If you do any home-cooking or baking at home, you need a food processor. They can be used for a huge variety of tasks, which we will cover shortly. First, however, know that not all food processors are created equally. To get the most versatility from the gadget, you want one with a powerful motor around 600 watts. You should also consider getting one that includes a work bowl and blade for prepping smaller amounts of food, like herbs, nuts, and sauces. Once you’ve chosen your ideal processor, here’s what you can use it for:
Nut butters, flour, and milk
If you’re a fan of nut butters, flours, and milk, the food processor is a great tool. Making your own is much cheaper than buying it from a store, and all three foods are surprisingly simple to prepare. For butters, begin by warming nuts (like almonds) in a low oven for 10-15 minutes, and then grind in your food processor for a good 20 minutes or so, until you get the creaminess you desire. Flours are even easier, because you just grind the nuts into a fine powder. For almond milk, first boil in water for a few minutes, then slide off the skins once they’re cool to the touch. Add to the food processor with vanilla extract, water, and dates (if you want a sweet flavor), blend, and then strain.
Instead of buying pre-ground meats, you can choose your favorite chicken, fish, or steak brand and then grind them in your food processor. What’s wrong with pre-ground meat? It’s often subject to recalls, especially ground beef. This is because the bacteria, which usually hangs out on the outer layer of meat, gets mixed up through all the meat when it’s ground. This makes it much harder to kill through cooking.
Pesto and hummus
Pesto and hummus are reasonably healthy, and just as delicious as condiments for sandwiches as they are in their original incarnations as pasta sauce and dip. Make pesto by grinding pine nuts, basil, lemon juice, and olive oil together. Hummus is made by pureeing chickpeas and tahini, along with other spices and seasonings, depending on the recipe.
Larabars are known for their simple, real ingredients like dates and nuts. They’re so simple, you can easily make most of the flavors yourself, for a lot cheaper. Simply mix the ingredients together into a paste and then mush down into a baking dish lined with parchment paper. Slice into bars. No baking required!
Homemade baby food
Concerned about the food going in your baby’s body or at least about the prices? Making your own baby food is very easy, because you need very few ingredients. It’s all pretty much just mashed fruit and veggies. For an apple-banana puree, boil fruit in water until tender, and then run through a food processor. Serve lukewarm or cold.
Your food processor can create more than just food. With coconut oil or shea butter as the base, you can whip up your own body butter with natural ingredients. You’ll also need cornstarch or arrowroot powder for structure, and your favorite essential oil scent like lavender, orange, or peppermint. Blend everything in your food processor until smooth, adding a little olive oil if the butter is too stiff.
A food processor is a must-have for both bakers and home cooks. What other gadgets should a baker always have on hand?