A great way to liven up your dishes is with sauces. One of the best ways to make those is by starting with a purée. A common way to purée is with a blender, so you set up it, but there’s a problem. It won’t start, but don’t panic. Here you can learn how to purée without a blender.
An alternative automatic machine to making a purée without a blender is a food processor. The other machines use manual effort, like a manual food processor or a food mill. Besides these machines, you can use good ol’ fashion force. You can use a potato masher, knife, cheese grater and more
Don’t fret if you still don’t how to purée using these alternatives. Keep reading below to learn the steps and techniques.
How To Purée With A Blender
You can purée any chewable food, whether it be fruits, vegetables, or meat. For larger foods, you can chop them into tiny pieces first before you start the puréeing. Doing this step would make it easier for your blender to cut them. Harder foods like potatoes will need to be cooked first to soften them. Blanching and boiling should be enough.
Foods with a lot of water blend easily. Watermelons, tomatoes, and lettuce are examples of foods that blend easily without water. They are soft and are already filled with water in the first place. For other foods, you will need to add water to help the blender slush and cut the foods. Examples of these foods are hard fruits, like apples, and vegetables. You’ll also need to add water if the food or pieces are too small.
The more water you add, the thinner will the consistency be. If you intend to make a purée and you add too much water, you might end up with something that resembles a smoothie or shake. So add as little water as you can. If it isn’t enough, add a bit more. You also don’t have to use water. Any flowy liquid of choice will do, like almond milk and fruit juice.
Some blenders might have a tamper on the lid. You use it to push the food down into the blades. Don’t worry about hitting the blades because the tamper shouldn’t be long enough for that. If your blender doesn’t have one, you can simply use a spoon to push down the food.. But you might want to turn the blender off when you do it.
10 Ways to Purée Without A Blender
As you read earlier again, there’s no need to panic if you don’t have a blender. You can still make purées. How easy or difficult it is will depend on the alternatives you have and your skills.
Purée With A Food Processor
Both have can look almost the same, but there are key differences between the two. The main difference is their purpose. A blender pulverizes foods to combine or “blend” them. A food processor can also pulverize and combine, but it can also do a lot more. Food processors can slice, shred, chop, grate, and more.
To do its different functions, food processors have different blades and discs. The blades are usually shaped like an S. The blades can be plain-edged or serrated.
The plain edge does clean cuts. Hence, these are great for chopping meat, fruits, and vegetables. The serrated blades are what you will use to purée. Some food processors also come with a whisk accessory. You can use that accessory to whisk, whip, and stir.
Meanwhile, blenders usually have a fixed blade. The blades are either built into the blender vessel or part of an attachment that screws into the vessel. Blender can have either one or two sets of blades. If it has two, one would be sharp and shaped like an X or a star.
There would be four or 6 blades. The other set is like wings. These are flat with blunt edges that turn up or down. These blades are for crushing, like ice. They can also be used to grind to make flour.
The motor of a typical food processor is usually more powerful than that of a blender. Though it’s no longer surprising for the motor of a high-end blender to be as or more powerful than that of a typical food processor.
The end products of blenders are also usually flowy. Hence, the blender vessel is a tall jar with a handle that is meant for pouring. Meanwhile, the vessel of a food processor is wider, like a large bowl. This shape allows for more area to process many and different foods.
Related Article: Best Food Processor for Making Salsa
Motorized Food Processor
Puréeing is a common purpose between a food processor and blender. Hence, the steps on how to purée with a blender is the same with how to purée with a food processor. Some food processors also have a tamper. If they don’t, you can just use a spoon.
Manual Food Processor
There are manual food processors. These ones don’t have a motor. Instead, you turn the blades yourself. For example, the blades can be connected to a handle or a crank that you spin. The blades can also be connected to a pull string, like a starter rope.
Every time you pull it, the blades spin. The disadvantage of a manual food processor is that it is not as powerful as a motorized one. It can also be tiring. But you can bring it with you wherever you go, like on a picnic or a hike. It beats having to puréeing with just a knife or a fork, which you’ll read about below.
Purée With An Immersion Blender
An immersion blender is a handheld blender.
It’s like a wand. The motor and controls are on the handle while the blades are on other end or head. Like a regular blender, an immersion blender can also create smoothies, shakes, and purées. Immersion blenders also come with different accessories or attachments.
These attachments can include different types of blades and a whisk. Among the possible types of blades is a masher. It would have a dull blade and is meant for, you guessed it, mashing.
With an immersion blender, you can do the blending with the food already in the intended container. So if you want to use an immersion blender to purée, the food must already be in a bowl. Simply place the blades on the food and activate the blender.
