When you set out to buy a mini blender (Mini Blenders are probably more like a mini food processor since it can be used as a fruit juicer or carrot juicer, but the result is the same: well chopped and blended food with minimal effort and time), you will be faced with quite a bit of selection. The basic role of a miniature version of the larger food processor is to do the same thing its greater-capacity counterparts do, just in smaller amounts.
These are convenient products for several reasons. For one thing, it is simply easier to use a blender that is the right size for what you are blending. You wouldn’t use an extra-large mixing bowl to blend a few teaspoons of dried seasoning. Similarly, you don’t need a 14-cup food processor to blend a cup of salad dressing.
The by-product of using a mini blender for mini-tasks is that you are not left to wash huge dishes for a small task. A 1.5 cup blender bowl is much easier to wash out than a 14 cup bowl.
Also size-related, a mini blender takes up much less space in your pantry or on your counter. Say you regularly blend up a small batch of salsa or pesto, or a single meal’s worth of salad dressing. It is a pain to constantly lug your full-size blender out just for these things, but it also takes up more space on the counter than you’d like for keeping it there all the time.
A mini blender works well either way: it takes up minimal counter space and is easy to take out if you would prefer to keep it in the cupboard.
Another benefit of mini blenders is that they come in a couple of different styles. While the mini food processor style is simply a small version of the larger food processor, the immersion mini blender serves a purpose all its own, which larger blenders cannot replicate. It allows you to blend food (namely soups, sauces, and gravies) in the same vessel you cook it in; no need to transfer it to a separate pitcher or bowl, and much easier to clean up!
- 1 Shopping For The Perfect Mini Blender
- 2 Mini Blender Bottle: The Ultimate Convenience
- 3 Ten Great Uses For Mini Blenders
- 4 Useful Attachments For Mini Blenders
Shopping For The Perfect Mini Blender
There are many reasons to buy a mini blender (or two, of different styles). The biggest reason is that these small kitchen appliances offer an excellent way of chopping and blending food, yet do so without taking up space (or dirtying the bulky dishes) that larger blenders do.
If you need to blend moderate or large amounts of food, it is probably more worth your money to get a full-size blender. But even so, a mini blender is great to own in addition to a standard-sized blender. Or if you have small kitchen space or a small budget, you can buy a mini blender and blend larger recipes in multiple small portions.
Several different styles make up the mini blender market. Here are a few of the most popular:
• Mini food processor/blender
This is more often a food processor, but people often refer to it as a “mini blender” so we will address it here. Food processors can often hold quite a bit of food, with at-home models built as big as 14 cups. But mini food processors can come as small as 1.5 cups, so that you can blend small batches of spices, or oils for a salad, without dirtying a huge appliance.
• Immersion blenders
These hand held blenders are quite small. Instead of pouring your food into a blender, you simply immerse this hand-held appliance into the blow or container that already houses the food. Excellent for soups, in particular, this simplistic style of mini blender is easy to use, quick, and very easy to clean up.
• Non-electric “mini blender” bottles
A portable alternative ideal for smoothies and health shakes, these bottles give you the option of blending your beverage on the go without electricity. Often a durable plastic bottle with a wide mouth for easy drinking, blender bottles usually have a solid wire ball inside that smashes and blends the contents when you shake the bottle.
These are three different ways that you can blend food or beverages, all for very different purposes, without the use of a full-size, traditional blender. Most of these will not work to replace such a blender but can be a great alternative in certain uses.
Mini Blender Bottle: The Ultimate Convenience
If you like smoothies or health shakes, you probably have wished that you could blend one up without dragging out your full-size blender and having to wash blades, pitchers, and all. One of the most clever inventions in recent years (for smoothie-loving folk, at least), has been the mini blender bottle.
The premise is simple: look at what people use already, figure out what they want to be changed, and combine the two for a better product.
The mini blender bottle starts with the plastic sports bottle that most people put their shakes and smoothies in to take them on the go. (It only takes one cold spill in the car to stop taking a smoothie in an open glass or cup.) So we know that portability (and a secure closure) are important.
The second thing is the convenience of making the smoothie. As mentioned at the beginning of this post, lugging a full-size blender out every day can be a pain, not to mention time-consuming. People want to have daily smoothies without devoting extra time to them.
