Ode to an Immersion Blender

We all have our favorite kitchen tools, those that are indispensable and we couldn’t live without. It is hard to narrow down what my favorite one is, though I’m definitely a little bit of a gadget junky. I even have a mandolin (wedding present) that has been sitting in my cabinet that I’ve never used. One of these days, I’m going to give it a try. I’ve finally started using my cast iron skillet, and I love it. Of course my slow cooker is indispensable and I use it weekly. My pressure cooker is definitely becoming a favorite as well, having worked its way onto my weekly menu rotation too. I have two food processors: a large one and a small one. I use the large one for making my own hummus often. The small one is great for breadcrumbs and vegetables.

If hard pressed though, I think one of my favorite tools is my immersion blender. I use it more than anything making smoothies. I much prefer this to my blender as it is much easier on clean up – my blender is just so clunky and hard to clean, especially for just one smoothie. But the immersion blender is perfect. I have a large glass that is just the right size for mixing my smoothies and accommodates the blender with ease. The immersion blender is also indispensable for pureeing soups. I love making my own soups – they taste so much better than canned; not to mention much lower in sodium. But it can be used for a variety of purposes; I’ve used it for batters, sauces, etc.

Here is my base smoothie recipe, which is a nice balance of carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein (experiment with amounts depending upon taste and how much you are making):

Plain yogurt or Greek nonfat plain yogurt
Blueberries (or any combo of fruit/frozen fruit)
Drop or 2 of honey
Ground flaxseed (adds protein, fiber and healthy fats) or wheat germ
Drop or 2 of olive oil (adds healthy fat)
Low fat milk or Soy milk
Protein powder (optional)
Couple of ice cubes
Optional: nuts, peanut butter, spinach or kale

What are your favorite kitchen tools?