One of the more frustrating aspects of eating healthy and cooking in your own kitchen is the fact that you have to take on tedious tasks like cutting, dicing, peeling, chopping, and mincing up vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
For those who are looking to eat healthier for “Eat Your Vegetables Day” and beyond, one way to increase your intake of vegetables is through the use of vegetable choppers.
Not only can this help save you time, but they can provide you with a unique take on dishes.
Ever wanted to try cauliflower rice or zucchini style pasta?
These can be made with vegetable choppers.
Read on to learn more about the types of vegetable choppers and what you should consider when buying.
What Types of Vegetable Choppers Are There?
While the idea of a vegetable chopper seems to be self-explanatory, they can actually do a lot more than just cut veggies up. A vegetable chopper is a machine that can slice, cut, and chop up vegetables as well as nuts, spices, and fruit. They come in two different types, manual and electric, and are extremely easy to use.
What Is a Manual Vegetable Chopper?
This type of chopper is also called a spring-loaded chopper and is generally good for cutting up vegetables and fruits. It can also chop up nuts and slice spices apart. However, because it is a manual chopper, it does take a bit of effort and time to get the job done. A manual vegetable chopper is recommended for individuals who need to use it outdoors when traveling or camping as it does not need power.
What Is an Electric Vegetable Chopper?
This type of chopper functions in the same way as a manual one but requires the use of electricity to power on and run. Unlike the manual, they can chop and slice through larger quantities of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and spices because they are a lot faster than manual versions. Other than being convenient, an electric vegetable chopper can be used for multi-functional purposes like blending, grating, grinding and juicing items like fruit, vegetables, nuts, and coffee beans.
What Are Some Common Uses for Vegetable Cutting Choppers?
- They are often used to chop up herbs and hard spices
- They are used to chop up nuts that are needed for garnish in baking
- They are perfect for making cracker crumbs or grinding up graham crackers for dessert bases
- They can quickly deal with food materials that are needed for making condiments, salsa, and dips
- They make short work of chopping up root vegetables like garlic, onions, celery, and carrots
- They are great for grating up hard pieces of chocolate
What Factors Should You Consider When Purchasing a Vegetable Chopper?
When it comes to buying a vegetable chopper, you want to make sure that it is going to get the job done correctly without breaking on you mid-way through use. Here is what you should consider when looking at the various models.
1. Find one that is multi-functional. A vegetable chopper can be used for multiple purposes beyond just slicing up those vegetables. Consider what you want your chopper to do, whether it be mincing up spices, chop up nuts, or grind out coffee beans. You could even get one that grates up cheese, blends, and juices.
2. Figure out how much it can hold at once. If you have a large family or know that you are going to be using your vegetable chopper on a daily basis, make sure you get one that has a larger capacity. Chopping up your vegetables in large batches can help you meal plan and save you a lot of time.
3. Always get one with stainless steel blades. Regardless of whether you buy an electric or manual chopper, you want to get one that has robust and durable blades. It is recommended that you get one that has stainless steel blades that are easily removable for cleaning. If a model has a spare blade, then that’s even better.
4. Make sure it is easy to clean. You want a model that has a removable bowl and blades. Otherwise, you are not going to be able to clean it very well which will reduce its lifespan.
5. Make sure it is made out of high-grade materials. Always purchase a vegetable chopper that is BPA-free. If you get a model that uses BPA in its plastic, you could potentially contaminate your food with harmful chemicals.
6. Is it accident-free? Some chopper models have extra safety features that are marketed as “add-ons”. This could be a hand guard, a storage bag, or even an extra blade. There are some models that are safe for children to use as well.
7. Is it dishwasher safe? Take a look at the box or the manual to find out if the removable parts are dishwasher safe. This could be a huge bonus if you hate doing dishes or prefer using a dishwasher.
Here Are 6 Types of Vegetable Chopper Machines And Their Uses
1. The Spiralizer (Manual/Electric). The spiralizer tool is simply a vegetable slicer that spirals your vegetables when used. Rather than your vegetables coming out chopped up or sliced, they come out in spirals, similar to what pasta looks like. It’s main use? Turn vegetables into strands so that they can be used as an alternative to pasta. They can also be used to make curly fries.
a. Pros: spiralizer is a fantastic substitute for pasta. Not only does it allow you to go gluten-free, but it also allows you to go low-carb when substituting carrots, zucchini, or squash in. Other than this, it is also a great way to up your vegetable intake and it is a great way to entertain guests around the dinner table. Catch your guests’ eyes with a fancy looking dish made out of spiraled vegetables or fruit.
b. Cons: unfortunately, spiralizers can be a little bulky due to how large the base and handle are. However, there are more compact versions that you can get for smaller living spaces. Other than this, they can be an expensive tool to purchase if you are looking at a high-quality model made out of the best materials.
c. Popular Brands: the Oxo Good Grips (3-blade) and the ScharfPro Folding Vegetable Spiralizer (compact).
