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Want to live your best raw vegan life? Ask a silly question…
Raw vegan diets, despite the stereotypes, are full to the brim with flavor, beautiful dishes and health-giving nutrients. To whip up some seriously impressive meals, like pizzas, lasagnas and my all-time favorite, raw vegan desserts, you’re gonna need a decent food processor. But with so many cooking appliances available nowadays, kitchens are more like the inside of spaceships than places to prepare food. So what actually is a food processor, and how is it different from a blender?
Here’s a handy guide to the best kitchen food processors for vegans, raw vegans, and natural food lovers alike!
And be prepared to become fully addicted to your food processor, to the point where you’re on your 37th raw cheesecake of the week and your family are a little concerned. But they have 37 raw cheesecakes to devour, so why on earth are they complaining?!Best Food Processors for Raw Food Diet Comparison Table
What is a food processor?
With so many fancy-pants appliances available for your kitchen, it can be hard to tell your blenders from your juicers, your spiralizers from your food processors. Allow me.
A food processor is essentially a wonder-tool that allows you to grind, mince, slice, puree, chop and shred just about anything. And, with a decent quality food processor, I really mean anything*.
*Within reason. It ain’t gonna work on a whole raw butternut squash, for example. Just FYI.
There are so many on the market to choose from, each with different powers, speeds, functions and styles: great for the consumer, but super confusing when you’re trying to decide which one to go ahead and buy.
What do you use a food processor for?
A food processor is like a smartphone, in that it performs 59 different functions, all for the price of one appliance. Many food processors will come with different blades, to perform these different functions, from grinding and mincing to chopping and shredding.
Anything and everything that requires chopping up your food or mixing it with something else can pretty much be performed by a food processor. Sauces, ‘bread mixes’, raw desserts, dressings and seasonings, to name just a few, can all be prepared in a food processor. Suffice to say, it’s a good idea to get one.
I’m trying to eat more raw vegan food. Do I actually need a food processor?
Does every vegan, raw vegan and fruit and veg enthusiast need a food processor?
Yes, and yes again. Yes.
I mean, you can absolutely go raw vegan and live without one, sort of, but if you’re planning on doing any kind of food prep or ‘cooking’ whatsoever, you’re gonna need a food processor. Whilst most of your food prep will simply involve chopping beautiful fruits and veggies for your meal, especially if you’re a mono-mealing fan, it’s nice to be able to whip up some raw cheesecakes, pizzas, crackers, smoothies, soups, ‘bread’, truffles (the raw vegan diet is so restrictive…) when you fancy it.
And unless you’ve got a week and a half spare to chop your cashews and dates into teeny little pieces by hand and smush them together to form something that half resembles a cheesecake base, it’s much easier to invest in a good processor to do the job for you.
What should I look for when buying a food processor?
With so many food processors on the market to choose from, it can be tough to determine what’s important. The best one for you will depend on how powerful you want it to be, your budget and your kitchen space.
Here are the different factors you’ll need to consider when purchasing. And don’t make the same mistake that I made for so many years: buying the cheapest one available and feeling super smug about it, only for it to break the second it meets a soaked nut. Before you know it, you’ve bought 6 food processors in the space of 4 years and not yet managed to make anything more than lumpy soup in a single one of them.
Not that I’m bitter about it…
A high-quality food processor should last you several years, and have you munching happily through a few hundred raw desserts. And other things, of course, but mainly raw desserts.
This is really just about how much food you’ll want to put in your food processor. If you’re aiming to make majestic 3-tiered cheesecakes, a small capacity food processor or food chopper just ain’t gonna cut it… literally; you’ll need one that holds 9 cups or more. But if you’ll be using it to grind nuts and make seasonings and dressings, a smaller capacity food processor (3+ cups) will do the trick.
Knowing what you’ll be using your food processor for will help you determine which accessories to look out for – they can vary wildly depending on the model you choose! They tend to come with various blades for different kinds of processing: slicing, dicing, shredding, etc, but check in the description first.
If you’re planning on using it for smoothies (although some caution is recommended with this, as its blenders are much better equipped to handle liquids) as well as general food mixes, one that comes with a jug blender attachment will be super helpful.
Some even have attachments for citrus juicing and come with a handy accessory case for safe storage of all your extras.
How much kitchen space do you have spare? Will it live on the kitchen counter, or stored in your cupboards? Some food processors take up a heck of a lot of space, so check the dimensions before purchasing.
They can also vary in terms of style, too. Or, to put it plainly, some look super cheap and plastic-y, whilst others look sleek and stylish. Some are even available in several colors – handy for matching your kitchen appliances to your decor. You’ll probably be paying more for the nicer looking ones, of course.
