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Anyone knowing how much I dislike cooking will have wondered why I treated myself to a mini food chopper.
Let me explain. I use my mini chopper to reduce the size of peanuts for the birds. Not only is it a very popular high-energy food for the little critters, but also much loved by rats, who will gate crash a party if they get wind of a feeder full , hanging from a tree or bird feeding station.
Since seeing one rather large, plump rodent strolling up the garden path early one morning, heading purposefully towards a feeder full of peanuts, I decided I had to chop the peanuts so they would fit into the seed feeders rather than the normal peanut holders.
Not only that of course, I also had to devise a bird feeding station where the rat would not be able to get to unless it was able to walk upside down under a raised, wide slab of concrete, or possessed an Olympian talent for the high jump.
Has anybody tried chopping peanuts with a knife? It is impossible, if you want to keep your digits intact. A pestle and mortar might have done the trick, but they are expensive. Therefore, I slipped into one of our local shops and purchased a Haden Mini Food Chopper for £13.73, I have seen them slightly cheaper on line.... where else but Amazon?
The Haden Mini Food Chopper Specifications
The lead length: approximately 120cm
The whole unit is comprised of four parts; the main body, housing a 70W motor and spindle, which rotates the blades at speed.
A plastic, bowl inside of which is a narrow, central tube, slightly shorter than the bowl and open at both ends.
Removable, universal, stainless steel blades; one is set opposite and above the other, both are secured to a tough, plastic cylinder which when in use will sit over the central tube inside the bowl, through which the spindle protrudes and engages with the spindle.
The fourth and essential piece is the lid, which unless locked into the correct position, the motor will not start.
It came with a 12 month warranty and short comprehensive instruction book, outlining the do's and do not's when using the chopper. The lid, blade and bowl are all dishwasher safe. Having said that, they are so easy to rinse after use, it would hardly be worth putting them through a dishwasher.
The blades are very sharp, so great care must be taken when handling them and ensure they are kept well out of the reach of children.
The chopper does have some safety features, which will prevent the motor turning the blades before the lid is locked securely into place.
Remove the bowl and lid from the spindle; place enough of the foodstuff to be chopped, into the bowl, to cover the blades.
Place the bowl over the spindle on the main unit so that the two small plastic wedges, at the base of the bowl, slot into a recess in the main unit. Place the lid onto the bowl and turn the bowl in a clockwise direction, ensuring the lip of the lid slides under a ridge on the main body, until it locks in place. A small black triangle on the lid shows when the bowl is in the correct position. Only then, will the motor start.
Plug the unit into a power source and depress the large oval button at top of the rear of the main body. The blades rotate at a fair speed and chop the contents reasonably quickly.
After use, remove the lid and bowl from the main body, lift out the blade, and empty contents into a suitable receptacle. The main body must not be immersed in water, but just wiped clean with a damp cloth.
My findings and opinion
As I said earlier, I bought this in order to chop peanuts into seed-sized chunks for the birds. I found the best results where achieved when the bowl was not filled to full capacity, but instead, with just enough to cover the blades and depressing the start button in short burst, rather than keeping it pressed down so that the blades ran continuously.
The reasons being; when the bowl is too full, the peanuts do not chop evenly, so that at the bottom I would be left with peanut dust, whilst at the top, large chunks of peanuts remained.
Running the blades continuously tended to make the motor overheat. After all, it takes a lot more energy to smash a peanut than it does to shred a leaf, so a short bursts helps prevent an excessive build up of heat from the hard working motor.
For the sake of the review, I did check other foodstuffs to gage the effectiveness of this little machine and as would be expected, soft foods, such as bananas and tomatoes were very quickly chopped and with little effort, could be made into a bit of a mushy mess. Leaves, wet or dry, were chopped with ease and efficiency.
I am very pleased with this little chopper; it is safe, easy to use and clean yet small enough to tuck away in a cupboard when not in use. It certainly suits my purpose, for I no longer have to throw away soggy, mouldy peanuts and the birds can enjoy their high-energy food before unwelcome intruders get a chance to steal it.
Short name: Haden 10047