5 Awesome Things to Make with a Food Processor

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition

When was the last time you used your food processor? This versatile kitchen tool can whip up just about anything to help make your healthy lifestyle even easier. We use ours so much, it’s earned a permanent place on the counter top. Don’t own one of these amazing kitchen tools? We highly suggest you consider picking one up. They’re fairly inexpensive (we snagged a cheaper model on Amazon, and it’s held up well despite being put through the recipe-making ringer!).

Give your food processor a whirl today with these five awesome dishes:

1. VEGGIE FRIES
We love making fries the healthy way! If your processor has the French fry blade, you can send just about any veggie through to get that classic fry shape. If not, you can make veggie chips the same way using the slicing blade. Either way, they’ll be delicious.

Start by choosing your veggie. We usually reach for non-starchy options like carrots or zucchini since they’re unlimited on the Nutrisystem plan. If you’re feeling adventurous, branch out to rutabaga, beets (red or golden), or eggplant. Plate up a half cup cooked for one veggie serving. Looking for a delicious SmartCarb choice? Try yams, Japanese sweet potato or yucca; one half cup cooked is equal to one SmartCarb serving.

And the rest is a snap: Send your veggies through the food processor, lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet, spritz with nonfat cooking spray on both sides and season to your liking (we love garlic powder, rosemary, salt and pepper). Bake at 425 degrees until crispy (about 30 minutes), flipping halfway through to brown up both sides.

2. HOMEMADE NUT BUTTERS
Yes, you can make your own nut butter at home—it’s simpler than it seems and it’s even tastier than store bought!

Start with roasted, unsalted nuts—great options include almonds, cashews, pecans, hazelnuts and peanuts. Pick your favorite! If you prefer, you can purchase raw nuts and toast them at home for a fresh-roasted flavor.

Add the nuts to your food processor fitted with the s-blade, and process on high for five to 10 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. You’ll see the nuts turn to a powder, then to a paste, then become thicker lumps, and finally, when the natural oils break down enough, your mixture will reach the creamy nut butter consistency we all know. So be patient! You’ll love the results.

One tablespoon of nut butter counts as one PowerFuel on your Nutrisystem plan.

How to Choose Your Nut Butter

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3. CAULIFLOWER RICE
Transform a head of cauliflower into a delicious stand-in for rice that’s an unlimited veggie on your Nutrisystem plan. Trim the leaves and stems off a head of cauliflower, rough chop into medium florets and pulse in your food processor using the s-blade until you have a texture that resembles rice (about three to five pulses). Bake or pan sauté with cooking spray until cooked to your desired doneness. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Use cauliflower rice in any preparation you’d enjoy rice: In stir-fries, fried rice, stuffed peppers, alongside grilled fish or as the base for burrito bowls. It’s mildly flavored and so versatile—you can really get creative with adding your own spin on this dish!

4. HUMMUS
It’s so easy to make your own hummus at home—and cost effective, too! Into the food processor, add one-and-a-half cans of chickpeas (drained and rinsed; reserve the liquid from one can), liquid from one can of chickpeas, one to two cloves of roughly chopped garlic, two tablespoons of olive oil, a quarter cup of fresh lemon juice, a half teaspoon of cumin, a quarter teaspoon of paprika and salt to taste. Process until smooth.

Serve up a quarter cup of hummus for one SmartCarb on your Nutrisystem plan, and pair it with unlimited non-starchy veggies like carrot sticks, celery, bell pepper strips, fresh broccoli and sugar snap peas. (One cup of raw veggies gives you one serving of vegetables on your Nutrisystyem plan.)

5. SOFT SERVE “NICE CREAM”
We saved the best for last—dessert! Have you whipped up this magical treat yet? It’s so easy! Freeze a banana (we like to peel and chop them first, freezing in zip-top baggies for easy access), add to your food processor with the s-blade, and process on high until it reaches an airy, creamy texture. Stop to scrape down the sides as needed. This looks—and tastes—just as delicious as your favorite soft serve ice cream, only better because it’s oh-so-good-for-you! One banana is equal to one SmartCarb on your Nutrisystem plan. Experiment with flavors by processing half a banana with a half cup of your favorite frozen berry. Add a splash of water or almond milk, if necessary, to keep things moving. Don’t feel like experimenting? We’ve got you covered with some of our favorite Nice Cream recipes right here.

Optional add-ins: A tablespoon of your favorite nut butter (one PowerFuel), a tablespoon of unsweetened shredded coconut (one Extra), a teaspoon of cacao powder or vanilla extract (Free food) or two tablespoons of slivered almonds (one PowerFuel).

Healthy hint: Double the recipe and pour the mixture into two popsicle molds for a sweet treat you can enjoy later!

The food processor can handle just about any healthy addition to your diet—Greek yogurt dips, smoothie bowls, healthy taco fillings and more—so break it out and show us what you’ve got!