Introducing what could become your favorite new kitchen gadget: your blender!!
What? That's not new? Oh right. Well, how about your blender as a Ninja/Bullet/whatever small individual-sized mixer thing they are selling these days, but without any extra clutter or investment?
Not possible, you say. My blender isn't that useful except for shakes and smoothies, you say. It's only worth using when I'm making a large batch, you say.
I say wrong! And you only need add one little thing that I'm willing to bet you already have on hand:
Yep, that's right. A jar. I can see you are skeptical. So, if you are at home (reading on your phone while you hide from your kids in the bathroom - no judging here!), go to your kitchen and find a pint canning jar. Don't worry, I'll wait. Now, go get the collar, rubber seal, and the blades for your blender - we won't need the carafe today. .......
|Please don't look too closely at the state of my blades. I got a little carried away plunging leaves of spinach down in the carafe with a spoon while the blades were spinning. And yes, I did it more than once... :-/|
Now, screw the blender stuff onto the top of your pint jar - I bet you that it fits, huh? (And at this point, if it doesn't, I humbly apologize for getting your hopes up. It works on my Oster blender, and I've heard reports it works for other brands, too. I wish you the best of luck! Also, I am guessing that this would also work with a narrow mouth quart-size Mason jar or even the half pint canning jars since they can both share lids with the pint jars, but as I don't have any on hand, I can't tell you. If you try it, let me know!)
**I was inspired to use Mason jars for the blender way back in 2009 in this post by long-time internet friend Jackie over at Blessings Overflowing, but (irresponsibly) I didn't find it right away to link back to it in this post. What I didn't know is that she recently posted about it again with some beautiful pictures of how she uses this trick still today. Thanks Jackie!**
Okay, so you have a mini, one serving blender jar you can easily stick in the dishwasher without it taking up tons of space like the normal one. Now, what can you do with it?
Well how about a no waste protein shake?
Take a scoop of protein powder, add 5 ice cubes, a generous 2 tablespoon scoop of peanut butter, and fill to the shoulder of the jar with milk. Screw the blades and collar on properly - don't forget the rubber seal between the glass and the blades plate - nice and snug.
|It helps to put the seal and then the blade plate on first, |
and then screw the collar on after that.
Now turn it upside down and place in your blender base as you normally would. Because your jar has no little "ears" on the bottom to secure it in place with the base, you will want to hold your jar to keep it from spinning around.
Finally, hit the "Blend" button and let it whir for 15-30 seconds until all the ice is chopped up and the shake is mixed well. Turn it off, take it out, turn it over, remove the collar and then the blade plate and seal (that part is a little messy).
TaDa!! Your own individual sized protein shake in a drinking jar! Nothing to pour out of, no wasted shake at the bottom of the carafe, and no spilling down the sides (well, unless you are clumsy drinker like I am sometimes)!
Mix things up by adding 1/3-1/2 of a chunked banana. Or substitute cold-brew coffee for the peanut butter for a protein mocha frappe. Mmmmm.
"So what! I don't drink protein shakes! This isn't revolutionary for me!"
Except we aren't done yet! (Do I sound like an infomercial yet??) Does your family like smoothies? Do they like different things in their smoothies?
Welcome to your own easy smoothie bar!!
1/3 banana (fresh or frozen) in smallish chunks
1/4-1/2 cup fresh or frozen fruit (Our favorite options here are frozen pineapple and mango chunks, mixed berries, strawberries, and blueberries.)
Liquid - water, milk, almond milk, juice, etc. Add last, no higher than the shoulder of the jar. About 1/2-3/4 cup seems plenty for us.
A pinch of fresh spinach leaves - with 1/4 cup of frozen fruit and no ice cubes, you should have plenty of room to go green with up to a half cup of spinach or kale.
2-3 tablespoons yogurt (or not if you want to go dairy-free)
5 or so ice cubes (if you like that texture and you are only using fresh fruits and veggies)
|This recipe is 1/3 banana, 3 Tbsp Greek yogurt, 4 large frozen strawberries, |
1/4 cup frozen pineapples and mangos, 1/4 cup fresh spinach leaves, and 1/2 cup water.
|A yummy "pink" smoothie at my daughter's special request! :-)|
Need justification past shakes and smoothies?
How about dressing mixes? Perfect size for a quick ranch style or even a vinaigrette. Make your own sauces, and add a lid and it has its own storage.
Want an omelette or some fluffy scrambled eggs? Crack up to 5 eggs, add a splash of milk, whip on the blender for a ten count, and there ya go! Add extra ingredients after for an omelette, or cook as is for scrambled.
At this rate, you can even use your blender as a mini food processor! Just use the pulse setting.
Chop some nuts for a recipe.
Pulverize some quick oats for creamy instant oatmeal.
You get the picture...
For years my blender sat neglected because I hated cleaning that great big carafe. Or I felt like I was wasting so much making just a small serving, but with so much left at the bottom and under the blades. And now, we use it daily - multiple times many days. Even Hubster puts his own experiment recipes together with ease, and all he has to show for it is a single dirty little jar.
So, go crazy with your "new" gadget! What things can you use this trick for?
Linking up at Mom on Timeout and We are THAT Family.