Ideally, you should opt for a large feeding tube. This means you can throw in larger bits of produce without having to chop them into minuscule pieces first. You’ll need to consider power for this too. If it’s not very powerful, your wedge of apple is likely to remain a wedge of apple. And your frustration at having paid for a super cheap food processor that doesn’t actually do its job will continue to grow and grow.
Again, not bitter.
Ease of cleaning
Never underestimate how big a job the clean-up will be. Processing your way through a few bags of nuts and dates, though leaving you with a beautiful raw dessert, will also leave you with a hot mess. You can clean the attachments by hand, but if you also want time to actually eat the dish you made, you might want to consider getting a food processor with dishwasher-safe parts.
And make sure you take note of the cleaning instructions. Some are easily broken!
Power is so important when considering food processors. It can mean the difference between lumps, frustration and being flat broke (after you’ve forked out for another food processor that actually does what you want it to), and absolute raw vegan bliss. If you’re looking for a larger capacity blender that holds about 9+ cups, you’re gonna want it to have a motor of at least 600 watts. The higher the watts, the more powerful it is!
Price is also important when looking for the right food processor for you. It’s super tempting to go for the cheapest one, but this is likely to leave you in a fruit and veg fluster, when it politely declines to process anything tougher than ripe banana. Luckily, there are great value food processors that will do a great job, so you can have your (raw vegan) cake and eat it too.
In theory, if the manufacturers are confident in their food processor’s abilities, they should be providing a warranty. It doesn’t mean to say that the best ones will come with a super long warranty, but about a year seems to be standard. Some come with more, and some come with less, or none at all.
What is the best raw vegan food processor?
Now we know what to look for. But which food processors are best for raw vegan diets?
1. Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14 cup food processor –
Best Affordable Premium Food Processor For Raw Vegan Diets
A great all-round food processor that’s fancy but still affordable, this Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14 cup food processor is great for large amounts of food. With room for a whopping 14 cups of produce, a super powerful 720-watt motor, single touch operation, an extra-large feed tube, stainless steel blades and 7 food prep functions, it’s got your back when it comes to raw vegan food fabulousness.
Its stainless-steel design makes it stylish enough to keep out on your counter top, and, it comes in a variety of colors, so you can choose the one that bits fits in with your kitchen décor. It’ll make any raw vegan creation simple with its ability to mix, slice, knead, emulsify, puree and chop.
Is there anything it can’t do?!
With an average of 4.2 stars out of 5 in over 1800 reviews, it’s safe to say that this food processor is tried, tested, and loved. One user comments on how the large capacity is great for preparing large quantities and another loves how quiet it is, considering its power.
The Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY comes with a 3-year limited warranty, for peace of mind.
- Powerful motor
- Single touch operation
- 7 food preparation functions
- Choose from a variety of colors
- Extra-large feed tube
- At around $160, it’s great value for money
- It looks stylish
- It has a large capacity
- The large dimensions of this food processor might be an issue if you have limited kitchen space
The bottom lineA tried and tested food processor with a large capacity and good value for money needs the credit it’s due. It’s quiet compared to other food processors with powerful motors, so it’s great for food prep for families… without waking them up!
2. Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef Food Processor –
Best time-saving food processor for raw vegan diets
This Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef Food Processor might be a mouthful to say, but it makes easy work of even the larger pieces of produce you throw at it. With 5 multi-function discs and 3 blades, and with a sleek design, it’s a stylish all-rounder that will cope with even the most demanding raw vegan chefs. It even comes in 3 colors: black, cranberry red and stainless steel, for all of your matching-it-with-the-kitchen-décor needs. Oh, also, if you’re no sold just yet, it has a super wide chute for big pieces of fruit and veggies, 2 BPA free processing bowls (because who wants toxic residue in their meals, right?) and an accessory bowls for all of the extra bits it comes with, like a julienne disc, a whisking disc and a reversible shredding disc.
Okay, so you’re sold now.
This Breville masterpiece has an average of 4.5 stars out of 5 in over 1,100 user reviews. That’s a lot of reviews. And, overall, they say that this machine is easy to use, easy to clean and quiet. Plus, users appear to love the accessory storage.
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve lost a part to a kitchen appliance, I’d be on a tropical island right now. With one of these food processors for preparing my tropical desserts…
The Breville food processor comes with a one-year limited product warranty, which isn’t as much as you get with some others.
