4 Easy Thanksgiving Recipes for Your Blender

a photo of an easy Thanksgiving meal that includes our cranberry relish, stuffing, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, and roast pork
The first meal we made with some of our easy Thanksgiving recipes


Everyone always prays for a smooth and easy Thanksgiving dinner celebration. Justine and I really enjoy cooking together, and for the past two years, we’ve had fun making our own little Thanksgiving feasts for two. This year, however, we will be spending Thanksgiving Day on an airplane, flying from Asia back to the United States. Since we won’t be able to cook this year, we would like to share with you a some of our easy Thanksgiving favorites! These recipes are also things we enjoy making year-round.

If you’re preparing dinner last minute, these are perfect additions to round out the meal. We all know, the best part of Thanksgiving is not the main dish, but the side dishes!

Whether you’re looking for easy Thanksgiving Vitamix recipes, or you’re using an OmniBlend or Blendtec, these recipes are going to come out great.

Easy Thanksgiving Recipes

Sweet Potato / Butternut Squash Soup

This one is SO easy – I love making it any time of the year. In fact, I used this recipe in my live demonstrations of high powered blenders for years. I always use raw sweet potato or squash, but cooked would also work well! My favorite way to make this recipe is with sweet potato, because you can just wash it, chop it into chunks, and throw it in to blend. Some people don’t like eating the skin sweet potato, but there’s a lot of extra nutrition in there! The skin is so thin, it won’t affect the final taste, and you’ll also have less food to throw away.

If you’re using butternut squash, acorn squash, kubocha, or pumpkin, then there will be some peeling involved. For Thanksgiving, it might be best to save yourself some time and buy the cut-and-peeled kind, which you can find in the produce section. After all, these are supposed to be easy recipes! You can double, triple, or quadruple this one, so make a whole container of it if need be.

1 cup raw or cooked sweet potato with skin OR 1 cup raw or cooked butternut squash
2 cups water, room temperature or hot*
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey
1/3 clove garlic
Tiny pinch of dry chipotle chile powder (optional)

Add all ingredients into high powered blender. Starting on the low speed, turn your machine up to high speed.
If using room temperature water, blend for 6 minutes, or until hot.
If using hot water, blend for 3-4 minutes, until smooth.

Starting from low speed, turn your machine up to the highest speed. Blend for the time specified above. 

*Not all high-powered blenders are made alike, so always use your appliance safely, according to the instructions included! Machines like Vitamix or OmniBlend can blend hot ingredients without any problems, but others may not be able to. If you cannot safely blend hot ingredients in your blender for long periods of time, blend the ingredients until they are smooth, then cook it on low on the stove top for about a half hour.

Cranberry Relish / Cranberry Sauce

This recipe has lots of flexibility. Justine like the crunchiness of a raw cranberry relish; she can even eat it plain by the spoonful. I prefer my cranberry condiments to be more sauce-like, so I can top off my easy Thanksgiving stuffing. Justine is usually in charge of making the cranberry stuff, and she will make it both ways by making a big batch of the raw relish, and cooking half of it on the stove. What a woman.

1 8-oz bag fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
1/2 to 1 cup cane sugar
1 orange, peeled
1 tsp orange zest

Add all ingredients into high powered blender; start with 1/2 cup of sugar, and add more later for desired sweetness. Chop on low speed 3 or 4 until evenly chopped to your preferred texture. It’s ready to serve raw.

For cooked cranberry sauce, simmer raw relish on the stove over low heat for about 10 minutes. Or, for a totally smooth and cooked sauce. blend ingredients on top speed in your high powered blender  for 6 minutes.

easy Thanksgiving recipes
Last year’s easy Thankgiving meal! See the two jars of cranberry condiments 🙂

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate is super simple to make in the right high powered blender. You can add any extra flavor you like! It’s a crowd-pleaser, and great to serve before, during, or after your Thanksgiving meal. Justine likes to make hot chocolate in our high-powered blender with room temperature ingredients. She will let it blend it until it gets hot while she does dishes or something. I, on the other hand, do not like waiting for my hot chocolate to heat up, so I like to give it a head start by adding hot water first. Here’s my favorite to make at home:

1 cup dairy or non-dairy milk (Try our easy almond milk recipe, it’s perfect for this!)
1/2 cup hot water*
1 tbsp cocoa powder (cacao powder ok if that’s what you like)
1 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon or 1 sprinkle pumpkin spice blend
2 oz Irish cream liqueur (optional)

Add all ingredients into high powered blender. Start on low, and turn your machine up to the highest speed. Blend until piping hot, about 4 minutes. Add Irish cream to mug before pouring in the hot chocolate.

