A week in my kitchen

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A few people have asked me recently whether or not my Thermomix is worth it. Without hesitation, I always answer yes but why?

I’ll get it out there to start with. I’m not at all affiliated with Thermomix, nor do I get anything from my enthusiasm of their product. I’m just one happy owner who has spent the time to know how to use it to my advantage. And like every consumer product, there is probably one unhappy owner for every happy one.

So let’s begin with why the question is asked in the first place.

It’s really about the cost. Does someone say the same about your toaster or kettle? Well no because they don’t come with a hefty $2089 price tag (correct at the time of publishing this post). And they are widely considered ‘essential kitchen appliances’ but a Thermomix isn’t (although it is in my house). I was fortunate enough to ‘convince’ my husband that buying one was just part and parcel of the kitchen appliance renovation budget a few years back. And like spending money on a good oven (the pyrolytic function rocks) and dishwasher, it hasn’t disappointed.

I thought I’d share with you all just exactly what I do with it over a week to see if you think it’s worth it.

So here it is. A real week in our house and everything I use the Thermomix for on a daily basis. I don’t use it for all our dinners and the week I choose does NOT exhibit my finest culinary skills (it was a super crazy week organising for moving and renovating) but here it is none the less.

Monday 

Rice bubble slice

This is a fantastic alternative to those store bought LCM’s bars with no nasties added. I was heading over to a friends house and know her family love it so made a batch to take with us. I just substitute the ‘rice bubbles’ in this with organic puffed brown rice.

Creamy chicken and sweet corn soup

One of our favourite soups during the Winter time. Full of immune boosting and bug fighting ingredients, I use this to ward off the colds and flus as well as treat them. Throw it all in the Thermomix bowl and let it do it’s magic whilst I get the kids bathed and ready for bed. Come out to the kitchen and dinner is ready. No need to serve it with anything else as it’s thick, delicious and filling. This recipe makes heaps so I had some leftovers to take to my friends place too. This recipe makes nearly 2 litres of soup and it would cost less than $10.

Rice pudding

I make this at least once a week for the kids to enjoy as a morning or afternoon snack for a few days. I make it with the biodynamic medium grain white rice I get which works just as well as arborio. Don’t be tempted to try with brown rice as it doesn’t work as the liquid to rice ratio is not right! I usually also throw in some homemade vanilla essence and ground cinnamon for a bit more flavour. I leave the sugar out altogther as the natural sweetness from the lactose in the milk is enough for little people. It’s also a great breakfast food for my baby! Made from organic ingredients it costs about a quarter of the price of store bought rice pudding or those baby pouches.

Tuesday 

CADA

This is one, if not the favourite breakfast in our house. CADA, CADA, CADA my two year old chants as I make it!

Throw some shredded Coconut, raw Almonds, pitted Dates and a quartered Apple into the bowl and turbo it for 3 seconds. I usually add probiotics and camu camu powder as well for that extra nutrition and immune boost. Dump in into bowls and top with my natural yoghurt and fresh fruit and it’s done. Quick, simple and nutritious! So much better than any store bought cereals.

Yoghurt

Organic yoghurt is expensive. I shop at Terra Madre, one of the cheapest Organic Stores in Melbourne (I swear it’s a tourist attraction on weekends) and even there it costs just under $5 for one litre of natural yoghurt. I make two litres from organic full cream milk once a fortnight for the same price. It takes about two and a half hours but very little hands on time as most of this is letting the milk cool after cooking it. I usually time it so that it’s cooling whilst we are out for our morning walk.

Steamed greens for the baby

Being such a versitile machine, you can steam vegetables and fruit in the Thermomix. Makes it perfect for batch cooking and freezing baby food. I’ve introduced my second baby to ‘family’ food alot quicker than my son as it’s hard work making multiple meals for everyone! But obviously not everything is suitable when you don’t have teeth and can’t chew so I have a freezer stash of semi pureed and chopped foods that I can get out when I’ve got nothing else. I simply steam, chop/puree and then freeze in ice cubes. Fruits, vegetables, meats, legumes and combinations thereof are sitting in my freezer for those hard days!

Although those food pouches for babies seem enticing and convenient, they are actually really expensive compared to making your own. Even though they say ‘nothing else added’ the heating process applied to them to give them a longer shelf life actually destroys alot of the nutrients. I also don’t like the fact that so many of them always combine everything with a fruit of some sort. I know breastmilk is naturally sweet but it’s like you are reinforcing the notion that food has to be sweet to be eaten.

