What Do I Use My Food Processor for?
A food processor was built for easy cutting up of meat, but it isn’t the only benefit of using this underrated kitchen appliance. If you’re like me and you’ve been maximizing the use of your food processor, I’m sure you can agree that a food processor is a MUST-HAVE in any kitchen.
Not sold yet? Here are three things I use my food processor for and why I think everyone should invest in one:
Preparing Make-ahead Meals
I use my food processor for three things.
First, to be able to save money (since buying ingredients from the nearby farmers market and grocery, then cooking meals myself always comes cheaper than takeout or ready-made meals).
Second, to be able to eat healthier meals (I heard this once from Barefoot Contessa that any grocery-bought meal you cannot recreate at home is a no-no because it doesn’t use fresh ingredients).
Third: to save so much time (since I can do all the slicing, chopping and dividing over the weekend, then just get a ready-made batch of food to either cook or reheat.
Here are a few ways make-ahead meals could benefit you:
- Baby food with love – Ever wondered if the ingredient list on baby food packaging is true? If you do your baby’s soups, pureed fruits, cracker dips, pasta sauces, and other baby-friendly meals homemade, you’d never have to wonder about the ingredients used since you know they’re fresh.
- Unlimited nut butter with controlled sugar – I run a household with nut-butter-loving kids. They could eat a jar of their favorite almond butter and peanut butter in just two days. While I think it’s way better than other junk food, I am not comfortable with the amount of sugar included in grocery-bought nut butter. Making them in your food processor ensures you’re in control of the amount of sugar these nut butter have and the sugar your kids consume.
- Dips and pasta sauces – Salsa and other dips, pesto and other pasta sauces are so expensive when bought at the store. You’d be amazed at how easy and how inexpensive making them with your food processor actually are.
Of course, for meat lovers, the food processor can be your gateway to making the juiciest sausages, burgers, and chicken nuggets that no store-bought can even compete with.
Food Prep Like a Pro
Chopping, shredding, slicing, and just mixing ingredients are tasks that may seem simple but can also be extremely tiring when done on a daily basis. Imagine chopping 4 to 5 kilos of just one type of vegetable – it’s going to exert such an effort from you. This is why commercial kitchens with only a few employees use food processors for quicker food prep.
With a food processor, you’ll be able to:
- Shred cabbage, potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, and other similar ingredients super quickly.
- Uniformly slice fruits, vegetables, meats, and other ingredients.
- Chop bulk nuts, peppers, soft meat, celery, etc.
Aside from these main tasks, the functionality of a food processor could still be extended based on the accessories that the brand and model has or add-on attachments you can invest in. For example:
- The dough blade lets you knead pizza dough or cake dough without a mixer.
- The French Fry disc lets you slice potatoes in French Fry size and shape with ease.
- The whipping attachment helps you cream butter, fluff any ingredient, and make icing to your heart’s content.
Restoring your passion for Cooking
Let’s face it – anything done in a routine can become a chore. Cooking itself is a chore, so making it feel like one can burn out even the most passionate cooks. But if you use a new gadget like a food processor to explore new prep techniques or recreate new recipes, it’s going to be a worthy investment once you’ve regained your passion for cooking.
Make the experience fun by using your food processor to:
- Dice garlic or onion hands-free – If you’ve always hated the task of slicing either garlic or onion and the smell it leaves behind your hands, a food processor can take care of this for you.
- Explore making your own flour – For those trying to cut back on carbs, one way to do it is to make your own flour from almonds, oats, coconut, and other raw ingredients.
- Save money by recycling old ingredients – If you have old bread lying around and is almost about to go stale, you can process it and turn it into homemade breadcrumbs. You can add spices to these breadcrumbs and use them as extenders for your deep-fried recipes like tonkatsu or fried chicken.
- Use the food processor as an ice cream maker – You don’t need to buy all the kitchen appliances in the world to get in with the times. Many gadgets like the food processor can do double duty. One of them is serving as ice cream or slushie maker for those without a blender or mixer.
Lastly, for those who maintain a successful herb garden and have no idea how to dispose of their harvest, dehydrate them via your microwave, oven, or dehydrator, then use your food processor in grinding them into spices. You’ll be amazed at how well these herbs could keep – mine has been in my pantry for several months at a time.