2. The Vegetable Sheet Cutter. The vegetable sheet cutter is an attachment product that produces thin sheets. You can use it for apples, sweet potato, beets, cucumber, zucchini and are perfect for substituting pasta and wraps.
a. Pros: a fantastic way to minimize waste for fruits and vegetables. Is the perfect fit for those on the keto diet as you can make low-carb meals like zucchini lasagna and replace gluten-filled wraps.
b. Cons: is only available for the KitchenAid mixer, so you will have to replace your mixer if you do not have a KitchenAid brand.
c. Popular Brands: KitchenAid KSMSCA.
3. The Mandoline Slicer. The mandoline slicer consists of two parallel surfaces that are angled and fitted with a blade. You simply slide your vegetables or fruit down the mandoline’s surface and watch as uniform slices form. The height, thickness, and width can be adjusted.
a. Pros: requires very little skill to use and always cuts in uniform shape, width, and size.
b. Cons: can be very dangerous if you are not paying attention. The blades are very sharp and can easily cut you.
c. Popular Brands: Oxo Good Grips Chef’s Mandoline and Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Slicer.
4. Hand-Held Salad Slicers. A hand-held slicer is fantastic for cutting up and chopping your vegetables quickly. Simply fill the slicer up with your vegetables and fruits and then cut through the knife slits. Creates a salad very quickly! Popular brands include Salad Slicer™ – 60 Second Salad Maker.
5. Mini-Food Processors. A mini food processor is simply a large food processor that has been compacted down. It consists of a base with a bowl, blades inside the bowl, and a lid with a feed tube.
a. Pros: are fantastic for individuals who live in small apartments or studios as they do not take up nearly as much counter space or cupboard space for storage purposes. Beyond this, they are perfect for those who are not prepping heavy-duty ingredients but do need to blend, dice, or chop softer ingredients. They are a great starter machine to experiment with and are inexpensive to purchase. They also breakdown and stow away a lot more easily than larger food processors. Are much quieter to run than their full-sized counterparts.
b. Cons: due to their smaller size, they come with a limited capacity amount. They may also need to be replaced more often as their blades will not be as heavy-duty and can wear out faster. The feeding tube is going to be considerably smaller and proportionate to the device, so you may end up having to cut or chop some larger ingredients up first.
c. Popular Brands: Cuisinart Mini Processor, Ninja Mini-Food Chopper Express, and KitchenAid Mini Food Chopper.
6. Full-Size Food Processors. A full-size food processor, which is often driven by electricity, is a kitchen appliance that shreds or slices through ingredients that are placed into its bowl. Blades whirl around the bowl at high speeds, while you feed more food through the feed tube. Processors are fantastic for reducing the time needed to blend or break down food into its smaller components.
a. Pros: if you are the type of individual that blends, chops, and dices the majority of your food recipes, a full-sized food processor is going to be a lifesaver. They are power-horses when it comes to breaking down large batches of food and can tackle any recipe. Beyond saving your hand some tireless effort, they can take on heavy-duty tasks like kneading dough, tackling 8-9 cup sized recipes, and come with high-quality and durable stainless-steel blades. The feeding tube chute is also going to be massive and it’ll come with a standard warranty.
b. Cons: full-size food processors are bulky at best and require a lot of storage space for stowaway. They are quite a nuisance to tow around with you because of their size. Make sure to store yours in a place not far from the kitchen counter. A full-sized food processor is going to take a lot more time and effort to clean it out properly. They are quite expensive. A larger food processor is also going to be very noisy.
c. Popular Brands: Cuisinart DFP-14BCWNY, Hamilton Beach Stack and Snap, KitchenAid KFP0722ER.
Whether you are just looking to participate in the “Eat Your Vegetables Day” or are truly looking for a unique way to increase your vegetable consumption, definitely consider purchasing a vegetable chopper. They are a fantastic tool for reducing the mundane task of vegetable preparation and they can be used for other kitchen tasks like grating cheese and grinding coffee beans.