Thursday, January 19, 2012

Five cool things to do with a food processor

I've been having lots of fun with my food processor. My new favorite thing is to disintegrate vegetables and then throw them into my cast-iron pan with some oil and meat. In fact, I made my kids Disintegrated Vegetables for dinner tonight, customized to the vegetables and seasonings each one likes—or should have liked, if they were old enough to be reasonable about such things. I keep reminding myself that forcing them to eat vegetables is in my job description.

Anyway, my new food processor is cool. I have so much to tell you about it that it calls for a list:

Five Things I Suggest You Do with a Food Processor
  1. Peel a head of garlic (in less than 10 seconds), throw it in there, and make a little bowl of chopped garlic to facilitate future cooking. Don't worry about it going bad in the fridge. It's only about a day and a half's worth if you cook like I do.
  2. Coarsely chop a head of cauliflower, throw it in, and create insta-perfect cauliflower rice. You don't even need to cook it beforehand, because once the pieces are rice-sized, they steam or fry in about 15 seconds flat.
  3. Disintegrate vegetables. Carrots! Broccoli! Onions! Everything is better in tiny chunks. My aunt says she even pulses Brussels sprouts for a few seconds to get a big pile of leaves, which sounds amazing. (I don't think my food processor is big enough for that, though.)
  4. Let seven or eight frozen strawberries defrost in the food processor for an hour or so (this is for the safety of the little food processor, which nearly self-destructed when I tried this with hard-frozen ones). Then push the button, and when they start getting creamy, add a couple tablespoons of coconut milk and about a teaspoon of vanilla and pulse some more. (You could do honey, too, if you haven't temporarily banned all sweeteners like I have.) Bam, ice cream! Eat it now. 
  5. Turn almonds into almond flour. Almond flour is ridiculously expensive, but almonds aren't too bad. So make your own almond flour. Then do this: Pour some coarse almond flour and some salt into a nonstick pan, along with some coconut oil. Cut in the coconut oil as it melts, like you were making pie crust. Cook it over medium-high heat until it smells really good and starts to brown. Then cool and sprinkle over anything. Or just eat with a spoon. My son calls these "random crunchies" and prefers the spoon method.
Bonus sixth thing: I've heard a rumor that if you keep processing nuts past the "flour" stage, they will eventually turn into nut butter. Frankly, this sounds too good to be true, so I haven't tried it yet.

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