One of the first kitchen appliances I bought as a “real person” adult was a food processor. I made the decision to buy one for two main reasons: 1. I love hummus. 2. I was trying out a clean-eating-slash-vegan diet, and many of the recipes I saw online required a food processor.

I’m a big believer in crowd sourcing my purchase decisions using the wisdom of the masses on Amazon.com. Boy, I read a lot of reviews of food processors. I read a lot of comments on reviews informing people that they don’t understand how food processors work. I ended up getting a Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Deluxe 14 Cup, which even came with a french fry blade. It’s been a very good kitchen tool so far!

As I said, I had bought this kitchen gadget for hummus production. I made a batch for a Super Bowl party, because what every party needs is more hummus. The recipe I found for Best Ever 5 Minute Microwave Hummus, courtesy of the Minimalist Baker, is the only recipe I’ve needed so far. She’s not lying; this creamy, flavorful hummus is fantastic and makes that pre-packaged store-bought hummus taste like bland, dry chickpeas in comparison. (The same can be said for homemade guacamole compared to store-bought, but that’s a post for another day.)

If hummus was the first condiment I put the Big Mouth to work on, the second was salsa. I chose the Pioneer Woman’s Restaurant Style Salsa recipe based on its promise of a smooth texture and prominent cilantro flavor. I’ll admit, too, that this recipe was the first time I made a crucial mistake with my new food processor. I put all of the canned tomatoes into it at once, turned my back to start chopping onion, when Ethan pointed out that tomato juice was slowly leaking out! Of course, I should have remembered the wise critiques of all the Amazon reviewers of food processors – all food processors will leak if the liquid level rises above the middle shaft of the bowl where the blade rests. We quickly decided to combine all the ingredients in a separate large bowl and to puree the salsa in 3-4 small batches.

It turned out tasting very fresh and flavorful. We poured some of the salsa into clean glass jars and froze the rest. However, the frozen salsa did not fare quite as well. It became significantly watered down and less flavorful. Tomatoes don’t freeze too well. Now I know for future reference.

I’m still finding the best uses for the food processor. I like that I can shred carrots, chop onions and nuts, and grind oats into flour. I made sweet potato fries once. Ethan and I have made cocoa almond no-bake truffles twice. I want to hear from others: What foods do you process at home?

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