- Comes with 2 BPA free processing bowls
- Available in different colors
- Looks sleek and stylish
- Large chute for big pieces of produce
- Comes with several accessories, and a box to store them in
- Heavy duty motor
- Has fantastic reviews
- It’s a little pricier than other food processors
The bottom line
The Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef Food Processor is a great time saver. You don’t have to worry about cutting your fruits and veggies into teeny little pieces before it’ll actually process them, and, perhaps more importantly, when all of your blades and accessories are stored neatly in their accompanying box, you won’t have to spend all day searching every single drawer and cupboard in the house for the julienne blade that you desperately need. Which I have done many times, if it wasn’t too obvious at this point. It’s a little pricier than others, but if time is short and your budget allows, it’s a great buy.
For a cheaper, albeit less powerful option, go for the Breville BFP660SIL Sous Chef 12 Cup Food Processor. It won’t process as much, but it will save you some well-earned bucks.
3. Hamilton Beach Food Processor with 14 cup bowl –
The best value food processor for raw food diets
This Hamilton Beach Professional Dicing Food Processor is not only much easier to say than its counterparts (there’s a distinct lack of sci-fi-ness in its name), but arguably the best value. It advertises its commercial quality performance and says, with this food processor, you can bring it to your kitchen.
With a large feed chute, you won’t need to spend hours pre-cutting, a pour chute to prevent leaks and messes, 5 attachments for dicing, slicing, shredding, kneading, chopping and mixing with ease, it’s safe to say that the Hamilton Beach Food Processor has thought of everything. Oh, and it also has a 14 cup, BPA free bowl and a powerful 600-watt motor.
What a show-off…
With mixed reviews and some users saying that it does struggle to chop larger pieces, it might not be the best food processor for frequent use. But users do praise the excellent price tag on this Hamilton Beach Food Processor.
The best thing about the Hamilton Beach Food Processor has got to be its whopping 5-year warranty. That’s way better than a lot of food processors on the market, and there’s nothing better than food processing away knowing that, if anything does happen to it, you’re covered.
- Plenty of room for your produce
- Attachments for all kinds of food prep
- Large feeder chute for less chopping
- Powerful motor
- Amazing 5-year warranty
- Comes with BPA free bowls
- Some users say it isn’t as effective as other processors
- It’s larger and bulkier than others on the market
The bottom lineOkay, so it might not be the most effective food processor in the world. But for less than 140 dollars and a 5-year warranty, it’s not bad going. If your budget is restricted and you want a food processor with plenty of attachments for all kinds of raw vegan food prep, it’s not a bad choice!
4. Kitchen Aid KFP1466ER 14-cup food processor –
The best professional food processor for raw vegan food prep
If you’re looking for a food processor that’s as stylish as it is effective, you’ve found the right one. I mean, seriously, look at it. It’s like the Gisele of the food processor world. So if you’re looking for a stylish processor that’ll fit elegantly on your countertop, and slice and dice like a professional chef, this KitchenAid KFP1466ER 14-cup food processor is a must.
With an ‘advanced dicing mechanism’ that promises professional results at home, leak resistant seal, varied speed options, and a slick design, you can’t go wrong if you’re looking to slice and dice your fruits and veggies with ease with this super cute processor!
And whilst it doesn’t look big, the cup capacity is fantastic! So it’s a great space saver, without sacrificing valuable produce space. And if you’re looking for a smaller machine, KitchenAid offer a variety of models, all with varied capacities, including 7-cup, 9-cup, 11-cup, all at great, affordable prices.
With an average of 4 stars out of 5 in user reviews, and its ease of use highlighted as a main feature, it’s safe to say it’s a good buy. One user states how it makes ‘Pinterest quality’ salad, and if that’s not a good reason to buy it, I don’t know what is…
With a 1-year hassle-free replacement warranty, you can slice and dice to your heart’s content, without a care in the world! I mean, obviously pay attention. It’s still a high-speed cutting machine…
- Slice and dice like a professional
- Good capacity without taking up too much space in your kitchen
- Comes with a 1-year replacement warranty
- Includes a storage case for all accessories
- It’s super cute and stylish
- Decent value for money
- It’s not quite as cheap as other food processors, but you get what you pay for with its professional capabilities
The bottom line
This is a great food processor for fancy pants salads, it won’t take up too much room, and it’s so stylish. Did I mention that? It has a great hassle-free warranty for if anything goes wrong in the first year, and it comes with a handy case for all of the attachments. You can’t really go wrong!
5. Braun FP3020 12 Cup Food Processor –
The best multi-purpose food processor for raw vegan diets
So there’s no category in my reviews for ‘interesting looking food processors’, but if there was, the Braun FP3020 12 Cup Food Processor would be winning, no question. Unlike most models nowadays, which are thankfully pretty slimline, this Braun model is, suffice to say, quite wide. Now this isn’t a problem if you have plenty of countertop space, but if you don’t, a slimmer food processor might be a better option.
