You don’t need a blender to make a smoothie. Did I break your brain a little? OK, I’m sort of kidding. What I really mean is that you don’t need that big honkin’ 72-ounce blender on your counter to make a smoothie for one. You can make that single serving smoothie with an immersion blender. That’s right, an immersion blender can do so much more than sit in your drawer until you’re making butternut squash soup. The super powerful blades of the immersion blender are just as good at pulverizing frozen fruit as they are at pureeing vegetables. Just blend your smoothie in the beaker that came with your immersion blender and chug that bad boy. 

Wait—you lost that beaker almost immediately after buying the machine? Yep, me too. You’ll be relieved to know that a wide-mouthed pint (or larger) jar will work just as well. Plus, if you’re one of those breakfast-on-the-go folks, you can just rinse the immersion blender, slap a lid on your smoothie jar, and head out into the world.

 

Cut half a frozen banana into small chunks and drop them into the immersion blender beaker or jar along with ¼ cup frozen kale, ¼ cup frozen blueberries, 3 halved fresh strawberries, and a heaping tablespoon of nut butter (almond works really well with these fruits). If you’re interested in a more complex flavor, drop in a ¼-inch knob of fresh, peeled ginger and a few fresh mint or sage leaves. Pour in 1 cup of milk—blender’s choice. If the milk doesn’t reach the top of the solid stuff, throw in a bit more milk or some coconut water until the fruit is well covered. 

Most importantly, you want the liquid to rise up in the container so you can submerge the business end of the immersion blender in the smoothie. If the immersion blender isn’t—wait for it—immersed completely in the liquid, the smoothie will spatter all over you and your kitchen with such determination that you’ll be cleaning up purple stains for the next three years. So if you want to drink your smoothie instead of wearing it, heed my liquid ratio warning.

Plunge the immersion blender into the liquid. Then, and only then, press the button to begin blending the smoothie, moving the machine up and down to make sure the whole smoothie blends. If at any point the solid bits in the mixture clog the machine, unplug the immersion blender before doing any detangling. I’ll say it one more time for the people in the back: Don’t put your fingers in an immersion blender unless it is unplugged. The button is way too easy to accidentally press, and last I checked if you’re heading to the hospital for emergency finger stitches you’re not going to get to drink your smoothie first.

Once your smoothie is fully blended, drink your smoothie straight out of the beaker or jar. Boom, only one dish to wash. You’re welcome.