15 Surprising Blender Hacks

15 Surprising Blender Hacks

Think blenders are just for soups and smoothies? Think again. From homemade butter to savory chana masala, we show you how to shake up your blending routine. Sponsored by the new KitchenAid® K400 Blender.

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Sponsored by KitchenAid and the new KitchenAid® K400 blender.

A confession: For years, I had a very boring blender life. Sure, there’d be routine purées and, if the mood was right, a spontaneous smoothie. But mostly the blender sat, lonely and neglected, on the countertop.

I longed for something more, and my search opened up a world of exciting — even exotic — possibilities I’d never imagined. The blender I’d always taken for granted could make amazing things: sinfully rich ice cream, fragrant chana masala, homemade butter, and so much more.

Of course, as in most relationships, there were annoying little problems. I mean blenders won’t clean themselves, will they? Well, actually, they will.

So if your blender life isn’t as thrilling as it could be, try some of these surprising hacks. You’ll fall in love all over again.

Easy blender jar cleaning

Here’s my favorite hack right off the top, because I really did hate cleaning the blender jar. All you have to do is pour in a cup of hot water, add one drop of dish soap, run the blend cycle once, rinse, dry and voila — a clean jar.

Who needs an ice cream maker?

If you’ve ever used an ice cream maker, you probably had to blend the ingredients before you could churn them. But you really don’t need the extra appliance — your blender can do the job all by itself. This Healthy No-Churn Fruit Sorbet by KitchenAid is a naturally sweetened treat made from fruit and agave. Chunky Monkey "Nice" Cream by Beneath My Heart is made with frozen bananas, so it’s ready to eat right out of the blender. And if you want to go all out with classic ice cream, try this Blender Chocolate Ice Cream by Craftsy.

Healthy No-Churn Fruit Sorbet

Cut your prep time in half (and avoid clogged blades)

If you have a regular blender, think about getting a high-powered one. It’s like switching from an economy car to a Maserati. There’s less prep work because you don’t have to chop food. Even apples and raw carrots just need to be quartered. And you can toss in all your ingredients at once — without clogging the blades.

Cheesecake in a blender? Yes!

This protein-rich Lightly Lemony Blender Cheesecake is out of this world, and you can make both the cake and graham cracker crust in your blender. The creamy batter is dense though, so the recipe works best with a power blender.

Lightly Lemony Blender Cheesecake.00 00 00 00.Still002

Muffins from scratch — including the flour

Gluten Free Apple Spice Blender Muffins by KitchenAid are crazy healthy, and everything — including the made-from-scratch, gluten-free oat flour — is easy to whip up in your blender. The muffins are moist and delicious, and the aroma of cinnamon and apples is irresistible.

Gluten Free Apple Spice Blender Muffins

A green veggie your kids will clamor for

Getting kids to love spinach is something even Popeye couldn’t quite swing, but this Beginner's Luck Green Smoothie is a game-changer. The secret? Pineapple, mango, and banana transform spinach into a sweet treat they’ll love.

Beginner's Luck Green Smoothie

Labor-intensive Chana Masala — without the labor

This traditional dish is eaten everywhere in India and for every occasion, from street-side snacking to formal ceremonies. It’s made from chickpeas and a complex blend of fragrant spices, which has typically meant a lot of prep work. But this Easy Indian Chana Masala by KitchenAid streamlines the whole process.

Easy Indian Chana Masala

Homemade butter — no churn needed

Until I had house-made butter at a French bistro in Los Angeles, I had no idea there was something missing from my life. But once you experience the fresh, clean taste, you may never go back to store-bought. This 5-Minute Blender Butter by Savory Experiments uses nothing but heavy cream, salt, and ice water, and as the name implies, it’s quick and easy to prepare.

5-Minute Blender Butter

No-cook pasta sauce

Tomato sauce is another food that’s light years better when it’s homemade, but preparing it from scratch not only means chopping and sautéing, but simmering and stirring for hours. Fortunately, it only takes five minutes to prepare this Raw Marinara Sauce by Veggies Don’t Bite in your blender. It’s super-healthy and delicious, and goes well with almost any pasta (or carb-free zucchini spirals).

Raw Marinara Sauce

Make your own cough syrup

Most commercial cough syrups contain a lot of unpronounceable ingredients that you might want to avoid, but nutrient-rich All Natural DIY Pineapple Cough Syrup by The View From Great Island is made with only fresh pineapple and ginger, honey, cayenne pepper, and lemon. Remember, it can be very effective, but it’s not meant to replace the advice of a doctor.

All Natural DIY Pineapple Cough Syrup

Super healthy body butter

Like food, beauty products are often loaded with chemicals and preservatives that are absorbed through the skin. But this easy-to-prepare Citrus Body Butter is made from skin-nourishing coconut oil, scented with lemon and orange.

Citrus Body Butter

And 4 More Quickie Hacks …

  • Beat eggs in your blender for the fluffiest scrambles you’ve ever seen.
  • Whirl up a wicked foam topping for lattes by blending milk into a froth.
  • Prepare rich, delicious, homemade whipped cream.
  • Grate parmesan cheese in the blender: Just cut into chunks and whir.