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How to blend (almost) everything

Using a blender seems pretty straightforward—put your ingredients in and turn it on. But blenders are capable of so much more than mixing icy drinks and blending smoothies. If you’ve ever wondered if your blender is up for something a little trickier (or stickier!) or are trying to do a task best left up to another appliance like a food processor or coffee grinder, we’ve got you covered.

A couple of things to keep in mind—remember, not all blenders are made the same. When it comes to heavy blending, or blending for long periods of time, you’ll want to make sure you have a blender up to the task. If you’re looking to make milkshakes, smoothies or icy cocktails, look for a blender that is designed for drinks – like this Wave Crusher® Blender. If you’re looking for a blender to help with other jobs like pureeing foods, go for a high performance blender or a blender that touts a universal jar (meaning, multiple uses).

How to make pancake or waffle batter in a blender

Blender recommendations: Since most blenders will work great for making batter, make sure you select a blender that handles the quantity of batter you plan to make.

A hand mixer or stand mixer will be your best bet when it comes to mixing your pancake or waffle batter, but it can be done in a blender if you’re in a pinch. Here’s how:

  1. Place all your liquid ingredients in your blender jar first
  2. Put your measured dry ingredients on top
  3. Blend for 10 seconds or until well mixed with no lumps

As an added bonus, if you use this trick, you can pour your batter directly onto your griddle or waffle iron from the spout of your blender.

How to blend frozen juice concentrate

Blender recommendations: Go for a Blender with large jar.

Need orange juice in a jiffy? Take your frozen juice concentrate out of the freezer and put it in the blender. You’ll have juice in just a few minutes. Here’s what you do:

  1. Place 12 ounces (1 can) of frozen juice in the blender
  2. Put in 24 ounces (2 cans) of water
  3. Blend for 20 seconds until smooth
  4. Transfer to pitcher and add 1 more 12 ounce can of water, mix well

This is one that’s best suited for the blender. If your blender is large and has an easy-pour jar, even better!

How to make soup in a blender

Blender recommendations: Since most blenders will work great for making soup, make sure you select a blender that handles the quantity of liquid you are preparing. Be sure to follow any safety tips included in the Use and Care.

Whether it’s a refreshing cold soup for summer or a comforting hot soup in the fall and winter, your blender is a great tool to effortlessly make velvety smooth soups.

Cold soups are sometimes called raw soup because no cooking is involved. The blender purees fresh vegetables or fruits with broth, juice or other liquid and flavorings into a delicious soup. Try making a spicy gazpacho, cool cucumber, chilled beet soup or a zucchini avocado soup.

Tips for blending cold soup:

  1. Make sure your blender can handle pureeing fresh vegetables (when choosing a blender, look for one that specifies that it is suitable for multiple uses)
  2. Cut vegetables in 1-to 2-inch chunks to make blending easier
  3. Add enough liquid to help blend the mixture, add more liquid if the mixture is too thick
  4. Blender blades move so quickly and can warm up your soup. If this happens, chill before serving

There are two ways to make a hot soup. If you have a high performance blender, fresh ingredients can actually become hot from the heat created from the friction of the blade. It’s the perfect way to make fresh tomato soup.

The second way to make a hot soup is to blend cooked food into a puree. Roasted cauliflower, butternut squash and potato leek soup are just a few examples of turning hot vegetables into soup. Care must be taken when blending hot ingredients.

Tips for blending hot soup:

  1. Do not fill the blender jar with hot liquid more than half full. Heat and steam can expand and push the lid off during blending and can be a burn hazard if safety steps are not followed
  2. Prepare soup in batches if necessary to not overfill the blender
  3. Remove the filler cap and close and lid openings along the edge intended for pouring
  4. With protection of an oven mitt or thick towel, place one hand on top of the lid, keep exposed skin away from the lid

Remember, you can clean your blender by pouring 2 cups (473 ml) warm water into the blender jar. Add one drop liquid dishwashing detergent and blend for 10 seconds. Discard the soapy water. Rinse with clean water.

Here are a few soup recipes to enjoy:

How to chop vegetables in a blender

Blender recommendations: The Hamilton Beach Wave Crusher® Blender will work for chopping vegetables.

