6 dishes you can make in under 40 minutes

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  • Everyone knows you can make a smoothie in a blender, but what other treats can you whip up in this piece of kitchen kit?

    A good blender can cut down your time in the kitchen significantly, meaning you can throw together all kinds of blender recipes in no time at all. 

    If you bought your blender with good intentions, but have only ever used it to whizz up the occasional smoothie, you’re missing a trick. There is all manner of recipes that utilise blenders’ capabilities (and which cut down your prep time in the kitchen, too). Reassess how you think about this piece of kitchen kit; the best blender can do more than just post-gym protein shakes or sweet breakfast drinks. 

    In fact, you can pretty much make breakfast, lunch and dinner in one of these machines, as six of our favourite suggestions show.

    Easy blender recipes: Sauces and salsas

    Using a blender to blitz sauces gives a wonderfully smooth consistency, while the force of the blades helps dressings to emulsify in seconds. A blender is your best friend when you’re trying to make a quick flavour-packed meal, too – from whizzing up rich tomato pasta sauces to making spicy jalapeño salsas. One of our favourite blended sauces is a simple salsa verde. Made with lots of parsley, plus olive oil, anchovies and capers, this moreish medley adds a little magic to fish, meat and vegetables and can be pretty much made in seconds. We love its bright-green finish; a meal that looks as good as it tastes really seals the deal.

    Make the recipe: Roasted salmon with salsa verde 

    Easy blender recipes: Soups 

    There’s something incredibly satisfying about a delicious, silky soup, and what better way to perfect the texture than at the touch of a button (i.e. using your blender).

    We’d recommend using lots of root vegetables to get a nice smooth finish; potatoes are perfect, as are parsnips, sweet potato and squash. In contrast, leafy greens such as kale, while delicious, can be very fibrous, meaning it’s harder to puree them completely. 

    A word of warning: If you’re going to put soup stocks and ingredients in the blender, allow the mixture to cool properly before putting into the machine. That way, if there are any accidents or splatters you won’t get burnt by hot liquid.

    One of our favourite soup recipes is this simple lentil recipe, which uses store-cupboard essentials to make a healthy, hearty meal. The instructions call for a hand blender, but you could also use a traditional stand blender one. 

    Make the recipe: Lentil soup 

    Easy Blender Recipes: Pancakes

    Our fondness for this breakfast treat is only tempered by the faff of mixing the pancake batter. Use a blender to make this classic recipe in minutes, and this concern disappears. Simply throw all the ingredients for the batter into your blender of choice, then blitz for a few seconds to achieve a rich glossy texture. Classic crepe or the denser, American-style batters both work this way. Beyond the obvious sweet versions, a savoury mixture can achieve a satisfyingly substantial meal. Try our recipe combining tangy Wensleydale cheese with fragrant herbs and see for yourself. 

    Make the recipe: Green herb and Wensleydale pancakes 

    Easy Blender recipes: Ice cream 

    While many ice cream recipes call for a food processor, they can actually be made just as well in a blender. Our recipe for cherry ice cream uses frozen berries and whipping cream to create a speedy, lusciously smooth finish – and with only four ingredients. If you prefer, you can swap out cherries for frozen strawberries, raspberries or blackberries. If you’re following a regular ice cream recipe, you can also use your blender to routinely blitz your ice cream throughout the freezing process. By taking this extra step to remove ice crystals, which form from water in the mixture, your end result should be a silky soft scoop. 

    Make the recipe: Cherry ice cream 

    Easy blender recipes: Cocktails

    While cocktails may not count as essential sustenance, they can certainly bring a whole lot of happiness. Throw together an espresso martini at the start (or end) of a dinner party and keep the party energy raised all evening. Instead of shaking up your cocktails in the traditional way, why not employ your blender to help get around out a little more quickly (not to mention, more easily). No muscles necessary, just throw all your ingredients into your blender and blitz for a few seconds to get a perfectly frothed cocktail. Cheers!

    Make the recipe: Espresso martini 

    Easy blender recipes: Chocolate mousse 

    Where regular chocolate mousse makes use of an electric whisk to whip air into egg whites, this simple vegan version uses a surprising element to get a silky finish: avocado. Instead of airy bubbles, this mousse’s final texture is light and smooth, thanks to the properties of its unique ingredients. Using your blender will ensure your mixture is free of lumps and that all of the individual flavours are brought together seamlessly in a perfectly balanced dessert. 

    Make the recipe: Chocolate mousse


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