When you’re dating, you probably look for a few specific qualities. Smart, funny, tight butt. Stuff like that. Kitchen appliances are no different! (Well, you don’t need appliances with tight butts…but you know what we mean.) With appliances, you’re probably looking for something that’ll simplify your cooking, be easy to store and easy to clean, right? Well, we’ve found you a keeper:
An immersion blender, also known as a hand-held blender or stick blender, is the perfect sidekick for your cooking adventures. More expensive varieties can come with whisk and food processor attachments, but a basic model will cost about $30.
Need a bigger nudge? Here are eleven unique and (mostly) healthy recipes you can create with this magic appliance:
Photo: The SoHo
This is our #1 reason to have an immersion blender: so you can honestly say that your milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, and that it’s better than yours. We especially like this super-simple Chocolate Banana Milkshake from The Soho. All you have to do is mix ice cream, milk, cocoa, bananas and milk with the immersion blender until smooth.
DIY pesto may seem time-consuming given the relatively small amount of pesto produced, but it’s totally worth it! Go beyond the traditional basil and oil combo by adding pine nuts or walnuts like this recipe from Cuisinart.
Just like most sauces and marinades, you can whip up your own salad dressing with an immersion blender, too. Start with a basic recipe and add in herbs and spices depending on the flavors you like. Pro Tip: To make sure your blender doesn’t have any oils remaining on the blades, immerse the wand and blade into a pot of hot, soapy water. Give the blender a few pulses and viola! Instantly clean.
Photo: What's Gaby Cooking
Prepare yourself. You’re about to forsake store-bought ketchup forever. This recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking is too good to pass up – especially because it adds a hint of spice with cayenne and red pepper flakes.
Some people prefer the traditional method of slowing mixing and pouring your homemade mayo ingredients together, but with an immersion blender, you can make your own in half the time. There’s one other perk to making your own condiments: you can control how much salt or sugar goes in to the original recipe – so it can be as healthy (or unhealthy) as you like!
Hummus is a trendy health food for a reason: it’s good for you! Chickpeas are proven to help lower cholesterol and curb excessive snacking because of it’s protein and fiber-rich base. Check out this recipe from Food and Wine to learn how to make your own.
You may be a whiz at making your own salsa or guac, but what about homemade marinara? That doesn’t have to be left to the pros! This Roasted Tomato Marinara Sauce is perfect for an Italian-themed meal at home.
To make your own applesauce, grab some apples, a few cinnamon sticks and lemon juice. Once you’ve thoroughly cooked your apples, it’s a cinch to blend them up with a handheld blender. Sauce Tip: Applesauce tastes best when you use a variety of apples – don’t leave those granny smith’s alone!
“Easy” or “quick” is usually an adjective that describes any soup recipe that calls for an immersion blender. The best part about using a hand-held blender to puree soups is that it’s a lot less messy. Instead of moving the soup mixture from one container to another and back again, you can blend everything from one pot!
Good news: If you have an immersion blender, you can start to clear out your kitchen drawer - you’ll never need a potato masher again! If you’re ready to give this a try, check out this recipe for Creamy-Parmesan Mashed Potatoes. Tip: To prevent your mashed potatoes from becoming too blended, avoid liquid and watch the consistency.
The most difficult part of homemade cheesecake is usually getting the cream cheese to the right consistency. That worry becomes a moot point when you’re using an immersion blender! Impress your guests for your next get-together with this New York Cheesecake recipe from Handle the Heat.
Photo: Handle the Heat