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Blender Helper
Over the years I have developed several tricks that I use regularly when working with the blender.
My first discovery was during the repeated task of blending things that needed to be very smooth. The blender can be very versatile especially if you are lucky enough to have a Vitamix. The Vitamix is very powerful and can literally puree a brick. If you have the model with the variable speed control you can do things no other blender will do. FYI, I might have found the world's first $165 alternative to the vitamix. However I have to test it myself before I can recommend it to you. Keep your eyes on this site for future news. (Wouldn’t that be amazing?) Anyway back to blending. So, to blend things very smooth I have two basic tricks.
# 1 Solids First
Put all your solids in first with minimal liquid. Take a creamy tomato soup for instance: put in the blender the sun dried tomato, whole fresh tomato, bell pepper, chopped celery, olive oil and any herbs or spices required and blend till you have a smooth Tomato cream.

Now add the rest of the water and bend it into a perfect soup.

The same goes with a nut-milk. Put in the nuts, Agave, Vanilla, Salt and about ¼ of the required water. Blend that smooth and then add the rest of the water. This works because it keeps everything down in the blades maximizing the blending effect. It will become creamy faster and require less blending time as well. If you have a blender completely full of liquid the currents can carry things around inside the blender allowing many smaller bits to avoid the blades leaving some grit or even chunks.

# 2 Presoaking.
If you do not have a Vitamix or another powerful blender you can combine all the ingredients together and let it soak beforehand. Leave it in the refrigerator for about 4 to 6hours then give it a blend. This is especially effective with recipes that call for dried fruits and/or nuts. For instance in the nut-milk: soak the macadamia nuts, Dates, Vanilla, Sea Salt and ¼ of the water for 4 or 5hrs. Then add it to the blender and blend into a smooth cream.
Now add the rest or the water and a spoon of coconut butter and finish blending. This will give you a prefect creamy nut-milk with no chunks. This works great if you combine everything in the morning just as you head off to work. When you get home blend as I just discribed and voila, cold creamy nut milk. You can also soak everything at night and do your blending in the morning for a cold refreshing morning wakeup drink. Add some fruit and/or berries for an outrageous smoothie.
Another of my favorite tricks with the blender is to create chunky soups or sauces. I do this by first blending my soups or sauces saving half the veggies and herbs off to the side. Once I have everything smooth and creamy add the rest of the liquid and the rest of the veggies and herbs. Now run the blender very slow, just enough to chop the fresh ingredients into the recipe without blending them in. Now all the flavors are in the base and you have bits and chunk of stuff to bite into giving the end product a more complex texture and flavor sensation.
Try these simple yet very effective tricks on some of your old favorites and see what happens. You may feel like you are having something completely new!
Till next week!
Raw Chef Dan



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