July Cooking Tool of the Month – Blender
Sorry I’ve been MIA dear friends! I went back home to Dallas last weekend to get all my things and officially moved into my new home in Austin. So it’s been busy and I’m still unpacking. I LOVE my new place. I moved into a house with two guys who were the old roommates of my close friend. They are super chill and nice. One made a apple pie on 4th of July and the other towed me in a tube on the back of his kayak on the 4th so we could watch the fireworks on the lake. We were literally right under them. It was awesome.
Thankfully the July Cooking Tool of the Month is the BLENDER!! I do not have to have a kitchen set up to make magic happen with a blender. A high-powered blender is really awesome if you can get your hands on one. Seriously, it will change your life! But if you have a regular one or even a Magic Bullet that can work for most things. I have both. I love using my Magic Bullet for making dressings, sauces and anything quick and easy.
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My favorite use for a blender is to make smoothies. I was craving a pina colada, so I made a really simple (non-alcoholic) pina colada smoothie. You could definitely add rum to this if you wanted an alcoholic drink, though.
Blenders are the perfect tool for making smoothies because the small blade spins really fast to get foods super smooth. When you puree in a blender, things get much smoother than with a food processor. The only trick is that there needs to be enough liquid for a blender to work properly. Since the blade is very small, and at the bottom of the blender, whatever you’re trying to puree has to get down to there.
Blenders create a suction down the center, so that everything gets pureed as it cycles up and down. But that suction only happens when you have enough liquid. Otherwise, you need to stop the machine every so often, to shake or push things down.
You can use a regular blender for big smoothies, or a small blender (like a Magic Bullet) for small things like sauces and dips. When you have a small volume of stuff to blend, you want to use a smaller blender to be sure that it gets the suction going to work properly.
Small blenders are also great to take with you when traveling if you want to make smoothies in your hotel room, or if you’re staying with friends or family. My husband and I have been traveling for 3 weeks, and we make protein shakes and green smoothies in our Magic Bullet whenever we have access to electricity.
There are also immersion (or hand) blenders, which are perfect for pureeing soups right in the pot. They clean up really quickly, and don’t involve transferring a hot soup to a blender, and then back to the pot.
Pina Colada Smoothie
2 cups pineapple
2-3 cups coconut milk (as a beverage) OR 2 cups coconut milk (from a can), with up to 1 cup water
2 cups ice
Blend until smooth! You may need to stop and shake, or push things down, while blending. Makes 2 large or 3-4 small servings.
Carob Protein Shake
6 Tbsp hemp or other protein powder
1/2 Tbsp carob powder
1 cup (approx) water
Blend until smooth.
Summer Berry Smoothie
2 cups liquid (either almond milk, or 1/2 cup pure cranberry juice with 1 1/2 cup water)
1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup blueberries
Handful fresh mint
Blend until smooth. The mint is optional, but you should give it a try. It tastes phenomenal! Fresh basil is also really nice.
Adding greens to your smoothie is a great way to boost the nutritional value. I love adding fresh alfalfa or clover sprouts, kale, mizuna, spinach, leaf lettuce, parsley, swiss chard or any other green leafy vegetable I can get my hands on into a smoothie. Start with a small amount and see how you like it. Most people get hooked pretty quickly…
Now tell us: What is your favorite way to use your blender? Do you have any go-to smoothie combinations? Share with us in the comments!
Heather Nicholds is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who helps clients energize their lives through simple changes in how they eat. Whether you’re seeking healthy weight loss, more energy or a boost towards balanced nutrition, Heather will introduce you to the positive and powerful impact of a plant-based whole food diet. Through her nutritionally-balanced meal plans, cleanses, online cooking classes, and nutrition consultations, she can get you on track. She shares her knowledge, enthusiasm and experience to help you prepare quick, healthy, delicious and balanced meals that leave you and your family full of vitality!