Learning to cook can be as intimidating as trying to learn another language. Even for seasoned vets in the kitchen, going over complicated lists of ingredients and long sets of instructions can get confusing.

The great thing about most food processor recipes is that they are usually just a few simple steps. Most of the time all you have to do is just throw everything in there and blend it up!

If you have a food processor or are thinking about buying one, here are a few recipe ideas for you to try out. Below each of them are suggestions for quality food processors if you don’t already have your own.

Homemade Hummus

Store bought hummus is delicious but it can also be expensive. This simple recipe is versatile and cost-effective.

1 15-oz can of garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons of sesame tahini
2 tablespoons of lemon juice (fresh or in a bottle)

That is just the basics, but you should experiment with other additions as well. I left out salt and pepper for a low-sodium hummus but go ahead and season to taste if you are feeling adventurous. Don’t be afraid to throw some crushed garlic in there either. You could even roast a red pepper on the stovetop and then blend it in with the beans. Get creative!

Although hummus is traditionally made with garbanzo beans, you can also use great northern beans for an even smoother texture. If you decide you like making hummus you should also think about buying your beans dried. It takes a little longer to re-hydrate them but you end up saving a lot of money and you really cut down on the sodium. Also remember that if you buy dried garbanzo beans you sometimes need to actually cook them and not just let them sit in the water.

The Cuisinart DLC-2ABCFR Mini-prep Plus Processor is a three-cup food processor that is the perfect size to make this small batch of hummus. It has two speeds which is perfect for starting slow and then speeding it up as the beans start to blend with the other ingredients.

Guacamole

Guacamole can be made with your bare hands or by using a mortar and pestle, but for an extra creamy guacamole a food processor is the only way to go.

2 ripe avocados
½ of a red onion
1 jalapeno pepper (remove seeds and stem)
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
½ ripe tomato with seeds and pulp removed
a little bit of salt and pepper

An important thing to remember is that your guacamole is only as good as your avocados. They should be soft but not too soft. Guacamole will also start to turn from green to brown pretty quickly. So enjoy with tortilla chips or in a burrito while it is fresh.

The Hamilton Beach 70450 6-cup Food Processor is a nice mid-sized food processor that can easily handle this recipe. Throw all the ingredients except for the avocado in first to chop them up, and then blend in the avocado itself at the end. This should give you a few decent sized avocado chunks in there to chew on.

Pesto

Fresh pesto is at its best when the basil is plucked right out of the garden. Store bought is fine but consider buying the live basil plants rather than the packaged leaves for a fresher taste.

2 cups of fresh basil leaves
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 cloves of garlic
a little bit of salt and pepper

There are a few substitutions you can make to this recipe to suit your tastes. The Parmesan can be substituted with Romano for a bolder flavor and you can use walnuts instead of the pine nuts. This is delightful when tossed in with cooked pasta. You can also blend in a few tablespoons with garbanzo beans and tahini for another delightful take on hummus!

Try this recipe out with the Wolfgang Puck 7-cup Food Processor. The cord stores neatly in the unit and everything but the base is dishwasher safe. When you are making this recipe also remember to keep taking breaks to wipe down the inner walls of the food processor as the basil will tend to stick.

Blended Tortilla Soup

This is a new take on an old classic. Preparation is easy. Just blend everything up and then heat it on the stove. Serve in a bowl over tortilla chips and garnish with cheese and avocado on top.

8 Roma tomatoes
½ red onion
2 carrots
a big handful of cilantro
½ jalapeno pepper
3 stalks of celery
cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste

If you want a soup with more broth you can also add a cup of water to this recipe. A little bit of taco seasoning can also be used instead of the spices.

Give this delicious recipe a whirl in the Hamilton Beach 14- Cup 70590 Big Mouth Food Processor. Start blending the jalapeno, cilantro, and onions first and then add the rest of the ingredients so you can blend them up as much as you desire, all the way to puree.

Berry Everything Shake

A great way to start your day is with a healthy shake. It is versatile and you can easily tailor this recipe to suite your tastes.

½ cup berries of your choice
1 banana
1 apple
½ cup orange juice
2 heaping tablespoons yogurt
a few slices of pineapple

This shake will give you an unbelievable amount of energy. It is good to buy frozen berries and pineapple so you can always have those ingredients on hand. Feel free to mix things up by adding in a little mango, papaya, or any of your other favorite fruits.

This recipe works perfect in the blender portion of the Cuisinart Food Processor Blender Combo. It has a convenient 7-speed touch pad control so that you can start slow and build your way up.

No matter which of these recipes you decide to try, the important thing is that you are taking your health into your own hands by cooking at home. Eating out too much and buying a lot of pre-packaged foods can lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. When you cook from scratch using a food processor you know exactly what you are putting into your body. So get out there and get cooking!

Author's Bio: 

Greene Michael is a freelance writer who writes about kitchen items such as food processors.