|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”