What to Use Instead of a Food Blender
A blender can be a trusty side-kick in the kitchen, but a handful of other kitchen appliances can help carry the load when your blender isn’t accessible. Read on to learn more about alternative appliances and methods for preparing everything from soups and salad dressings to crushed ice and smoothies.
4 FOOD BLENDER ALTERNATIVES
Blenders are renowned for their ability to crush, liquify and puree fruits, vegetables, ice and a variety of other ingredients. Read the list below to discover what to use instead of a blender, whether it’s for your go-to morning smoothie or signature sauce prep.
1. FOOD PROCESSOR
Like blenders, food processors work well for creating pureed dips like beet hummus and emulsifying dressings like dijon vinaigrette dressing. Though food processors aren’t typically up to the task of crushing ice or liquifying ingredients the way blenders do, many come equipped with a variety of interchangeable blades that can slice, shred and chop ingredients into consistent shapes and sizes.
2. HAND BLENDER
Sometimes called an immersion blender, hand blenders are handheld tools that can be inserted into anything from a smoothie jar to a stock pot to blend the contents. Like a countertop blender, hand blenders can have various speeds to blend or puree a variety of foods with ease. Some hand blenders—like this model from KitchenAid brand—come with additional attachments that can also whip or chop ingredients. While a countertop blender’s capacity is limited, hand blenders can work with your ingredients in any size vessel to tackle small or large batches with precision. Learn more about using an immersion blender.
3. STAND MIXER WITH ATTACHMENTS
Stand mixers may not come to mind when you think of blender substitutes, but they’re often compatible with attachments that can mimic a blender’s capabilities. The KitchenAid® Fruit and Vegetable Strainer Attachment, for instance, can create smooth sauces and purees for recipes like green bean and pea puree or spiced pear and caramelized shallot jam. KitchenAid® stand mixers are also compatible with the KitchenAid® Shave Ice Attachment1 that can create light and fluffy ice shavings for a range of frozen desserts.
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4. KITCHEN TOOLS
Common kitchen tools can sometimes be a sufficient blender substitute when you don’t have access to handheld or countertop appliances. Tools like rolling pins, a masher or a mortar and pestle can be used to mash or puree soft ingredients like ripe fruit, or help you crush ice in a pinch. Keep in mind that blending or crushing ingredients by hand may be more time consuming and achieve less consistent results than appliance alternatives.
HOW CAN I BLEND FRUIT WITHOUT A BLENDER?
Tools like KitchenAid® food processors, food choppers and hand blenders can transform fruits into smooth and mouth watering dishes like watermelon gazpacho or mango lassi. When using a food processor or food chopper, be sure to cut large fruits into small chunks and leave room in the work bowl for fruit to move. If you don’t have access to countertop appliances that can blend, you can mash soft, ripe fruits into a blended consistency using a masher, rolling pin or firm spoon inside of a dish or on a cutting board.
WHAT CAN I USE INSTEAD OF A BLENDER FOR SMOOTHIES?
Kick-starting your day with a tropical smoothie or green smoothie bowl may feel impossible without a blender, but other countertop appliances can get the job done. You can make a creamy blend in a food processor by first adding leafy greens, then fruit, then topping ingredients off with health boosters like chia or flax seeds, sweeteners and the liquid base. Just be sure you don’t overstuff the work bowl and rough chop large fruits and broad leaves before you add them. Hand blenders like these from KitchenAid brand are ideal for single-serve smoothies that can be made right in your glass.
HOW CAN I CRUSH ICE WITHOUT A BLENDER?
You can crush small amounts of ice using a hand blender or using by-hand methods like filling a Ziploc bag halfway with water, then sealing it, freezing it and using a rolling pin back and forth to break up the ice until it’s reached your desired consistency. While blenders like the KitchenAid® K150 3 Speed Ice Crushing Blender include an ice crushing feature that makes quick work of creating ice chips, other appliances can also offer solutions. KitchenAid® stand mixers, for instance, are compatible with the KitchenAid® Shave Ice Attachment1 that can create a light and fluffy shaved ice or a more coarse texture for a variety of beverages or desserts.
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CAN I PUREE BY HAND?
Creamy purees like homemade pumpkin and sweet potato puree can create a rich base for soups, coulis, baby food and more. While it may be difficult to achieve a consistently smooth and creamy texture by hand, you can take some steps to create purees using a few kitchen tools. Soften and finely chop ingredients first, then try using a mortar and pestle, masher or the back of a spoon or fork to create a paste. You can also add ingredients to a bag and roll them with a rolling pin until they reach a paste-like consistency. Then, use the back of a spoon to push ingredients through a fine-mesh sieve for smoother and more uniform results.
EXPLORE KITCHENAID® BLENDERS
KitchenAid® blenders can transform tough ingredients into smooth sauces, soups, smoothies and more. Select models feature 3 pre-set Adapti-Blend™ programs that take the guesswork out of achieving the perfect blend. Plus, KitchenAid® blenders are available in a wide variety of colors to complement your kitchen’s decor and help you express your culinary personality.
GET MORE BLENDER TIPS WITH KITCHENAID BRAND
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How to Make Blender Salad Dressing You can use your blender to make many types of homemade dressing for salad. From Italian to ranch to Caesar, learn how to make blender salad dressing.
How to Make a Milkshake in a Blender: An Easy Recipe Learn quick tips to make the best milkshake in a blender. Customize your favorite milkshake ingredients with this easy-to-follow milkshake blender recipe.