A Guide to Hand Blenders — What You Need to Know
Hand blenders are versatile kitchen equipment that can grind and mash various fruits and vegetables to suit your different needs. Battery-powered or corded, this deceptively simple implement can easily be underestimated as only for blending soups or shakes, but it actually has a variety of uses that might come out as a surprise for those who prefer the more traditional blenders or more complicated pieces of equipment. If you want to know how else your trusty and dependable hand blender can still be used, here’s a list:
1. Puree soups and sauces. Simply immerse the blades of your hand blender into the vegetable chunks that’s cooking in the pot. This eliminates the need to transfer the soup by batches into a blender and back again into the pot to continue cooking. It can also be used to blend sauces and to smooth lumps out of gravy.
2. Blend drinks and make smoothies. From milkshakes to fruit smoothies, hand blenders allow you to make the exact amount in a glass or some other container. You don’t waste ingredients since you don’t have to fill an entire blender, and thus save yourself the hassle of cleaning the whole thing. Fill only your glass or container about two-thirds of the way and blend in! Hand blenders are even strong enough to break the ice for your smoothies. If you’re making milk frothing for your chocolate fondant, an immersion blender (that’s another name for the hand blender) may also be used.
3. Blend baby food. We all know babies can only consume so much and it would be too much to blend boiled squash, sweet potatoes and potatoes in a traditional blender. There would be too much waste! Hand blenders are better alternatives since you can simple blend what baby needs in much smaller containers.
4. Whisk eggs. If you want to make an egg omelet, you can simply crack the eggs in a bowl, mix it using a hand blender before cooking. If you want, you can also use it to whip egg whites for a meringue recipe.
5. Whip and emulsify ingredients. If you need to incorporate ingredients slowly, hand blenders do a good job since your other hand is free for the other materials that you need to mix in. Making mayonnaise, whipped cream and the like are good examples of this preparation. Oil and vinegar salad dressings that separate when placed in the refrigerator may be blended together again using hand blenders.
6. Chop items. Surprised? Don’t be. Hand blenders can chop dried fruit or nuts and mince garlic and other herbs as well. The tall, narrow containers that usually come with blender are used for this purpose.
7. Make solid food digestible. If you simply want to make solid food more digestible for a loved one who may have a hard time swallowing it, then hand blenders are the implements of choice.
With simple hand blenders, you can easily prepare food in a matter of minutes without the hassle of complicated clean ups after. A word of caution before using your hand blenders: Make sure you familiarize yourself with the operation by reading the manual first. Always ensure that you don’t fill containers to the brim, otherwise you’ll have to clean up a lot of splatter on your walls afterwards.