Too hot to cook? Make food in your blender, not your oven

Don't let the heat get you down.

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Once upon a time, I was raw vegan for three weeks. It was a big lifestyle change, and for that one month, it changed the way I approached food preparation. Cooking had always been something that happened with the assistance of my oven or stovetop, but suddenly most food prep involved a single appliance: my blender.

Now, I’m not recommending that you try the raw vegan lifestyle (my experience still haunts me) but it did teach me a lot about what you can really do with your blender, particularly if you have a high-speed variety like a Vitamix. Sure, you can use it for smoothies, but blenders can do so much more than that. This is especially helpful in the warmer weather, when you just can’t bring yourself to switch on the oven.

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From warm soups to surprisingly delicious vegan cheesecakes, there are plenty of foods you can prepare with just one appliance: your blender. Here’s what you can make with your trusty blender when it’s just too darn hot to cook.

Soups

Gazpacho
Credit: Getty Images / OlgaMiltsova

One doesn’t typically think of soup as a summer food, but there’s always cold soup like gazpacho! And if you don’t like your soup chilled, jump on the high-speed blender train! High-end brands like Vitamix can actually use the heat generated by their motors to warm your soup. For example, this tomato soup recipe instructs you to “blend until soup is steaming hot.”

Sauces & Dips

Hummus
Credit: Getty Images / robynmac

Hollandaise sauce is traditionally made on the stovetop, but your blender can handle it too! Hot melted butter gets blended in and warms the entire sauce.

You can also use your blender to make pesto. Homemade tomato sauce doesn’t need to be heated—it actually tastes cooked if you add some sundried tomatoes.

Hummus or artichoke dips are also ideal for making in your blender—and they’re a bit more filling than sauces. Make a meal of ‘em by serving with cut-up veggies or pieces of bread.

Desserts

Raw vegan cheesecake
Credit: Getty Images / anakopa

I’m not going to detail smoothies and milkshakes, because I’m sure you know blenders can whip those up. But how about using your blender to make mousse? It can also make ice cream (both dairy and non-dairy varieties) or pudding. Raw vegan cheesecake is one of the only recipes from my raw vegan experiment that I thought was genuinely tasty and worth the effort.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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