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Jan 16, 2010 02:54 AM

Vegetarian uses for the KitchenAid food grinder attachment!?

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

          1. You cand grind chickpeas for Falafel.

            1. I saw a TV show a long time ago that showed how a restaurant made their famous garlic bread. It involved running garlic cloves and parsley through a food grinder, mixing in a lot of olive oil and a little salt then letting it sit for a few hours before brushing the oil on bread and toasting. The reasoning was that running the garlic through the grinder ruptured most of the cell walls and released maximum flavor to the oil.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Coogles

                Flipping through channels earlier today and ran across on old episode of "Best Thing I Ever Ate..." on Cooking Channel titled "With Garlic". The segment I was remembering was on the show. Rosario's Ristorante (now closed) in Boca Raton was the restaurant. The process was to grind the garlic, then mix in dry oregano, fresh parsley, fresh basil, salt, pepper, parmesan and olive oil.

                1. re: Coogles

                  How would grinding the garlic differ from using a garlic press or food processor?

                  1. re: drtrech

                    I haven't tried it myself but from the video it looked like the grinder gave a mixture of garlic juice and various sizes of small pieces of garlic. A garlic press gives you more or less a uniform paste and a food processor will chop the garlic but not really crush the cloves. My guess is that the variable size of the pieces of garlic run through the grinder will result in sweetness from the small bits caramelizing under the broiler and raw garlic kick from the larger pieces.