Monday, January 08, 2007

The Blender Tests

I couldn't wait long to try out the new blender (Blendtec, just got it in, see previous post for details if you missed it.) I picked two very different recipes from the included cookbook to test it's abilities. I would classify both as successful.

After a quick spin with 4 cups of ice just to see if it really did make snow and some thoughts of making snowcream, I dumped the ice and went forward with the experiments. Given the warmer winter we've had, I can't say snowcream is out of the running long-term. First I made Peanut Butter Ice Cream. The only advance preparation required is to make ice cubes out of non-dairy creamer. Toss those, peanut butter, a bit more creamer, vanilla and some sugar into the blender and press the "ice cream" button. A few seconds later you have Peanut Butter Ice Cream, but in more of a soft-serve texture. I put it in the freezer to firm up, which after about 3 hours made it very good. The only flaw in this experiment wasn't the blender or the recipe, but my idea to use natural peanut butter, which simply doesn't have the sweetness you need from the sugar in regular peanut butter to make an excellent ice cream.

My next choice was Taco Soup. The interesting ingredient was 3 tablespoons of unpopped popcorn kernels. Yes, unpopped, teeth chipping kernels. You'd never know they were there when the soup was complete, and it added a touch of a corn taste to the soup. I used hot water, where the instructions indicate from several of their soups you can use cold water; just press the Soups button two or three times. It comes out nice and hot. It makes a great base for soup, and to accomplish more complex or blended flavors, you could simmer the blended base for as long as you like. Just the idea that I could put together a fresh soup in a matter of minutes is great; it would be good for last minute or surprise guests or to make a quick batch for lunch.

The only complaint I can think of about the machine is that it is quite loud. You won't be chatting while making your soup or ice cream. Since it only takes about a minute and a half for most recipes, the break in conversation might be just what you needed.

No comments: