All the reasons why you need one in your kitchen.
I’m not one for collecting kitchen gadgets, but after seeing one too many pictures of enticing purees, fro-yos, nut butters, and recipes calling for oat and buckwheat flour, my foodie inclinations convinced me that getting a food processor was a necessity, at least for the way I wanted to eat. Sure, people may have been doing things by hand for centuries, but I’m not one for doing things the hard way when there’s an easier option to be found; so after some deliberation on budget and needs, a food processor became the first appliance we bought for our new home.
The same afternoon my husband and I got the machine, lunch was a quickly assembled pasta topped with a punchy pesto of fresh herbs, bell peppers, onions, olive oil and nuts. For someone used to mincing veggies by hand, the 30 seconds it took the machine to whizz everything together was slightly terrifying, but also really satisfying. Even though I’ve always enjoyed the process of prepping a meal, it made me wonder why I’ve wasted so much of my life chopping vegetables. Later that night, I decided to make otah, something that seemed too fiddly until now. The machine pulverised frozen fish and prawns in no time at all and the dish was delicious, and revelatory. I declared to my husband “I feel like there’s life before and after the food processor!” It felt like a new chapter in our epicurean life. He readily agreed.
It’s been a few weeks since we bought the food processor now, and the thrill has yet to wear off. There’s been a few times we’ve had unexpected guests over for dinner, and our trusty machine has helped us put together beautiful salads of sliced kale, carrots, and radishes in less time than it took to wash the greens. Chopping alliums, celery, and carrots for soups is a breeze, and in fact, we’re eating more veggies than ever. The cashier at the supermarket eyes both of us with puzzlement, wondering how we can go through this many greens every day. The truth is, it’s really easy to feed everything down the chute of the food processor to make a quick stir-fried dish, so most of our meals are vegetarian, if not vegan now. It’s not something we consciously chose to do, it just happened because it was convenient. I also like that there’s very little food waste—veggie peels, tough stems (like those on a zucchini), and even leftover bread can be blended into sauces and dips.
Our meals are also more varied as the slicing blade encourages us to go for veggies that are typically a bit more troublesome, like fennel, which needs to be shaved really thin, or beets that get colour everywhere. Though the bowl and blades do get stained by veggie juices and spices, cleanup is a breeze, you just have to be really careful! If you get a dishwasher-safe processor (and you have a dishwasher), you don’t even have to think about cleaning the parts at all.
I’m trying to think about a downside to the purchase, and if I have to pick something, it’s that it has encouraged me to make more of the vegan sweet treats I’ve found floating on the Internet. Thankfully, I have friends who are all too happy to gobble down my experimental creations. I’ve yet to try out the dough blade for kneading bread—something I haven’t felt skilled enough to do by hand—but when I find a good recipe, I’m going to have to watch out for my waistline!