*Not all high-powered blenders are made alike, so always use your appliance safely, according to the instructions included! Machines like Vitamix or OmniBlend can blend hot ingredients without any problems, but others may not be able to. If you cannot safely blend hot ingredients in your blender for long periods of time, blend the ingredients until they are smooth, then cook it on low on the stove top for about a half hour.

Holiday Spice Whipped Cream

This easy thanksgiving recipe is something everyone who has a high powered blender needs to try at least once. Make a few tablespoons, or a whole quart! The texture is a bit less airy than a whipped cream done by hand or with a stand mixer. I love it for frosting cupcakes, on top of hot chocolate, and especially on my Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. This recipe requires some paying attention, but only for a few seconds. If you blend too long, you get a really delicious dessert butter, so you can’t really go wrong. This may be the easiest Thanksgiving recipe of all!

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp cane sugar or other sweetener
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp cardamom powder OR 1/8 tsp pumpkin spice

Add all ingredients to blender. Blend on high speed, and listen to the sound. It should change in pitch after about 10 sections, making a loud WHOOSH sound. TURN IT OFF RIGHT AWAY. Your whipped cream is ready to serve. You can jiggle the carafe around and see it’s a stiff whip.

The best thing about Thanksgiving is that it’s a holiday of tradition, especially when it comes to cooking. What are your favorite easy Thanksgiving recipes? Share a photo or recipe with us in our Facebook group! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


The Easiest Way to Make Almond Milk

learn to make almond milk with blender brain!

One of the most delicious ways to save a ton of money with your high powered blender is to make almond milk at home. To us here at BlenderBrain, choosing among the huge number of available dairy-free products in the store can feel pretty overwhelming. We have discovered that our favorites by far are home-made, in our blenders.

But Why Would Anyone Want to Make Almond Milk?

The fact is: commercially made soy milk, almond milk, and rice milk are one of the biggest scams of our generation. They are composed of over 90% water, yet they’re priced like regular cartons of milk in the store! That’s a pretty big mark-up for bottled water. Think about it; in the United States, almond milk can cost up to twice as much per gallon as gas. That’s nuts!

Plus, with mysterious additives like carrageenan and added sugar, the ingredients list on that milk substitute doesn’t always sound so wholesome. Now, we’re not saying that those milk alternatives at the store are bad for our health; in fact we have bought them just like you have! But for many reasons, the best milk alternative is really the one you make at home. You can control how rich and creamy the milk is, and you can flavor it however you’d like. Once you make almond milk and have a taste, the brands at the store are going to taste so bland!

And the best part? It’s cheap. It feels wonderful to turn a half-handful of almonds into a whole gallon of milk.


Healthiest Vegetables for Smoothies: 10 Greens Beyond Kale

Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables in the world
Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables in the world


Kale is definitely one of the healthiest vegetables in the world, and one of our favorites here at BlenderBrain. But the fact is, for all practical purposes there are an infinite number of vegetables to try! In this article, I will focus on other, less fashionable leafy greens.

For most people, greens are the healthiest food out there. One of the best ways people can figure out what the healthiest vegetables are is using the ANDI score, developed by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. ANDI stands for “Aggregate Nutritional Density Index.” This measure represents a food’s overall nutritional content per calorie. It’s a lot like measuring like the number of miles per gallon your car is getting. How much nutrition are you getting for each calorie you eat? In a certain sense, the higher the ANDI score number, the healthier the food! Kale measures 1000 on the ANDI score list, which is the highest the measure goes.

If you want to read a deep technical article about the ANDI score measurement, check out the article on Dr. Furhman’s website at this link. He’s got a pretty thorough ranking of foods there too that’s very easy to understand – and not just greens. Doctor Furhman is a food scientist and an overall cool guy who advocates for increasing your vegetable intake. I met him in New Jersey once when I was demonstrating the Vitamix 5200 at a Whole Foods Market, and I still feel starstruck. This other website called Nutrientrich also has a great list of foods with ANDI scores.

