Everything you haven’t realized you can do with a blender

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I once proclaimed that if I had to choose three items to have on a deserted island, I would pick first and foremost my NutriBullet blender. I strongly believe that a single-serve blender like this is one of the only tools you need in life, but if this isn’t in the cards for you, a regular blender will do just fine — as long as you’re willing to accept the extra cleanup time required, that is. Read on to find out all the things you could be making with your blender, and, hopefully, you’ll determine that it’s vital to own a blender.

Smoothies

We have to start with the classics here: Nothing screams blender as much as a smoothie. Smoothies make the perfect breakfast or snack, especially as we near the warmer months. There are so many possibilities for creativity with smoothies, and everyone seems to have their favorite recipe or secret addition. If you need a few ideas, you can check out these spring smoothie recipes or these unconventional ingredients to throw in.

Soups

Though not a requirement for every soup, some recipes instruct you to blend all or part of the soup at the very end of the cooking process. Additionally, cold summer soups such as gazpacho necessitate the use of a blender, so you might as well invest in time for the season.

Dips, dressings and sauces

Some sauces such as tomato sauce and salad dressings are made much more quickly with the use of a blender. Adding dips to that list is where we start to push the boundaries a little bit more. Dips such as pesto and hummus are typically made using a food processor, but if you learn how to adjust the levels of liquid ingredients accordingly, they can be done just as easily in a blender. Simply combining basil, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and a couple of cashews leaves you with a creamy pesto perfect for topping pastas or roasted veggies. Likewise, a combination of chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin blends into a tangy hummus ideal for wraps and sandwiches.

Batters

As long as you’re careful not to overmix certain batters, your blender can save you any unwanted arm workouts that might come your way during your baking endeavors. It works particularly well for alternative pancake recipes that include only bananas, oats and eggs, as well as crepe batters that are required to be thin and smooth.

Oat flour

This one is for all my gluten-free friends out there. When you find yourself yearning to bake but lacking any gluten-free flour, grinding up a tad more oats than the amount of flour you’d like to end up with serves as the perfect replacement for store-bought gluten-free flour blends. Just be sure your blender is nice and dry beforehand!

Blended drinks

With the potential to cover everything from fancy iced coffee drinks to mocktails to cocktails (if you’re of age, of course), your blender can serve as your entry point into the world of bartending. You’ll find yourself never wanting to spend that $6 on a blended iced mocha again after you’ve perfected your own recipe.

Black bean burgers

As someone who tries to eat lower on the food chain but isn’t wild about the options for store-bought burger substitutions, discovering that I could make black bean burgers to my liking using my blender was a huge turning point. Simply combining a can of beans with starch and some seasoning in the blender and frying the mixture on the stove results in the perfect patties. These can be thrown on top of lettuce for an upgraded salad or eaten on a bun with avocado and salsa for a delicious burger.

Now is the perfect time to invest in a blender (in case you haven’t already by this point) because it plays a key role in many summer recipes, and the extra time you’ll hopefully be afforded after finals will give you plenty of leeway to experiment with all the possibilities. While this list is by no means comprehensive of all of those options, hopefully, it explains to you why my NutriBullet will be accompanying me to a deserted island — you really don’t need much else in life!

Contact Beatrice Aronson at [email protected].