What's a unskilled-in-the-kitchen person to do with a Magic Bullet?
February 16, 2022 11:36 AM   Subscribe

Previously, I've asked questions about moving into a new apartment. While cleaning out some cupboards, I've discovered that one of the previous tenants had left a complete set of a Sun Beam 18 Piece Kitchen Assistant. What the heck do I do with it?

Here's a listing from someone else on Amazon which conveys the pieces: 8 plastic cups in a variety of sizes, some lids including one or two with built-in drinking openings, and the spinning blades attachment, all of them fitted to attach to the main device.

I've confirmed that the device still works, and now my question is what to do with it? My context for these devices is athletic on-the-go people are usually making fruit smoothies out of them, throwing handfuls of berries or veggies in them and blending until they liquify or something.

1) Are there recipes for this sort of thing or is it just "throw berries and milk and blend"?
2) Is there anything I could prepare with this besides making fruit smoothies?
3) Anything else I should be aware of if I decide to keep this thing rather than donate to Goodwill?
posted by The Pluto Gangsta to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can use up leftover veggies by making a soup (on the stove, obvs), let it cool and then blend it into a smooth velouté in the blender. (It's important to let it cool first, otherwise the hot soup will create a vacuum seal with the blender lid).

I also use my bullet blender to grind coffee. The instructions told me not to use it for spices or coffee beans, but it's mine and if I want to grind up nails in it, I can. As it happens, I've had no issues at all grinding coffee in it, other than the cup I use for it has got a bit tarnished from the friction of the beans.

Buy a bag of frozen mixed berries, or frozen mango, then you'll be ready to make a smoothie at any time.

Also, you can make lemonade with a chopped up lemon, a handful of ice, sugar to taste and a few mint sprigs. Substitute lime for lemon and you have a virgin mojito.
posted by essexjan at 11:57 AM on February 16, 2022 [2 favorites]

Basically a "Magic Bullet" is like a single-serving size blender.

I similarly got one free at a stoop sale or something - and it turned out to be pretty useful for things like:

* I'm making a small batch of a cream-of-something soup.
* I'm making popovers and want to mix everything together in a hurry. I just throw everything in here and whizz it up, and the narrow container means it's easy to pour the resulting batter into the cupcake tins I use in lieu of a proper popover pan.
* I'm making a milkshake for myself because why not.

And, also, for smoothies. And yes, there are scores of recipes for smoothies - some healthy, and some just delicious. (One favorite from when I was doing a lot of smoothie making was to combine coconut milk with chocolate sorbet!) You can even pre-prepare freezer bags where you fill a bunch of them each with a single smoothies' worth of fruit in there, then chuck them all in your freezer - and then when you want a smoothie, just pull one out, dump it in the magic bullet, add some liquid and blitz, and you're done. I did that one summer, banking the freezer with a bunch of bags and those were my breakfasts. (And yes, they have recipes for those as well.)

I ended up using it a little more than I thought I would - not every day, but it's still small enough that it's easy to store away when I don't need it, and it's there and convenient for when I do. That is also part of the appeal, is the compact size.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:57 AM on February 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

It's just a blender with a cup instead of a pitcher. They're perfectly designed for smoothies.

I inherited one from a roommate. I don't drink many smoothies, since they're expensive and not very good for you, so I use it for other things I might use a blender for. The last thing I did with it was blend some chilies for pozole. I've also used it when blending soups, although that can be a little cumbersome if it's a lot of soup (immersion blender is often better for that, but I'm lazy and haven't bought one).

I wouldn't keep it if I already had a blender, and if I didn't have either, I'd buy a blender. People who drink a lot of smoothies do get use out of them, though.

This is not really a "what are some recipes for this device" sort of situation, unless you are talking about smoothie recipes (which certainly exist). This is more a "you might occasionally want to make a recipe that calls for blending ingredients" sort of situation.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 12:05 PM on February 16, 2022

I've been thinking of getting a device like this to make my own hummus and salad dressing! Also maybe black bean dip.
posted by Glinn at 12:38 PM on February 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

As Glinn mentions, they would be perfect 1for vinaigrettes when you didn't want to whisk your arm off. It could be useful for blitzing small amounts of graham crackers for a pie crust without getting the big food processor dirty.
posted by mmascolino at 12:42 PM on February 16, 2022

2) Is there anything I could prepare with this besides making fruit smoothies?

Whipped cream.
posted by sm1tten at 2:22 PM on February 16, 2022

I've been meaning to try this quick immersion blender hollandaise
(you may have to check whether the hot butter is ok for your blender or cool the butter a little first)
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 2:58 PM on February 16, 2022

I have pretty much every gadget (and use them all), but this (acquired for $5 at a garage sale) is one of my most useful ones. Above and beyond all the things mentioned above, note that you can freeze ingredients directly in the containers--great for making one-ingredient banana ice cream.
posted by carrienation at 3:15 PM on February 16, 2022

The banana ice cream is often called nice cream, and if you search on that term, there are many recipes for variations online. I add cocoa powder, hazelnuts, vanilla powder, and sometimes raspberries.
posted by FencingGal at 3:52 PM on February 16, 2022

Margaritas and daquiris, or any other cocktail with crushed ice in it.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 7:23 PM on February 16, 2022

I've whirred up eggs and seasonings in mine before scrambling eggs and I have made butter from cream more than once. Smoothies aren't inherently good or bad; it all depends on what you put in them.
posted by soelo at 8:01 PM on February 16, 2022

We use it instead of a food processor - the major drawback is that you cannot add ingredients progressively, so forget about mayonnaise.

But bolognaise sauce - cook onions, carrots, meat etc - blend and perfect

Similarly for pesto, aioli, hummus, etc

And don't forget gravies, sauces and pates - caramelised onions with parsley, cooked chicken liver, salt, pepper and spices
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 10:40 PM on February 16, 2022

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