Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why I'm Excited About Custard

Making custard in my Thermomix is going to be one of the first things I make when I get it! Here’s the thing, you follow the step by step instructions on the touch screen. Press start. Voila. Fresh, homemade custard, ready in about six minutes. It’s so easy my kids are going to be able to make it.

So, other than being super easy, cooked from scratch and fresh, what are the other benefits of cooking custard with a Thermomix? I’ve worked out the financial and health cost benefits of Thermomix made custard versus a branded chilled custard from the supermarket.

Ingredients required to make custard in the Thermomix (prices from Coles at the regular price):
70g Coles Smart Buy Raw Sugar        $0.08 ($0.12 per 100g)            
30g Coles Cornflour                          $0.15 ($.50 per 100g)                                                     
2 Coles Free Range Eggs 600g           $0.82 ($4.90 for 12 600g)
500g full cream milk                        $0.50 ($1.00 per L)                
Total costs                                      $1.55 for 700g or $2.21 for 1kg

The cost of branded full cream custard is $4.19 for 1kg at Coles supermarket.

That’s more than a 40% saving. You can get the cost down by purchasing everything at Aldi and swapping to caged eggs, making it $1.70 for 1kg - that’s well under half price!

So, do you know what is in chilled custard? Something else to consider is the health benefit of making your own custard.

Branded chilled custard from the supermarket has milk, skim milk, milk solids, sugar, mineral salts and the following ingredients:

  • Thickener 1442 (from maize) - modified starch
  • Flavours – what is in flavours does not need to be disclosed  - um - scary!
  • 412 – Guar gum: can cause nausea, cramps, may reduce cholesterol levels
  • 415 - Xanthan gum – no known affects
  • 407 Carrageenan, thickener and vegetable gum – linked to asthma, cancer and ulcers
  • 410 Locust bean – may reduce cholesterol levels  
  • 160a - natural colour with a good safety record
I don’t know a lot about additives and everything I state above is from a quick google search that was supported by at least two different sources. But if you go by the rule of thumb when reading a food label “if you don’t know what it is, it can’t be good for you” then chilled custard has six items which I like to give the technical term - dodgy!

Furthermore, based on the recommended daily intake of store purchased custard, the sodium content is really good at 76mg per 100g. This is low in sodium according to the heart foundation. However, the Sugar is a bit high at 13.9 with the recommendation being under 10g per 100g. Or, if you are going by sugar guru Sarah Wilson, it’s really high, with her recommendation being 5g per 100g. Custard made with the Thermomix is also a bit high using Sarah Wilson’s guide, but you have the choice to reduce the sugar or swap it out for Stevia when you make it yourself.

I’m convinced, what about you? What are your thoughts?

Please note - I am definitely by no means an expert on food additives etc.
Please let me know if you believe anything to be incorrect so I can change it.

Further reading:

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