A food processor and blender are one of the essential kitchen appliances every kitchen needs, no matter the size. A blender whips up silky smooth smoothies, soups and sauces in seconds. A food processor makes butter out of nuts, patties out of raw ingredients and crumbs out of bread. Like any other appliance, you can spend anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand Rands. If you’re on a budget, you want an appliance that won’t break the bank and won’t break when you put it to work. After looking around and comparing models and brands, I found both requirements in the Phillips Viva Collection Compact Food Processor.
Food Processor v Blender: What to choose and do you need both?
While they both change the form of food from chunks to pieces or liquid and there’s overlap in what they can do, they’re not interchangeable.
A food processor, with its wide bowl, is best for chopping, grating, or slicing and if it comes with a dough blade, it can even be used for kneading dough. In food terms, it’s what you want to use if you’re making falafel, patties, salsa and pie crusts. When it comes to liquefying food, it’s best for thick dips or sauces, like hummus, pesto, nut butter and nice- cream. It won’t give you a silky-smooth soup or smoothie.
A blender is generally jug shaped with a narrow base and wider rim which creates a vortex making it brilliant at quickly whipping up silky smooth smoothies, soups, sauces and purees. It’s best for when there’s a lot of liquid or a very soft ingredient like steamed/roasted veggies that you’re turning into soup/sauce. It’s not ideal for making nut butters and won’t chop up ingredients evenly.
Technically, you don’t need both. You just need the one whose functions you’ll use the most. For most people, that’s the blender. However, if you’re like me and you use them with a similar amount of frequency, you’ll want both.
The Phillips Viva Collection Compact Food Processor
I’ve been using this for just under 6 months, long enough to test every feature with just about any ingredient I would use. Here’s why I love it.
It comes with a blender, food processor, food mill and citrus juicer. The blender and food processor were the selling points, the mill and juicer, a bonus. Having one appliance with multiple attachments saves space, especially if you have a small kitchen, and it reduces the number of appliances you need to keep track of.
I use the blender and processor the most, but the food mill has been the surprise attachment. It’s small, making it ideal for grinding whole spices and small batch pastes.
Jar and Motor Strength
Motor strength was one of the biggest factors for me. You need something with a decent wattage if you want it to blend and process well. This is 850W which is higher than almost every other processor and blender in its price range and even some of the more expensive brands like the entry level Magimix.
The food processor bowl and jar are made from a heat resistant plastic that’s strong enough for heavy use and apparently break resistant, something that rings true (thus far). It’s also transparent allowing you to see the progress without having to turn off or remove the lid. As much as I love glass, you want to avoid a glass blender as if you accidentally leave a spoon or fork in it, it can shatter the glass. You might also want to avoid doing that anyway.
Easy to Clean
This is a big one, especially for blenders. Blenders are difficult to clean thoroughly. My cleaning method is to add dishwashing soap and water to the jug when done and blending to loosen all the food particles. Most blenders still hold on to small food particles after doing this, especially under the sealing ring. Both the processor and jug come apart easily, allowing you to thoroughly clean each piece. The bottom of the blender jug easily screws off, allowing you to clean under the blades and remove the sealing ring to clean any liquids that slip under it.
It’s small enough to fit on a counter and inside cupboards, yet large enough to blend a few portions. The jug can hold 2L and the food processor bowl 1.5L or 500g flour.
It also has slip resistant feet, which suction it to the counter, so it doesn’t move.
Price and Warranty
At under R2000, it’s a budget friendly option and with all the functions and different attachments, it’s great value. It has a 24-month warranty which isn’t the best, however, I’ve found that with the amount I use an appliance, any issues generally crop up within the first year of using it, so that was a tradeoff I was happy to make.
Overall, it works well, is easy to assemble and clean and is a winner!
You can get the Phillips Viva Collection Compact Food Processor here
Zissy is the co-founder of Nutreats. She likes to make things, do things and wear things.