10 uses that will make your kitchen blender more versatile | TribLIVE.com
Food & Drink

10 uses that will make your kitchen blender more versatile

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Your blender will grind your whole spices with ease.
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Blenders are good for so much more than just mixing up your morning smoothie.
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Save on dishes and clean-up time by mixing pancake batter in your blender.
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You can use your blender to turn granular sugar into confectioners sugar.

1. Make sorbet

High-powered blenders can crush through ice with no problem, so it stands to reason they do the same with frozen fruit. Try tossing in some frozen mangoes, strawberries (or really just about any fruit) in your blender with a drizzle of honey. Your blender will whip up a tasty frozen sorbet in no time.

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2. Grind spices

Blenders can grind spices with complete ease. Store leftovers in an airtight jar and use within three to four weeks for best flavor.

3. Make frozen cocktails

Add alcohol and frozen fruit to your blender and make a boozy slushy in no time.

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4. Make nut butters

Buying nut butters at the grocery store can be, well, pretty nutty. For an 8-ounce jar, you can shell out as much as $20, depending on the type. Make your own at home from peanuts, almonds, walnuts — or whatever nuts you like. First, toast the nuts until fragrant. Then toss them in the blender with some salt and a little sugar. Process until smooth.

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5. Make batters

Don’t feel like dirtying bowls, spatulas and spoons for Saturday morning pancakes? Add all your ingredients to the blender container and mix for a few seconds. You’ll have perfectly whisked pancake batter. And bonus! You can pour directly from the blender into the pan, so no need for messy ladles.

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6. Make pastry dough

Using a pastry cutter to cut butter into flour can be seriously laborious work. The next time you’re in the mood for shortbread, pie or biscuits, blitz it in the blender instead. Then tip the contents to a floured countertop surface and continue your recipe.

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7. Grind coffee beans

Specialty coffee grinders are great because they allow you to choose between a range of fine and coarse textures for your coffee beans — a particularly useful option if you’re a coffee connoisseur. But if you’re looking to make a better cup of Joe, using your blender for this trick will kick up your coffee game.

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8. Make fancy sauces

Pull off posh hollandaise and béarnaise sauces at home by adding your yolks and vinegar to the blender container (consult your recipe for exact amounts). While the motor is running, slowly drizzle in melted butter.

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9. Sweet tricks with sugar

Sifting confectioners sugar can cause a mess. The next time you have a recipe that requires “sifted sugar,” pop it in the blender, put the lid on tight and take care of this task mess-free. Or, you can use your blender to turn granular sugar into confectioners sugar. For best results, it’s better to buy commercially made, but for casual desserts at home, this quick tip can save you a trip to the store.

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10. Make whipped cream

Whisking whipped cream by hand can take forever. You need to wait around for the the bowl and then whisk to chill, and then settle in for a seriously boring arm workout. Next time you need fresh whipped cream, pour your cold whipping cream into a blender with a bit of confectioners sugar and a splash of vanilla extract. Pulse the power button until your whipped cream has reached desired consistency.

Article by Meghan Rodgers,
Everybody Craves, CravesLogo http://www.everybodycraves.com

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