Your kitchen blender is a fantastic machine for food preparation and can puree, crush, knead, grind and chop ingredients for you to use in your recipes.
However, there are many things that can be made completely in the blender very quickly and easily. Here are 21 suggestions of different types of recipes you can make:
- Milk Shakes
- Sauces and Dressings
- Herb Gremolata
- Spice & Curry Pastes
- Crumbs, Crumbles, Crusts and Stuffing
- Cauliflower Rice
- Mashed and Pureed Vegetables
- Dough & Batter
- Nut Butters & Non-Dairy Butters
- Nut Milks & Non-Dairy Milks
- Toppings and Frostings
- Frozen Deserts
- Baby Food
Choose fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables to make luscious silky smoothies in minutes with your blender. Smoothies contain all of the nutrients and fibre of whole foods. Many people do not get enough natural fibre in their diet. For the health conscious, the retained fibre in a smoothie will help to regulate blood sugar levels and make you feel fuller than drinking a juice.
Smoothies can be made in a virtually limitless variety, such as healthy green smoothies, fruit smoothies and detox smoothies.
Smoothies can be made with a bullet or personal blender, a stick blender, or a bench-top blender. Personal or bullet blenders are designed to make perfect smoothies, but a good stick or wand blender will work well. With bench-top blenders, obviously, the higher the power the smoother the result, and they will pulverise tougher ingredients.
Use your own freshly made nut or non-dairy milk or nut butter to add goodness and flavour
Blenders can be used for juicing whole fruits as well as vegetables. A high speed blender will give a smoother result and there is less preparation as you need not chop ingredients up so much. Blended fruit and vegetables are pulverised by a blender and will retain all of the nutrients and fibre of the fruit or vegetable. If you want a finer juice, use a filter bag or cheesecloth to remove the fine pulp.
Natural fresh juices, such as apple juice, will be cloudy unless you do steps such as fining and clarification to sediment out even the tiniest particle. There is no need, and the fresh cloudy juice is more nutritious. Store bought juices have been clarified and pasteurised and may have preservatives added.
Fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, apricots, grapes, citrus fruits, bananas, avocados, tomatoes and vegetables such as carrots, celery, spinach. and beets. Keep it simple or mix it up. Add berries for extra flavour and sweetness.
Fresh juices will not keep fresh for long unless sealed or frozen so it is best to make them as you are about to consume them. Using a blender is a quick no fuss method of making juice without little preparation or clean up.
Use frozen fruit to make smashing frozen cocktails such as margaritas daiquiris, mojitos, bellinis or pina coladas in the blender. Make champagne smoothies. or a simple fruit punch. A jug of icy cocktails is a great ice breaker at a party.
Make milk shakes in seconds, just add cold milk, ice, ice-cream, flavour or fruit and blend. Make sure your milk is very cold or add ice cubes. Fresh milk will froth better.
A sauce or dressing can add so much flavour and texture to dishes. Your humble pork or lamb chop, steak or grilled fish becomes a gourmet dish. Your basic pasta or salad comes alive with new flavours. Vegetables become tasty and attractive as well as nutritious with a little sauce or dressing. Many sauces and dressing can be made quickly and easily with a blender.
Mayonaisse is easy and quick to make with a blender, whether it is a stick or bench-top blender. Fresh dressings such as thousand island dressing, ranch dressing, caesare, french and italian dressings are so simple with a blender. Add your own twist such as substituting lime juice for lemon juice or by adding your favourite herbs. Make an aioli or tartare sauce in minutes. Make piri piri, sweet and sour sauce, mint sauce, peanut sauce, plum sauce, marinara, pizza and pasta sauces. You can whisk these up and add your adapt them as you go. Make your sauces as mild or as hot and spicy as you prefer. If you have a high performance or super blender, such as a Vitamix, you can create and cook sauces in the blender such as hollandaise and bernaise sauce.
Invent your own sauces or find recipes and hints in recipe books or on the internet. Try creamy avocado dressings, spicy yoghurt, carrot and fresh ginger, mango and lime.
