11 Unexpected Ways to Use an Immersion Blender
Blenders, mixers, food processors and the like get all the hype, while immersion blenders are drastically underrated. But if you don't have one of these versatile tools in your arsenal of kitchen gadgets, you're seriously missing out. They're incredibly convenient and can make cooking quicker, easier and a lot more enjoyable.
Why? For starters, they're relatively inexpensive — which is huge if an expensive, heavy-duty appliance isn't quite in the budget, but you want to up your culinary game. Secondly, they're compact and take up very little space, so whether your current living quarters are tight or you're in a period of transition, they're a pretty handy tool to have. (They're great on lazy days too — no lugging out the blender or any attachments.)
Immersion blenders also cut down on clean up in a big way and who doesn't love that? Instead of transferring what you're making into another appliance for blending, chopping or mixing, the small stick-like shape can fit into most containers, meaning no extra dishes. Afterwards, simply pop off the blender head and you're done. Easy.
There's also the versatility factor — which is one of the most appealing aspects of an immersion blender. The petite appliance is well-known for its ability to totally transform the texture of soups, but there's so much more to them than that. Here are 11 more reasons you need to this hand-held tool in your life.
1. Salsa: Fresh salsa tastes so much better than the store-bought stuff and it's incredibly easy to make at home. Toss tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper (or customize with your favorite ingredients) into a tall, narrow container and blend. Keep an eye on consistency — it can quickly go from chunky to smooth (though both are delicious!). (Roasted Tomato Salsa via Muy Delish)
2. Pesto: Like salsa, pre-made pesto tend to fall sort of the mark when it comes to flavor — homemade wins hands down. But you don't have to have a food processor to make it on your own, an immersion blender works just as well — pine nuts and all. (Fresh Basil Pesto via Pretty Simple Sweet)
3. Whipped Cream: You can totally make this in your mixer, but that would also require dirtying that big old bowl and the attachments, then transferring it all into a smaller container storage or serving container. Whip out the stick blender instead and bask in the glory of light, airy and incredibly delicious whipped cream peaks. (Vegan Coconut Whipped Cream via The Endless Meal)
4. Smoothies: A powerful blender will always be your best bet when it comes it making smoothies, especially ones packed with leafy greens and veg, but immersion blenders make a mean alternative when you don't have access to the real deal. Load up a large glass or container with your favorite fruits and greens (spinach is easy for an immersion blender to handle) and fill with enough liquid to cover the fruit. Move the blender up and down until smooth. (Blueberry Power Smoothie via Aberdeen's Kitchen)
5. Pancake, Cake or Waffle Batter: Avoid lumpy batters by trading out your whisk for an immersion blender. (Banana Oat Waffles via Eat, Create Love by Stefanie)
6. Chopping Nuts and Grinding Seeds: No food processor? No problem. You can chop up nuts and even grind seeds if you're in a pinch with your immersion blender. With nuts, keep batches small for a more even result. For seeds like flax and chia, it's best to work with larger amounts. (Cinnamon & Vanilla Walnuts via Cooking à la Mel)
7. Hollandaise Sauce: Eggs benedict is incredibly easy with a stick blender on hand. Sub out a standard whisk and the sauce comes together beautiful in seconds. Now to master the whole poaching thing… (Avocado Eggs Benedict With Bacon and Goat Cheese via Life As a Strawberry)
8. Fruit Sauces and Butters: Who doesn't love apple butter? Making it home is so easy and mess-free with an immersion blender. Slow cook seasoned apples in a large pot until reduced, cool, then blend until smooth. (Apple Butter via The Baker's Log)
9. Hummus: An immersion blender works just as well as a food processor in delivering fresh hummus with the perfect creamy consistency. (Roasted Carrot, Chickpea + Harissa Dip via The First Mess)
10. Mixing Nut Butter: If you buy natural nut butters, you're probably pretty familiar with the separation dilemma. It's a pain to fix if you have to stir it by hand, but if you have an immersion blender, you can get it back into a smooth, spreadable consistency in seconds. (Ginger Spiced Almond Butter via Reaching for Greens)
11. Mayonnaise: Homemade mayo is delicious, but can be a pain to make — literally. All that whisking can give arms a serious workout. An immersion blender practically eliminates the effort from the equation and delivers perfect mayo in less than five minutes. (Homemade Mayonnaise in 30 Seconds via Easy As Apple Pie)
Featured image of Bamix Classic Immersion Blender via Williams-Sonoma