Blending Food 101

Blended foods are easy to prepare, delicious and full of nutrients. This blending 101 article will help you understand the advantages of blending and offers up great meal ideas too.

Blending Basics

If you've ever had a smoothie, you're already familiar with the delicious taste and wonderful texture of blended food. To create blended food, you simply combine, with the help of an electric blender, an assortment of raw fruits and vegetables into a tasty liquefied food combo. Water is added to assist the blending process and help ensure the food particles spread evenly throughout the mixture. To maximize the nutritional content of blended food, be sure to use produce that is whole and uncooked. Smoothies are perhaps the best-known blended food, but there are many others to explore and enjoy, including nutritious soups, sauces and purées.

Blending vs. Juicing

When you juice fruits and vegetables, you extract the water and nutrients, while discarding the indigestible fibre. With the fibre removed, the mixture is more readily broken down and absorbed by the body. Be careful when creating juice drinks containing only fruits as your body will rapidly absorb the sugar content, leading to a spike in blood sugar. When blending, you use the entire fruit or vegetable — skin and all. Since blended foods contain indigestible fibre, your body must work harder to break down the nutrients and sugars. This leads to slower, more uniform absorption rates. Fibre is also filling, so blended foods tend to do a better job of satisfying hunger.

Nutrition and Blending

Your teeth can only do so much. Compared to chewing, blending more thoroughly breaks down the cell walls of fruits and vegetables. Therefore, more of the nutrients are released and made available for absorption by your body. Blended food also contains fibre, which helps regulate your dietary tract and stabilize blood sugars. Because blended food is already broken down, the body can immediately absorb the food’s nutrients, and less of the nutrient value passes unused through the body.

Eat More Produce

Getting the daily recommended allowance of 8 to 10 fruit and vegetable servings can seem daunting. Blending helps you eat a wider variety of nutritious foods in larger quantities. Blending also reduces the size of your food, allowing you to pack lots of nutritional value into small, easily portable servings.

More Nutrition, Faster

Blending is one of the easiest ways to prepare healthy, tasty meals for your family. The blending process is simple and cleanup is minimal. Blended foods also are easy to fit into your diet. You can take them with you to school, work or the gym, and you can eat them on the go to maximize your time.

Blended Meal Versatility

With a blender, you’re not just limited to smoothies. Treat your family to a vast array of delicious and hearty homemade soups, such as potato and leek or butternut squash. Blend marinades for your meats and roasts to give them extra flavour. Purées and sauces will also give your meals delicious accents, livening up an otherwise bland supper.

Getting Great Tastes

Some people, especially children, are put off by strongly-flavoured vegetables such as broccoli, radish or turnip. Try adding a portion of sweeter-tasting vegetables, such as carrots, to your blends. Apples, which are naturally high in sugar, also work well to sweeten a vegetable blend. With a bit of trial and error, you’ll soon be creating tasty blends from a wide assortment of healthy vegetables. In some cases, people are put off by the texture of raw vegetables. Blending removes that barrier, too!

Following Your Diet

Blending foods in your home makes it easier to follow restrictive diets, including raw-food, vegetarian and vegan diets. When creating your own blends, you can choose to use only fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables, and you have complete control over the other ingredients. You'll also benefit if you're on a gluten-free diet because fresh fruits and vegetables don't contain gluten. However, you should be aware that fruits and vegetables can pick up small amounts of gluten if they come in contact, through packaging or the environment, with grains such as wheat that naturally contain gluten. 

How to Make Smoothies

Smoothies are more than just delicious — they're packed with nutrients that will help boost your health. Follow these simple tips to make great smoothies.
 
  1. Wash your produce in advance
  2. Precut large fruits and vegetables into smaller chunks
  3. When placing food in the blender, food types with the highest water content such as apples and melons should go in first
  4. Add enough water to the blender to cover most of the food (water aids the mixing process)
  5. Blend until the solid food pieces and water transform into a uniformly smooth liquid
  6. Drink your smoothie soon after making it because exposure to oxygen and light rapidly reduces the nutritional value of blended foods
  7. Immediately transfer any extra smoothie into a dark, airtight container
     
 

Blenders for Smoothies

To make the best smoothies, choose a high-speed blender. The higher speeds break down food fibres more thoroughly, so every sip is smooth and delicious. The higher speeds also do a better job of breaking open the cell walls, thereby releasing more of the stored nutrients. For optimal results in making smoothies, consider blenders with 12 speeds, 16 speeds or 18 speeds. Also, if you plan to blend food for your children while they're trying to sleep, an immersion blender may be your best option. They're typically quieter than countertop blenders.
 
Legal
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.

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