by Rick Goldman
Eating healthy can be tough if you have to rely solely on manufactured goods you get from the shelves in a supermarket.
The thing is, while some brands do produce decent-quality food products, most of them have to use various additives and agents in the manufacturing process because they need to ensure that the food item they're making can last a long time without getting spoiled. This then leads to the decrease in the overall quality of that food.
To bypass this, one of the common solutions would be to buy food from local gardens and farms, because their food is often fresher, better-tasting, and overall healthier for you. That said, not everyone has access to these farms, especially if you happen to live in a big city.
So, the best thing to do in such a case would be to try to make your food as much as possible.
Luckily for the folks who like this idea, there is a multitude of different kitchen appliances out there on the market that allow you to do this. Whether it's blenders, mixers, food-makers, specialized pots and pans or some other contraptions - it's always better to make your food on the spot and eat it soon after than resorting to only canned foods.
In this article, we're going to talk about nut butter processors - a special breed of kitchen appliances that you can use to grind all sorts of nuts ( walnuts, chestnuts, almonds, the list goes on… ) to make homemade butter. Peanut butter would be an excellent example of what you can do with one of these processors.
In case you're not familiar with these apparatuses, we've provided a brief buyer's guide, so you can have a better idea of what we're talking about. Also, we've answered some of the most frequently asked questions in this department, so you can see those if you are not sure about what these machines can and cannot do. Last but not least, there is also a section below where we explain how to clean one of these processors quickly and easily.
Here's the deal.
If you need a powerful kitchen appliance to make all sorts of nut butter, this model from Cuisinart can be the thing for you. Thanks to its excellent 350 Watts of power, you can rest assured that this model will be able to tackle easily any sort of nut you pour into this thing. The result will be an evenly organized butter that you can later spread on bread, eat as it is, or use in further cooking. Also, you can use this contraption for foods other than nuts, thanks to its excellent toughness and durability properties.
What you get with this model is a sizeable bowl that comes with a measuring system printed on it, so you always know the quantity of the nuts or other foods you've placed in it. The blade inside it is made out of high-quality stainless steel, so you won't have to worry about it getting all rusty after only a couple of uses.
Featuring an easy-to-use intuitively-built design, this food processor from Braun can be used to tackle a wide variety of foods including all kinds of nuts. Thanks to its tough blades and the versatile speed control, you can use this thing to whisk, knead, chop, Cheese slice, and otherwise 'destroy' the food inside it to get a fine pulp you can then eat straight away.
As far as the aforementioned speeds are concerned, there are eleven of them on this contraption, so you can use this thing to do a wide variety of food-processing tasks, no matter how tough the vegetables or the nuts are that you put in the bowl. The folks at Braun decided to include so many speeds because the motor they've put in generates 600 Watts of power. So, with these speeds in place, you can use the lower ones for soft foods and resort to the higher ones for tougher foods like nuts.
Simple design and 450 Watts of power is what makes this contraption an interesting solution for someone looking for an easy-to-use nut processor they can also use for processing other foods. This thing combines the properties of a food chopper and a food processor - it works pretty much like a food chopper, but with its 10-cup capacity, this model is a fair bit larger than a typical food chopper.
Thanks to its sizeable food chute, you can chuck whole pieces of food into it without worrying too much about them getting stuck in the blades. For examples, you can easily throw in large pieces of cheese and vegetables without having to chop them first - and then just hit the 'ON' button and let this thing do its magic.
As far as the speeds are concerned that you can use this thing on, the folks at Hamilton Beach placed a two-speed system in this model. As with other food processors, the lower speeds are suitable for softer foods while the higher speeds can be a great solution for tougher foods like nuts or some of the vegetables such as kobacha.
For those of you who are after contraptions that feature a simple design and can be used straight out of the box with little to no assembly, this model from Ninja can be just the thing for you. This particular model would fall into the category of less powerful food processors or food choppers, but it still can do wonders for most foods, nuts included.
The manufacturers themselves cite that you can use this chopper for garlic, onions, nuts, cheese, chocolate, and a wide variety of other foods. Another thing this apparatus is good at is making sauces and different spreads, so if you have something in mind that you would like to make in this way, you can simply chuck these vegetables in and make the sauce right there on the spot.
Additional features on this model would include a special no-slip base, a splashguard, as well as a storage lid you can pop on if you've grinded some foods but don't want to use it right away, for example. The plastic parts on this model are also made out of BPA-free plastic, for the record.
Last but not least, as our entry number 5 we've got a food processor that you can use for a wide variety of cooking purposes including slicing, shredding, chopping, and pureeing. So, whether it's nuts, vegetables, or even meat you want to chop up and prepare for cooking or eat straight away - this thing can do the job well.
As far as the design of this model is concerned, it opens and closes easily thanks to its stack & snap mechanism. All you need to do to assemble this thing is take the bowl part of it, stack it onto the rest of the processor, and then simply snap the top metal part onto it to 'seal the deal'.
Some of the other interesting properties of this model would certainly include a quiet operation, special cord storage, and quiet operation. So, if you don't like overly loud kitchen appliances, this model can be an excellent solution for you.
Food processors are simple contraptions that combine the power of the motor and the sharpness of the blades to easily smash the vegetables, meat, and nuts you place in the bowl.
As far as the power rating of these appliances is concerned, you can expect to see food choppers and processors that go up to 600 Watts of power, although these models would probably be more suitable for a professional cook.
On the other hand, most food processors feature motors that have anywhere from 150 to 450 Watts of power, which is more than enough for most chopping and grinding tasks.
The size of the bowl of a food processor represents how much stuff you can put in it and then smash the contents of it into a fine pulp afterward.
