It slices, it dices, it whips up a batch of summer pesto in no time! My food processor is one of those multi-tasking kitchen tools that I really don't think I could live without at this point. Today, I thought I'd take a minute to ponder all the wonderful ways, big and small, that I use mine on a regular basis — making my life just a little bit easier in the process. Here's what I came up with:
I have to admit something before diving in: I very rarely bother to dig out the other attachments and blades for my food processor. I just never got in the habit of using it to cut vegetables or other prep work. The majority of the time, I leave the standard "chopping blade" in the food processor and use it for everything I do.
1. Puréeing Soups and Sauces: This was actually the top reason why I got a food processor in the first place.
2. Preparing Salsas, Pestos, Dips, and Spreads: With all the fine chopping and grinding required for these kinds of recipes, a food processor really makes the job a lot easier.
3. Making Pasta Dough: I didn't believe this would work until I finally tried it, and now I will forever more make my pasta dough in the food processor. SO easy.
4. Grinding Meat: Grinding meat yourself is cheaper and safer (I feel). I just cut whole pieces of meat into chunks, freeze them until the edges are stiff, and then pulse them in the food processor until coarsely ground.
5. Making Homemade Mayonnaise: Yet another example of the food processor acting as my third arm in the kitchen.
6. Grinding Nuts: Forget chopping nuts by hand — when I want a few cups of finely-chopped nuts for a dessert recipe, it's all about the food processor.
7. Making Nut Butter: And if you keep grinding nuts a little more past that floury stage, you'll eventually have homemade nut butter!
8. Grinding Whole Grains into Flour: This isn't as perfect as an actual grain mill would be, but it works fine for small batches of specialty flours.
9. Making Bread Crumbs and Cookie Crumbs: I really like how finely the food processor is able to cut my bread and cookie crumbs for things like topping mac and cheese or making a cheese cake crust.
10. Shredding Cheese: This is actually one of the few times I get out one of the other blades. If I have to shred whole blocks of cheese for a casserole or similar recipe, the food processor gets it done in a fraction of the time.
What other ways do you regularly use your food processor?
(Image credits: Emma Christensen)