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Most of us look upon a blender as being a fairly modern invention, but they have been around since the 1920s when they were first invented as a means of making drinks for a soda fountain. At its simplest, a blender is just a rotating blade at the bottom of a narrow container, but such a simple implement can do so many things for you! Here are just a few of them.

Firstly, if you are a mother you already know how expensive baby foods are, so why not make your own! By finely blending cooked vegetables or soft protein foods like chicken you can create nourishing meals for your child at a very reasonable cost, and not least of all you will know exactly what is in them; no additives, preservatives or E. numbers!

Having a party? Try putting together some imaginative spreads, dips, and sauces; you'll not only find them a lot less expensive than commercial products but with a little practice and a good cook book you could make some very tasty dishes indeed, without all the risk and hard work of chopping herbs and vegetables with a sharp knife.

Fond of cheese dishes? Grating cheese using a conventional grater is hard and messy work and buying ready grated cheese is a chore, many shops do not stock it at all and those that do charge quite a lot for it. Just cut the cheese up into smallish pieces and throw them into your blender; within a moment you will have cheese which has been grated as finely or coarsely as you wish.

Have you cooked too many vegetables? No problem, throw them into the blender, add an oxo or a little tomato puree plus a spoonful or two of herbs, pop the resultant purée into the freezer and you will soon have a good stock of ready made, tasty and nourishing soups.

Is the weather particularly hot? Why not treat the children to a smoothie, by blending a few ice cubes with fruit juice, or commercial mixes and a little water or milk; delicious, frothy, cooling drinks at a fraction of the price you would have to pay in the shop.

So you have coffee beans but no coffee grinder? Most blenders will happily grind coffee, spices, nuts. Throw in some stale bread and you will get breadcrumbs. Making a trifle? Throw in very few crackers and you will get an excellent trifle base.

Hopefully the article above is giving you a few ideas on not only ways of saving money with your blender but also of taking away a few of the more irksome jobs in the kitchen whilst helping you to provide tasty and nourishing meals and snacks.

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