Usually, this value goes from 8 to 12 cups ( the capacity of food processor bowls is most often expressed in cups ), although you can find models out there that have larger or smaller capacity than this. Also, the size of the bowl can be expressed in ounces.
For home use, smaller to medium-sized models will typically do the trick, while professional cooks, for example, may benefit more from getting a larger model with a large bowl.
Standing toe to toe with vacuum cleaners, food processors are notoriously difficult to clean, so their 'maintenance rating', so to speak would certainly be an interesting parameter to look into when buying one of these butter-making contraptions.
The thing is, while individual components may not be that tough to clean ( especially if they're dishwasher-safe ), it's the taking the thing apart and then having to assemble it back together that makes the cleaning process so annoying.
That said, if the components of your food processor are dishwasher-friendly, this can make the whole cleaning part of the job much easier, as you won't have to get into all the little nooks 'n' crannies of these parts with your fingers.
The more speeds a food processor has, the more you'll be in control of its function, so to speak.
For example, most food processors come with two speeds - high and low, or three speeds - high, medium, and low, so you can get the most out of their motor and blades without wasting energy. On the other hand, having a high speed at your disposal means you can create fine paste or butter with your food processor and that you can also tackle some of the tougher vegetables, nuts, or some other foods.
If you'd like to have even more control and variety than this, you can get a model with 10 or 12 speeds, for example.
Last but not least, there's the question of warranty.
Anything with a motor and plenty of little parts many of which are made out of plastic tends to break sooner or later. So, to prevent having to pay for the fixes yourself, getting a food processor model that comes with a warranty can be an excellent idea.
Also, the fact that the manufacturers placed a warranty on their product means that they have confidence in its quality, which is in itself a sign that the product you're planning on buying is of decent quality.
As we mentioned earlier, the first step for cleaning a food processor would be to take it apart.
Most food processors consist of a bowl, blades, motor, the housing, and perhaps some sort of special attachment, too.
Now, to disassemble a food processor you first need to remove the bowl ( or anything that keeps it in place ) and then get the other components out one after the other. This will, of course, depend from manufacturer to manufacturer, but with most models the procedure is fairly straightforward.
After you've taken the thing apart, you should have a bowl, a set of blades, and possible any supporting parts that keep the thing together such as a pusher unit.
Although most food processor blades feature a special protective coating that prevents corrosion, you should always take great care to clean the blades thoroughly after every use.
Blades of a food processor represent its main component, so ensuring they're well-protected will mean you'll be able to use them for years before you'd need to buy a new set.
Once you've taken everything apart and once you've separated the blades from the rest of the bunch, you can start cleaning the other removable parts. ( If you can do this using a dishwasher - that's a lot of effort saved. )
Next, carefully clean the base as well as the motor. Chances are - there won't be much to clean unless the butter-making process was particularly difficult, but you still need to remove butter remains off the base and the motor because if you don't - they can remain hidden and they can start producing foul smells down the road, so to speak.
Only once all the components have dried up, put them back together the same way you took them apart - just the other way around.
If you can wait for all the parts to dry 'on their own', you can use a cloth to wipe off the excess moisture, so that it dries up faster.
Q: Can you use a food processor to make peanut butter?
Ans : Yes, you can.
Peanuts can be easily grinded into a pulp using a food processor, so if you want to make a homemade peanut butter, any sort of decent food processor will likely do a good job.
Also, peanuts are not that difficult to grind, so you don't have to buy the most powerful machine out there, as even a modest one will work fine for this task.
Q: How do you chop almonds in a food processor?
Ans : The procedure is fairly straightforward when almonds are in question.
All you need to do is empty the almonds into the bowl of the food processor, make sure you have the S-blade ready, then place a lid onto it to cover it, and press the 'ON' button to start chopping them.
(A small tip: You may want to refrigerate the almonds for a couple of hours before grinding them, because this will make them more brittle and you won't lose much juice when they're grinded. )
Q: Can you make peanut butter with a mortar and pestle?
Ans : Yes, you can, although, it may not be the most efficient way of making peanut butter.
The thing is, as we already mentioned above, peanuts are relatively easy to grind and turn into butter, so if you have a bit of time on your hands, using a simple mortar and pestle, you can make peanut butter fairly easily.
That said, if you have a food processor, getting peanut butter out of peanuts is much easier.
Q: How long does homemade peanut butter last?
Ans : If preserved correctly in a refrigerator, homemade peanut butter can last from 3 to 6 months.
Of course, you will need to cover it with something to prevent dust or something else falling on it, but if you place the homemade peanut butter in a clean bowl and cover it - you can rest assured that it will last for months in your fridge.
Q: Can you make peanut butter with a Kitchen Aid mixer?
Ans : You can.
That said, you need to use a specialized attachment for this purpose as the regular mixer attachment won't work. Also, depending on the power rating of the mixer, you may get different results.
So, generally speaking - yes, you can make peanut butter in a Kitchen Aid mixer with the right attachments, but using a food processor if you can, would be a better idea.
All things considered, getting a food processor can change the way you're preparing food and what foods you can consume daily. If you like fresh vegetables and nuts turned into delicious and healthy sauces and butters, getting a food processor would certainly be the best way to go.
About Rick Goldman
Rick Goldman's grandpa was a captain of a California coast cruise.
With this luxury, as a young boy Rick traveled to exciting places of the Pacific Coast.
Together Rick and family tried different types of cuisine with their most popular foods.
Nowadays, Rick really likes blogging from the beautiful garden of his grandpa's home to share their magical journeys and culinary experiences togehter of the old days for everyone.