Do you have a kitchen? If so, then congratulations! It’s time to invest in some of the equipment that will make cooking easier and more enjoyable. A food processor is one item that many people don’t realize they need until they get one. Here are just a few things to keep in mind before making your purchase.
What is a Food Processor?
A food processor is an electric appliance with sharp blades that chop, mix, puree, grate, slice, and knead. Many of the models on the market right now come with very powerful motors that can handle just about anything you need them to do in your kitchen.
Both professional and home kitchens need a food processor to do many of the fine and tedious jobs that come with cooking and baking. A food processor will cut down on prep time significantly, making cooking less of a daunting task than it might be otherwise.
A Brief History
The first food processor was invented in 1973 by Carl Sontheimer for his wife Elizabeth. Mrs. Sontheimer couldn’t find anyone to make her pesto recipe because the blender or mortar and pestle were too difficult to use. Mr. Sontheimer decided to solve the problem by creating an electric machine with blades that could do all of the work quickly and easily!
Nowadays, there are many varieties of food processors on the market, but they all serve basically the same purpose: ease in chopping, mixing, puréeing, whisking, etc.
Several Operations at Once
Most food processors have multiple bowls, which allow you to handle more than one job at a time. It is important to consider the size of your family, how much cooking and baking you will be doing, and how often you want to cook when choosing which bowl size is right for you.
Also, many food processors come with different attachments that perform specific tasks well. If you want to get yourself a food processor blender combo, then you’ll be able to do a lot of work with just one machine. Some examples are dough blades for kneading bread or pastry dough, shredding disks for slicing vegetables, chopping/mixing blades, etc.
For those who are using many different ingredients, it’s important to consider what size the food processor’s feed tube is. If you think that your ingredients (for example, onions) might not fit in the machine’s feed tube, then it might be best for you to get a model with interchangeable blades/attachments.
Power and Speed
One thing definitely worth considering before buying a food processor is its power and speed as related to what jobs you’ll need it for most. Some models feature speed dials so that you can begin slowly and then gradually increase the power, while others may include a pulse button that allows you to stop and start the machine so that it can perform many delicate tasks.
The speed is usually measured in rotations per minute (RPM), and it is important to consider how you’ll be using your food processor before purchasing it. For example, if you’re making bread dough, you will want a machine with at least two speeds so that the pulse button can provide additional control.
Size and Design
Before buying a food processor, keep in mind how much space you have for your new appliance. You might want to check out an appliance showroom or department store to get a feel for what size of appliances are available since each manufacturer has its own design standards even when they are producing models around the same capacity.
Also, make sure that your kitchen countertop provides enough clearance above any cabinets where you plan on putting your food processor because many units are too tall to fit underneath. Too many people nowadays have kitchens overflowing with gadgets they don’t use but take up space in the cupboards. For example, a breadmaker is one of those appliances that you may not often use, but it takes up precious space in your pantry. If you’re planning to purchase a food processor, make sure you have the room for it!
Other factors to consider are whether or not it has a cord storage system and if the lid locks securely to keep the machine from turning on by accident during storage. Quite a few models also come with dishwasher-safe parts, which cut down significantly on cleaning time once everything is all ready to go!
Ideas for Recipes With a Food Processor
Now that you know all of the important things to look for in a food processor, here are some recipes that require the use of one:
1 1/2 cups flour 3/4 tsp baking soda 3/4 tsp salt 2 large eggs 1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 bananas) 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/3 cup sugar 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F, though you could also use a microwave. Butter and flour two 9×5 inch loaf pans. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together eggs, banana, oil, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl until well blended. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients with a rubber spatula just until incorporated; do not over mix. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center come out clean, 50-55 minutes. Cool bread in pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on a rack before serving.
Italian Garden Vegetable Soup
2 Tbsp olive oil 1 cup chopped onion 2 garlic cloves, minced 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves 1/4 tsp ground black pepper 2 (14 oz) cans vegetable broth or chicken broth 4 medium red potatoes, cubed large handful fresh spinach leaves salt to taste
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; stir in the onion, garlic, basil, and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onion is softened, stirring occasionally.
Pour in the broth and potatoes. Bring the soup to boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in spinach leaves; cook for 2 more minutes. Season with salt to taste before serving.
A food processor can be a great addition to any kitchen, but there are a few things you should keep in mind before making your purchase. Decide what you’ll be using it for the most-chopping, shredding, blending, or doughmaking. Consider the size and power of the food processor and whether you want extra features like a pulse button or multiple bowls. Finally, compare prices and read reviews to find the best food processor for your needs!