We often use our blenders to make smoothies (especially now, since it’s summer). Although smoothies are great for breakfast, snacks, or even on-the-go meals, that’s only scratching the surface of how you can use a common kitchen appliance to make a viable meal for your family.
The following recipe ideas from registered dietitians and healthy chefs will make your blender work harder and save you a lot of time and money.
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Does H20 have to be the only ingredient in ice cubes? If you want to sweeten your water, use fruit-flavored cubes. It is critical to drink enough fluids, such as water and fluid-rich foods, during the summer months, says Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD, a sports dietitian in New York City. In addition to the electrolyte potassium that helps keep you hydrated, watermelon also contains about 90 percent of its weight in water. Therefore, these refreshing Watermelon Lime Ice Cubes make a healthy, sugar-free alternative to that fancy flavored water.
Incorporate fruits and veggies into batter for a nutritional boost by blending. Pink Pancakes made with beets are naturally sweet. You can customize these pancakes to suit your taste. Avocado, tahini and grapefruit is a wonderful combination.” Or you could make Cottage Cheese Protein Pancakes or Sweet Potato Flax Waffles.
Using a high-powered blender, you can easily make homemade pistachio milk. As you can’t find this type of nut milk at the store, you’ll have to treat yourself to it. If you prefer, you can drink the milk without any cereal. Make sure you save the pulp. The protein and fiber in pistachios help you to make a great muffin or quick bread.
Pancake batter cannot be beat as easily as muffin batter – and by blending, you can add veggies easily. “
Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD, a dietitian in Boulder, Colorado, says she needs recipes that are fast but pack a lot of nutrients, because she’s a busy mom. If you have any veggies on hand, you can make these Veggie Blender Muffins, and the kids won’t even notice!You can enjoy fruity muffins based on bananas and peanut butter, or banana nut oat muffins if you prefer sweeter muffins.
Alfredo sauce is creamy, but fastidious about the amount of fat and calories it contains? If you would prefer, you can blend cottage cheese with olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs instead. Whether you are serving pasta, spaghetti squash or veggie noodles, this Cottage Cheese Alfredo will enhance their taste.
There are lots of store-bought dressings, but some contain high levels of sugar and fat, as well as added sugar. Why not blend up the ingredients already in your house for a cheaper, healthier meal? Catherine Brown, a plant-based chef in Errol, New Hampshire, says the creamy dressing comes from soaked cashews that are soft enough to blend in a blender. This sauce is dairy-free, sugar-free, and oil-free, and is an excellent dipping sauce or addition to any salad, roasted vegetables, or baked potatoes.
Taking soups outside of restaurants and reserving them for colder weather are two ways you can enjoy fancy pureed soups. According to Toby Amidor, MS, RD author of Smart Meal Prep for Beginners, the no-cook soup is loaded with lycopene (a natural plant chemical found in higher concentrations in canned tomatoes). Research has demonstrated that lycopene can prevent cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, and age-related macular degeneration. Don’t be afraid to mix other vegetables in your Chilled Tomato-Herb Soup. Freeze the extra servings in small containers to have during the week for weeknight meals.
Jarred sauces that are tasty and nutritious can be quite pricey. Making your own is an excellent idea, so why not? There’s a lot you can do to transform a boring pasta dish into something fun with No-Cook Tomato Sauce, says registered dietitian Erica Julson, MS, RDN, CLT. She offers a recipe that calls for three kinds of tomatoes and fresh basil. The lycopene in this food stimulates the immune system and boosts your energy. What if your pasta sauce had even more vegetables? You can also choose a version that includes red onion, bell peppers, and zucchini.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could create something that tastes like cookie dough and contains both protein and safe to eat at the same time?
Chelsey Amer, MS, RDN, a dietitian in New York City, says Edible Cooke Dough is a delicious dessert that can feed a crowd. A bold blend of white beans is seasoned with maple syrup and date sugar to add a hint of sweetness. Featuring protein and fiber, this dessert is a perfect evening treat.
When the urge for ice cream hits, you don’t have to run to the store. Making ice cream from fruit in a blender is a healthy and fast way to improve your diet. Regardless of whether you avoid dairy products or restrict added sugars, what is your favorite ice cream? The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club author Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN asks. You’ll love this Banana Fudge Vegan Ice Cream that has 22 grams of plant-based protein from tofu and peanut butter powder. For this nutrient-packed dessert, frozen bananas are blended into a super creamy base. Not in the mood for chocolate? You can try this vegan dessert by substituting plant-based milk for the milk in the cantaloupe banana nice cream.