I’m so excited, Rural Sprout Readers. I got a new blender for Christmas.
Okay, fine. I bought myself a blender the first week of December.
My old 70s Osterizer $5 thrift store find wasn’t cutting it anymore. (Yes, it was Harvest Gold, and I loved it.)
I got myself a spiffy Blendtec blender, and I’ve been using it for everything.
It’s a blender, Tracey; it blends stuff. You can’t use it for everything.
I know that, but when you get a new kitchen toy, you find yourself looking for every opportunity to use it. In fact, I’ve recently discovered ten cool things you can do with your blender.
Don’t believe me? Read on, my friend.
1. Make Lazy Lemonade
I think we can all agree that the powdered stuff that comes in a can is just gross. Fresh-squeezed lemonade is always the best.
Well, what if I told you, you could have fresh-squeezed lemonade in minutes without the hard part – the squeezing.
Grab your blender jar. Toss in your quartered lemons, and add your sugar or simple syrup, and away you go. You can make as little or as much as you want with this simple ratio for every one lemon use 1 cup of water and 1/3 cup of sugar.
To serve, pour your lemonade through a fine-mesh strainer into a pitcher; add ice and a few lemon slices for garnish.
When you take it out to the porch, make sure you tell everyone how hard it was squeezing all of those lemons.
You can make the easiest strawberry or blueberry lemonade this way as well by tossing the fruit in with the lemons. This method works great for both fresh or frozen berries.
2. Almond Milk
Let’s be honest when you look at an almond, no one’s first thought is, “I’ll bet there’s milk in there.”
I’ve always thought there was some super, difficult process for making nut milk. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
All you do is soak almonds in water overnight. (Do that part in the blender jar as well.) In the morning, drain them, then toss them back in the blender with fresh water, a pinch of salt, and whatever other add-ins you want – vanilla, a sweetener, berries, or cocoa powder.
Blend the entire concoction for a few minutes, then pour it into a nut milk bag (several layers of cheesecloth will do the trick, too) in a large bowl and squeeze all the delicious goodness out of it.
Just like every single thing we’ve ever handed over to manufacturers to make for us – the homemade version is infinitely tastier.
3. Pesto Perfection
For the best pesto, skip the food processor with all of its parts and go straight to the blender.
Am I the only one that gets their rubber spatula stuck under the blade in the food processor when you’re scraping the sides? Well, not anymore.
I use Meredith’s basil pruning practices, so in the summer, my basil plants are always pushing out massive leaves, week after week. I could easily make pesto by the gallon.
Mmm, a gallon of pesto.
Using a blender makes the whole process so much faster. It’s so much easier to pour from a blender jar than it is from the food processor too.
4. Peanut Butter
If you’ve never attempted homemade peanut butter, you don’t know what you’re missing. I started making homemade peanut butter with a drizzle of honey in it, and now my kiddos won’t even touch the stuff from the store.
And it’s easy.
As in – dump peanuts in the blender, drizzle in a spoonful of honey, hit blend, and walk away.
Homemade peanut butter will never be as smooth as store-bought peanut butter. Your homemade peanut butter will still have a slightly gritty texture when finished. If you’ve bought all-natural peanut butter before, you know what I’m talking about.
The flavor will be so much better, though.
The key to the ultimate homemade peanut butter is to let it blend for a solid five minutes. Be patient and let it go for the full five minutes, scraping the sides as needed.
For flavor that is out of this world, toast your peanuts slightly before you blend them and add a pinch of sea salt. Put them on a sheet pan in a 400-degree F oven for about five minutes or until you can start to smell them.
And peanut butter is just the beginning – almond butter, sunflower seed butter, cashew butter. Yeah, you make those the same way. Bye, Bye Jiffy.
If you want an actual recipe, The Kitchn has you covered.
5. Pizza Sauce
I’ve always thought canned pizza sauce was a bit of a gimmick. It’s basically uncooked spaghetti sauce, right?
Make easy and fresh pizza sauce that’s ready in minutes because pizza night is more fun when it happens at home. Toss the following into your blender and blend until it’s as smooth as you want.
- 1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
- 1 6 oz can of tomato paste
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning (or 1 teaspoon each of basil, oregano, and thyme)
- ½ a teaspoon of salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
Spread the sauce on your pizza dough; no need to cook it first, that’s the oven’s job.
6. Soup-er Creamy Soups
Oh, come on, that pun was low-hanging fruit. I had to.
When it comes to a cold winter’s day, nothing beats a hot bowl of soup. Take your creamy soups to a whole other level by blending them in the blender before serving. You’ll end up with beyond creamy soup that will have you weak in the knees.
Hot liquids have a tendency to be explodey when covered. When processing soup in the blender, it’s best to do so in small batches, starting at the lowest setting and increasing speed slowly. If your blender jar is big enough, you may want to consider blending without the lid or with the lid on halfway, so the hot air has a place to escape.
Again, small batches, be careful. We don’t want another ’05 Cream of Broccoli Soup disaster. (I’m pretty sure there’s still soup on the ceiling at my old place.)
7. Easy to Pour Pancake Batter
If you’re cooking pancakes for a crowd, get your blender out. Even if you aren’t cooking pancakes for a crowd, get your blender out anyway because blender pancakes are so much quicker and easier. I’m lazy in the kitchen, I should know.
Put all of the pancake batter ingredients in the blender and blend.
Ta-da! Now you’ve got perfect pancake batter in an easy to pour container.
8. The Fluffiest Scrambled Eggs Ever
No really, I mean like ever.
I learned this trick from Waffle House many years ago. They blend their eggs in a milkshake mixer before making omelets with them. Genius.
For the fluffiest scrambled eggs and omelets, crack your eggs into the blender and blend them on high for about 30 seconds before you cook them.
All the air you blend into the eggs makes them incredibly light and creamy. You’ll swear there’s cheese in them; they’re that fluffy.
9. Blender Hollandaise Sauce
I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve made hollandaise sauce only to have it separate. It’s one of those sauces that’s relatively simple to make in theory, but theory and reality rarely line up in my kitchen.
I give you the quickest, easiest, non-separating hollandaise sauce ever, my friends.
No double boiler, no whisking until your arm comes off. Just easy, tangy, creamy hollandaise sauce ready to be drizzled over everything.
Like any other hollandaise sauce, prep this right before serving.
Toss the first four ingredients into your blender jar:
- 3 large egg yolks
- ¼ tsp salt
- Pinch of cayenne pepper or white pepper
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Cut up ½ cup of butter
Heat your butter in a small saucepan over low med-low heat until it’s foamy. Blend the contents of your jar on high for 5 seconds; while the blender is still running, very slowly drizzle in the hot, bubbling butter. Almost immediately, it will thicken into the delicious yellow sauce we all know and love.
If you aren’t serving it right away, keep the sauce hot and creamy by immersing your blender jar in a bowl of hot water.
10. Homemade Confectioners Sugar
Maybe you won’t stop buying confectioners sugar from now on, but this comes in handy when you’re baking and realize you’ve run out.
I had no idea that this was even something you could make at home. I have no idea why, but there you go. It just goes to show how incredibly reliant we have become on having things made for us.
To make homemade confectioners or powdered sugar:
In a blender, pour 2 cups of white granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of corn starch. Cover and blend for 5 minutes. You’ll want to stop it occasionally to stir the mixture.
Once you’ve finished, pour some of the sugar into a bowl and run your fingers through it. It should feel smooth and powdery, not grainy. If it feels grainy, pour it back into the blender jar and blend for another 2-3 minutes.
Store your fancy homemade powdered sugar in an airtight container.
And finally, you can easily do your dishes in under five minutes with your blender. Yeah, I know – wishful thinking. Still, the rest are pretty great blender hacks. If you’ve got a new blender, give them a try. If you’ve got an old blender, blow the dust off it and give it some love.