Green leafy vegetables are going to blow the socks off of any of those expensive heavily marketed “super foods,” like goji berries, raw chocolate beans, flax seeds, etc. Cheap greens will provide nutrition that will overshadow any expensive powder; don’t believe the hype! This is not to say your flax seeds and powders are worthless — their nutritional content is of course very different than even the healthiest vegetables. The message I’d like to convey here today is that greens are the best foundation for healthy eating. Those other foods are great to consider, but only after the greens are taken care of. So let’s get started.


Make Your Blender Quieter: Prevent Hearing Damage

Make Your Blender Quieter

If you’re going to be blending regularly with any high-powered blender, it’s a good idea to explore your options and make your blender quieter. In fact, noise level is among the most common concerns people express when considering starting on the health journey of blending! Unfortunately, this concern stops an enormous number of people from trying at all. It’s sad, because the health benefits one can achieve using these tools are profound. But these careful people are not wrong to be concerned!

As the experts, we have a different experience using high powered blenders from most people. We didn’t just use it every morning. Tini and I were around the loud sound of the Vitamix for 12+ hours a day for years! I did that job for eight full years. After I left, I realized I miss the detail I heard in music when I was a kid. It’s a sad fact, and one I wish I had considered; this change in my hearing is likely permanent. However, even if I didn’t fear for my ears, I abhor the sound of exposed blenders now! I will always use a sound enclosure to make my blender quieter, because I know the health benefits are worth the investment.


Lucky Jackfruit Shake

It was a hot day in August. We were getting ready to move, low on ingredients due to a grocery moratorium. I was all alone, on a work sabbatical. I wanted a smoothie and I wanted one bad. So I looked in the freezer. This stuff was old and I wasn’t really sure it was gonna be any good. But it was eye opening. It was a LUCKY JACKFRUIT SHAKE!

Frozen. Jackfruit.

Flashback: I’m so lucky. The one I love, Justine, peeled a bunch of Jackfruit. We were going to eat it together. But then something wonderful happened. Justine had an intense allergic reaction.


Sugar free full Fiber Vegetable Juice

Hey! Will here. Do you want a smoothie that will give you real superpowers? A sugar free full fiber vegetable juice that tastes great? In our house, we call it Wake Up Juice. If you like V8 juice and want to make your own version, you’ll love these tips for making your own recipe. If you have diabetes or another body problem that’s really scary, my opinion is that maybe you should develop a taste for this if you want to fix your body.

Sugar Free Full Fiber Vegetable Juice

Here’s my story: I was in my late 20’s, and I was starting to get pretty fat. Well, at least I was heavier than my too skinny self before. Maybe I looked about the right size, but I was on a road to nowhere good. In fact, the doctor said my blood pressure was a little high. I was a champion blender salesman – a professional shouter. “COME ON DOWN! IT’LL WHIP CREAM, IT’LL CHURN FRESH BUTTER, GRINDS MEAT, GRINDS GRAINS, KNEADS DOUGH!” You get as many free, extra sweet smoothies in that job, 10+ hours a day. I started out at 140 pounds, and, a few years later, I was at 165.

It was time for a change – a smoothie for a new time. I needed a sugar-free, full-fiber vegetable juice, so I started throwing vegetables into my drinks as if they were fruit. It was just impossible to drink. I would end up with thick, fibrous, kale pudding that was so bitter, you’d do a little shudder shake after every sip. So I started to really experiment. 


DIY Hot Chili Oil

Over the years I have developed a taste for spicy food. Specifically, hot sauce. But not just hot, it’s gotta have flavor. And I don’t like any of that ketchupy sriacrha nonsense. At first when I got something called “hot oil” at the Chinese food restaurant I was a little afraid. No vinegar? No sugar? Big chunks of dried peppers? I started by gingerly using only the oil portion and tossing the solids.

But, somehow over the years I have developed a taste for globs of this stuff. Put in on my vegetables, put it on my meat, put it in my soup and noodles and salad. I would buy a jar of the plainest chili oil I could find and, a couple weeks later, it’s all gone. Spooning an enormous glob of this feared condiment as onlookers gasp and cover their children’s eyes makes me feel like a circus freak and a superhero all rolled up into one. An expensive habit. And why do they always make it so salty and oily? It became a gamble – each brand was different. One had tomato in it – not my thing. Too much variation in the market and too much risk. Time to make my own.