Granola

Another breakfast food we have in our house. In Winter it’s part of the breakfast meal rotation because the same thing everyday gets boring right? I make a batch probably every 3 to 4 weeks and store it in airtight glass jars in the pantry. What I love about this recipe is that it’s got no added dried fruit when most granolas do. I’m not against dried fruit, but because I give this to my toddler it’s just too much concentrated sugar in one hit. He tends to zoom in on the fruit and pick it out first before eating the rest! I add fresh fruit to it when we eat it so he still gets fruit but in it’s natural form.

I haven’t worked it out but given the ingredients I use and what I pay for them, I’d probably say it costs me half the amount store bought organic granola does.

Wednesday

Porridge with berries

A cold morning favourite of ours. My toddler oftens dances out to the kitchen in the morning on repeat ‘porridge, porridge, porridge’ if I’ve suggested it might be on offer. I bulk up the nutritional value of this by adding dessicated coconut and chia seeds. I had some fresh berries to use so added them this time and omitted the cinnamon. Throw it all in, let it cook for 11 minutes whilst you do something else and it’s ready. It’s a breakfast we all enjoy together! If I was to guess it probably costs just over $1 to make! This makes a serving for myself and my son and two for my daughter (I put one in the fridge and heat up the next morning for her).

Healthy carrot cake

I always make a sweet but healthy treat for us each week. Sometimes twice a week depending how well it is received or if we have visitors. You know I love things with vegetables in them and this is no exception. This recipe makes a large loaf so I usually store in the fridge so it can last a few extra days. Or its perfect for freezing. Slice it up and separate with layers of baking paper before freezing. Slices of store bought organic cakes are upwards of $4 a slice. This easily makes 12 slices for about $10.

Moroccan lamb

A wonderfully nourishing dinner in the colder months, this is easy to make in the Thermomix. Another one of those set and leave dishes that can cook away whilst you are doing the million and one others things in the evening. Another excuse for me to throw in some garlic, onion and turmeric for their anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties. You can read more about my love of turmeric here.

Steamed rice and vegetables

Now these could easily be done on the stovetop but I was home for the day and organised so I used the Thermomix to steam them after I’d made the Moroccan lamb which I popped in the oven to keep warm. Rice in the steaming basket, broccoli, carrots and cauliflower in the Varoma dish. Twenty minutes later with no intervention by me (I always seem to burn rice on the stovetop) they were ready to serve with the lamb. Perfect fluffy rice. Rice cooker be gone! And plenty of leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch with the lamb.

Custard

Another snack food that I make for my kids at least once a week. I have a Thermomix TM5 model and this is literally the only ‘guided’ recipe I use. One of the benefits of the TM5 is that you can connect recipe chips to it (or the latest and greatest Cook Key which has just been released) . Each step of the recipe appears on the touchscreen so you don’t have to manually program them. I make up my own recipes or use those from bloggers I follow so don’t buy or use the official Thermomix chips. They are great for some but not me. But this ‘guided’ recipe does make perect custard everytime and absolutely no stirring by me or burnt bits at the bottom of the bowl. I never put any sugar in it and the kids are none the wiser. Like the rice pudding, this ‘snack’ is a fraction of the cost of store bought custard or pouches, is made with organic ingredients and has no hidden additives or preservatives.

Vanilla or chocolate flavour?!?

Thursday

Stewed fruit for the baby

Like the steamed greens, I batch cook fruit for my daughter and freeze it. Given we are just moving out of Winter the choices are very scant. It’s basically apples and pears at the moment. A frozen ‘ice cube’ size is perfect stirred through rice pudding, custard or yoghurt as a snack for her. All it takes is 15 minutes of steaming then a 5 second chop and it’s ready!

Minestrone soup

It seemed to be a soup type of week for us. I usually only make soup for dinner once a week but it made its way on the menu plan twice for some reason. Probably because I was doing the bare minimum with dinners due to renovation priorities and its just easy. This minestrone is great to use up all and any vegetables hanging around in the crisper. It’s just another way to get that vegetable serving in the day. Add some legumes and it’s a filling and complete dinner. The vegetables are soft enough for my baby to also enjoy a serving!

Foccacia bread

You know we predominantly eat gluten free in our house but sometimes we just like a bit of ‘normal’ bread. None of us are actually intolerant or allergic to wheat or gluten. It’s just a choice I’ve made because of the changes that have occured to wheat over the years. You can read about it in a previous post I wrote.

I make my own bread because I disagree with the mass medicating of our population with ‘fortification’ of thiamine and folic acid in bread. If you eat the right foods this isn’t necessary. And supplementation with folic acid can actually be detrimental for those with the MTHFR gene mutation.