But whilst it might be wide, its performance certainly shines. It’s certainly one of the best multi-purpose food processors on the market, with an added citrus juicer attachment as standard. With German engineering and the ability to deliver up to 900W at peak power, this is a super powerful food processor. It’s ultra-quiet, has a decent 12-cup capacity, can tackle up to 9 cups of liquid for juicing, energy efficient and easy to clean. In fact, apart from the base (of course), it’s all dishwasher safe.
The Braun FP3020 comes with 7 attachment blades, as well as a chopper and even a citrus juicer. This certainly has it standing out from the food processor crowd and will save you buying a separate citrus juicer if you’re a fan of daily fresh OJ. I mean, who isn’t?
The reviews really speak for themselves. With an average of 4.5 stars out of 5 in over 900 reviews, to say this processor is amazing is an understatement. Whilst raw vegans probably won’t need the kneading function, one user talks of making pizza dough in her Braun processor, which just shows how powerful it really is. Another reviewer explains how it comes with a sticker that shows the recommended speeds for each attachment, which has been really useful with food prep.
With a one-year warranty, it’s not the best on the market, but it does give you peace of mind when you’re slicing, dicing and juicing your fresh fruits and veggies.
- It’s tried and tested, with great reviews
- Has a variable speed setting
- Powerful 600-watt motor
- One-year warranty
- Can chop, slice, whisk, knead and juice
- Made with German technology
- Has a citrus juicer attachment, which most other food processors don’t
- Great value for money at under 200 dollars
- The design seems a little space-greedy, but the fantastic power and versatility of this food processor more than makes up for that
The bottom lineThis Braun model is a study, reliable option for raw vegan food prep with ease. It might not be as stylish as others, but your meals certainly will be.
I’ll only need a food processor occasionally, and I have limited space. What should I buy?
6. Kitchen Aid 3.5 cup Food Chopper –
The best food chopper for small processing tasks
If you’re not planning on using a food processor too frequently, will only need it for very small quantities of produce, or your super space limited, this KitchenAid 3.5 cup Food Chopper is just what the doctor ordered.
Available in all the colors of the rainbow, and some you didn’t know existed. For real – you can choose from empire red, aqua sky blue, boysenberry, cocoa silver, hot sauce, green apple, guava glaze, matte black, liquid graphite, majestic yellow, ice blue, matte gray, onyx black, tangerine, twilight blue, white and watermelon. Who gets paid to come up with this stuff?
Anyway, it should be pretty easy to find a color from the ridiculous list above which’ll fit in with your kitchen decor and it’s small enough to leave on the counter top. It’s the perfect kitchen aid (ha) for dressings, sauces, grinding nuts and other small food processing tasks.
It’s so compact and lightweight that it’s great for small spaces, but will still chop, mix and grind with ease.
With an average of 4.1 stars out of 5 in over 1100 reviews, it’s clear that this food processor, whilst small, is still mighty. One user says it chops nuts and herbs with ease and makes some top-notch hummus. Yes, you can make raw hummus! Another says they were blown away by how powerful it was.
This mini food processor comes with a one-year warranty, which seems to be pretty standard in the food processor market.
- Perfect for small spaces and small quantities
- Available in 1265 colors (or thereabouts)
- Stylish design
- Powerful, considering its size
- Good user reviews
- Great for sauces, dips and grinding nuts
- Very small capacity, obviously
The bottom line
If you’re looking to make beautiful raw vegan meals using a food processor of if you have a large family to feed, this probably won’t cut it. But if you’re just looking for a processor for dips and sauces, or are short on space in your kitchen, this KitchenAid 3.5 cup is the best mini processor around. And it comes in a colors like ‘guava glaze’ and ‘boysenberry’. What more could you want?!
Mistakes to avoid with your food processor
- Overworking your food processor
Like with all appliances, overworking your food processor is a recipe for disaster. As in, your recipe will be a disaster, because it won’t get made. Because your food processor will break.
It’s difficult to know when your food processor is being ‘overworked’, but, as a rule, it’s best not to have it running for more than a few minutes without a break. And if you’re planning on using your food processor regularly, and filling it with a lot of produce, make sure it’s powerful enough to handle it.
- Filling it past the fill line
Filling your food processor past the max line may result either in the food processor breaking, or you being covered in whatever you were hoping to make a delicious meal with. And it’s much tastier on a plate than when it’s picked out of your hair and clothes. And I’m speaking from experience.
