Ever felt an instant craving for a banana smoothie with double chocolate scoops and topped with roasted almonds and chocolate sauce? You get the picture. It’s too much of a trudge to go all the way to a cafe that offers it in perfection. Besides it can be a bit too expensive for an on-side indulgence. And, like all restaurant food, it will have extra servings of sinfully delicious fat too. The next step would be to Google out the recipe and make one at home.
Strangely, even after you follow all the steps, there is something missing in the taste. That ‘something’ is the magic of your blender. A good blender not only makes a uniform, smooth mix but some even helps breakdown the elements well for optimum nutrition. Besides, it doesn’t take ages to blend and doesn’t leave a mess to clean up.
But all that was a decade ago. With blenders getting better by the day, restaurant style smoothies are now a piece of cake. In fact, it is not just smoothies but sauces, chutneys, dips, shakes, juices and more. Blenders have now become an extension of your fitness regimen. They are not just another kitchen appliance but your companion to lose weight and live a better life. Here’s everything about hand blenders, how to find one that fits you best and the best recipes ever you can make with them!
Table of Contents
- 1 Basic features
- 2 Types of Hand Blenders
- 3 Breakfast recipes
- 4 Lunch recipes
- 5 Evening cravings
- 6 Dinner Soups and Salads
- 7 Dessert
- 8 Taking care of your hand blender
There are a few things you’ll consider before you choose which hand blender is good for you. The basic differences are as follows –
1. Portable v/s non-portable
While some hand blenders are operated with electricity, some are battery operated. The latter is generally heavier.
2. Blenders with and without attachments
Some blenders come as a standalone while others come with chopping and whisking attachments which make it a complete kitchen unit
3. Varying motor speeds
From 200w to 600w, some commercial blenders can work their whisk within minutes with huge quantities of food while the ones with low motor speeds may sometimes not give the best blend.
Simple non-portable blenders can be generally operated with just one hand while some non-portable blenders are heavy and even come with safety switches which mandate that they be used with both hands.
Types of Hand Blenders
Hand blenders come from low-end-simple-ones to high-end-commercial-ones. Also known as an immersion blender or stick blenders, these allow you to work with hot boiling ingredients as well as cold ice blends. Here are the 4 types available in the market-
1. Basic hand blender with no attachment
This hand blender is available both with and without a mixing beaker. It doesn’t come with additional attachments and speed controls also range in between 0 and 2 and most of them don’t have the turbo option. It can accomplish the basic task of blending everything from soups to crepe mixes and can be used to mix both dry and wet ingredients. You’ll need to keep a steady but gentle up and down movement throughout the blending process.
Check out the Chefman RJ189 Immersion Blender which comes in a variety of colours including hot pink and royal blue and is specially designed to crush ice.
Or you can also check the Cuisinart CSB 76BC Immersion Blender which comes in metallic colours and with a measuring jar.
2. Immersion blenders with attachment
With a high speed motor and additional mixing jars, you can even blend in cold fruits with ease. Designed for people who want quick breakfast smoothies but don’t like to leave behind a mess, this easy to use and clean hand blender can be one of the best additions to your kitchen appliance range.
Check out Epica 4-in-1 blender which can be used for making everything from mashed potatoes to strawberry daiquiris.
Even better is the VonChef 3-in-1 hand blender that comes with a chopper and whisk set and is a beauty in black and stainless steel. Check it out here.
3. Portable battery operated blenders
These blenders are slightly heavier than the regular immersion blenders because of the rechargeable batteries. But it does come with the caveat that you can take them along where ever you travel. A single charge generally leaves with 20 mins of blending time and you can always recharge when you get the opportunity. It is mostly equipped with multi-functional tools with medium chop for veggies, fine chop for cheese and garlic, and whisks for whipped cream. Most come with an interesting set of accessories, which you should definitely check before buying.
The KitchenAid Pro Line 5-speed cordless hand blender is priced at a steep $299 but with three interchangeable blades, it is the only blender you’ll ever need. It has also garnered some good reviews.
4. Commercial heavy duty immersion blenders
With a longer shaft and higher motor speed, commercial blenders are used to puree large quantities of food quickly at restaurants. Or you could buy one if you love hosting parties frequently or need it for annual events. From mashing 10 pounds of pinto beans in 5 minutes to mixing for making soap on a large scale, most commercial blenders have very powerful motors. Check out the Waring WSB50 blender with a 10 gallon capacity which is available right up to 50 Gallons. It’s a powerhouse of strength that can get through the biggest and toughest blends of soups and salsa in minutes.
