Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tips Tuesday -- Food Processors

I haven’t done a Tip’s Tuesday in a while, so I thought today would be a good day to bring it back.

I have been doing a lot of cooking and baking lately, trying new recipes for my recipe blog (Sweet Pea in the Kitchen), and have come to love my food processer. I actually have 2 of them, a regular sized version and a mini version. I have found this to be very useful in chopping/dicing, and it can help keep the mess to a minimum (within the bowl). So here are some of my favorite things do to with a food processor:

1. Dice onions and other vegetables – I hate dicing onions. They make my hands smell, and sometimes with the red onions if I don’t wash my hands enough, they make my fingers burn (anyone else ever experience this?). I love cutting an onion into a few pieces and then throwing into a food processor to finish the job.

2. Pureeing – the food processor is great for pureeing things like bananas and other fruit. I especially love to puree bananas instead of mashing them for breads and cookies, especially if the banana is not very ripe and a little tough.

3. Making salsa – I LOVE salsa, and have this new obsession with trying different kinds. It’s great to just throw all the ingredients into the bowl, and you don’t have to even chop some of them, and then just pulse it a little to chop and mix everything together.

4. Baking – I am seeing more and more recipes that use a food processor instead of a mixer. I have always heard about making pie crust in a food processor (helps cut in the butter), and the other day I saw Paula Deen make Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins using a food processor. You can check out her recipe here. They look very tasty, and I totally want to try them out.

5. Making flours – I have had a couple of recipes that called for oat flour or almond flour. These are hard to find in the store, so I make my own. Just take the oats or the almonds and put into the food processor and let it go until it grinds it up into a find powder. You have to be careful about the almonds though because if you puree it too much it will turn into almond butter. You might also want to sift it before using in your recipe to get out any of the clumps.

I typically use my big food processor for making things like salsa and of course you would need to use it for the muffins or pie crust. My mini-food processor is great for dicing up small amounts of onions/vegetables, and of course to puree only a few bananas. Plus I think the mini one is easier to pull out, use and then clean.

As you can see, there are many uses, and I am sure I will come up with more. Anyone else love to use their food processor? Any other gadgets out there we should try? Please share.

Also, if anyone has a great tip you would like to share, let me know and I will post it and give you credit. Leave me a comment and I’ll get in touch with you.

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