This Gadget Is My Healthy Kitchen Secret Weapon
Spoiler alert: You definitely have it in the back of a cabinet.
The food processor: an appliance so often on the chopping block. Some love it, but others find it to be a total waste of dough. I’ll be honest, though, I fall within the former. In fact, my adoration began in college as a mini Cuisinart owner and has grown only deeper since graduating to the Black + Decker 8-Cup Food Processor.
Do I own a Vitamix? Yes. How about a KitchenAid? You betcha. Like most brides, both all-star appliances topped my registry, however, I’ll admit, my B+D BFF still takes the (healthy) cake, especially when considering its affordability, practicality and overall versatility. Needless to say, it’s time to break out your food processor to plan to crush those New Year’s resolutions! Here’s why I believe this gadget still deserves a spot in your pantry — and heart.
Prep veggies in a snap. Call me lazy, but this plant-based wannabe chef has no patience when it comes to chopping. (Nor the knife skills, but we’ll save that excuse for a rainy day…) I cut my prep time in half by pulsing my favorite salad toppings and using the slicing/shredding disk for perfect-every-time cucumber, potatoes, Brussels, you name it! It’s even a a breeze when it comes to adding texture to soups and baked goods (three cheers for cauliflower and zucchini!) — all while sneaking in nutrition bonus points for picky eaters!
Get nutty on a dime. I kick myself every time I grind my own almond butter at Whole Foods. And if you eat it by the spoonful like me, before you know it you’re back there making more! Whipping up a homemade batch doesn’t have to be difficult, or break the bank (especially if you load up on your favorite nuts at a wholesale club.) Place a few cups of them into your processor with a pinch of salt and run it until smooth. Store in glass jars from your local craft store. Up the ante by tying a festive ribbon around it for a thoughtful gift!
Make good-for-you sweet treats. Treat yourself! Make no-bake cookie dough, granola bars and dessert balls by blending dried fruits (like dates) with your favorite nuts, seeds and whole grains. Store the crowd-pleasers in the freezer to satisfy your sweet tooth in a pinch.
Serve it up sweet. Oh, “nice cream” how I love thee. Nix sweet hankerings in a flash with guilt-free soft-serve. Simply pop frozen banana chunks into your food processor until it forms into a thick paste, spoon into a bowl and top with fresh berries. Fellow chocolate lovers: Swirl in a dash of cacao before serving.
Dip it real good. Pesto, hummus, sauces, dressings — you name it — you can make from scratch. Let your tastebuds and waistband rejoice by loading up on fibrous legumes, flavorful herbs and more, while pulling back on added butter, cheese and oils.
Easy to clean and store. Dishwasher safe? Check. Compact? Check. Lightweight? Check. Need I say more? Unlike some of its kitchen competitors, the food processor provides for fuss- and hassle-free maintenance without taking up prime countertop real estate. Win!