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Food Processor or Hand Blender? Which Should You Buy?

Updated on November 9, 2015

Is the main electrical gadget in your kitchen a food processor, that pretty much serves to deal with all your food blending, mixing, chopping needs, etc., etc.? If you are like me then you’ve had the same one for years – I call it Old Reliable! – and have just assumed that any other gadgets were a frivolous, unnecessary expense, when a processor is so versatile, has so many extra extensions and functions and can be adapted for almost any food processing chore. (Maybe not to perform each and every one with absolute perfection, true. But versatility is a virtue, right?)

Do You Love To Make And Eat Soup?

But is that really the case with respect to every food preparation chore? Soup is the example that springs most readily to mind. I find a food processor great for making large quantities of houmous or halva, for example, or quickly mixing fat into pastry mix. But when it comes to soup, I have a mental block with regards to my food processor. I can get to the point of chopping vegetables, cooking them up in the pan, adding herbs, spices and seasoning, sniffing the deliciously scented result appreciatively… and then that’s where I hit the roadblock. Am I going to get the food processor out, carefully pour the lumpy soup into it, and mix it up into a beautiful smooth broth?

Making Soup With A Food Processor Is A Chore!

Well… I could do that. The trouble is, that isn’t where the story ends. Once you’ve produced a gorgeous smooth soup (and drizzled a little crème fraiche on top, perhaps), then your troubles are only just beginning, really. Now you have to take the processor apart, and wash up the multiple non-electrical mixer parts involved. Doesn’t sound like such a big deal, does it? Not unless you’re the one doing it, of course. That’s when it becomes a horrendous chore that’s enough to put you off the idea of using a food processor to produce nice smooth soup at all.


Public domain image.
Public domain image. | Source

Get Your Five A Day The Super Easy Hand Blender Way

Seriously, I have spent years eating lumpy soup, precisely because of this very issue! And I don’t think I’m so unique: if the hassle of using a food processor to blenderise and smooth soup is sufficient to put me off doing it at all, I assume there are more people just like me out there – people who just can’t be bothered to blend soup in a food processor. That’s why a simple, cheap household appliance has recently revolutionized my (soup-eating) life: the stick blender, or hand blender as it is also known.

Truly! If you don’t already possess one of these magical little tools, then what are you waiting for? (Especially if you like soup). Blenderizing soup to produce a gorgeous smooth broth is a whole different experience with one of these cute little things, compared to using a food processor. Just plug it in, make sure the end is well under the surface of the soup (you can use most models right in the saucepan!), press the button and you’re barely minutes away from a fabby smooth yummy end-product. (Make sure you read the manufacturer’s safety instructions before you get started, of course.)

Not only that, but guess how long it takes to clear up after using a hand blender to make beautiful blended lump-free soup? Oh, perhaps thirty seconds? On my stick blender, all you need to do is give a quick twist to the blade and blade-guard, then rinse it under a hot tap. All done! One piece to wash up, a minute’s clean-up (if that) and you’re good to go – good to go and eat your yummy soup, that is!

The stick blender model I chose to buy was one from Sainsburys supermarket here in the UK. It’s a ‘Basics’ model – which is what it sounds like, i.e. no fuss, no frills and for a low price – and it cost me less than five pounds sterling. Five pounds! How can you complain at that price? I was actually intending to buy the model one range up from the Basics item, but unfortunately they only had one in stock in the superstore I was at, and from the state of the box it looked like a return, so I passed. I only really wanted it because it had a stainless steel blade-guard, which is supposed to be more stain-resistant than the plastic guard on the Basics model. The Basics model is fine so far, though: it does the job and I’m drinking a whole lot of nice smooth soup!

This is the main benefit of such a handy, inexpensive little gadget: by making the route to producing a healthy, pleasurable meal so much easier and more hassle-free, it means I’m more likely to actually do it. (Certainly the thought of another bowl of lumpy soup was enough to put me off cooking sometimes, back in my pre-hand blender days). Maybe the same could apply to you, too. With the right tools and the same ease of production, you could be eating lots and lots of bowlfuls of healthy, smooth home-made vegetable soups. What a great and simple way to get your five servings of vegetables a day (at least)! Eat more vegetables the easy way using a stick blender to make great soup in your own kitchen.

It’s not just useful for soup and vegetables either: once you’ve got that hand blender, you can make awesome fruit smoothies too! A few chunks of fruit, some filtered or spring water and a spoonful of honey, followed by a few bursts on the blender button, and you have a terrific healthy drink that is not only contributing to your five a day, but also contains all the fiber benefits of the whole fruit, unlike packaged juices. Ooh, I could just drink a banana, vanilla and coconut milk smoothie right now…

What are you waiting for? How have you lived without one for all this time? Go and get yourself a hand blender right now!

What Is A Blender For?

Well, how do you use yours?

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Soup And Hand-Held Blenders


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