Tools I love: the food processor

While our kitchen is a decent size for a studio apartment, the fact remains that it is on the smaller side. We don’t have a lot of space for different cooking tools or gadgets, so if we’re going to keep something around, it needs to be getting used. One of the larger tools that I use regularly is a Cuisinart food processor:
The real workhorse of the kitchen
Forget diamonds. THIS is my best friend.

After the basic pots, pans, and good knife, the food processor is the first gadget I’d suggest for putting together a well-equipped kitchen.
As food processors go, the Cuisinart is a workhorse. I’m still using a fairly basic model that my father gave me in 2007, and which I’m hoping will last for a while. My parents still had a (working!) Cuisinart they got as a wedding gift when I left home for university–almost 20 years of regular use and it was still going strong (sadly, it bit the bullet around year 25). Every now and then I daydream about upgrading to a Vitamix, but for now I’m managing quite well.
The uses are pretty much endless: use it to make homemade nut meal or nut butter, whip up a green smoothie or some gazpacho, make pesto, hummus, veggie burgers, baba ghanoush, and so on. And, of most interest to me lately, the food processor is a great tool for assisting with my weekly food prep and periodic batch cooking days. See, the processor comes with a slicing blade:
slicing blade
If you’re just slicing up one or two things, using the food processor is a bit of a toss-up: your slicing will go faster, but it will take longer to clean up than a knife. However, if you need to get through a larger volume of vegetables, the extra clean up time is well compensated for by the savings elsewhere. On our batch cook days in particular, we love the food processor, as we can use it to make short work of a half a dozen onions (though this has also resulted in some serious acute onset eye-watering). I also sometimes use it on Sunday evenings when doing my weekly round of vegetable prep to blitz through zucchini, peppers, etc.
There is also a grating blade, which comes in handy for grating up a large block of cheese, turning cauliflower into “rice”, or maybe shredding some carrots and apples to add to muffins:
Grater blade
So, there you have it. Even a relatively low-tech, no frills kitchen like ours, this is a gadget that definitely earns its place. Thanks, Dad, for this gift that really has kept on giving!
Question: If you have a food processor, what are some of your favorite ways to use it?


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