It is possible to chop cabbage, carrots, onions, green peppers, or potatoes in your blender but be careful not to blend too much when trying this ultimate blender hack. You could end up with a vegetable soup … which could be great, but probably isn’t what you were going for. Here’s how to chop veggies in a blender:

  1. Place 2 cups of cubed vegetables into your blender jar
  2. Cover your veggies with water
  3. Pulse the contents until veggies reach your desired chop consistency
  4. Pour the mixture into a colander to drain off the water

Since you’ll be using a lot of dishes in this scenario, it might be better to use an actual food chopper or food processor to do your heavy vegetable chopping, but if pressed, your blender could handle the job.

How to grind coffee beans in a blender

Blender recommendations: Wave Crusher® Blender or personal blender. Avoid blenders with glass jars.

Have you ever gotten to a vacation cabin and only in the morning discovered that you brought whole bean coffee and the place is coffee-grinder free? This could be a disaster unless you have access to a blender. Follow these simple instructions in order to get the best results:

  1. Place ½ cup coffee beans into your blender jar
  2. Blend for 30 seconds, or until the coffee beans reach your desired grind consistency

You can use a blender to grind coffee beans, but keep in mind, they may not be quite as fine as you are used to or achieve as uniform a consistency.

Note: Be careful to prevent overprocessing, you can get to fine grounds (great for espresso, but not great for automatic drip coffee makers) very quickly.


How to make smooth gravy in a blender

Blender recommendations: Since most blenders will work great for making soup, make sure you select a blender that handles the quantity of liquid you are preparing. Be sure to follow any safety tips included in the Use and Care.

Of course, you can whisk your gravy ingredients together on the stovetop but if you’re in a rush or are seeing a lot of lumps, blending your gravy can make it surprisingly smooth and uniform. Follow these simple steps for great results:

  1. Place your drippings in your blender jar
  2. Add a small amount of flour
  3. If your blender has a filler-cap in the lid, remove it to allow steam to escape
  4. Using an oven mitt or thick towel to cover your hand, place your hand on top of the blender jar
  5. Begin at the lowest speed and blend for 5 seconds or until smooth
  6. Keep adding flour until gravy has reached the desired consistency

When blending hot liquids, remember to always take extra care to not burn yourself. If your blender is glass, make sure it’s not cold when you pour hot liquids into it because you could crack it. If you want to avoid making those mistakes, use a hand blender instead.

Note: adding flour to the drippings in the blender works, but it can take quite a lot of flour to thicken the mixture because you are not adding heat like you would on top of the stove.


How to grate parmesan cheese in a blender

Blender recommendations: High performance blenders work great! Avoid blenders with glass jars.

Having guests over for a spaghetti dinner but stuck with a big block of parmesan cheese? A cheese grater will do the trick, but you can save your arm by grating your parmesan cheese in the blender. Make sure you do it right by following these steps:

  1. Cut your cheese into half-inch chunks
  2. Place them in the blender jar
  3. Blend until your cheese reaches the desired consistency

Sprinkle it over your spaghetti and enjoy. Keep in mind that an easier way to get uniform grated cheese is to use a food processor with a grating attachment.

How to blend cookie or cracker crumbs

Blender recommendations: High Performance blenders or blenders with universal jars. Avoid blenders with glass jars. This Hamilton Beach Professional Peak Power Blender would work great!

Want to sprinkle your ice cream with cookie crumbs or make a pretzel base for your icebox cake? Try blending your cookies or crackers in your blender for a more consistent cut. It’ll also save you the effort from crushing cookies by hand. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Break your cookies or crackers into pieces and put them in your blender jar
  2. Process 1 cup at a time
  3. Using your pulse setting, pulse the pieces about 10 times

Blending cookies or crackers is an easy trick, with delicious results. And while you can use a blender to do this, it still might be easier to do in a food processor.

Blenders are great appliances, capable of doing much more than just making your morning smoothie. While a blender might not be your (or our) first choice to grind coffee or mix pancake batter, it’s good to know that your trusty blender can always come through in a pinch.

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