With juicing all the rage these days, your blender might be getting more use than it has in the past. Here’s what it would tell you to keep it whirring along for endless more smoothies, shakes, and juices. Listen up.
“Uh-oh, I’m leaking.”
Unless you see an obvious crack in the jar, a leak is probably the result of a split or twisted sealing ring — that’s the piece that sits between the jar and the part that holds the blade. You can usually order a replacement from the manufacturer.
“I clean up quick.”
The fastest way to de-gunk a blender? Squeeze a drop of dish soap into the jar, fill it about halfway with warm water, cover, and turn the machine on high for a few seconds. Rinse with clean water.
“I’m better in metal.”
Blenders with metal on both the bottom of the jar and the base where the jar attaches can last 10-plus years. Models with plastic fittings may survive only half that time but can still cost the same amount — so don’t judge a blender by its price.
“Help! I keep getting stuck.”
To prevent the blade from jamming, cut food into 1-inch pieces before you put it in the jar. If food does get caught, never pry it out with your fingers. Instead, try the pulse setting, or add a little more liquid to whatever you’re blending.
“More buttons don’t mean a better machine.”
As enticing as those 16-speeders are, most people need just low, medium, and high, which will whip up everything from salsa (low speed) to shakes (high speed). An extra button you do want: pulse, which lets you blend something in short, powerful blasts.
Surprise! Did you make these in a blender?
Sorbet. Blend frozen fruit (or fresh fruit with ice) and a hint of honey or sugar until smooth.
Ground coffee. Set the machine on high and add the beans a little at a time. Clean the jar as soon as you’re done to prevent a lingering coffee smell.
Peanut butter. In a pinch, you can even make this spread. Just blend roasted, unsalted nuts for 1 minute, gradually increasing the speed from low to high. Wipe the blades frequently to prevent them from jamming.
*Originally appeared in the July/August 2013 issue of HGTV Magazine.