After five or six weeks at home – (aren’t the days and weeks just blurring together?) – you are probably digging deep into the back of your pantry – and your other kitchen cabinets. Here are some ways to use a likely underused appliance – your high-powered blender – to stretch your pantry a bit further.
Do you love your Vitamix? Or is it collecting dust in a corner since it’s heyday ended in 2015?
Nothing like a pandemic and weeks on end at home to help you value your cooking appliances.
But it’s not quite smoothie or milkshake weather in most parts of the country right now. So what about your Vitamix? Here are some pantry hacks to help you use it now.
Except in the height of summer, I use my Vitamix more often to make ingredients than I use it to make actual finished products. And with a mandate to limit shopping trips and with stores sold out of different ingredients at different times – it can be a real meal-saver right now.
Almost anything dry can be ground into another, finer version of itself. You can powder your own sugar or turn almost anything into flour – oats, rice, almonds, and, of course, wheat.
You can also make “milk” of many types, but adding water to a soaked base – almond, rice, coconut. If you use finely shredded coconut and hot water, then no soaking is required.
Note: I happen to have a Vitamix I bought from Costco – (yes , from the demo station…), but other similar, high-powered blenders should world just as well.
- Whirl 1 ½ cups granulated sugar for a 30 seconds.
- Add 1 tablespoon cornstarch and blend again.
Maple glaze – combine maple syrup and powdered sugar for an easy glaze – just right for sugar cookies, pumpkin bread (with that can of pumpkin lurking in your pantry), or to fancy up your waffles.
- Place 2 cups granulated sugar in the Vitamix.
- Turn on and drizzle in 3 tablespoons molasses through the opening in the lid.
- Blend, using the tamper, until the sugar is uniform in color
- Combine 1 ¾ cups very hot water and 1 ¾ cups unsweetened shredded (not flaked or toasted) coconut.
- Process for about 1 minute and drain through a fine-mesh strainer and/or cheese cloth.
- Squeeze remaining coconut through a clean dish towel to extract all milk.
- Whisk in ¼ teaspoon baking soda.
A tropical drink (try adding some to the Blue Hawaii recipe here) or make an easy coconut curry by combining coconut milk with curry paste, some of that brown sugar you just made, lime and cilantro. Add protein and/or veggies of your choice and simmer until cooked through.
- Soak 1 cup of raw almonds in water for 4+ hours, drain.
- Blend with 3 cups water.
- Store in refrigerator and shake before using.
Smoothies, shakes, cereal, lattes – or if the grocery store is out of the milk you might typically buy.
- You can make oat flour or rice flour or almond flour or almost any other kind of flour you can think of – quinoa? coconut? Give it a try!
- Blend the grain or nut in the Vitamix until desired consistency is reached.
- For almonds and other high-fat ingredients, be sure they are cold before blending.
What are your favorite pantry hacks? Have you seen this collection from the New York Times? Comment below with what you’ve tried.
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