Review: The Breville stick blender, one of my most-used kitchen tools
Why I love my Breville stick blender so much
Had I known how much time an immersion blender would save, I would not have waited until I was in my sixties to get one.
Now that I DO know, it's at the top of my list for wedding gifts, Mother's Day and especially for that high school grad getting ready for college dorm life and the quad kitchen.
What a useful tool! I bought the Breville after a lot of research because of the reviews and because of the attachments that came with it. Every time I use it--and sometimes I use it twice for a single meal--I thank myself for the investment, and for all this tool can do.
A truly fine gift for the cooks in your life
This is one of the best gifts I've ever given myself and has made cooking not only faster, but loads more fun. If you have a cook in your family, she or he would love this gift.
Following, some of the many ways this tool saves time in the kitchen.
While I've included a link to this blender on a commercial internet site, where you can read reviews, get a full description, and even buy it, I encourage you to consider purchasing from a local store, such as an independently owned hardware store. It's so important to support our neighborhood mom and pop shops, don't you think?
Here are some of the ways I use my immersion blender.
Mash potatoes and yams quicklyClick thumbnail to view full-size
Mashed potatoes and mashed yams are special treats at our house, now that we have to watch our sugar and carbohydrate intake, so I don't make them as frequently as I once did.
When I do, for just the two of us this stick blender is so much easier to take from the drawer, whir around in the cooked potatoes a couple of minutes, clean up and put away than ever it is to use my big mixer.
But I admit, I've used it plenty of time for a family kettle of potatoes, and it's worked just fine mashing those too.
Puree squashes and soups in the pan, at the stoveClick thumbnail to view full-size
In the fall and winter months especially, we love homemade butternut squash soup and pumpkin pie made from whole pumpkins.
In the past, I struggled to puree the butternut or pumpkin, transferring hot cooked squash to my glass blender, which sits nowhere near our stove.
After all, our hundred-year-old apartment kitchen was built long before anyone thought of stick blenders, let alone a slew of small and large appliances, each requiring an electrical outlet.
Too often, I managed to make a mess in the process. No more!
Now I cook the pumpkin or squash, insert this powerful immersion blender directly into the pan, and in seconds I have a beautiful puree for soup or pies.
Add kale, spinach and more to smoothiesClick thumbnail to view full-size
At risk of sounding like one of those loud infomercials, I must say, "But that's not all!"
We love smoothies and have always made fruit and yogurt smoothies in our stand-alone blender.
Not having a juicer, we had to forego healthy vegetable additions like kale and spinach. They clogged our drinking straws with large bits of florets or leaves that hadn't finished chopping, despite taking an extra long time.
With this handy stick blender, I add piles of kale and spinach leaves, even broccoli to our fruit smoothies with no worry of finding chunks of florets or big pieces of leaf.
Our smoothies are tastier and healthier than ever.
Included--a handy carafe and lid
Whip up a smoothie in the included carafe before going to bed, pop the tight-sealing rubber lid on, tuck in in the fridge, and it will keep fresh as just-made till we open and pour in the morning for breakfast on the run.
Oh, and that rubber lid? Fit it to the bottom of the carafe while you're blending. It holds it firmly in place; no slippage.
Watch the Breville stick blender in action
This short video shows you how easy it is to work this little gem and all its parts (there are only a few, and they are well-chosen).
Whipped cream or butter to order--just enough, no more
We use less butter when it's whipped, plus we can add honey, cinnamon and cardamon to it for buttering a special bread like the one you see here, or savory spices like thyme and cracked pepper for an herbed butter.
If I want just a little whipped cream to top off a couple of homemade espressos or hot chocolates, the wire whip attachment fluffs it up in no time at all. No wasted whipped cream going soggy in the fridge! (Picture coming next time I make this rare treat for us.)
The stick makes for quick work mixing not-yet-softened butter and cream cheese for frosting too.
When the five year old wanted to learn how to bake a cake from scratch, together, we whipped up the butter cream cheese frosting with the stick. She frosted almost all of it herself and was so proud!
Quick dips at our fingertipsClick thumbnail to view full-size
More ways to use this versatile tool
Easiest baby food maker ever
Who needs a separate gadget to make baby food? It's so easy to puree cooked vegetables--a yam, squash, peas, carrots, any vegetable--to just the consistency you need for your baby at any stage along the way. Freeze in individual containers made just for baby food, and save beaucoup dollars over those hundreds of one-use baby food jars you'll buy in the first two years of your child's life.
I wish I'd taken time to take photographs of the foods I've made for my grandchildren, to have on hand on my granny-nanny days, but I'm sure by now you get the picture!
Quick-chop onions, salsas and pico-de-gallo
I must admit, I especially like to chop my vegetables by hand. The colors, the textures, the aromas.
But when I'm in a hurry, I pop the ingredients in the chopper unit that came with the stick, top it with the blender, and once more, in seconds, I have just what I need, ready to go.
Is this one kitchen tool that is worth the investment?
How might a stick blender save you time and money?
How do you use a stick blender, if you have one? Would you mind having to give it up? I know I would hate losing mine! If you don't have one, do you think you might get one now?
© 2013 Kathryn Grace