Blender versus a food processor - when to use?

I've wanted to make this post for a very long time. Especially since many of my readers have asked me what kind of blender do I use and what's the difference between a blender and a food processor. The following is based completely on my own experiences and I hope that it has some useful tips for some of you.

I have a rather cheap blender. I bought it from a local supermarket for 30 euros and so far it has served me well. By that, I mean that all my smoothies, nut creams and soups are silky and smooth. I know that if you have a more expensive blender, you don't need to soak your nuts and seeds before blending and the outcome can be even better. But at the moment, I just can't bring myself to the thought of spending so much money on a blender. Especially since I've been pleased with my cheaper one. My Philips blender is a fine deal and even my mom and dad bought the exact same one for themselves. Now they are making smoothies with home-grown berries each morning. Yum! I also like the design of this product:

Photo from Amazon

What have I learned when using my blender? I've noticed that they always need some liquid to work properly. So they are best for making nut milks, nut creams, smoothies and soups. Also, it's best to let it work for a couple of minutes. That way you can be sure you won't have any chunks in your smoothie or sauce. But if you want some stress in your life, try making banana ice-cream or nut butters with this blender. Or any food without any liquid. Almost mission impossible. And I'm talking about the cheaper blenders, not Vitamix or Blendtec! So it's best to use blender for the things it's meant to be. And if you want to make nut butters, fluffy banana ice-cream, raw bars or raw cake crusts, then a food processor or an immersion blender's chopper attachment are your best friends. The last one is my favorite, since it's small and handy. It looks like this:

On this photo, I was making homemade peanut butter for these no-bake cocoa and peanut butter cookies. Worked like a charm! Just throw in some salted and roasted peanuts and let it do its job until you have a smooth homemade peanut butter. Cheap and easy! For an immersion blender, I'm also using a Philips product. Usually I make hummus and different vegan spreads with it. It's just so easy to use, clean and storage. But nut creams, soups and smoothies tend to be a bit grainier when made with an immersion blender. So blender would be a better choice when making these foods. You can also make delicious banana ice-cream with the chopper attachment. And if you happen to have a large food processor, then you can make a large quantity of it! I love when a banana ice-cream is fluffy and white, not yellowish and rather cream-like. Proper freezing of the bananas is important here too! This is a proper example :)

So basically you need two appliances in your kitchen for blending and crushing: a blender and a food processor or a smaller chopping appliance.

Here are some basic tips when using a blender or a food processor:

Blender is perfect for:
  • smoothies
  • creamy soups
  • nut milks and nut creams
  • different creamy sauces

+ blender is better than an immersion blender when you want an extra smooth result

Food processor or a chopping appliance is perfect for:
  • nut butters
  • raw bars
  • raw cake crusts
  • banana ice-cream
  • crushed nuts
  • vegan sandwich spreads

Immersion blender is perfect for:
  • hummus
  • vegan sandwich spreads
  • creamy soups (but blender is usually better)

These are my little tricks and hacks. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments. Happy blending! :)