It’s especially important not to fill anything too liquid-y past the fill line. You will end up covered in it.
- Not chopping your produce beforehand
Whilst more powerful food processors with larger feed chutes can handle chopping soaked nuts and pieces of fruit and veg, shoving a whole carrot in there is not a great idea. You’ll need a good juicer for that.
Nope. You must do a little food prep before putting your food processor to work. The smaller the better, of course. This will make preparing your chosen dish/mix easy as pie (it may well be pie!), and help your food processor to live a long, healthy life.
- Cleaning the parts incorrectly
It’s important to check whether the accessories and parts that come with your chosen blender are dishwasher safe, before you put them in the dishwasher… obviously. They may not be suitable and might need to be washed by hand. And even if they are suitable, it’s best to put them on the top rack of the dishwasher where there’s less heat, and they’re less likely to wear down.
Every day’s a school day.
- Using too much liquid
So I’ve already touched on this, but it can’t really be stressed enough. For anything involving lots of liquid, like soups and smoothies, a blender like the trusty Vitamix is your best bet.
Food processors can’t cope with too much liquid, and you risk splattering it all over your house if you fill it with too much. Having both a food processor, for more laborious tasks like chopping, grinding and slicing fruits and veggies, and a blender for smoothies and soups is a sure-fire way to achieve the status of ‘Raw Vegan Queen’. No biggie.
What Are The Best Food Processor Brands?
Whilst it’s incredibly tempting to go with lesser known brands or grocery store brands as they tend to be cheaper, for guaranteed performance, and not a lumpy mess, it’s worth going with food processor brands that have a good rep. Just because you’ve heard of the make doesn’t mean every model they produce is gonna be good, of course, but if you do your research, you’ll find the one that’s right for you. Any food processor made by the big players like Braun, Breville, Cuisinart and KitchenAid should be a good bet.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How many watts should a good food processor have?
How many watts you should look for really depends on the kind of food prep you’re hoping to carry out. For soft foods like herbs, it doesn’t really matter how many watts it is – it’s a beginner’s food processing task.
But, for larger pieces of fruits, veggies and nuts, you’re probably looking for at least 600 watts, to ensure enough power for even the toughest raw vegan food prep tasks.
2. What does a food processor do that a blender doesn’t?
A lot of people think that food processors and blenders are the same. Whilst they’re pretty similar in terms of what they can do – break down produce – they both serve very different purposes. A blender like a Vitamix handles liquids much better, so they’re perfect for smoothies and soups.
For chopping fruits and veggies, as well as dough, cracker and biscuit mixes, and everything in between, a food processor is your best bet. Essentially, anything that doesn’t require large amounts of liquid should probably be done in your food processor.
3. What is the difference between a food chopper and a food processor?
A food chopper does what it says on the tin. It’ll chop your food into smaller pieces, and some, depending on the power, will serve as mini food processors. But if you’re looking for a puree, mix, paste, or anything that doesn’t require too many lumps, a full-size food processor is the way to go. They tend to be much more powerful, should make light work of any kind of food prep – slicing, dicing, grinding, etc – and they’re made for tougher, bigger jobs.
Need to chop whole nuts into pieces? A food chopper should do the trick. Want to make a deliciously smooth raw cheesecake? Always… A food processor with a decent capacity is crucial.
4. Can you use a food processor to make smoothies?
Yes. And no.
A food processor’s job is to break down large pieces of produce, so, in that sense, yes. But you have to be really careful with liquid in food processors. There should be a liquid fill line on your food processor, and it’s really important not to go above that… unless you’d rather your ‘smoothie’ end up all over the walls and ceiling than in a glass.
They also have a tough time crushing ice, so a good idea is to use frozen fruits and veggies instead.
So, in conclusion, yes you can use a food processor to make smoothies, provided you’re careful with how much liquid you’re putting in your food processor, and make sure you use frozen produce rather than ice cubes.
Unless you’re looking at brightening up the walls, in which case, just go for it.
From my dive into the world of the best food processors for raw vegans, it’s clear that there’s a heck of a lot to choose from. Perfect for pretty much any food prep that involves breaking down beautiful fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds, but that doesn’t involve liquid, a food processor should be at the top of every raw vegan’s wishlist. And finding the right one for you should now hopefully be a little easier.
Get ready to live your best raw vegan food life with your brand spanking new food processor. You’ll be knocking out pizzas, cakes and crackers like no-one’s business, and impressing your family and friends to the point where they request said pizzas, cakes and crackers on the daily.
It’s a good idea to buy one with a decent warranty, I think.