Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Survival Guide To Waiting 6-8 Weeks For Your Thermomix

Anyone who knew me while I was waiting for my Thermomix to arrive knows that I was a raving lunatic! I decided I wanted a Thermomix and I wanted it now! Together with a friend we waited for our Thermomixes to arrive and we gushed at all the endless possibilities it offered. But then my Thermomix arrived and my friend has been told that the wait time is now six to eight weeks.

This got me thinking there are a few things I could have been doing to help pass the time and get prepared for the arrival of my Thermomix. I hope you find the following ideas helpful:

Collect jars - save all your nice jars from your jams, pickles and sauces etc. Not only are they free, environmentally friendly, and safer than plastic, they just look so beautiful with your homemade goodies in them.

Use up all your packaged and premade foods like sauces and soups  – you will no longer want to use these anymore. Why would you when you can make stunning homemade food yourself from scratch? You could also start stocking up on things you know you will be using, like chickpeas for hummus, bakers flour for breads and pizza bases, etc.

Check out the online Recipe Community at - it is an amazing resource of more than 12,000 recipes. Register an account and then you can save your favourite recipes in collections, this makes it super easy for you to refer back to. You can also select the recipes you want to make and it works out a shopping list for you to print. 

Start planning four or five recipes you want to try when you first get your Thermomix. You might want to recreate the meal your consultant cooked for you at your demo, in which case you could ask your consultant to write down the ingredients for you.  Or refer to your Recipe Community collections and start making up your shopping list from that.

Live vicariously through other Thermomixers! There are so many wonderful Thermomix advocates out there full of great recipes, tips and tricks. If you love a Thermomix Facebook page, check out their “Likes by this page” - and voila a rabbit warren of fabulous Thermomix pages.  Do a Google search for “Thermomix Blog” and start following your favourite finds. Check out Pinterest – it’s a wonderful pin board of images where you can start collecting Thermomix recipes and other things like Christmas presents to make etc. To get you started try searching “Thermomix”.

Clear out some space in your cupboards or drawers to store all the extra bits and pieces that come with your Thermomix, but keep them handy, you really do use everything that comes with it. Pack away the appliances and surplus pots and pans your Thermomix will be replacing, keeping just the ones you actually use (for now).

Familiarise yourself with the manual - I know this is not everyone’s idea of fun but getting to know your Thermomix means you’ll be able to hit the ground running when it arrives.

{Edited to add} Plant yourself a herb garden and a lemon tree. You are going to use so many fresh herbs and lemons with your Thermomix - it's all part of the whole foods delicious and natural tastes. You don't need a big backyard, everything can go in pots so you can move them around to find where they like, but just remember they need more watering in pots. 

Six to eight weeks is a long time to wait for your Thermomix, but I feel confident in telling you that it will be well worth the wait – mine was!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Version Of A Salt Pig

Do you remember the salt pigs everyone used to have that sat on the top of the old stoves? 

Now I'm getting back to basics with my cooking I'd been thinking how handy one would be. So I milled up some rock salt for 10 sec / speed 7. Popped it in a recycled jar, labeled it and there you have it - my version of a cute little salt pig!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Why You Should Make Your Own Vegetable Stock

Who would bother making vegetable stock? To be honest - not me! When my consultant told me that we were making stock when she delivered my Thermomix I was hardly ecstatic, it wasn’t something I had really thought about making before. But now I am converted and I love adding my homemade stock to my recipes – it just feels so wholesome – with the added benefit of ludicrous cost savings you’d be mad not to!

How much does it cost to make your own vegetable stock? I have worked out the price based on the actual cost for all perishable items. For example you cannot buy two sprigs of basil, therefore the cost of a sleeve of basil has been used. So remember my numbers are the maximum cost, imagine the savings if you grew your own herbs and vegetables…

Ingredients required to make vegetable stock in the Thermomix (prices from Coles at the regular price):

