What Does a Food Processor Do?
Experienced cooks everywhere rave over the versatility of food processors that are designed to efficiently chop, dice, shred and mix many types of foods. Other appliances can do many of the functions of food processors, but food processors are special because they work with both soft and hard substances. The main difference between food processors and these other appliances is the cutting mechanism. Quality food processors come with several attachments and cutting blades that help make various food preparation tasks quicker and much easier to complete.
Here are some examples of common food preparation tasks and how a food processor can be used to simplify these activities.
Chopped nuts are often a staple ingredient for people who bake regularly; these delicious and nutritious foods find their way into breads, muffins, brownies, cookies and cakes. Most nuts are not cheap, and bakers pay an even greater premium for pre-chopped versions at most stores. Also, chopping nuts in great quantities is time consuming and hard on the hands. Food processors make quick work of this task with the help of its powerful motors and blades. In most models bakers can feed the nuts into the machine through a tube designed for that purpose on the appliance’s lid; the nuts are then finely pulverized in seconds.
Those who need greater control over the texture of nuts can place the nuts directly into the food processor’s bowl and pulse the nuts to reach the right consistency. Because of the extreme power of good food processors food preparation experts recommend that nuts be placed into the freezer for a minimum of 15 minutes immediately before processing if coarsely chopped nuts are desired.
Grinding Grains for Flour
Many nutritionally savvy people avoid the preservatives, additives and inferior flour found in regular store bought breads by making their own. They understand that the commercial milling process strips grain of valuable nutrients and fiber. Also, some people have gluten intolerance’s, and they choose to make their own baked goods by blending grains that do not contain gluten such as rice, teff, millet and corn. These flours or flour blends can be made without purchasing expensive grain milling equipment by using a high powered food processor. Grain milling experts recommend that the food processor’s bowl be filled to the half way point when grinding grains. After the initial grinding, the contents of the food processor can be sifted and passed through the processor again to produce finer grain.
Zozanga’s Top Three Food Processors for grinding Flour:
Dicing and Shredding Vegetables
Some of the most common uses for food processors are the dicing and shredding of vegetables. These tasks are easily accomplished when one outfits the food processor with the right blade attachment for dicing or shredding. Subsequently, one simply needs to cut the vegetables into manageable pieces, place them into the appliance and pulsing the blades until the right consistency is achieved. This feature is great for salsa, pico de gallo and distinctive salad creations.
Purée Ingredients for Soups
Made from scratch soups are tasty ways to gain nutrition and avoid unwanted chemicals from the commercially canned varieties that are widely available at most grocery stores. While soup making produces delicious results, the process can almost be considered an art form. Most cooks start with fresh ingredients that they roast or sauté to bring out the flavors. Subsequently, they transfer these softened foods into a food processor to be thoroughly puréed prior to warming and serving. Using a food processor to make cold soups like gazpacho is an even easier culinary task because one does not have to deal with processing hot foods in the plastic appliance.
Making Homemade Nut Milk
Going dairy free has gotten easier when one uses a food processor to make homemade nut milks. While commercial versions of nut milks are fairly reasonably priced, many contain added sugars and other unwanted ingredients. Making an alternative milk from nuts like almonds can be done at home by grinding the nuts in a high powered food processor. The process starts with nuts that have been soaked in water for at least two days. After rinsing the nuts and placing them in the food processor with some fresh water, one is ready to grind up the nuts. Lastly, one must strain the left over bits of nuts to fully enjoy the remaining creamy milk.
Advancements in nutritional education and technology have prompted many to reduce their dependence on fattening restaurant meals in exchange for exciting culinary adventures in their own kitchens. For example, the vegetarian, vegan and raw food dietary lifestyles are becoming popular, and many people are saving money by preparing flavor rich, healthy menus at home. Inspired amateur chefs can recreate healthier versions of their favorite dishes by looking up recipes and cooking tutorial podcasts on the internet. Having a durable food processor on hand helps home cooks to efficiently achieve professional results without having to rely on the trained chefs at their favorite restaurants.
The food processor is one of the greatest kitchen inventions ever because it is useful in so many different ways.