Purée With A Food Mill
A food mill is also called a purée sieve. Its main purpose is to mash and sieve soft food. A typical food mill has three part, namely, a bowl, a perforated bottom plate, and a crank. The bowl would have projections or legs. These legs sets or attaches the food mill over another bowl that catch food being mashed.
Food mills usually have many perforated plates with different pore sizes. As you turn the crank, it pushes the food through the perforated plate. Your food may have seeds, pulp, or other hard debris that can’t pass through the plate. To remove those, you turn the crank in reverse.
Afterward, turn the food mill over to collect the debris.
A food mill is great for making applesauce, tomato sauce, and other mashed or puréed fruits and vegetables. If the vegetables are too hard, you can soften them by cooking them first. It’s not ideal for puréeing raw meats, but you use it on cooked meats. You can make ground meats for salads and spreads.
Unlike blenders and food processors, food mills don’t have tamper. Some of the food your are puréeing can stick to the walls. When that happens, simply push it down using a spoon.
Purée With A Chinois
A chinois is a sieve that is shaped like a cone. Its original purpose is to strain things that are meant to be smooth, like soups and sauces. But because of its perforation, you can use it like a food mill. The only difference is that you push the food through the holes yourself.
You can do so with a silicone spatula or just your hands. Just wear some gloves when you use your hands. Have a bowl ready to catch the resulting purée. The pores are usually small enough to keep seeds from getting into the purée.
Purée With A Potato Masher And Ricer
Just because it’s called a potato masher and a potato ricer doesn’t mean you can only use it on potatoes. It works perfectly fine with other soft foods. Use it on other soft foods as you would use it on potatoes.
Purée With A Knife
While you can purée with just a knife, the amount of foods with which to do it is limited. Those foods are the soft ones.
Garlic is a common item that you can purée with just a knife. To do some, separate the cloves from the bulb and remove the skin. You can do these steps by hand. If you plan on using the whole bulb, there are hacks on how to quickly separate and peel the cloves.
You slice the whole bulb in half crosswise. Then you set the halves with the cut side down. Afterwards, you set the flat side of the knife on top of the garlic half. You then smack or strongly press it with your hand. This method will slighly crush the garl, releasing them from the skin.
Once you have the garlic cloves peeled, set them on a cutting board. Slice and chop the garlic into fine pieces. This step can take some time, depending on your knife skills. Once you have fine pieces, turn the knife onto the flat side of the tip.
The knife shouldn’t be completely flat and parallel with your cutting board. The edge should be angled ever so slightly downward. This angle will make grinding and mashing the garlic onto the cutting board more easily. Then rock and drag onto the garlic. This motion should mash and grind the it against the cutting board.
To make the puréeing easier, you can sprinkle coarse salt onto the fine pieces of garlic. The salt will act as an abrasive agent. Puréeing garlic with a knife is a skill that takes time to master. But if you intend to do a lot of cooking in your life, then it’s a skill that is worth learning.
Other foods you can purée with a knife are soft fruits like bananas and mangoes. You can also do it with soft leafy vegetables like spinach. When it comes to meats, you’ll likely have the best results with the soft ones, like fish meat. Don’t even bother trying to purée a steak with just a knife.
Purée With A Fork
Your options when puréeing with a fork are even more limited than those of a knife. The main reason is you don’t have the benefit of a harp edge. The foods you can purée with a fork must all be soft like bananas or cooked vegetables.
You do the puréeing in a bowl. You put the food in the bowl, and you mash it with the fork. The method is straightforward.
Purée With A Cheese Grater
Your options for puréeing with a cheese grater is the same with those of a fork. The food must also be soft. The method is again straightforward. You simply grate the food. But because the food soft, you don’t end up with flakes. You end up a mashed consistency. Have a bowl read to catch the purée.
Purée With A Mallet
For this method, you will also need a cheesecloth. Place the food on a cutting board. Cover it with the cheesecloth. Then hammer away with the mallet. The cheesecloth will prevent any food from spattering everywhere.
You can also use this method on nuts and seeds. This method is loud and it can be messy, but it is effective. And again, it will be easier to hammer soft food into a purée. So if you have hard food like potatoes or squash, cook them first.
Purée With A Rolling Pin
For this method, you will need a resealable bag. Place the food in the bag and roll away. Keep rolling back and forth until you get the desired consistency. As you can imagine, not only is this method easier with soft foods, but also smaller ones as well. Hence, you may want to pre-cut the food.
The next time you have to make a purée and you don’t have access to a blender, give some of these alternatives a try.