Fortification isn’t required for organic flour and bread but at $6 and upwards for a loaf it’s not cheap!

This foccacia bread is delicious and I always use wholegrain spelt flour so it’s low in gluten content anyway.

Lemon wash

My Thermomix works overtime as you can see! Even though I clean the bowl thoroughly after each use, it still needs a good clean sometime. I save lemon rind from used lemons and keep them in the freezer for this purpose. The waft makes the kitchen smell delicious and the bowl is sparkly once it’s done!

Friday

CADA

Same as on Tuesday. I said it was a breakfast staple on rotation every few days!

Garlic chicken, pumpkin and spinach risotto

My Thermomix was actually feeling unloved today. I’d been out most of the day hence the lack of action. But being out makes it tricky to juggle everything when you walk in the door at 5pm and try to have dinner ready by 6:15pm before the 2 year old loses it from hunger and needs food and the 9 month old loses it from tiredness and needs to be put to sleep.

A risotto is so easy to make in the Thermomix compared to the stovetop and if you get the liquid to rice ratio right, it’s perfect. Throw it all in, go and bath the kids and it’s ready when you’re done. No watching, no stirring, no burnt pot! I also add in some mushroom, pinenuts and sundried tomatoes to give it an extra flavour. This recipe honestly makes heaps of risotto so I usually halve it and still have enough for a meal for us all plus leftovers.

Saturday

Porridge

Same as on Wednesday. Another breakfast staple on rotation every few days but skipped adding the berries this time as I had none in the fridge. Topped with some banana for a bit of extra freshness (and because my 2 year old insists on banana for every breakfast) it was ready in under 15 minutes and kept us full for the morning.

Hummus

This is another weekly staple in our house. It’s a great snack to have on hand to have with crackers, carrot sticks and cucumber sticks. My toddler likes to eat it with a spoon as well. I make a fresh batch every week and it seriously costs me just over $1 for a big bowl of it. Organic store bought hummus is upwards of $4 for a small tub.

I kind of cheat though and use canned chickpeas but always make sure I get the organic ones in a BPA free tin. I could soak my own but haven’t got there yet. And a tip with this recipe. I cook the chickpeas in their liquid with the garlic clove for about 10 minutes before adding the other ingredients and blending. It produces a much smoother dip!

Steamed greens

After a big day renovating, we had some amazing grilled lamb backstrap with roasted vegetables and steamed greens for dinner. Whilst the pumpkin, carrot, sweet potato and potato roasted in the oven, the cauliflower, broccoli and zucchini steamed in the Thermomix. The ‘meat and 3 veg’ in our house is really ‘meat and 7 veg’!

And the leftovers? I just threw them all in the bowl (meat included) and chopped roughly to have a few baby serves for my daughter so she doesn’t entirely miss out!

Sunday

Lemon Macadamia Cookies

We had run out of cookies so the only way to fix this was to make some more. My toddler just loves to sit on a stool in the kitchen and ‘help’ mummy cook. He was very excited to assist with the cookie making and then lick the spatula once they were done. And like his daddy, he insists on trying baked goods fresh from the oven.

This was the first time trying this recipe and although nice, maybe a bit too ‘lemony’. I did add the least amount of honey as per the recipe so maybe more may have balanced it out. Edible and yummy none the less!

Homemade cookies made from real and no artificial ingredients are so much better health wise for you. And wallet wise too!

Cauliflower rice

I was fortunate enough to have a beautiful slow cooked chicken and vegetable casserole that my mum had brought over for dinner. It was my birthday so was great not to have to cook.

I did however, quickly whip up some cauliflower ‘rice’ to accompany it. More vegetables to go with the vegetables. There are a few different ways to cook this in the Thermomix but this method always works well for me.

Verdict

So there you have it. My week in the kitchen with my Thermomix. As you can see, I don’t make everything in it but do give it a good workout none the less. It was getting used a bit less on weekends due to renovation priorities or else there would be more on Saturday and Sunday!

This is really only a very small snippet of what I can and do make. If you are interested in seeing more of what it can do, head over to my Instagram or Facebook or Twitter pages to see what I whip up every week.

I hope you’ve enjoyed getting an insight into my kitchen. As you can see, it not only saves me money but time (or rather allows me to do other things with that time). And don’t forget the money saved isn’t just about the dollars in your pocket. Yes sometimes packaged, processed and ‘convenience’ food is cheaper. But it’s just as much about the savings you make on your health by investing in your and your families dietary choices. You can’t put a price on that.

You decide if the Thermomix is worth it or not?

 

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