Hello, My name is Tess, and I’m a blendaholic. I absolutely love my Vitamix – I use it at least three times a day and could never live without it.
No matter what make and model of blender you’re using at home there are some tips that I share in my new book, THE BLENDER GIRL that will help you get the most bang for your buck with any machine.
Even the high-end blenders with all of the bells and whistles need to be treated with care. Whilst they ARE powerful and extremely resilient, they are not indestructible. So, “help your machine help you” to get the best results with any blend.
Here’s a quick summary of the tips I share in the book.
- SOAK hard ingredients like raw nuts, seeds, dried fruits and vegetables like dates and prunes, and sun-dried tomatoes in order to help the blades pulverize them for the smoothest result and more even distribution and flavor.
- CHOP hard vegetables like beets and carrots, mince ginger, garlic and horseradidh to reduce the stress on your motor and liquefy ingredients more easily. Besides this, food measures more accurately in smaller pieces, and you can add tiny amounts to taste to get your blend juuuuust right.
- LIQUIDS GO IN FIRST. This helps to get the blades moving for the most efficient results. Then add powdered ingredients like cacao, protein powders, superfoods, and dried greens so they don’t fly up like a puff of smoke and stick to the lid when you turn the machine on. Next add the soft fruits and vegetables, then the hardest ingredients such as frozen fruits and vegetables, and then the ice which helps to pull all of the ingredients down into the blades for even mixing. Reverse this order if you are using a personal blender where you have to invert the cup on the base.
- DON’T OVERFILL or it will spill. Blenders work best when they are filled about half way. This is particularly important with hot liquids. Too much and the lid can decide to take a walk on the ceiling, and too little and the blades just spin with no traction. Blend in batches for the best results.
- SAFE AND SECURE. Make sure the lid is always placed on tightly to avoid the unintended dance on the ceiling.
- SLOW AND LOW IS THE GO when you turn the machine on, then work your way up to high. Your motor will love you and this also helps break down foods preparing them for the final blast. Start on high and foods spray up into the lid and sides of the container which makes more work for us.
- INTERVAL TRAINING is the way to go with extra thick blends like nut butters and pastes. Blend in short intervals of about 40 to 60 seconds to prevent your machine from struggling and smoking. If you hear your motor struggling, stop your blender, scrape down the sides of the container, use a spatula to reposition the ingredients, and then try again.
- TREAT THE HEAT with respect. The safest way to blend hot liquids like soups and sauces is to allow the ingredients to cool somewhat before adding them to the blender. Then only fill the container half-way to avoid the steam popping the lid off. Remove the center lid cap and place a dishcloth over the center. Then start the machine on low, and then slowly increase the speed to high. Removing the central cap is not necessary with a Vitamix, which is designed to handle hot liquids. However, it is still a good idea to place a dishcloth over the top to avoid burning your hands when you take the lid off.
- MAKE FRIENDS WITH YOUR SPATULAS. I find a broad scraper and a narrow scraper are essential for shifting foods around the blender and for bursting air pockets, as well as scraping out every last morsel of your favorite blends.
- HAND WASH your container. Many manufacturers will claim their containers are dishwasher safe. However, heat and fierce chemicals dull blades, warp lids, and can corrode hardware. To wash, rinse the residual food out of your container, then place just a drop of dishwashing liquid in the container and fill it half-way with warm water. Blast on high for about 1 minute, and then rinse thoroughly. Once a week, I take a soft-bristled toothbrush and do a good scrub around the ridges, and I clean the inside lid and cap with a Q Tip to remove food particles. Dry with a soft cloth. Clean the base of your blender with a damp cloth and wipe around the knobs with a Q Tip. Wipe the unplugged cord with a damp cloth to prevent any greasy build-up.
Australian-born Tess Masters is a cook, writer, actor, and voiceover artist. She shares her enthusiasm for plant-based foods at theblendergirl.com. Tess is being featured this week on the Vegan Mainstream Cookbook Club.
As a presenter and recipe developer, Tess collaborates with leading food, culinary, and lifestyle brands. She has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Vegetarian Times, and Zeste and on Glamour.com, Chow, Epicurious, and AllRecipes, among other publications and websites. Away from the blender, Tess enjoys a diverse performance career. She has toured internally with stage productions, worked in film and television, and lent her voice to commercial campaigns, audio books, and popular videogame characters. Tess and her partner, Scott Brick, life in Studio City, California, with their West Highland White Terrier (and blender-cuisine maven), Cookie.
Get your copy of THE BLENDER GIRL cookbook.