5 reasons to get your blender out

Soups, smoothies, sauces and more. Here we pay homage to one of the kitchen's most versatile appliances: the blender.

Written by Cameron Williams

I could not get a pina colada in the mid ‘00’s in New York City.

I was there on holiday with a friend who would ask at every single bar we would visit. Each time, the bartender would look at us like we’d burned an American flag. Pina coladas need blenders, and we’d soon discover the appliance was banned in the Big Apple.

Not legally, though. It was mainly due to the honour code of bartenders, but I suspect it was also because of injury; soft lighting, alcohol and spinning blades is a recipe for disaster. 

According to the New York Times, most bartenders consider the blender to be the devil. 

“You’d be hard pressed to find a barman who takes his work seriously who works in a joint with a blender,” bar owner Duggan McDonnell told the Times.

“I worked in one restaurant that did blender drinks and I’m telling you the noise, the whirring, you’re going through blades in the middle of service, and craziness abounds,” he says.

But at home when I am time poor after a hectic morning or stumped for lunch ideas – the blender is a saviour. Plus, it’s hard to mess up a smoothie. 

Get your blender out

The blender comes in many forms: the traditional bench-top beauty with a solid glass jug or the compact ‘bullet’ blender where the food has nowhere to hide (I’ve seen the infomercial on late-night television too many times). 

I have memories of the blender my mum owned when I was a kid, which would emit a burnt, sugary smell from the engine after it ran for a few minutes. Those memories are probably why I’m writing an article in honour of the appliance in 2023.

Blenders are great for a quick meal but like most kitchen appliances we often forget their existence. Do you have a cupboard of shame at home? You know the one, the cousin of the junk drawer, you open it and 100 different bits and pieces fall out. There’s probably a blender in there, somewhere. Dig it out. 

If you don’t own one there could be something that’s blender adjacent: a hand mixer, food processor, or stick blender.

Mix up your blender recipes

Now the first port of call for a blender is the smoothie. And when I hear smoothie, I think: breakfast. The breakfast smoothie is a stone cold classic and there’s so many fantastic, healthy ingredients to chuck in the container. But the problem with the breakfast smoothie is I tend to get bored. But it’s not technically a smoothie when it’s in a bowl, right? Right. Problem solved. 

The secret to maintaining a relationship with a blender is to mix it up while mixing it up. Explore different smoothie bowl recipes and ways to chuck a few ingredients together without all the hassle of having to cook a single thing. That’s one of the best things about the meal via blender recipe, fruits, veggies, nuts and pastes are all ready to go – all they need to do is mingle in the blender. 

Now, speaking of veggies. The truly brave (and smart) among us will venture into mostly uncharted blender territory: the savoury smoothie. When I searched for savory smoothie recipes online for the first time, I was terrified. There’s always a scene in a television show or movie where someone tries a health kick and there’s a green smoothie that ends up going down the kitchen sink. Those scenes seem to have been written by people who have never tried a green smoothie. Savoury smoothies are often packed with protein and can be a great way to get your daily intake of vegetables. It’s like playing hide and seek with vegetables but your body doesn’t find them until they’re in your stomach. Your tastebuds are like, "What just happened?! Trickery!"

Read more: 4 easy ways to eat more vegetables.

There’s also another word for this type of meal: soup. There’s so many fantastic soup-in-a-blender recipes that vary from minimal prep time to a little more effort. Just remember, if you plan to use hot ingredients make sure you have a blender with a glass jar or one that’s designed to withstand heat.

So, I’ve established the blender is great for smoothies and soups but it’s a hero in another category: meal prep. I’ve never been good at being organised, but I can stand in front of a blender and pour what I’ve made into containers for the week. Whether it’s a smoothie or a soup, these meals are often easy to store in the fridge or pop in the freezer. 

The blender is a powerful ally in the kitchen with so much to offer. Unless there’s a cranky, purist bartender under your roof – start blending today. 

5 reasons to get your blender out

1. Quick, zesty sauces

Chimichurri, pesto and salsa done in the blender are easy and will elevate any meat dish from hum-drum to va-va-voom! For chimichurri blend a combination of parsley, coriander, oregano and basil with some garlic cloves. Add a good slug of olive oil and a few spoons of red wine vinegar and enjoy.

2. Give veg a go

Experiment with ingredients like cucumber, spinach, beetroot, avocado, peas and zucchini in your smoothie. Add some yoghurt, milk, and a handful of berries for sweetness and wallah! You’ll feel good all day long.

3. Smoothie bowls

Tired of your smoothie routine? Mix it up by pouring it into a bowl and adding nuts, wholegrains and fresh fruit on top to give it some extra crunch.

Read more: Check out our quick and easy smoothie recipes here.

4. Healthy pikelets in a jiffy

Blend a ripe banana, ¼ cup of oats and an egg. Instant, healthy pikelet mixture that the kids will love.

5. Summer soups

Blend up beautiful summer produce like home-grown tomatoes or refreshing Lebanese cucumbers with some herbs, chilli, salt, pepper and olive oil for a refreshing take on a traditional winter go-to. 

Read more: Check out our healthy soup recipes here.

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