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Vegetarian uses for the KitchenAid food grinder attachment!?

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Hello all! This is my first post! What a great site :).

I feel a bit silly asking this, but I can't seem to get anything by Googling. Long story short, I was starting to get a bit freaked out about commercially ground meat, and so I purchased, via Amazon, a food grinder attachment for my mixer. Well, a couple days after I ordered it, my family decided to cut out meat entirely.

Now, the conundrum is whether I should keep or return the grinder. It's not super expensive - like $40? - but if there's not much that you can do with it that doesn't involve meat, then it's a lot of money to pay for a useless gadget!

What are your thoughts? What can you do with a grinder that doesn't involve meat? Is it pretty much the same thing as a food mill, or not quite?

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  1. I was vegetarian for 17 years, and never once found any need for the grinder on my mixer. Now, I will process onions or fruit along with meat when I'm making sausage or something, but I can't really think of anything vegetarian that needs that type of high-torque chopping.

    I'd return it. You won't be using it if you stay the vegetarian course long-term. Unless you've used it, of course, in which case I think it would be unethical to put it back in the box and return it as new.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dmd_kc

      Much appreciated, thank you. I should have noted that the item hasn't even arrived yet - so no, definitely not used! I have the worst timing, haha. Hopefully it doesn't cost anything ridiculous to try to ship it back. Maybe I'll see if I can sell it locally instead.

      Thanks again!

    2. You can extrude pasta - sort of. You really need the additional plates and a sort of funnel tube. I do not have one and the reviews put me off.

      I use my grinder for meat and nothing else (apart from bread to clean out the last of the meat). If your family are not going to revert to a meat diet then I think it will be of little use to you.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Paulustrious

        Thank you, that's as I suspected. I think I only read of two things that you could use the grinder for: applesauce and breadcrumbs. Neither are the type of thing I make often enough to really justify the need for a whole separate attachment!

        So, I will try to return it and put the refunded money to an ice cream maker just in time for summer ;).

        1. re: HumanUnit

          The food processor is much better for breadcrumbs, and an immersion blender or masher for applesauce. I can't even begin to imagine trying to use a grinder for it. You won't regret not having it.

        2. re: Paulustrious

          I know it's been a few years, but I'll go ahead and point out that the KitchenAid fruit and vegetable strainer requires the grinder. The fruit and vegetable strainer is for making applesauce, tomato sauce, jams, jellies, etc.

          Also, I've seen mention of using the grinder to make chunky salsa and the like.

          I just ordered one because I'm tired of trying to convince apples and tomatoes to squeeze themselves through my food mill.

        3. Old thread but you can grind homemade seitan with it. That's what I used it for when I was veg/an