There are infinite number of ways you can use your blender, you can use it for everyday tasks such as chopping, mincing, or puréeing.
You can even use it for making entire meals from scratch. Just about anything you used to do the old-fashioned and time-consuming way, can and should be done with your new kitchen tool.
Chopping vegetables, making fresh breadcrumbs, grating cheese and crushing ice all sound like fun and easy ways to use your new appliance, and they are!
I have included some of the most basic uses for your kitchen, but there is so much more you can do than what I have listed here. This is just the tip of the iceberg!
Use your imagination, use your instinct, heck you can you can use the instruction booklet!
Let’s start with the basics, chopping vegetables. There are two methods for doing this.
There is the dry method, and the wet method.
You can chop your vegetables anyway you want to, coarse or fine, even a paste!
Since this is an everyday task, you’re going to need to know how to do this, so I’m going to show you how to chop just about anything you may need for a salad, relish, or any other ingredient without risking cutting your hands on a sharp knife.
The Dry Method
The dry method is what is most commonly used when chopping or blending just about anything that you intend to cook. Carrots and other vegetables for a soup, for example. The first thing you have to do, is get all your ingredients that you are going to be blending into one or 2 inch sized pieces. The reason for this is the chunks that are too large may keep everything from being chopped uniformly by the blades.
You should only blend small amounts at a time normally one or 2 cups worth or slightly more than is needed to cover the blades. Doing too many vegetables at a time, or in pieces that are too large, will keep you from getting uniform size.
As always, make sure that your container is covered for safety. While chopping vegetables using this method you should run the blender on medium or low speed. If your model is equipped with a pulse feature this is the perfect time to use it.
Depending on the age, and model that you own, it may be necessary to use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and get everything down to the bottom, or out of your jar. Please make sure that your appliance is completely off and that the blades have stopped spinning before sticking your hand in there. I don’t want you to lose any fingers. 🙂
Once you’ve gotten your vegetables to the desired size and consistency, empty the contents into a bowl or whatever you’re going to be storing your chopped vegetables in. This method is ideal for soups, and chopping up your letters for your salads.
The Wet Method
Just as the dry method is most common for chopping vegetables for salads, and for soups, the wet method, is used for many things as well such as baby food, salad dressings, mixed drinks, smoothies, milkshakes, and your holiday drinks. The wet method, refers to the fact that instead of using the liquid, or any other substance to make blending easier like in the dry method, this method uses water to help get your materials blended evenly. This is perfect for salads, lettuce, cabbage and anything that is leafy. These are things that your new kitchen tool will really shine at, and save you a ton of time in the kitchen!
The first thing you need to do, is fill your jar with all of the ingredients that you’re going to blend, or up to the top mark in your blending cup whichever happens first.
Then add just enough room temperature or slightly colder water, to cover all of the items inside the jar. Then cover your container firmly like always, and run on medium or high speed for about five or 6 seconds repeat as necessary until all of your ingredients are chopped your desired consistency.
Be warned though, if you run it too long your vegetables might get liquefied and that wouldn’t be good!
Finally take a strainer or other draining device such as a sieve, and empty jar’s contents into it, you have now use the water method for chopping your leafy greens!
Most modern models, are now able to crush ice. But it wasn’t always like that, so please, if you have a older model, be sure to consult your owner’s manual before attempting to crush ice or any other very hard object. Because older models were not made with the same technology that we have today and if your machine is not made for it, you can damage or break it! You have been warned. If your blender has an ice crusher or other attachment made for shaving or crushing ice of course you can use this instead.
When a recipe calls for crushed ice make sure you mix everything else in the jar until smooth before you add your ice cubes, add them one at a time until you have enough.
Generally speaking there are two methods you can use to make your own breadcrumbs, you can use fresh, toasted, or dried bread or you can use crackers, saltines or graham crackers work very well.
If you’re going use bread, I suggest doing only one or two slices his time breaking into 3 to 6 pieces each and placing them your jar, cover the container and run a low speed until you reach the desired consistency for breadcrumbs, this is another great time for you to use your pulse feature if you purchased a model that is equipped with this option (and I suggest you do!).
If you would like buttered or flavored breadcrumbs, simply spread the butter on your bread or right before you break it into pieces, or flavored breadcrumbs sprinkle your spices on to the buttered bread crumbs, if you prefer cheesy bread crumbs, take some hard chunks of cheese and put them in your blender right before you start blending on low.
It takes two slices of bread, to make one cup of breadcrumbs.
If you’re going use crackers, you should blend about six or seven crackers at a time, more modern models can do many more but remember that the longer you have to run your blender the more fine powder your breadcrumbs will become. It takes 16 regular sized crackers to make one cup of breadcrumbs, and only about three or four graham crackers.
You make cracker breadcrumbs, in the same way that you make regular bread style breadcrumbs. Place your crackers inside a jar, cover, and run at a low speed or pulse until your breadcrumbs have reached the desired consistency.
Yes, you can even grate your own cheese! In order to grate cheese, take your hard cheese out and cut it into one or 2 inch cubes placing them inside your jar. It only takes about three or 4 ounces of cheese to make one cup of grated cheese. With this in mind, put a few of those chunks of cheese in right before you start blending, and run a low speed until your cheese is grated to the desired texture. It really is that easy!
Fresh Ground Coffee
Every coffee drinker knows, that the best tasting coffee on the planet is freshly ground. That is why Starbucks, and many other coffee houses are so popular. But why waste so much money at a trendy coffee bar, when you can make your own freshly ground coffee in your kitchen? Coffee loses that freshly ground taste very quickly which is why you only want to grind as much as you’re going to drink any given sitting.
Your blender can easily process about one or 2 cups of coffee beans at a time. Place the beans in your container and blend on low speed until the level of fineness that you desire in your coffee is achieved.