I gave in!
Over the last year in which my interest in food has really off I have been struggling along with a mini Kenwood food processor, and I didn’t even have that for the first few months! It was originally a birthday present and I had asked for a ‘basic cheap one’ (it cost about £25!) as I didn’t know how much I’d actually use it…. What was I thinking!
I used it practically every day and most tasks it performed just fine- chopping onions, grating carrots, mixing sauces etc. But in the course of the last few months as my desire to be more adventurous grew, my little Kenwood begun to quite clearly fall short of the mark and get a little blunt and battered in the process. For one thing it only had a small capacity bowl and for another- well it quite simply couldn’t hack it! I distinctly remember reading other peoples blog posts on how they had made their own coconut butter from coconut flakes and nut butters from nothing but
the whole nuts…. my interest had been sparked… and I tried, I really did try!
One packet of coconut flakes and 20 minutes of processing in the Kenwood combined with the slightly worrying smell of overheating resulted in… slightly ‘oilier’ ‘stickier’ coconut flakes. The time had come to invest.
I knew that whatever I was to get next would need to see me through the rest of my life! Ok well maybe that’s a little extreme, but you get the general picture. So I was willing to put some money behind this thing, as to me it was worth it.
After some hard core research there seemed to be two real contenders: the Vitamix and the Thermomix, both of which seemed to have loyal cult followings.
To cut a long story short, these were my concluding factors:
- Cheaper (approx. £450)
- Transparent jug
- 7 year warranty
- Can only heat food from the friction effect not an independent heating element which can cook food with more control
- Appeared tricky to get the remains of food out from around the blades (i.e nut butters)
- Taller jug (not as practical when on the work top- I’m not that tall).
- Can heat and process food independently for much more controlled cooking
- Flat bottomed jug that also disassembles easily to get all food remains
- Shorter more compact unit
- Multi-functional- grinds, mixes, cooks, sautés, steams etc
- Price (approx. £880)
- 2 year warranty
I appreciate these summary points are fairly brief and I do not claim them to be absolute fact (my research has it’s limits!) however for me, I just couldn’t get the Thermomix out of my head…. So many options!! Thermomix is big in the UK, Australia and other European countries (apologies if I’ve unknowingly overlooked other countries) but as far as I am aware, not yet available in the USA, hence why the Vitamix came up time and time again as I did my research- big in the USA.
Before making my final decision I arranged for a demonstration so I could see the potential of the Thermomix in my life first hand. It did not disappoint. A lovely lady called Shirley came out to visit me and we tried out numerous recipes with the various ingredients I’d been asked to provide for the purpose of the demonstration. There were a few recipes that we had to adapt and ‘veganise’ i.e the cheese sauce became a parsley sauce. At the end of the demo we also made a cashew and brazil nut butter…. I was sold on this alone. Simply drop nuts into Thermomix basin- crank up the speed dial and about 10 seconds later… ta da, a beautiful creamy nut butter!
….My new toy arrived 2 days later!
P.S. many of the recipes featured have been made using the Thermomix for all or part of the process. However I appreciate that many people don’t have access to such a device so I tend to describe my recipes in more general ‘blender’ or ‘processor’ terms. However if I feel that the success of a particular recipe very much depends on a high powdered processor (i.e nut butters) then I will be more specific.