Immersion blenders, also called hand or stick blenders, are known for their convenience. They allow you to puree soup right in the pot - a much easier task than pouring scalding hot liquid into your full-size blender. They're easy to clean, take up very little space and are relatively affordable. It turns out they're pretty versatile as well. (Don't have one yet? Check out our updated hand blenders report for model suggestions).
We searched the internet to find all the creative ways at-home chefs use their hand blenders. Read on for some great ideas and yummy recipes.
1. Fruity toppings: Fruit sauces and syrups are loaded with excess sugar, but you can whip up your own in a matter of minutes using fresh or frozen fruit and your hand blender. Simply cook the fruit in a saucepan for a few minutes and then puree it right in the pot. The topping is delicious on ice cream or waffles. OurBestBites.com has a good recipe for strawberry sauce but you can use whatever fruit you want.
2. Hummus: Most hummus recipes call for a blender or food processor but why bother with the extra mess? You can use your hand blender to blend the ingredients right in the bowl. This recipe posted at AllRecipes.com gets high ratings and rave reviews.
3. Salad dressing: Emulsified salad dressings require blending to get the right consistency. Your hand blender can whip up the dressing quickly and with less mess than a full-size blender. Try it out with the Winter Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing featured on the blog See Jane Cook.
4. Baby food: You can save money and know that you are giving your baby the best by making your own baby food. It's really easy and a few minutes can yield several servings that can be frozen for later use. You can puree the food right in the cooking pot, which means less to wash--a big bonus when the little one is underfoot. Check out these recipes and tips from Parents magazine.
5. Mayo: Homemade mayonnaise is easy to make and tastes so much better than store-bought varieties. A hand blender makes quick work of the task and allows you to whip it up in the same container that you store it in. Give it a kick by adding your favorite herbs and spices. This YouTube video demonstrates how to mix the ingredients properly for the best results.
Other handy uses for hand blenders include sauces, marinades, pudding, pesto and adding froth to cappuccino. Most experts say that they aren't ideal for chopping ice, however.