Potassium is one of those nutrients your body needs to maintain water balance and electrolytes. Recently, I’ve struggled with water retention and did some research to determine what I could do about it. An increase in potassium was one of the recommendations that I found could help combat this problem. Do you know how much you get daily? I had not been paying attention to this nutrient when tracking my food intake at MyNetDiary, but the reporting ability of this tool allows me to go back and check my habits. During my best week of potassium consumption, I averaged only 35% of the recommended daily value and my worst week averaged 14%. Clearly, I have room for improvement!

I recently bought a Vitamix because I thought it would be a useful tool when I move to Alaska. One gadget to rule them all! When I move to Alaska later this year, I’ll be transitioning into a more self-sufficient lifestyle. I won’t be dropping off the planet entirely, which means I will still have access to plenty of goods if I want to spend the money and wait for delivery (with wait time measured in days or weeks, depending on the weather). But instead I can buy some things in bulk (that I can’t grow) and process a lot of my own foods using the Vitamix.

So what exactly can it do? The Vitamix is a blender for use in professional kitchens and can do everything you would expect a blender to do and then some. I’ll be able to grind my own flours and nut butters, create soups, and juice up lots of fruits and vegetables. In the months before the move, I’ll be experimenting with this gadget using various recipes so that I can dazzle my husband with my skills!

The Vitamix comes with a recipe book for inspiration. As it turns out, the first recipe that I tried also provides a  healthy dose of potassium, coming in at 26% of the daily allowance. What is the daily allowance? It varies according to whom you ask. I’m measuring my percentages at 3.5g per day for the daily recommendation, but I’ve read other sources recommending 4.7g per day.

The following recipe is in the Vitamix recipe book, entitled The Spicy Date, and contributed by Bibby Gignilliat.

Place these ingredients into the Vitamix in order:

  • 1 cup light soy milk
  • 3 dates, pitted
  • 1 banana, peeled and frozen
  • 2 tablespoons raw oats
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon flax-seed (optional)
  • 2 ice cubes
If using a Vitamix, you start at Variable 1 and increase to Variable 10, then switch the setting to High and continue blending for 30 seconds. Don’t have a Vitamix? Don’t worry. The Vitamix is not required for this particular recipe. I’ve had good success with similar ingredients by using a Magic Bullet (a handy device that I use almost daily), and of course a regular blender will suffice. The biggest difference between these three options will be the texture and the time required to blend (which is not long in the grand scheme of life!).

This recipe yields 2 cups, which I have counted as a single serving. It filled me right up and is very tasty to boot. No additional sweeteners required, in my opinion. Here’s the breakdown of nutritional values that I’m tracking (which includes the optional flax-seed):

  • 311 calories
  • 6 g fat
  • 59 g carbs
  • 9 g fiber
  • 11 g protein
  • 893 mg potassium
  • 8 Weight Watcher points
Now I just need to figure out what to do with the rest of my day to get the remaining 74% of my potassium fix! I think some dried fruit is on the menu…

Incidentally, I discovered that the quinoa recipe that I tried last month provides 42% of the daily potassium requirements. Another plus for that dish!