In my blog, I write a lot about kitchen appliances. So, I get a lot of questions asked about this related to macarons, hummus, pesto, pie crust, and so on.
Recently, someone asked me in the comment box something like can you use a blender instead of a food processor for cauliflower?
Not all, but the blender can do a lot of a food processor’s task for sure. It’s 100% possible for food with liquid elements. In this article, I will try to cover everything about this. Stay with me!
How Can You Use A Blender As A Food Processor For Various Foods?
The food processor comes with a lot of attachments for various ingredients. You can even make smoothies using a food processor! But if you adjust the settings of a blender a little as and when required, it can accomplish pretty much everything!
Of course, the end result won’t be 100% the same since the edges of a blender is not as sharp as a good food processor. But to keep the kitchen clutter-free and to keep your spending in check, you can get away with the blender alone!
Here are some tips to follow if you want to replace the food processor with a blender:
- Make Pesto With Blender
You don’t need your food processor to make a good pesto. Any modern blender is perfectly capable enough to make for you. Here is the list of materials you need:
- ¼ cup pine nuts.
- ¾ cup of olive oil.
- 1 & ½ cup of basil.
- 3 garlic cloves.
- ¾ cup of cheese.
In your clean blender jar, put all those materials. Set your blender at its medium speed. Keep blending until the pesto sauce turns really smooth.
- Chop Vegetables!
Of course, no matter how well you try or how good your blender is, you won’t get the same chopping quality as a food processor. But you can definitely achieve some degree of vegetable chopping with your blender.
To chop vegetables in your blender, make sure to set the speed at its lowest settings. You need to keep the vegetables downward so that the blade can touch them. So, you can use a tamper to force them!
- Crush Ice
Without ice there are no evening parties, right? Well, you can still have crushed ice without buying any food processor. Any blender can crush ice for that purpose!
This is what you should do…
Depending on the capacity of the blender, put 5 to 6 ice cubes in the blender jar. Set the blender at its highest settings. And keep it running until you get consistently crushed ice for your beautiful evening.
- Baby Food
I strongly recommend having a food processor solely intended to make baby food. But if you don’t have one and you need to make food for your baby, you can still make perfect baby food using the blender too.
Get one cup of healthy vegetables (already cooked) and put it in the blender. With the highest speed, keep blending until you get a smooth mixture.
- Get Shredded Cheese
You can get perfectly shredded cheese without a food processor. Yes, you are reading it right and this is how you can have it.
Get some hard cheese and use a chef’s knife to dice them into 2-inch pieces. Put those chunks into the blender and set the speed at high. Keeping blending for about 30 seconds until you get the right consistency.
- Prepare Bread Crumbs
Even if you don’t have the pulse option in your old blender, you can still make bread crumbs. Add the dried bread slices to the blender depending on your requirement.
For 30 seconds, use the pulse option to get a nice consistency. Set the blender at its highest speed and keep blending for 30 seconds if it does not have the pulse option.
Only an industrial-grade blender can be used for this purpose. The home-based blender is not suitable because of its sharp blades and slender shape. Let’s see how to make pizza dough in a blender in this short video.
When To Use Blender Instead of Food Processor?
The blender has a much powerful motor than the food processor. On the other hand, the food processor has razor-sharp blades and they are sharper than a blender.
A food processor is highly recommended only when you need to make meals with chunky ingredients (hard or solid items). Or when you need to prepare sauces with textures like pesto.
You will get a better result when you need to quickly work through harder elements like nuts and seeds. To pulverize garlic and onions, it works like a charm too.
But for liquid food, a blender is your ultimate appliance. I always avoid using my food processor when there are liquid or loose ingredients.
The reason is pretty simple. You will need to blend in more than one batch as you want to avoid overfilling the bowl. Besides, there is a higher chance of leaking liquid from the sides of the processor or from the lid.
And I find the blender doing a great job dealing with such liquid items as iced coffee, frozen cocktails, smoothies, or even puree food.
As you know blender has many types. So, understand your requirement first then decide yours. I got an immersion blender to mix scrambled eggs. I use the same to have saucy purees, soups, or anything that has liquid elements. Yes, you can use the immersion blender without splashing!
Blender As Food Processor: Some Words From The Wise
Look, I could go further by mentioning various foods that can be prepared using the blender. That’s not really necessary.
Rather, I want to talk about some blender attachments and the right settings so that you can use them for almost any food. Let’s talk about the attachments first.
You can find plenty of modern-day blenders with accessories like tamper stick, ice blades, serving cups, and so on. If you want to use the blender as a food processor, you should get something like this.
Also, as you have noticed, you can make various foods just by adjusting the speed settings. Whereas most blenders come with 3-speed settings, you can find some models with 6-settings.
One rule of thumb about using the speed settings of your blender is that, if you need chunky food with textured – you should set the speed to the lowest.
On the other hand, set it to the highest speed settings if you plan to make pureed food. Then, of course, you need to play with the speed settings yourself until you get the optimal speed.
To stay extra safe to prevent wastage, you should add ingredients one by one if you are not sure exactly which settings to use. That way, you can stop immediately and save some ingredients if things don’t work as per your plan.
There is another advantage of adding fewer ingredients to the blender than a food processor. Let me explain how.
If you add all the ingredients at the same time, there is a huge chance you won’t get consistently processed food. There is a huge chance the food at the bottom will get overly processed and food at the top pitcher won’t have the same texture.
If you keep this in your mind, not just any food, you can use the blender to grind coffee beans too!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I chop nuts in a blender?
Answer: Yes. But it’s a tricky job. You need to put them into the blender in small batches. While blending, turn on and off the blender repeatedly and quickly until you get the desired result.
What can be used instead of a food processor?
Answer: There are plenty of alternatives like:
- Grinder, etc.
Should I buy a food processor or blender?
Answer: It depends. If there are liquid elements in the food you are about to prepare, a blender will do a great job. But if there are hard elements only, you need a food processor.
What’s the difference between a food processor and a mixer?
Answer: There main difference is in their applications. The food processor is mainly used for slicing, chopping, and blending. But for kneading, whipping eggs, and folding in the flour you need a mixer.
What can I use if I don’t have a blender?
Answer: Plenty of alternatives out there like:
- Immersion blender.
- Stand and hand mixer.
- Food processor, etc.
So, can you use a blender instead of a food processor? Yes, you can and I have described how and when. But just because you can does not mean you should ALWAYS.
If you really don’t want to spend money on a food processor and your meal has some liquid elements, only then you are welcome to use the blender as a food processor.