LOS ANGELES (KABC) --While the average home chef takes about 30 minutes to make a meal, Tess Masters says using a blender can help make healthy fast food.
"So, it's just a very, very accessible way to include a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole foods into your daily diet," said Masters.
Known as the Blender Girl, Masters doesn't think "starved for time" has to mean lack of nutrition. Her recipes can be created in under a half hour.
Like watermelon gazpacho using a watermelon base with tomato, cucumber, red onion, basil, red pepper, mint and ginger. Give the watermelon a quick blast in the blender but ladle in the other goodies.
"I don't want it to be completely pureed and be a disgusting, unpalatable-looking salmon color," said Masters, who feels we eat with our eyes as well.
She also makes cream cheeze with a "z." There's no dairy here, but there's plenty of plant protein with nuts, seeds and grains. Masters says the secret to making these ingredients smooth and creamy is to soak them to soften.
"First of all for digestibility, to release the full nutrient potential of the food, but also to neutralize the enzyme inhibitors," she said. "It also makes things easy to blend."
If you don't have a culinary straining bag, no worries! Masters recommends a cut-off pair of clean panty hose to do the trick. No kidding!
But there is a pecking order when blending these recipes. Before you blend, add liquids first. For Master's cream cheeze, add almond milk and lemon juice first, then raw pine nuts and sunflower seeds. Then, kick it up with some garlic, miso paste and tamari.
Chocolate is one of those foods that has a multitude of flavor profiles, which is why you can actually make a smoothie sneaking cauliflower, broccoli and spinach in it, without making the icky face.
"We've got cooked cauliflower, we've got frozen broccoli, we've got some spinach, we've got some pears, some bananas -- so really half your daily dose of fruits and vegetables just in one glass," said Masters.
With the veggies in the proper forms -- as in frozen broccoli, cooled cooked cauliflower and raw spinach leaves -- it makes a big difference in consistency along with blending your chocolate shake really well.
Chocolate Smoothie Recipe from The Blender Girl Tess Masters
1 cup (240 ml) unsweetened soy, rice, hemp, or almond milk (strained if homemade)
1/2 teaspoon probiotic powder (optional)
1//2 cup firmly pack baby spinach
1/4 cup (25g) frozen broccoli (about 2 florets)
1 banana, plus more to taste
1/2 ripe pear, cored, plus more to taste
1 cup (120 g) steamed cauliflower florets (cooled completely), or an extra banana (to save time if you don't have a bit of leftover cauliflower)
2 tablespoons cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus more to taste
1 cup (125 g) ice cubes
Throw everything into your blender and puree on high for 30-60 seconds, until smooth and creamy. Tweak flavors to taste.
Note: this smoothie is best consumed immediately, or the day it is made.
Masters' "The Blender Girl" cookbook is available on Amazon.com.