A blender is also essential if you are making pots of your own special cooked sauces such as tomato sauce, ketchup, or BBQ sauce. Your blender can be used both for the preparation and for blending of the cooked sauce. A stick blender is also great for smoothing out brown sauces and gravies.
Fruit sauces or coulis are very quick and easy to make with your blender and can add so much to both sweet and savoury dishes. Try apple sauce, cranberry sauce, mango and lime sauce or a simple berry coulis. Make a sauce for your fondue.
Make a fresh sauce or dressing in the blender travel cup and take to your next picnic or family BBQ.
Whizz up a healthy dip in seconds for effortless entertaining. What could be nicer than a fresh tzatziki, spiced hummus, guacamole or a tapenade served with some vegetable sticks, crackers, crunchy bread or chips. You can even do something very simple, like blending cream cheese with chopped herbs, chopped nuts or sweet corn kernels, a bit of seasoning, and you look like a chef.
Roast vegetables like pumpkin, sweet potato, beetroot, carrot or capsicum make very flavoursome dips: you could even use leftovers from last nights roast dinner. Add some nuts or fresh herbs as you blend, a little seasoning and serve.
Salsa is a Mexican treat that is usually tomato based and often contains onion, garlic, chillies, capsicum and chopped herbs. Lime juice is often added.
Salsa can be made very quickly in a blender and you can make it as smooth or chunky as you desire. Make a smooth base then add more ingredients before a final very quick blitz to create interesting textures. Canned tomatoes can be used. If you have a few herbs on hand you can always create something interesting. Try mango, pineapple, avocado, corn, carrot, onions with your favourite herbs and seasonings.
Salsa can be used with burritos, tacos, tortillas or corn chips, or to add a real zing to meat dishes. Mango salsa is easy to make using just mango, lime juice and whatever herbs you have and is a great accompaniment to cold meats or grilled port chops.
Pesto has been made since Roman times, and today many variations of this basic sauce are made. The name comes from the Italian word meaning to pound or crush; pestare. Traditionally, pesto is made with basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and salt ground together in a mortar and pestle and mixed with olive oil. Parsley and marjoram can be used instead of basil. Other nuts can be substituted for pine nuts.
You can make a fresh pesto quickly and easily in your blender. Simply process half of your basil (or other leafy green herbs). nuts and cheese, with quick pulses. Toss in the rest of the basil and pour in the oil while pulsing. The oil should be nicely emulsified and the later addition of some basil will give an interesting texture.
Pesto freezes well so take advantage of the herbs that are in season or that are growing in abundance in your garden.
Add that restaurant flair to your dishes with a sprinkle of gremolata. Traditionally used with osso bucco or braised shanks, gremolata is made from parsley, garlic and lemon zest. Sometimes anchovy is added. Whether used as a condiment or as a garnish, a gremolata will boost the flavour of your dish, add a lovely freshness as well as just looking so classy.
Try blending,1 clove of garlic, 1/2 cup of parsley and 2 teaspoons of lemon zest. Don’t over-blend, you do not want a paste, just a very quick mince. Vary according to your taste; try using shallots and other fresh herbs with lime or other citrus zest. Chilli for those who like it hot. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Use it on slow cooked meat dishes, casseroles, as a garnish for soups, salads, pasta dishes or any dish that would benefit from a bit of colour and zing. Sometimes a little acid may be needed to balance your flavours, but you don’t want to incorporate lemon juice into the recipe, so try a sprinkle of gremolata.
Add olive oil to your gremolata and brush, dip or spread it on bread, vegetables or cheeses.
Marinades and rubs are very quick to make in a blender. Simply put the herbs, garlic, spices, citrus peel and or juice, and other secret ingredients into the blender, pulse a few times and you’re ready to go. No need to dice, chop or crush ingredients.
