In many cases, a blender can be used in the same way as a food processor as long as you are willing to work with smaller batches. A blender can handle most tasks that a food processor can with the exception of kneading dough and making pastry dough. With a bit of practice, most recipes that call for the use of a food processor can be processed in a blender.
How to Use a Blender as a Food Processor
Break up two to three slices of dried bread into quarters. Place three or four bread quarters in the blender jar. Process into bread crumbs on pulse until the desired sized crumbs are achieved. If your blender doesn't have a pulse button, run the blender on high for a 30 seconds at a time. Repeat with the remaining bread quarter. This will yield approximately 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, depending on the size of the bread.
Make your own baby food by placing a quarter cup of freshly cooked vegetables in the blender jar. Turn the blender on puree or high and blend until smooth.
Grind or shred cheese in the blender by dicing hard cheeses into 2- to 3-inch chunks. Place in the blender and turn to high for 30 seconds to a minute or until the cheese reaches the desired consistency.
Make homemade pesto by placing 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 2 cups basil leaves, 3 minced garlic cloves, and 1/4 cup pine nuts in the blender jar. Turn the blender on medium and process until smooth and creamy
Chop ice for mixed drinks by placing four to five ice cubes in the blender jar. Turn the blender on high and process until the cubes are finely chopped.
Some blender models have a food processor accessory attachment that can be purchased separately and used with the blender base.
Even working in the smaller batches required for using a blender as a food processor, it is still a time saver over doing the tasks by hand.
Some inexpensive models of blenders may not be able to handle chopping ice or shredding hard cheese. The motor in inexpensive blenders is not powerful enough to do these tasks.