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Blending outside the box

Turns out, high-powered blenders are more than just smoothie makers. Here are 12 extracurriculars you can task them with. Click through for lots of blender possibilities; no other appliances required.

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Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET
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Guacamole

Blenders can make it easy to fix a good guac. Save yourself the hassle of chopping the onions and tomatoes. The blender can do that for you.

$479.99 at Amazon
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Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET
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Guacamole

I recommend starting off on a slow speed. It helps the blender catch all the ingredients and leaves you time to stop if you want a chunkier guac.

$479.99 at Amazon
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Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET
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Guacamole

For a creamy mixture, let it blend.

$479.99 at Amazon
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Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET
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Whipped cream

Blenders are more graceful than I initially thought. With a little sugar and vanilla, most blenders successfully can aerate cream into a frothy whip capable of holding a shape.

$189.99 at Amazon
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Published:Caption:Photo:Katie Pilkington/CNET
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Chocolate frosting

Take advantage of that whipping power by mixing cream, chocolate, sugar, vanilla and butter together for a delicious cake topper.

$349.00 at Amazon
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Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET
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Mayonnaise

You can even whip eggs and oil into something you'd be happy to spread on your sandwich.

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Pancake batter

In addition to smoothies, blenders can help make a sweeter breakfast by mixing your pancake batter.

$39.99 at Amazon
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Nut flour

Turn up the speed, and high-powered blenders can really impress. Many were able to turn whole almonds into powdery flour in no time.

$89.95 at Amazon
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Published:Caption:Photo:Ry Crist/CNET
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Nut butter

Keep the blades to that nut flour -- the best blenders will break it all the way down into an almond butter.

$150.00 at Amazon
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Published:Caption:Photo:Andrew Gebhart/CNET
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Coffee beans

If you don't have a burr grinder but want a quick way to pulverize whole beans for a fresh brew, your blender can come through for you.

$150.00 at Amazon
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Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET
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Coffee beans

Pour these into a filter and start the brew.

$150.00 at Amazon
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Peppercorns

Blenders can do the same with whole peppercorns.

$39.99 at Amazon
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Shredded cheese

Some blenders include unique attachments. The Oster Versa actually lets you shred cheese.

$138.77 at Amazon
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Published:Caption:Photo:Colin West McDonald/CNET
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Applesauce

Ideally, I should have peeled these apples. Fortunately, the blender still made the applesauce taste just fine.

$479.99 at Amazon
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Applesauce

A little green, but a sweet, healthy snack.

$479.99 at Amazon
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Ice cream

For a less healthy, but more coveted snack, your blender can actually make great ice cream.

$349.00 at Amazon
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Ice cream

With ice cubes, vanilla, sugar and milk, we made a tasty dessert.

$349.00 at Amazon
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Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET
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