What if I told you I lived without a blender for nearly all of my adult life? It's true--I just didn't have a need for one.
I never got on board the smoothie train and milkshakes aren't really my jam. I did and do have an immersion blender, though, for the occasional pureed soup. That said, I was DELIGHTED to hear from a gal I met at the IFBC in Seattle who offered to send me a Nutri Ninja Blender DUO With Auto-iQ to review. I seriously did a
Where do I even begin in describing this awesome equipment? I've had it for a while now and I haven't even skimmed the surface of fully examining everything it can do. Let's get to the highlights:
- This behemoth of a blender features timed intelligent blending programs that do the work for you. There's Ultra Blend for smashing up nuts and seeds or breaking down kale. Use Puree for soups and sauces and press the Smoothie button for a premium yogurt-and-fruit(-and-greens) blend.
- There's a Total Crushing feature that pulverizes ice to snow in seconds.
- The Pro Extractor Blades™ break down whole fruits, vegetables, ice, and seeds flawlessly.
- Maximum nutrient and vitamin extraction is delivered with each recipe.
- BPA-free construction offers peace of mind.
This blender comes with SO much stuff--there's a 72-ounce pitcher with lid and pour spout; extractor, crushing, chopping, and dough blades; a 64-ounce food processor bowl; three sizes of multi-serve cups with lids; and lots of booklets containing recipes, tips, and pointers.
I've been using the food processor attachment most of all. It came in handy in grinding up some pretzels for this tasty and satisfying strawberry salad, which is much more of a dessert than a salad--I personally believe it's been misnamed. Have you seen or eaten this before? It's a popular potluck and picnic dish in these parts, and in my experience, it's almost always placed with the desserts. I can't really figure out how it came to be called a salad--any ideas?
There are a lot of interesting textures going on in this dish. The pretzels are buttery, salty, and crunchy, while the middle layer is super sweet and luxuriously creamy. The top is in a world all its own--jiggly, squishy, fruity, and just plain weird. I can't tell you the last time I ate Jell-O®, but there's truly nothing like it on this earth. My boyfriend didn't love the wild mix of mouthfeels, but I liked it. Sweet and salty is something I really enjoy, and if you place it into your mouth correctly, each bite is a unique and delicious event.
Makes 12 generous servings
- 2 cups crushed pretzels
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup + 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided use
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 1 (6 ounce) package strawberry-flavored Jell-O®
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1-1/2 cups cold water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and lightly spray a 9x13-inch baking dish.
Stir together crushed pretzels, melted butter, and 3 tablespoons sugar; mix well and press mixture into the bottom of prepared pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until set. Don't go longer than 10 minutes, though--the cement that results will be very disappointing. Set the crust aside to cool completely.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, remaining 1 cup sugar, and vanilla. Fold in whipped topping and spread mixture onto cooled crust. Place your pan in the fridge while you make the topping.
In a bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in cold water and allow to set for a while in the fridge, about an hour or so. When mixture is about the consistency of egg whites, pour and spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until set.