14 Cool Uses for a Blender
Everyone buys a blender with the best of intentions. A homemade smoothie every morning for breakfast, and you'll be fit in no time — while saving money, too! A few months later, the blender lives in the back of a cabinet collecting dust, only to be dragged out for an occasional margarita. In fact, the blender can be used to make a surprising amount of things. So it's time to pull out this often forgotten piece of kitchen equipment and see what it can really do.
It might sound crazy, but you can have freshly milled flour without any real effort or fancy equipment. Just put a couple cups of wheat berries in your blender and let it go. Sift and repeat, and you're done. This method also works great with oats. Instead of buying both rolled oats and oat flour, just keep the whole version around and grind some up when you need it.
2. Almond Milk
If you're an almond milk drinker, then making fresh, homemade almond milk will blow you away. Soak almonds overnight in water and then blend well. Strain, and you have deliciously nutty milk. The fresh version will only last a few days in the fridge, so only make what you plan to use. Since the process is so easy, you're sure to be whipping some up on the regular anyway. Try adding sweet flavors like vanilla and using different kinds of nuts.
Composting is something many people want to do, but don't have the room or the patience to make it happen. If you have a patch of green at home but don't want to turn compost or keep a bin inside, you can make instant "compost" with your blender. Just take your soft food scraps and blend them up, making the leftovers very easy to break down. This is also a great method if you do have an indoor bin, since it will save space and convert to true compost much faster.
If space is at a premium in your kitchen, owning a big juicer might not be an option. Luckily, you can use your blender as a juicer. Cut up fruit and vegetables, add to the blender with water, and blend well. Strain to your liking (you can leave some pulp this way), and enjoy. Be sure to use your leftover fruit pulp for composting!
5. Body Scrub
Not only can you make delicious things to eat with your blender, you can make a body scrub that will make you feel pretty delicious, too. Combine all-natural olive oil, sea salt, and citrus for a refreshing and moisturizing scrub that takes less than five minutes to make. The scrub makes a great gift, too!
6. Powdered Sugar
How many times have you started to make a sweet treat, only to discover you don't have any powdered sugar? Unless you are a master cake baker, it's unlikely that you always keep the super fine sweetener around. Next time you're in a pinch, instead of running to the store, whip out your blender. It will magically turn your plain old sugar into fluffy, homemade powdered sugar in mere minutes.
You probably already know that you can make soups with your blender, but did you know that you can use it to heat up and even "cook" soups? This trick requires a powerhouse blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec, both of which have high-speed blades that build up heat through friction. This way, you can warm and blend soup at the same time. If you've got a regular old blender, then you can still puree soups and make raw soups without dirtying a pot or using the stove.
8. Nut Butter
Making your own nut butter is not only easy, it opens up a world of possibilities. Honey-cashew butter? Pistachio-chocolate butter? Yes, please. Homemade nut butters can easily be made in a food processor or a blender. When using a blender, be sure to scrape the sides often and don't overwork the motor. All you need are some nuts and, depending on your mood, some delicious flavorings.
9. Salad Dressing
The key to a superior salad is a homemade dressing, and whipping one up is that much easier when you use a blender. Easily pulverize ingredients like herbs and fresh garlic, or emulsify your oil and vinegar into a smooth, cohesive vinaigrette. A blender is especially handy for creamy dressings like a homemade ceasar salad.
Treat yourself to some all-natural skincare using, you guessed it, your blender. Combining beeswax, essential oils, vitamin E, and almond or grapeseed oil, this homemade body cream is luxurious and moisturizing. Using a blender, it takes only minutes to make and extra cream can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks.
If you or your kids love applesauce, you have to try making your own fresh sauce at home. Instead of cooking the apples on the stove and then pushing them through a food mill, just throw cut-up, fresh apples along with water and a little flavoring into your blender. You'll be rewarded with fresh applesauce that's healthy and so quick and easy to make.
12. Fresh Butter
Did you know that all you need to make fresh butter at home is a blender and some cream? Blend your cream for a few minutes until you can see the butter solids separating. Let it sit so the butter can float to the top, and then strain off the buttermilk (and save for later use). Blend once more with cold water to wash, strain, and add salt if desired. Add roasted garlic, herbs, or spices to make a flavorful spread.
13. Pancakes and Muffins
The next time you're making pancakes or muffins, consider mixing with a blender. The batter will come together easier and be very well mixed, plus you'll have a handy pitcher for pouring. This is especially useful when making pancakes. Some recipes even call for you to use a blender, like these oat muffins or these buttermilk pancakes.
Have you given up on putting your blender to good use in the kitchen? Why not turn it into a blender lamp? With some careful disassembly and a few extra parts, you can recycle your appliance into a unique light. It's a great way to use a broken blender, too.
What do you use your blender for?
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