If you're not kitchen tech savvy, you may have a lot of confusion about the functions of common appliances like food processor vs. blender. Don't feel ashamed because both are very similar; however, they have two completely different functions. We dissect the differences between a food processor vs. blender and which one to use for your culinary needs.

Blender

nutri ninja blender

Best For:

  • Crushing ice
  • Smoothies
  • Cocktails
  • Shakes
  • Soups and Purees
  • Light sauces

We're all familiar with the design the classic blender: an easy pour jug at the top with a rotating blade base. Most of them have multiple speed options and are versatile like the Blendtec Total Blender. A blender's design and built-in features make it perfect for liquids like smoothies and shakes. Some smoothie blenders even make it possible for you to drink straight out of the cylinder, like the Nutri Ninja. Not only can it crush ice and blend fruit with ease but it is powerful enough to pulverize nuts and leafy vegetables for those tasty smoothies. However, blenders are not great for making butters and spreads--unless you want a super thick and unappetizing peanut butter. That's where the power of a food processor comes in.

Food Processor

food processor

Best For:

  • Butters
  • Spreads
  • Dips
  • Doughs and crusts
  • Shredded Cheese

Food processors are usually shorter with round flat bowls and a blade base similar to that of a blender. Also similar to a blender it has multiple speeds and a pulse setting. However, mainly it is used for laborious tasks like making dough or peanut butter. In addition, some of them include various blade attachments that make it possible for you to puree a fruit, slice a vegetable, or shred cheese--the Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor allows you to do this and more.

Bottom Line

While both kitchen appliances use a blade to grind and puree foods, the main difference is the type of food each one allows you to make. It's also worth mentioning that some appliances like the Ninja Kitchen System that handles all of your blending and food processing needs. In essence, purchasing a blender or food processor depends on your lifestyle and cooking needs.

Recipes Using a Blender

Classic Strawberry Daiquiri

strawberry daiquri

A blender isn't just for morning smoothies or post-workout protein shakes, it can be a handy appliance for happy hour. Whip up a fresh strawberry daiquiri using your blender. There are many ways to make a daiquiri but it is much quicker and easy to use a blender. All you need is fresh strawberries, ice, lime juice, simple syrup, and vodka. Just add the ingredients to jug, blend, and serve.

Refreshing Fruit Ice Pops

fruit ice pops

If you're not a fan of daiquiris but love fresh and fruity concoctions, try out this homemade popsicle recipe using fresh fruit. Similar to the daiquiri recipe all you will need is ice, fresh fruit, and juice. Combine all the ingredients, blend, and pour into ice pop molds.

Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

honey balsamic vinaigrette dressing

successo images/Shutterstock

Don't settle for store-bought salad dressing, make your own with this honey balsamic vinaigrette recipe. Just combine soy sauce, vinegar, honey, sugar, garlic, and red pepper flakes in your blender and puree, slowly adding olive oil. This dressing tastes great when drizzled over a salad of tender a baby arugula salad.

Recipes Using a Food Processor

Super Easy Hummus

hummus

Hummus paired with crunchy carrots and salty pretzels is a healthy and satisfying snack. Using a food processor you can make your own delicious hummus. All you will need to do is combine a couple of ingredients in your food processor and puree until smooth. Sabra who?

Pico de Gallo

pico de gallo

Impress your friends this Taco Tuesday with your homemade pico de gallo. Just add fresh ingredients like red onions, tomatoes, and jalapeno and let your food processor do all the work. No cutting board or sharp knives required.

Cashew Butter

cashew butter

If you're allergic to peanuts, it can be difficult to find peanut butter alternatives. Thankfully, you can make your own cashew butter using two ingredients and coconut oil--easy right? Add roasted cashews and coconut oil to the bowl of your food processor an puree until it forms a smooth and spreadable butter.

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