istock/lecicRoom temperature leafy greens
Juicing has endless health benefits, but beware when putting those fiber-rich leafy greens in that blender. "The motor can easily turn your dish brown. To keep colors vibrant, ice your greens for 5 minutes prior to adding to the blender," says Andre Sickinger, a clean-food chef.
istock/azpworldwideCertain super high-fiber foods
It's not just leafy greens: Be careful with anything high in fiber. "Even with the new super-powerful, high-speed blenders, foods that are high in fiber don't do well," says Rachel Muse, a private chef. Raw broccoli stalks will turn to strings of fiber, for example.
istock/andy445Rock-hard frozen fruit
One thing people love to make is fruit smoothies. While they're delicious and easy to make, people sometimes put fully frozen fruits in the blender. This can result in lumpy smoothies and, in some cases, can cause the sharp blades to crack and break. Leave frozen fruits out in the fridge to thaw or put them in a Ziploc bag and thaw in a bowl of water before blending. Here are healthy smoothie recipes to inspire you.
Anything really hard like nuts, coffee beans, or cocoa beans will either blunt the blade and not blend or the motor will be powerful enough to blend and you'll wind up with a sticky, grout-like paste, says Muse. These are better in a grinder.
Anything with a really strong flavor (garlic, chilies, etc.) may affect the rubber seal of the blender and taint future things that you blend. You may have noticed this when you put raw garlic in your blender when making that steak marinade, and then still had the flavor in your morning smoothie even after washing the container out!
istock/nicksToo little or too much liquid
When the machine is running and you have to add liquid, do it slowly to avoid surging motor or splashing. The ratio of liquid to solids must be right. Not enough liquid and the blender will make some things lumpy; too much liquid and the blades won't come into contact with the solid.
istock/lauripattersonAnything with bones
Sickinger says he sees inexperienced chefs making this mistake all the time. When adding chicken or fish to a blender for meatballs or fish cakes, it is important to make sure that there are no bones in the meat. This sounds obvious, but you'd be surprised how often professionals and beginners alike make this mistake.
"Great recipes are about layers of tastes and textures. Blending meats changes the consistency and texture of meat into baby food," says Terri Rogers, chef and CEO of NoOodle. (Of course, that's fine if you're making it for a baby or need to eat soft foods for whatever reason.)
Avoid putting any tools in the blender while it's running especially plastic, glass, or wooden utensils, because they can chip, crack, or break ruining your dish. If you must use a tool while the blender is running, go with a metal spoon.
"Unless you have a high-performance blender (like a Vitamix), never try to blend sun-dried tomatoes. Their leathery texture will jam up the blender. If you want to blend them, make sure to soak in water first to soften them up," says Ali Maffucci, founder of Inspiralized.