200g celery stalks              $ 0.44 ($2.20kg)
2 carrots                           $ 0.68 ($0.34 each)          
1 brown onion                   $ 0.54 ($2.98kg)
1 tomato                           $ 1.40 ($9.98kg)
1 zucchini                         $ 1.68 ($7.98kg)
2 garlic gloves                   $ 0.75 ($0.75 per bulb)
1 dried bay leaf                 $ 0.01 (15g packet)
1-2 sprigs fresh basil          $ 2.98 (sleeved bunch)
1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary   $ 2.98 (20g punnet)
8 sprigs parsley                  $ 2.98 (sleeved bunch)                  
150g rock salt                    $ 0.60 ($0.04 per 10g)
1tbsp olive oil                    $ 0.12 ($0.60 per 100ml)
Total Cost                          $15.16 (680g prepared stock)

My stock fitted perfectly in a jar that previously held 680g so I am using that amount to work out my figures. A lot of Thermomix recipes require 1Tbsp (20g) of vegetable stock, this equates to 34 servings from one batch and the cost of $0.45 a serve.

The cost of branded vegetable liquid stock is $4.29 for 1L at Coles supermarket.

If you were to make risotto you would need four cups (1L) of store bought vegetable stock or one tablespoon of Thermomix stock. If we look at the sodium in these two options the Thermomix stock has 75% less sodium* in it than the store bought. Also worth noting is that the sugar levels are well within the healthy range for both. 

What’s in store bought vegetable liquid stock:
Water, Carrot, Garlic, Celery, Cabbage, Onion, Parsley, Beetroot, Bay Leaves, Lettuce, Thyme, Watercress, Baby Spinach, Sugar, Sea Salt. I find that impressive - no numbers or foreign items!

So what makes sense to you? Homemade vegetable stock that you know exactly what the ingredients are at $0.45 a serve and 90% cheaper than store bought. Or paying $4.29 for store bought stock that has been sitting on a supermarket shelf? If you're a greenie think of the packaging savings here too. It’s a no brainer isn’t it?

* This figure was calculated by my genius mathematician friend - thanks Ryan!

Please let me know if you believe anything to be incorrect so I can change it – thank you!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Why It's Ridiculous To Make Sorbet In The Thermomix

I can’t wait to make sorbet in my Thermomix – it’s such a quick healthy treat for the whole family. Ingredients in store bought sorbet are not so scary, with nothing glaringly sinister in it, but what is surprising are the cost savings - which is ridiculous!

Ingredients required to make lemon sorbet in the Thermomix (prices from Coles at the regular price):

1kg of homemade ice                             $0.01(1L of tap water costs a fraction of a cent)
3 lemons                                                $2.40(80c each)
100g Coles Smart Buy Raw Sugar             $0.12($0.12 per 100g
1 egg white Coles free range eggs           $0.41($4.90 for 12 600g)
These ingredients would make 1.4kg       $2.94 for 1.4kg
Total costs                                             $1.50 for 1kg

The cost of branded lemon sorbet is $8.24 for 1kg at Coles supermarket.

Making your sorbet in a Thermomix works out at 82% cheaper than store bought. However, today at my supermarket a 1kg bag of lemons were on sale for $2.99, which brings down the cost to $1.54 or 87% cheaper.  Better still you could raid the neighbours lemon tree and make a batch for .54 cents or a massive 94% saving!

What’s in store bought sorbet? It’s actually not too bad, but there are numbers in it, which I don’t think are ideal, it usually means its highly processed and far from its original state.

Store bought sorbet contains:
Water, Lemon Juice, Sugar, Fructose, Glucose Syrup (From Maize or Tapioca),
Vegetable Gums 
410 Locust Bean
412 Guar gum – can cause nausea, flatulence and cramps, may reduced cholesterol level
415 Xanthin gum – no known affects
Food Acid (330) – Ascorbic acid
Lemon Oil

Based on the recommended daily recommendations by the heart foundation the store bought sorbet has a good sodium level at 7%. However the sugar content is through the roof at 24.9grams per 100g with the recommendation being under 10g per 100g. Or, if you are going by sugar guru Sarah Wilson, it’s nearly five times too high, with her recommendation being 5g per 100g. Thermomix made sorbet is has a good level of sugar, and you also have the choice to reduce the sugar or swap it out for Stevia.

I’m convinced, what about you? Do you think making sorbet is a ridiculous cost saver? 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 – thank you!