Blenders can be used to grind and pulverise seeds, grains and spices. High performance blenders often have a dry ingredients cup with different blades to pulverise and crush hard grains and seeds. Check your instruction guide.
Grind spices and herbs for fresh curry pastes or hot and spicy rubs for meat, poultry and fish with a suitable blender. Almost any blender can be used to make a Thai green curry paste. Make your own curry pastes as you need them, or pop into an ice cube tray and freeze for later use.
Add your own fresh coconut or nut milk .
Use finely ground nuts or seeds to thicken the soup or curry. Try almond, cashew, walnut, or pumpkin seeds.
A blender can make short work of creating crumbs, crumbles, crusts or stuffing, and allows you to be more adventurous as well. Make crumbles for deserts, cakes and slices. Quickly turn meat dishes into gourmet feasts by adding a spicy crumb, or a nut crust.
Stuffing chickens, hams, boned legs of lamb, beef roasts or fish will add flavour and keep the roast tender and moist. Don’t just think of the old fashioned stuffing with breadcrumbs and dried mixed herbs. Use your blender to chop and blend interesting ingredients; fresh herbs, mushrooms,onions, nuts and fruit. Try dried apricots and macadamia nuts added to breadcrumbs for pork roasts. Or use dates and pistachios or figs and walnuts with your roast beef. Add apples and pecans to a stuffing for roast ham.
Make healthy cauliflower rice in your blender and use it instead of white rice or pasta. Cauliflower rice makes a great base for vegan recipes.
But don’t just use your quick and easy cauliflower rice as a substitute for rice and pasta. Use cauliflower rice to make cauliflower fried rice, cauliflower risotto, baked cauliflower and other vegetable casserole, cauliflower tabbouleh, or make it into a dough and make fritters, wraps, quiche crusts or even pizza bases. The ultimate hidden vegetable!
Make a cauliflower rice pudding, using fresh coconut or nut milk. That’s the way to make the kids eat their vegetables.
Make the smoothest mashes ever. Mash potatoes, sweet potato, carrot, or even sweet corn. But don’t limit yourself. Experiment!
A blender can be used to mix ingredients and batters for blinis, crepes and pancakes. The batter can be made in your blender jug ready to pour straight onto your pan. High powered blenders can also knead bread dough.
Some high performance blenders have dry mill jars and special blades for grinding grains into flours. Most blenders will grind grains but if you do much of it, your blades may wear out and it may pit your jar or container giving a fogged appearance. If you want to grind flours often, use a separate container so that a foggy appearance will not bother you when blending other things. A high powered would be the best option, but if you want to grind large amounts of grains it might be worth investing in a grain mill.
You can grind and make flour from whole wheat berries, white or brown rice, soy and other beans, lentils, oats, millet, chick peas or amaranth.
Use these alternate flours to cook with and to thicken your soup, curry, stew or sauce.
The taste of fresh peanut butter will surprise you. Yet it is easy to make in a good blender.
With a blender you can experiment with all types of nut butters, trying almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans, macadamias, hazel nuts, pistachios, or walnuts . Try blends of different nuts. Use roasted nuts to give a creamier result and that extra flavour. Blending nuts to form a butter takes a few minutes, but do not be tempted to add liquid. The nuts will butter up as their natural oil is released. Add spices and salt if desired. Use as a healthy nutritious spread, in cooking or add to smoothies.
Vegetable or fruit purees can also be used to replace butter or other fats in cooking. Try pureed apples ,pears ,bananas, or prunes, dried apricots, dried peaches, pumpkin or sweet potato. Generally use about 2/3 puree to replace the butter, oil or shortening. Prune puree or prune and apple puree work best with darker or spicier baked goods, such as chocolate or fruit cakes.
Make a nut crust for meat or fish.
Remember to use fresh nuts, and freeze any excess to keep them fresh.
You can make non-dairy milks from nuts, coconut or beans by simply blending them with water. Try almond milk, cashew milk, walnut milk, pecan milk, macadamia milk, soy milk, coconut milk, rice milk or even oat milk.
