I'd like to make a "healthy" brownie recipe, but the instructions ask for a food processor, which I don't have. I thought about using a blender, but I've read it won't come out right using a blender.

Here's what the instructions say:

Combine the black beans, dates, jam, and vanilla in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt and process again.

What can I use instead of a food processor?

3 Answers 3


Food processors are wonderful kitchen tools, but they have only existed for a relatively short while. The techniques used prior to their invention still work, but are much more labor intensive.

The results can then be forced through a sieve of chinoise if desired to get a smoother result.

You have not mentioned in your recipe whether the beans are cooked. I am guessing that they are from the other ingredients they were to be processed with. If so, the food mill should work very well.

If they are not, and you are essentially making a bean flour, the mortar and pestle would be more appropriate, although a lot of work.

  • I know this is a broad question, but if I were to use a food mill, how much longer (approximately) would that same step take compared to a food processor?
    – MarkE
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 19:15
  • Depends on how much food, but probably less than 5 minutes.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 20:15

No, you can use the blender. Use the slowest speed and manually do short pulses (1 second on, 2 seconds off).

You may have to use a spatula and mix it to get an even result. The pauses are so that the food doesn't get too hot (friction from the blades can actually boil things). Stop early, it's easy to make an unrecognizable paste in the blender.

  • The problem is that if the ingredients are wet enough to stick to the sides but not liquid enough to flow down, you'll coat the inside of the blender before you manage to blend it smooth. This might fall in that range.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 2:13
  • @jefromi that's where immersion blenders come in. (I am aware that the OP might not have one, but if he has both, the i.b. is probably the better solution).
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 9:20
  • Even in a normal blender, you'd push down the stuff with a spatula (blender off), repeat a couple of times and you're there.
    – MandoMando
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 12:25

If you're going for a smooth batter, probably need a food processor. If you don't mind some chunks, very finely dice with a chef's knife. It will take longer, but you should get there.

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