So you’re all fired up to make a batch of homemade hummus, but alas, don’t have a food processor. Not to worry—many of our pureed and processed recipes instruct that you can use a blender as well, and in most cases, you can get by just fine that way.
There are a few things to keep in mind, though. While blenders do roughly the same job as food processors, they don’t pack as much power, so using one can be frustrating and potentially disastrous if you go overboard.
Here are five tips for using a blender in place of a food processor:
Do not, under any circumstances, throw all of your ingredients into the blender at once and turn it straight to full-speed. If you’re trying to make something like nut butter, you’ll likely end up breaking your blender. OK, you can maybe get away with it if you’re using a Vitamix. Otherwise, work through one ingredient at a time and turn up the speed or intensity gradually.
Work in Batches
Kind of in line with that first tip, don’t try to do it all at once—you’re likely to end up with a jam, wherein nothing is moving, and the blender’s poor little motor is just gnawing away at nothing. Rather, break your recipe into smaller batches. It will take longer, overall, but each batch will go by much more smoothly.
Use More Liquid
Adding a little more liquid will assist your blender in breaking up hearty solids. In the case of that nut butter, a little more oil or even a splash of coconut milk will help bring everything together, and as long as you don’t overdo it, won’t have a huge impact on the consistency of the end product.
Stop and Stir
If you’ve done everything above and are still having trouble getting everything mixed up or if you notice a ring of unmixed material around the top of the blender bowl, take off the lid, use a long wooden spoon or other tool to clear the sides, and give it a helpful little stir. Repeat this numerous times if you need to.
This little tidbit is way underrated—make sure to disassemble and thoroughly clean every part of your blender between uses. The design of a food processor makes it so that this is intuitive, but blenders have a way of hiding the small pieces. Unscrew the bottom of your blender bowl, take the plastic ring and blade apart, and wash them each separately. Skipping this will result in built-up food stuffs and mold, which while not immediately visible, can seep into your next dish. Yick!