Beyond the Smoothie
Smoothies are delicious. Smoothies are nutritious. Smoothies are a quick, convenient way to jam pack nutrients into a glass. Definitely keep making smoothies in your blender, whether you're partial to a veggie-filled green drink, or a banana peanut butter variation, because smoothies are THE YUMMIEST. But your loved smoothie-making-machine, the blender, might get a little tired of whipping up fruit and yogurt into smoothies all the time, so it's time to branch out and use that small kitchen appliance to its full potential. Here are 3 ideas to change it up with your blender (beyond the obvious choices of soup & milkshakes).
Dessert (!!!): There are so many delicious sweet treats you can make in a blender. If you want to get fancy (yet healthy), try an avocado chocolate mousse! Avocados are good in EVERYTHING but they're extra good in this dessert because their natural buttery texture is so perfect. I bet if you emphasized the chocolate part of the title and conveniently left out the vegetable bit, your kids would gobble it all up and ask for more. It's yummy.
- 4 medium, ripe avocados
- 1/3 cup raw coconut nectar
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Fresh fruit and nuts, for garnish
In a blender, blend avocado until smooth. Add all other ingredients, blending until mixture is uniform. Chill for about 2 hours in the fridge (or half an hour in the freezer). Garnish with fresh fruit or chopped nuts.
Homemade Nut Butter: peanut butter, almond butter, cashew, hazelnut, the list goes on! These protein filled jars of goop can be quite pricey at the grocery store, and while it still isn't cheap to buy raw nuts, once all is said and done you are definitely saving money by making your own nut butter. You're also able to make sure no preservatives or sugars are present in your nutty spreads. To make your own nut butter just follow these steps:
- Roast your nuts on a baking sheet in the oven for 5 mins at a time (they burn quick!) for added depth of flavour (optional)
- Sprinkle with salt to bring out the flavour even more (optional)
- Put a handful of nuts into your blender and a few drops of an oil of your choice (this helps to get things going)
- Blend! experiment with a few different speeds/settings to find out what works best to get smooth results.
- Scoop out and replace with another handful, until you've blended them all!
Pancakes: This is the easiest way to make pancakes. You put all of your ingredients into the blender which blends it up nice and smooth, then you just pour the batter into the pan! This method decreases the amount of dirty dishes afterwards. It's also the best way to add extra flavours (like fruit, cinnamon, chocolate chunks) because you don't need to chop them up and stir them in, you just drop them in the blender and let the work be done for you! To ensure a smooth consistency: start with your wet ingredients and add your dry ingredients a bit at a time. This will prevent lumps and will make things easier on your trusty counter-top appliance.