The Kitchen Appliance That Changed My Life
Once upon a time, being the rule follower that I am, I followed the recipe and attempted to pour batches of butternut squash soup into a blender to puree chunks of butternut squash. This mostly just created a mess of my small apartment kitchen and ended up being way more work than it was worth. Knowing what I know now about immersion blenders, I would have immediately purchased one, however, it took about four years before I actually decided to do so.
I’ve had my immersion blender for about a year and I am a believer! Not only does it make pureeing soups much easier, I can whip up a smoothie in the morning for a quick breakfast. I’ve read that it can also be used for making sauces, though I haven’t tried that.
With the gaining popularity of cooking shows and television channels devoted to food, this kitchen appliance is becoming better known. It was developed by Roger Perrinjaquet of Switzerland and patented in 1950. It was initially used in commercial kitchens and wasn’t available in the U.S. market for home use until the 1980s. The commercial kitchen versions that you have probably seen on television are quite large (up to 2 feet!), but the home cook has access to a much smaller, more manageable model.
It functions with a whirlpool action by drawing the contents up towards the blade when immersed into a liquid. The one I own is a single speed but there are varieties that come with different speeds. The immersion blender is space saving and though it doesn’t aerate smoothies or drinks as well as a blender, it is a good substitute for a blender if you’re limited on storage space.
WARNING: the immersion blender has a very sharp blade so care should be taken while using. I’ve read some horror stories online about people requiring stitches after improperly using the immersion blender. Be sure to unplug or disconnect the blending shaft before cleaning. Never put your hand near the blade while the appliance is plugged in.
On a much lighter note, I use my immersion blender multiple times every week to create a variety of smoothies. My most basic smoothie includes a packet of Carnation Instant Breakfast, soy milk, a frozen banana and a big handful of spinach. Depending on what I have available I will add blueberries, flax seeds, chia seeds, a tablespoon of peanut butter, yogurt, apples or other frozen fruit. I also do variations without the Carnation Instant Breakfast. I try to get vegetables in for every meal and smoothies are a great way to get your morning serving of vegetables.
What’s your favorite smoothie? What kitchen appliance can you not live without?
Amanda M. Haag, RD/ LD