging in your site

    I also crave a Vitamix, or rather, I flirt with the idea of breaking my budget to get one, but so far resisted. Research is a harsh business as far as pay is concerned 😉

    • Maureen Abood on November 10, 2014 at 9:00 PM

      What a great note, Sally! I’m delighted to know you are here–thanks so much for joining in and sharing!

  3. Celine on November 7, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Love this story about Aunt Rita! There was a time I my life when I thought an appliance as a gift, especially from my husband, was pretty lame. Those days are long gone and I bless new appliances with the same excitement I used to reserve for Barbies and art supplies. I recently received a nutribullet for smoothies and it’s amazing! Can’t wait to try your recipe.

    • Maureen Abood on November 10, 2014 at 8:59 PM

      Thank you Celini!

  4. Bill B. on November 7, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    Just got our Vitamix last week. The first thing we made was your hummus recipe. Fantastic machine and a great recipe! Have been using it nonstop ever since.

    • Maureen Abood on November 10, 2014 at 8:58 PM

      That’s fantastic, Bill!

  5. Anne Saker on November 7, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    Love those little baby feet!

  6. Patty Malcolm on November 7, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    We’ve had our Vitamix for two years now. We have a protein smoothy almost every morning. Love the Vitamix!

    • Maureen Abood on November 10, 2014 at 8:56 PM

      Terrific Patty!

  7. Patty Malcolm on November 7, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    P.S. My husband was up in Harbor Springs a few days ago and was so happy to see that the little house behind us will be “taken up the hill”….and repurposed! Thank you!

  8. gourmet goddess on November 7, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    purchased the same Vitamix last december in red , the best investment ever , I make 3-4 smoothies a day with chia seeds, flax meal and hemp seeds and kale and it chews through anything you throw in it , it also makes the creamiest hummous ….. enjoy !


    • Maureen Abood on November 10, 2014 at 8:56 PM

      Your smoothies sound great!

  9. Brian on November 7, 2014 at 11:29 PM

    What a great story Maureen and they should pay you to be the Vitamixer spokesperson. We SO love our Vitamixer too – it’s the “must have” tool for the kitchen. Thanks for sharing!

    • Maureen Abood on November 10, 2014 at 8:57 PM

      Thank you Brian!

  10. Geri Conklin on November 8, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    Great story, I think my grandmother (Rose Abood) hid in the olive groves when my grandpa came to marry her!
    Also my son-in-law bought my daughter a Vitamix weeks ago but won’t give it to her until their anniversary (Nov. 30)…….it’s KILLING her.

    • Maureen Abood on November 10, 2014 at 8:57 PM

      That’s just so funny Geri, Rose hiding in the olive grove! Great anniversary gift for your daughter, too!

  11. Taste of Beirut on November 10, 2014 at 4:59 AM

    Love the story about your Aunt. It is indeed a storyline we hear often, but her attraction to a vacuum is unique!

  12. Niveda on November 12, 2014 at 7:22 AM

    Found the blog interesting to read and informative too. I’m crazy about fruits and fruit drinks. Your smoothie seems to be refreshing and tempting 🙂 And the baby feet pic looks so cute, I’m sure you might be excited when the baby was put in your arms, that feeling I think can’t be described in words 🙂

  13. A. Madhavan on November 13, 2014 at 12:47 AM

    I loooooooooooove the vitamix! I just got one this Summer and I am totally hooked.

  14. Trevor Hayles on November 19, 2014 at 6:21 AM

    Pomegranate is one of my favorite fruits. After reading this recipe, I can’t stop myself for trying this at my home.Thanks For Sharing….

  15. Amira on November 20, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    I love your stories, they really make me smile. It’s nice to have a reminder of the middle east when you live far away 🙂
    As for the attraction to kitchen appliances, yes I 100% have it too! I find my footsteps subconsciously slow down when I walk past a kitchen appliance or a great menu. The other things that have this power are shoes and handbags 😉

  16. Renee on January 7, 2015 at 3:59 AM

    It’s likely to be a long love affair with that Vitamix. I bought one twenty years ago, and it’s still going strong. (I have to admit they are a lot sexier looking now, but you don’t turn your back on a loyal appliance because of its looks.)

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Maureen Abood in the kitchen

I'm so glad you're here! You'll find among these pages the fresh and classic Lebanese recipes we can't get enough of! My mission is to share my tried + true recipes -- and to help our Lebanese food-loving community keep these culinary traditions alive and on the table. What recipes are you looking for? Let me know!

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