If you have picked up a blender, it is time to start testing it out. Propagating a blender as a fitness aid is probably an underhand technique. The blender that purees soups is also the one that mixes the cake batter. So how you use it depends entirely on your tastes. The one thing we can tell you for sure is that you’ll have a reason to use your blender right from breakfast to dinner and even dessert afterwords. This is one equipment that’ll come really handy for both sweet and savory dishes.
Here’s a list of dishes you can get started with-
Get the healthiest ingredients out of your fridge or straight from the market and blend away. Raw, fresh fruits and veggies make the best breakfast smoothies. Here are some quick ideas-
Almond, coconut milk and peanut butter – whisk away!
- Blueberries, spinach and a dash of honey for topping
- Strawberry, banana, oatmeal and low-fat milk. We wouldn’t mind a dash of whipped cream for topping on a day you are feeling indulgent
Here’s one recipe that’ll be the favourite for the entire family
Peanut butter and Jelly smoothie
You’ll need to blend in all of this
- 1 cup frozen berries
- 1 tablespoon all-natural peanut butter
- a scoop Vanilla Bean, Designer Whey Sustained Energy
- 2 tablespoons rolled oats
- 1 cup soy milk
Greek yogurt orange protein smoothie
This is a post workout smoothie that is super healthy and even tastes 50/50 like ice cream!
- 2 medium seedless tangerines or mandarin oranges
- 1 frozen banana, peeled and sliced prior to freezing
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- to taste stevia, honey, or coconut syrup
- 1/2 serving vanilla protein powder (optional)
- small handful ice cubes
You’ll need to blend in all ingredients and top it up with stevia.
Mushroom Marinara sauce
This Italian sauce is a great addition to any pasta or chicken dish and even top off your spaghetti and lasagna with it. The recipe comes from Natasha’s kitchen here.
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onions, (about 1 1/2 cups) finely chopped
- 6 medium garlic cloves, pressed
- 6 medium tomatoes, diced
- 2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes (Italian style)
- 1 cup Red Wine (Soft Red, or Cabernet Sauvignon, most red wines will do)
- 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt, or 3/4 Tbsp Sea Salt (started with 1/2 Tbsp sea salt)
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1 lb fresh mushrooms, rinsed, dried, sliced
- 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
Way to make it
Saute onions and garlic. Add the wine, Italian seasoning, kosher salt, red pepper cook and blend. This requires a coarse blend. Add onions, garlic and any other topping you want and cook until the sauce thickens!
Lazy Day Salsa
Use up all the tomatoes in your fridge to create this amazing yet simple Lazy Day Salsa by GrowItCookItCanIt.
- 12 c. roughly chopped cherry tomatoes
- 3 c. diced onions
- 1 c. tightly packed chopped cilantro
- 15 cloves of roughly chopped garlic
- 6 fresh cayenne chillis (or whatever you have)
- 3/4 c. apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 c. fresh lime juice
- 1 tbs. sea salt
Cook all the ingredients in a heavy bottomed pan for 20 minutes and blend into a smooth paste using an immersion blender. Then cook for another 20 mins. You can also leave it a little chunky if you like.
For those hunger pangs that strike around 4PM, it is easy to grab a packet of potato chips or reach for the chocolate chip cookie jar. Instead try this Blueberry Lemon Dutch Baby by Hungry Girl Por Vida.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 eggs
- 2/3 cup flour
- 2/3 cup milk
- zest from 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the blueberry topping:
- 1 cup blueberries, frozen is fine
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- 3-4 tablespoons sugar
Blend the eggs, flour, milk zest and vanilla using an immersion blender. Pour the batter on an iron skillet or in a hot over and let it cook/bake. Top it with blueberries and whipped cream.
Get the full recipe here.
Dinner Soups and Salads
Dinner is the best time to eat a light and healthy meal. Try these tonight-
Curried pumpkin and coconut soup by Naturally Ella is super good. Get it here.
You can also try a traditional Gazpacho with a hint of basil by following In Sock Monkeys Slippers
Our recipe list just can’t end without a perfect dessert. Try this dairy-free banana ice cream by Life Your Way. It is a one-ingredient banana ice cream which will put your hand blender to perfect use.
Taking care of your hand blender
Now that you have inaugurated your blender and prepared some interesting dishes, it is time to clean and keep it ready for next use. Most hand blenders are dish washer safe so you can directly load it up to get clean. You can immerse the blender in hot water for a few minutes to loosen the food particles. You can then use regular dish washing soap to clean the blades.
The top half of the blender can’t be cleaned under running water. You can simply wipe it with cloth and give it a rub with vinegar to keep it clean.
The small gap around the buttons and the parts where the different points join often have dirt that can’t be cleaned easily. To clean this, you can dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and give it a good scrub.
Last but not the least, wrap up the electrical cord properly or remove the batteries during storage.