The mini blender bottle is a combination of these two needs and combines a sporty and sturdy plastic bottle that has a wide lid and secure seal for shaking and drinking, with an internal blending tool.
This tool is nothing fancy—it’s not even electric—it’s usually a sturdy, stainless steel ball. Shaking the bottle will jumble the ball around, causing it to break up bits and evenly distribute your different ingredients into a blended smoothie.
This makes it easier to get that shake without using extra time or equipment. You will probably find that some shakes or smoothies will work well in the mini blender bottle, while others will not. You should not count on this bottle to crush ice like your full-size electric blender can.
However, it should have no trouble mixing juices, yogurt, and soft fruits. It should also do a good job of making sure that protein powders and other vitamins do not clump up, but are well mixed in. Then, you just drink your smoothie in the very dish that blended it –no extra cleaning!
Ten Great Uses For Mini Blenders
Mini blenders really can do a lot of things around the kitchen. Whether you received a mini blender as a gift, or are just curious about whether you should buy one, here is a list of ten great things you can do with them, which should help you get an idea of other roles they can perform as well.
1. Thickening soups
Soups made of vegetables and meat in a broth (such as beef stew) may seem a bit watery. You don’t have to add cream to thicken them. Use a handheld immersion mini blender to puree even just some of the ingredients; this will thicken the broth and do wonders for the soup’s color and texture.
2. Making pesto
The darling of pasta, pesto is a simple blend of basic pine nuts, olive oil, and sometimes other flavorings. Use a mini food processor-style blender to make a fresh batch on the spot.
Simply add chunks of tomato, onion, and your favorite pepper to have quick, fresh salsa on hand, even in single servings!
4. Whipped cream
Immersion mini blenders often come with whisk attachments, allowing you to whip up fresh whipped cream in no time.
5. Powdered sugar
Did you know that powdered sugar is just regular sugar cut very very fine? Use a mini blender to grind up regular sugar; it’s easy, cheap, and saves space in your drawer.
6. Salad dressing
Why buy salad dressing when you can blend your own? Throw some oil, vinegar, and seasons into a mini blender and you have fresh, emulsified dressing in seconds.
7. Chop nuts
Durable mini blenders can grind and chop tough things like nuts, so they’re instantly ready for salads, baking, and other recipes.
If you always make too much smoothie or milkshake in the full blender, use the mini blender for a more appropriate size.
This classic blend of garbanzo beans and tahini is exceptionally simple in a mini blender. Dip with pita chips and enjoy!
Mincing onion, garlic, and other soft vegetables is a breeze in a mini blender. Don’t was the time (and tears) –just throw in some chunks and you’ll have tiny pieces in no time!
Useful Attachments For Mini Blenders
Size isn’t everything, so don’t go thinking that mini blenders are limited to fewer functions because of their size. These more approachable scaled kitchen appliances do many more things than you would expect. And since they are small, it’s easy to change out a portion of the tool and have something that serves an entirely different purpose—without taking up much more space (or money) to do so!
Here are some of the top attachments for mini blenders that allow you to diversify your skills and revolutionize your kitchen:
• The whisk
Immersion mini blenders are hand blenders intended for immersion in soups, sauces, and smoothies. Replace the blending attachment with a whisking attachment and you have the perfect tool for beating eggs, whisking flour, whipping cream, and making meringue. The best part: your arm won’t get tired.
• The chopper arm
The blending arm of an immersion blender is generally intended for relatively soft foods and liquids. But some higher-end models can be quickly converted into a food chopper (like a food processor).
The chopping attachment fits in place of the blending attachment and usually comes with a lidded bowl or container in which the vegetables are contained while being chopped.
• The chopper blade
Standing, food-processor style mini blenders usually have a single, lower blade, but for slicing and dicing vegetables, it comes with a higher blade specifically meant to slice more cleanly.
• The food chute
Higher quality food processor-style mini blenders will come with a chute that allows you to gradually add food to the running blender. This is particularly useful when paired with the chopper blade.
• Storage containers
Many mini blenders come with specific storage containers, matched in size to their capacity. This means you can easily make a batch of pesto, salsa, hummus, or even salad dressing and easily store it; no worry about finding the right size container to do so.
• Blending containers
Immersion mini blenders can be immersed into an already-in-use container (such as a big soup pot). Or, many come with blending-specific bows (often with high sides) that work perfectly with the appliance.