If you know me well, you know that when I LOVE something, just one is never enough. So here are my two immersion blenders; the white one (Braun) is very ancient (in small electronics years) and the stainless steel (Cuisinart) one is less old, but not too new. But why fall in love with an immersion blender in the first place? The biggest reasons in my book are: it saves time, it’s small so doesn’t need much storage space, it performs the function of more than one appliance – and it’s not too expensive (although if you want to go top of the line I’ve seen them for as much as $300).
But let me take a step back. If you don’t own one the first question is: what does it do? The wand (motor + blade) purees. It does the same job as a blender or food processor. You can buy an immersion blender that does only that – however, you can also buy one that comes with attachments (like mine). The mini-processor – in addition to pureeing it chops. I was so happy to have it when I was cooking for Thanksgiving and needed tons of minced garlic. I just peeled the cloves from two heads of garlic; put them in the mini-processor and in seconds they were minced for me. It’s also great for chopping nuts and vegetables if you don’t need more than a cup or two. The whisk does just that – but it’s much more effective than a fork if you are scrambling eggs and its easier to grab and clean than an electric mixer when you want to beat cream or egg whites until stiff.
Let’s go back to my reasons for falling in love. It Saves Time. It’s so much quicker to puree a pot full of sauce or soup by plunging in your immersion blender, than to transfer the soup to your food processor or blender and then have to puree it in batches. What about the cleanup? All you have to do is wash the blade. No extra dirty dishes like a blender container or the bowl, lid, and blade of the processor.
It Performs the Function of More Than One Appliance. Okay, not exactly true. It certainly does puree, but if you want to chop big batches of things you’ll still want a food processor especially if it shreds and slices; and the whisk is only for small jobs like beating eggs, making pancake batter, whipping cream. You will still need a mixer for making cookies or other big jobs.
It’s Not Too Expensive. I’ve seen the wand for as little as $13.00 though most are around $30.00. The wand plus attachments can be had for as little as $30.00 though the majority are $45 to $99.
As the holidays approach you may want to think about giving an immersion blender to someone on your gift list who loves to cook.
And here’s a really cool thing I just figured out to do with my wand: Fruit Shake in a Glass
Fruit Shake in a Glass
I love this no-mess treat. Don’t forget: ALWAYS BE SURE THE BLADE IS COMPLETELY IMMERSED BEFORE YOU TURN ON THE MOTOR…otherwise you will have a complete mess in the kitchen.
1/2 small banana
6 frozen peach slices
Coconut Milk (or any dairy substitute) to cover
Sweetener if desired
Vanilla or rum or almond or any flavor extract that you like, optional
Place the fruit into the glass (don’t fill the glass more than half full)
Add milk substitute to cover
Place the immersion blender into the glass – making sure the blade case is submerged (or you will have a big mess).
Press the start button so that the fruit starts to be processed – you may have to stop once or twice to stir up the fruit (don’t forget to turn the motor off to do this and resubmerge the wand when you start again).
Process until completely blended and thick. Notice you don’t have a blender container to wash…YEAH!
Makes: 1 serving