Your blender is your go-to for smoothies and frozen drinks as well as pureeing soups and sauces. But beyond the obvious, this appliance has some culinary capabilities that might not have occurred to you. Take advantage of this easy way to cook with some of these delicious options.
You can make your own nut butters (cashew, almond, peanut, or make combos) in your blender. You don’t need to add oil or liquid but you do have to wait for it to get to the right texture. Don’t give up when it turns powdery. Soldier on until it gets creamy! When you make your own nut better, it’s up to you if you want to add any honey, sugar, salt and other flavors and in what amount.
The key to blender salsa is to take it slow and easy. Be sure to use the chop setting so you don’t pulverize it beyond recognition. Start with finely chopping the onion, garlic, and jalapeno, then add in your tomato, lime or lemon juice and seasonings.
It seems complicated, but falafel is really just a can of drained chickpeas with onion, garlic, sesame seeds or tahini, spices, oil and a little flour. Chop all the ingredients finely and form into patties with your hands and pan fry them. They’re great in pitas.
This home cooking classic is perfect for the blender. Dump in all of your usual ingredients, or mix things up by making a turkey meatloaf. The blender finely processes the meat, making for a very fine grain meatloaf that tastes silkier. Bake it as you usually would.
Pour in your crepe ingredients and let your blender do all the work. Crepes are easy to pour from blender to pan. Experiment with savory or sweet fillings, such as strawberries and chocolate or eggs with veggies and ham. If you make them with buckwheat flour, crepes can even be gluten-free.
Frittatas and Omelets
The blender adds lots of air to your eggs, giving you fluffy, light frittatas and omelets, as well as quiches. Stir in your solid ingredients (like veggies or meats) before adding to the pan.
This popular paleo alternative to carbs is easy to make in your blender. Add raw florets and chop them until they are the size of rice. Then cook in a saute pan, adding seasonings and herbs.
Any cake, brownie, muffin, quick bread, pancake, or waffle you’re hankering for is easy to mix up in your blender. If you’re going to be adding solid ingredients like whole berries, chocolate chips, or nuts, stir them into the batter once it’s been blended.
Making your own mayo is a snap. All you need is an egg, a cup of oil and as much lemon juice, sugar, salt, and pepper as you want. Customize your mayo with truffle oil, roasted red peppers, fresh herbs, garlic, chutney, horseradish, and more. Note that the eggs remain uncooked, so if you are concerned about salmonella, skip this.
Brette Sember is the author of The Original Muffin Tin Cookbook, available on Amazon as a Kindle.__