A New Immersion Blender is a lot of Help

A colorful choice helps you locate it later!  (I chose purple)

I’ve been curious about these things for quite some time.  If you’re thinking about buying one… just do it.  You might be happy you did!  It is useful for those of us who have outdoor (or indoor) kitchens.

So why did I buy this thing?

I love soups.  They are easy to cook – a great option for vandwellers or people like me who travel a lot for work.  Unfortunately, the blood sugar has been pretty bad with the new driving job and I need to eat healthier.  Homemade soup seemed like a tasty way to have hot, healthy food on the road.  The problem is that some of the wonderful soup recipes such as tomato or cream of asparagus need to be blended.  Counter top space is at a premium when living in a van.  There just isn’t a lot of room for a huge glass blender carafe or the water needed to wash one out after cooking.

Size comparison… next to a mini deodorant can from the dollar store…

Sis had recently given me a gift card at Bed Bath and Beyond so it was an easy decision to buy one of these useful gadgets.  A stick blender (a.k.a. immersion blender) had looked interesting on TV but I was not sure how they worked.  I was under the assumption that something might spin and scratch the vessel containing the food. 

I was delighted with the Cuisinart model.  The blade is inside of a cover and does not touch the sides or bottom of the food container.  I had envisioned something like an old fashioned malt mixer which can tear up the side of a paper cup or scratch something metal.  Not so with this design.   Just don’t do what I did and touch the blade.  It sliced my finger open!

For about $37, I bought the stick blender, hoping that the purple color would be easy to locate in the storage cupboard under the bed.  Since the two pieces separate, it takes very little room to store.

The first experiment was to make a simple tomato cream soup.  I put 1 can of low sodium chicken broth, two cans of low sodium diced tomatoes, some onions, spices, a bay leaf, etc. into the crockpot and let it simmer a few hours.

Toward the end of the simmering time, I put in some Italian seasoning and removed the bay leaf.  To add a little color, some fresh spinach leaves were also introduced.

As soon as the cooking part was over, it was a matter of putting in about 1/4 cup of half-n-half and sticking the immersion blender down into the crockpot.  Blending took just seconds and the result was beautiful – a smooth soup with little flecks of green.

I did have to thicken the soup slightly with a few instant potato flakes.  The flavor was good though!
 
Cleanup was ever so easy.  You separate the two pieces as in the picture above, clean the blade section with hot soapy water and you’re good to go.  It took all of about 15 seconds to clean.

I’m really impressed with the blending power of this little gadget.  It claims to draw 200 watts but I imagine that would be if you’re trying to blend something heavy.  It didn’t bother the van’s house batteries a bit. 

Now it will be possible to make smoothies, fancier soups, gravies, you name it.  The space required is much less than a conventional blender and the results will be fantastic.  There is so little to clean up!

Choose something with a good brand name.  There are other brands available but I feel you get plenty for your money buying a Cuisinart.  Mom always told me “Buy a good one.”

Watch for some fun new recipes coming up… Cream of asparagus soup, maybe a shrimp bisque, etc. all sound pretty tasty.  A berry smoothie sounds like fun, too!

Have fun! Thanks for visiting.

Bradford the “Van Trekker”

About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"
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8 Responses to A New Immersion Blender is a lot of Help

  1. Steven says:

    By any chance do you know how to make hummus? I’m curious to hear how that blender handles that task. If it does well I’ll be buying one for sure!

    • Brad says:

      I’ll make you a deal… I’m going camping for the next couple of days and we’ll call it homework. On the next post, we’ll see how the hummus making goes. I love the stuff!

    • Steven says:

      When I first started looking into smaller alternatives the immersion blender is what I was looking at first. The ladies of The Good Luck Duck turned me onto this http://goo.gl/dxj67 which I’ve held off buying since I hadn’t started traveling yet.

      Looking forward to see how the homework turns out.

  2. Dragonfly says:

    Does it plug into your inverter? Or is that converter, I’m still trying to figure out this thing called electricity. Until recently all I knew is, the switch goes up-light goes on. Oh, I see you have a crock pot. This must mean you are plugging into outside power.

  3. Brad says:

    Hi! Both the crockpot and the blender will run on the inverter. The inverter can handle 2500 watts and the battery bank is 460 AH.

    The crockpot (on low) only draws a few amps at 12 V. The batteries can easily handle this but with the solar panel running during the day, all the juice needed is being generated… and a lot more… 🙂

  4. So, my two 220ah AGM batteries can handle this with full sun solar in play??? I think the crock pot and blender would be excellent additions to my kitchen. I need to eat better. And you could use the crock pot for a dish pan, and just stick the blender in the soapy water and run it a second to clean. I’m liking it… and now I am hungry.

    • Brad says:

      Hi Charlene, I use my crockpot a lot now. It’s best run on low during the day (with solar) and then I switch it to “warm” during the evening. Power consumption is low… and it makes real food. Yum!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for info
    Brad