Getting a new Blendtec or Vitamix unlocks tons of new and creative possibilities in the kitchen. It also raises the need for great recipes and tips. When I bought my first blender, I was searching for how to use a blender for beginners, but mainly found recipes. The blender had a manual, so I was really in need of ideas. During the self justification process of spending gobs of money on my first blender many years ago, you’ve likely already thought of the common uses like I did, such as making a green smoothie or making fresh salsa, but there’s probably quite a few things you haven’t thought of. Your new kitchen appliance is capable of making ground meat, nut and seed milks, flours for baking, baby food and much more. These incredible machines will become your favorite kitchen go-to as you learn how easy they are to use to make fresh homemade foods in minutes.
Homemade nut or seed milk takes just seconds of blending to create smooth and creamy homemade milk in your blender. You can make a wholesome milk, like almond milk, that does not contain additives or fillers, and you’ll know exactly what you’re drinking. Just soak the nuts and seeds overnight, using a ratio of 1:2 (nuts/seeds: water), blend until smooth, strain and enjoy. An extra tip: save the nut pulp and add to pancakes or muffins for extra protein and fiber.
Homemade Ice Cream
Your new Blendtec or Vitamix can take the place of old-fashioned ice cream makers. Now, you won’t have to hassle with rock salt or remember to freeze a bowl before you want to make ice cream anymore. Simply place your ice cream ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. For best results start on the lowest setting for 30 seconds and then gradually increase to the highest setting until the ice, cream and all the ingredients are blended and smooth. To make a basic vanilla ice cream base use 1 part liquid milk (dairy/nut/seed) to 4 parts frozen milk (ice cube trays are perfect for this), sweetener to taste, a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.
Blended Creamy Soup
It’s easy to make restaurant-quality soups like a professional chef. All you have to do is blend your finished soup until it is creamy smooth. You can also add butter or cream as you blend to add some extra creaminess and body. If you blend hot soup and do not have a vented lid, make sure you vent the lid and cover the gap lightly with a kitchen towel, so steam and pressure do not build up. One of our favorite soups is this recipe for roasted tomato soup.
Skip the store bought salad dressings full of preservatives! You can make creamy and delicious emulsified salad dressings simply by using a ratio of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil, add a spoonful of prepared or Dijon mustard, a pinch each of salt & pepper and 1-2 tablespoons of shallots or garlic. With this salad dressing base you can be creative and add in your favorite herbs and flavors to make any salad dressing flavor you want to enjoy.
Homemade Sriracha Sauce
You can make your own hot sauce, as spicy or as a mild as your taste buds like. Simply place your fresh washed and trimmed peppers of choice in the blender, add 2-4 cloves of garlic, sea salt and sugar to taste and enough vinegar to make a smooth sauce. Once you’ve blended everything together, pour the mixture into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Strain for a smooth sauce or leave it chunky, allow to cool before bottling and enjoying. Here’s a more detailed recipe from the folks over at Nom Nom Paleo.
Homemade Bread and Pizza Dough
You will be able to enjoy delicious homemade bread and pizza without having to knead dough for hours. To make a basic dough place 1 1/4 cups warm liquid (milk or water), 1 tablespoon active dry yeast, 2 tablespoons sugar or honey, 1 teaspoon salt in the jar and pulse to combine, then add up to 3 cups of flour 1 cup at a time, pulsing until a smooth dough ball forms. Allow the dough to rest for up to 20 minutes for bread, then take it out of the jar, shape it, allow to double in size and bake in a preheated oven. For pizza dough allow it to rest and rise in the jar until double in size (about 45 minutes), then shape add your favorite toppings and bake until the crust is crisp and the toppings are golden.
Grind Meat for Fresh Hamburgers
Ground meat is simple to make and you can rest assured that your meat is safe and does not contain any harmful additives. Too make fresh ground meat chop your meat (game, beef, poultry or pork) into 1 inch cubes, pop in the freezer for 30-45 minutes and then pulse a few handfuls at a time until your meat is the consistency you want. (Freezing it helps to keep the meat from heating up and starting to cook while you’re grinding it.) You can add spices or even vegetables to your ground meat too as you pulse for added flavor.
Fresh grated cheese tastes better whether you add it to recipes or use it as a garnish for cooked foods. You can easily grate hard cheeses such as asiago, parmesan and manchego in your Vitamix or Blendtec, instead of buying expensive grated cheese. Grating fresh cheese is so much easier and tastes so much better than pre-packaged cheese. Hard cheeses easily grate from a medium to a fine grate in seconds; simply chop up the hard cheese you want to grate into 1 inch pieces and add them to the jar (up to 1 cup at a time) pulse the blender, gradually increasing the speed (up to 4) and duration until the cheese is the texture you want.
This tip works perfect for grating parmesan for fresh basil pesto.
Fresh nut butter tastes delicious and you’ll be sure your nut butter has no added fillers or ingredients that you don’t want. You’ll also be able to mix different nuts and make the nut butter smooth or chunky to make the type of nut butter that you and your family enjoy. To make nut butter use 3 to 4 cups of your favorite nuts, if you roast the nuts, make sure they cool completely before blending. Simply place the cooled dry nuts in the jar and blend on high until they become creamy and are the consistency that you want.
Homemade flours and gluten-free flours from oats, rice, quinoa, wheat berries or almonds are much less expensive compared to the cost of buying these flours at the store. To make flour, you’ll simply add 3-4 cups of oats, rice, quinoa, wheat berries or almonds to the jar and blend. Start on a low setting and then increase to high, blend until the flour is fine. After blending sift the flour to ensure a fine consistency.
All Natural Baby Food
Pre-packaged baby food sure is convenient but it can be expensive and you may have concerns about the ingredients it contains. Making baby food is fast and easy in your Blendtec or Vitamix, you’ll know exactly what is in your baby’s food and you can control the consistency as your baby grows; from a fine puree for infants to chunkier food for toddlers. You can blend single foods, or portions of cooked food simply by placing the cooked food in the jar and blending, add breast milk or formula if needed, to create the consistency appropriate for your baby.
Frozen cocktails are delicious and healthy when you can easily blend them up using fresh fruits and ice. To make refreshing and zippy margaritas simply peel 3-4 citrus fruits (2 limes, 1 lemon and 1 orange), and blend with 6 cups of ice, ¼ cup of triple sec, ½-3/4 cup tequila and sugar to taste.
Compost for your Garden
Compost piles can quickly turn to a slimy, stinky mess if you pile big peels or scraps, as compost needs air and structure to decompose properly. Simply place your egg shells, fruit and vegetable scraps in the jar and blend on high to create small pieces, after blending dump your blended scraps on the pile and add wood chips (1:3, 1 part scraps to 3 parts wood chips), then turn the pile. You’ll easily make a healthy stink-free compost pile that you can use in your gardens. However, you may want to use a separate container or jar for this task. :)
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