What Are Food Processors and How They Work

 Food processors are designed to save time, save money, and make food prep and cooking more fun. When it was first invented as “the Starmix” by German company Electrostar in 1946, the machine looked more like a blender, but already came with add-on attachments for slicing bread and milk centrifuges. 

The company behind Starmix focused on vacuum cleaners, so French catering company salesman Pierre Verdon had the market to himself. He already had Robot-Coupe (restaurant-level, commercial scale food processor) when he released the compact for home-use Le Magi-Mix in Paris in 1971. In the U.S., American engineer and inventor Carl Sontheimer refined Verdon's machines to produce the Cuisinart… and the rest was history.

How do Food Processors Work?

Food processors are equipped with a motor, a plastic bowl, and cutting blades attached to the shaft (near the bottom of the bowl). These blades/disks, which are replaceable, can shred, slice, cut or do any task the disk is designed for with every spin of the processor. 

The food processor is closed with a lid (usually with an open feeding tube where you’ll drop ingredients gradually). Most come with a pusher, so you could assist the food processor to shred or slice the ingredient. 

Food processors are super user-friendly and safe to use. All of them have safety features that prevent the motor from operating if the bowl isn’t properly attached, or if the lid isn’t closed shut. 

Many Ways to Use Food Processors

Now that you have a bit of background about the food processor’s origin and design, let me introduce to you the many ways you can use this kitchen appliance to your advantage. 

  • Sauce and condiments. People who use food processors regularly almost always can do many condiment staples from scratch. You can make your own hummus, pesto, salad dressings (like vinaigrette and Caesar’s dressing), as well as mayonnaise, salsa, and all types of dips your heart desires. 

  • Homemade baby food. If you can’t find baby food with a list of ingredients that fits your requirements, the food processor can be the best tool for making any pureed food for your baby. From veggies to fruits, soups, and all other “first food” to give your baby, you’ll find that most homemade recipes use a food processor to turn regular food into baby food. 

  • Big-batch cooking. Whether you have a large household and feed a lot of people on the daily, or you have a catering business on the side, cooking for big batches can get tiring real quick especially if you’re cooking recipes with a lot of ingredients. If you need to slice or grate kilos of cabbage, potatoes, carrots, broccoli, beets, cucumbers, brussel sprouts, yams, potatoes, and other veggies, it would be dramatically quicker to do it on a food processor.

  • Sausages, burger patties and other ground meat products. Although food processors technically cannot “grind” meat, they do mince ingredients absolutely well thanks to their sharp blades. Except for those with bones in them, food processors can cut through almost any kind of meat from beef to pork, veal to chicken, and even salmon and other types of fish. 

  • Low carb or KETO recipes. If you’re trying to get healthy, getting a food processor will help you make cauliflower or broccoli rice in a flash. Turn nuts and oats into your own homemade flour that you can use to make all kinds of gluten-free recipes. You can even grind nuts and oats then mix them with honey or coconut flakes for your own energy bars with zero sugar.

  • Homemade breadcrumbs. You can make your own crumbs with added herbs and spices only when you need them, so the breadcrumbs are fresh and tasty without any preservatives.

  • Nut butters. If your household empties jars and jars of peanut butter and almond butter, you can save a ton of money if you use your food processor to make them yourself. You just need the butter, your choice of sweetener, and a bit of oil or water to blend with your mashed nut. 

  • Any baked good that requires kneading. Most food processors come with a kneading accessory, which allows you to use the kitchen appliance as a stand mixer. Meaning, you can easily create pasta dough, pizza dough, or any kind of bread is possible without manually kneading the dough. That’s a lot of effort and muscle power saved with every recipe you try.

If you only have a budget for one countertop kitchen appliance, make it the food processor since it could definitely make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. It’s ideal for people  on-the-go who loves to do makeahead meals, eat healthier, save money on groceries, and just about anyone who is trying to try out new recipes. 


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