Blenders are infamously linked to the preparation of smoothies. If you have one sitting in your kitchen for this purpose, you probably either use it all the time or every once in a while, for when you feel you need a health kick.
But a blender can become your best kitchen friend, especially if it a high-performance model (we’ve also reviewed some of the UK’s best blenders if yours is in need of a refresh). They can be used to make pretty much any food which has a fine or liquid consistency, saving you from spending a ridiculous amount of time whisking, stirring and mashing.
Here are some of our top picks on how to get the most out of your appliance:
To Crush Ice
Not every blender is capable of crushing hard ice cubes, but the majority of mixers on the market are now ideally suited for this as they are also dedicated smoothie makers (which require ice).
If you want the perfect topping for your summer cocktail (such as a fresh daiquiri or mojito), ice for your homemade ice cream preparation or even want to use it as a filling for an ice compression; you can have it made within seconds.
To Easily Prepare Breadcrumbs
Make your breaded goujons, burgers or fish fingers from scratch at home? Fed up with how long it takes you to actually make the coating? Maybe you never get to finish a loaf of bread before it goes stale, meaning it is wasted by going straight into the bin.
Use your blender to blast it into a fine consistency, and you can then freeze them (just like you can with bread), so they are ready whenever you need.
To Make Silky Soups
Blenders don’t have to be stored away once the Summer weather has long vanished. They are perfect for creating a smooth soup consistency, which is ideal if you aren’t a fan of chunky vegetables or want to fill a flask for your lunch.
Preparing a potato-based soup, such as leek and potato, means the starch keeps the soup quite thick. Be careful not to over blend, or it’ll be a bit bland and watery.
To Experiment with Salad Dressing Flavours
There are few people out there who really really enjoy eating salad, but a good dressing can transform a bland lettuce leaf into a perfect side dish.
Weird and wonderful ingredients can be added, so you don’t have to stick to your regular vinaigrette or worry about it costing a ridiculous amount of money to prepare.
To Prepare Your Side of Guacamole, Salsa or Hummus
Everybody loves dips, especially when you are at a little party or gathering. But they can be quite pricey for what you get in the supermarket, especially if you are a fan of the finer brands.
You can quickly prepare your own range of dips in your blender, meaning it takes no time at all. They’re also the perfect use for that tin of chickpeas or canned tomatoes you’ve had in the cupboard for months, or the avocado that is about to turn overripe.
It takes a lot of experimentation to get the perfect recipe for you but will be oh so worth it once you’ve mastered it (and will save you a heap of money in the long run).
To Make Caster Sugar
Despite the fact that it is basically just a finer version of regular sugar, you seem to have to pay a premium price for caster sugar in the shops.
Be prepared for when you want to concoct a quick sweet treat which requires this ingredient, by whizzing up regular sugar ahead of time and storing it in an airtight container.
To Quickly Make Cake, Waffle and Pancake Batters
There are a lot of components to sweet bake batters, including a mixture of wet and dry which can result in a lot of work to thoroughly blend it all. The good news is that blenders can do all of the hard work.
Add all the ingredients as you would to a bowl and the blender will ensure it is all combined. The best news is, there will be no lumps to contend with either. Then, all you need is a waffle maker or non-stick pan.
To Puree Baby Food
Spending ages creating your own dinner to then just open a jar to feed your child seems a bit unfair. Blending your own vegetables or fruit can be even easier than making sure you are all stocked up, as well as cheaper.
To Prepare Scrambled Eggs Without the Effort
No matter how much you whisk your eggs, there is always a little bit which doesn’t seem to want to cooperate. It can also take a lot of arm power, especially if you are preparing breakfast for a crowd.
Whirring eggs in the blender for about ten seconds will result in amazingly fluffy scrambled eggs, omelettes and quiches. No more excuses to avoid having a substantial breakfast or lunch.
To Whip Up A Fresh Lemonade
Homemade lemonade is a perfect treat, especially on a hot day. Shop bought lemonade just doesn’t have the same feel, even if it is fresh and cloudy.
Simply chop three lemons and one lime into quarters and pop into your blender with 5 cups of water and 75g white sugar. Blend until everything has broken down, let it sit for two minutes until it settles and then strain into a bowl a few times.
You can also mix in a few tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk should you want a creamier taste or add crushed ice for a cold refreshment. You will never have to squeeze a lemon again.