A high speed or high powered blender will give the best results. The better the blender, the better the nut milk with less fine pulp or sediment.
Use fresh uncooked and unsalted nuts, and leave the skins on. Rice can be added to nuts if you want a less nuttier flavour, or a cheaper milk. Soak the nuts, beans, coconut or rolled oats in water for at least 12 hours to make a creamier milk with less pulp. When you are ready to make your milk, discard the soaking water and add about 2 to 4 parts water to one part nuts.
Sweeten or season your milk to your taste. You can use honey, brown or white sugar, maple syrup or agave syrup. A few dates added will naturally sweeten the milk. A pinch of salt is usually added to round out the flavour. Add your own flavourings and spices such as vanilla, cardamon, cinnamon, cocoa, dark chocolate, ginger or black pepper.
If you are going to cook with your milk or don’t mind a little sediment, use it as it is. If you like a commercial style silky milk, strain the liquid through a piece of cheesecloth over a fine mesh strainer or use a reusable and machine washable filter bag.
Use your fresh milk for smoothies, puddings or ice-cream . Add to soups, curries and sauces.
Your healthy homemade milks will not contain thickeners or stabilisers so they will be thinner than commercially prepared milks and there will be some separation. Just shake before you use.
Tip: nuts can turn rancid quickly in our hot weather. Taste to check before you use them. To keep nuts fresh, freeze them or keep them in a cool dark cupboard. The quality of your water can also affect the taste of your milks.
Make crunchy toppings for cakes, puddings or even for grilled fish.
Cake frosting such as basic confectioners frosting, buttercream frosting, royal icing, cream cheese frosting and glazes with any added flavouring are simple to make in a blender. Even whip cream, add vanilla and you have heavenly Chantilly cream.
Toppings for tarts and cheesecakes can be made from fresh or frozen fruits. Add a little gelatin if you like a jelly-like consistency when set.
Puree frozen mango until smooth, add a few spoons of heavy cream or coconut cream and you have luscious soft serve ice-cream in seconds. Add a little sweetener if you desire. Frozen bananas make a delicious ice-cream and you can jazz it up by adding cocoa, vanilla, even throw in some chocolate chips or cherries, salted caramel or nuts as you serve. The kids will all have their favourites.
Sorbets are very easy to make in your blender. Try frozen fruit such as strawberries with a little fresh juice and a dash or liqueur. Buy seasonal fruit in bulk at the markets when it is cheap, freeze and you can make ice-cream or sorbets anytime.
Granita is a semi-frozen water ice with a granular texture. Not creamy like ice-cream and fluffier and more crystalline than a sorbet, a granita is usually made of sweetened juice, such as lemon, apple, mandarin, watermelon, mint and even coffee or chocolate. Traditionally made by making a sugar syrup, adding juice or flavouring and freezing in a shallow tray for at 2 hours, scraping thoroughly with a fork every 30 minutes to break it all up into crystals. With a blender, your can blend your juice, sugar, freeze it, then quickly pulse to a grainy consistency
Snow Cones are a quick way to entertain and cool down the kids. Crush some ice cubes straight from the freezer, pile it into a cold glass or cone, pour a little fruit syrup (made previously in your blender) or cordial over and serve
Use cold or frozen ingredients and do not over-blend or the ingredients will start to melt.
Many bought baby foods contain a large percentage of water and achieve their texture by the addition of thickening agents or starches. This food will make babies full but may not obtain as much nutrient as they should have.
Use your blender to create fresh wholesome baby food in seconds as you need it. Feel confident that you are feeding your baby healthy food without added colours, flavours, preservatives, thickeners, stabilisers or other additives which are only identified by a number.
Almost every baby loves bananas and you can use them fresh or frozen on their own or as a base for a nutritious meal for bub. You can use foods that your baby loves or experiment with new tastes. It’s easy to cook a few extra vegetables for dinner and use them or save waste by using leftovers to make tasty food of the texture that your baby prefers.