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Blending 101: Optimize Your Blending Experience

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Your blender may be the go-to appliance for whipping up a quick smoothie or making a delicious milkshake, but this standard kitchen tool can do much, much more. However, amateur chefs and blender owners everywhere are often unaware about what exactly these versatile appliances can do. 

Take a few minutes to learn exactly what your blender is capable of and which settings you should use for each instance. 

Use PULSE and CHOP for Vegetables 
If you're preparing a large meal, it can take hours to do all of the preparations. Luckily, your blender can save you time on a few steps. Use your blender's CHOP or PULSE function to dice, shred, mince or cut your vegetables for anything from a casserole to salsa. 

The major difference between CHOP and PULSE and other blender settings is that these are quick on-and-off modes that let you slice your vegetables intermittently. If you opted for PUREE or SMOOTHIE, your vegetables would turn to liquid under the constant blade movement. 

Low Settings Are Perfect for Drinks 
Aside from PULSE, the settings at the low end of your blender make the blades spin at a slower rate. This is the optimal setting when you're combining two liquids for a cocktail or other beverage. Because what you're combining is liquid, such as lemonade and iced tea, your don't need the high-powered setting needed for crushing ice or pureeing strawberries. Settings such as BLEND, MIX and SHRED are perfect and mix your drink thoroughly. 

Pour in Your Liquids First 
If you're blending a smoothie, you don't want to place your fruit and ice down on the bottom. This can make it more difficult for your blender to quickly blend your smoothie completely. Instead, pour the liquid in first to give your blender a base to work off of. It will create a whirlpool here and then blend your entire beverage. 

Avoid Spills 
Blenders are great because they contain the mess to one easily washable blender jar. However, sometimes whatever you're blending can spill out and create havoc. To avoid these situations, follow these two simple tricks: 

1. Always use a lid - The lid helps contain any extra liquid that may spill out. While you may not want to put the whole lid on when you're blending something hot, consider still using a towel or cheesecloth. 

2. Only fill your blender jar 75 percent - Filling your blender three-quarters ensures that your food can blend properly and you are less likely to experience spillage. 

Blend Soup and Potatoes 

You may not think of blenders as the best way to make potatoes, but they'll help you get the lumps out. Use mid-range blender settings such as PUREE or LIQUEFY to make mashed potatoes and to blend thick soups to the perfect consistency. 

Explore the best uses for your blender.Explore the best uses for your blender.