The food processor is probably the most useful and versatile appliance that a plant-based person.
It will help you make great-tasting and super healthy spreads, dips, salads, snacks easily.
At the same time, food processors come in so many variations and can cost from $40 up to over $400! Here’s how to choose the best one for you.
Choosing the right size
It depends on how much space you have, for how many people you will be cooking, and if you plan to batch cook.
A 6/8 cup food processor will be enough to cook a meal for 2-3 people, maybe 4.
If you plan to be cooking for more or batch cooking, you probably should be looking at food processors with 12/14 cups working bowl capacity.
Food processors also come with slicing/grating disks that can be used for making salads.
It is really nice when the processor shreds your carrots and slices your cucumbers/onions/lettuce for you. Go for a bigger bowl in this case.
How much power do I need?
A food processor’s main function is to finely chop/mash your food.
The ‘wetter’ the mixture is, the easier it will be on the food processor since water reduces friction.
So, if you plan on making a spread like hummus, for example, a less powerful food processor will be sufficient.
If you plan on kneading dough, making nut butter or thinker mixtures for raw nut/dried fruit snacks, you’ll need a more powerful food processor.
For ‘wet’ mixtures, a less powerful processor is OK, for ‘dry’ mixtures, you should go for a more powerful one.
What makes a powerful food processor
Making 4 cups of a bean spread is way easier for your food processor’s motor than making 14 cups, right?
In other words, the bigger the bowl, the more power you’ll need.
An 8 cup processor with 800 wats of power is more powerful than a 14 cup processor with the same power.
Basically, divide the power output by the work bowl capacity so that you can compare the processors of different sizes.
Preparing simpler, ‘wet’ foods
If you are planning on making mainly dips/spreads and chop veggies, then you need a low power food processor.
A budget Hamilton Beach will probably do the job for you.
We’d go for the higher quality Cuisinart Elemental series.
Depending on your needs, you might want to choose from the Cuisinart Elemental 8-Cup, Cuisinart Elemental 11 Cup. The Elemental 13 Cup is way more expensive and has the same motor as the 11 cup. We’d go for a mid-range Cuisinart 14-cup in this case.
For a long time, we have been using a mid-range 550w, 8 cup processor with power/size ratio such as the Cuisinart Pro Custom 11 Cup and it did almost everything that we asked for from it. In some cases, we needed to add a bit more water into the mix but overall, it was great.
Prepping snack bars, sorbets or kneading whole wheat dough?
Thinking of making some super easy and delicious raw food snacks or sorbets? Then you might want to invest in a high power machine that will open new doors for you.
Bear in mind that making raw food snack bars or desserts is very demanding on the motor but in many cases, you probably won’t be making very large quantities. If you go for the mid-range 14 cup but you make only 8 cups of snack mixture, the motor will do just fine.
That said when we bought our first powerful food processor was quite a revelation of how effortless and easy food prep could be!
Bigger food processor for small jobs
If you are peeping food for 2-4 people, you still might want to consider buying a less powerful, bigger food processor.
This is because you are prepping smaller quantities of food that the motor of the processor can handle easily. This way you can chop large salads and make smaller quantities of demanding desserts with ease. The Cuisinart Pro Custom 11 Cup or Cuisinart Custom 14-cup are great.
Get a food processor in any case!
All this information might be overwhelming and probably confusing.
We urge you to buy a food processor and taste the wonderful food it will make for you.
Just try a budget Hamilton Beach, it will make most of the thing you’ll ask from it and help you decide where to go next.
Or just go all the way and choose theCuisinart Custom 14-cup , Elite Collection® 14 Cup or Breville Sous Chef 16 cup. For many buying a high-quality processor was key to succeeding on a whole food, plant-based diet
And, as always, seek health consciously!