By Monica Kapila
Have you heard of Thermomix? Do any of your friends have one, have you seen one in action, do you want one? Do we sound keen?
I got one in December 2020, but I had Thermomix envy for a while before that.
Known to some as the Porsche of kitchen appliances (German technology, high performing and expensive) the Thermomix is a top-of-the-range smart kitchen all rolled in to one gadget that sits quietly on your kitchen counter. It takes up a similar amount of space as an air fryer would and it comes in black as well as standard white. But what exactly is a Thermomix and why is it so expensive?
The functions of a Thermomix are found in the name, thermo connected to all things linked to heating and cooking food and mix connected to everything linked to mixing, blending and processing food. Hence thermo mix. The technology improves as each subsequent model is brought out and the latest that I have is the TM 6, but the machine incredibly has been around for over 50 years!
First developed in Germany by a mum who simply wanted to make her own baby food and heat it too, Thermomix was born in 1971. So, at its most basic level it started out as a food processor with an integrated heating function.
But it’s so much more than just a processor of food that also heats or cooks as well. It’s got an integrated, super easy to use weighing scale that you can set back to zero every time you’ve added an ingredient to the bowl. How useful is that? It doesn’t matter if it’s a solid or liquid either.
It’s got a built in self-cleaning function too. My mother in law was horrified when she first saw me add a squirt of washing up liquid to water in my Thermomix bowl and turn the machine on!
I only have a limited number of words here, but suffice to say the Thermomix is a great gadget for those of us who are cooks and for those of us who really don’t like cooking. BUT it doesn’t do everything, especially on the heating side. It’s not an oven neither is it an air fryer.
So, read on to see if it’s for you.
One of its functions that I really love is the integrated recipe database. It has over 60,000 recipes with idiot proof instructions that are displayed on the screen of the machine as you cook! So, if a “simple” Thai curry recipe has between 20 to 30 steps, many of them are Put the lid on, Take the lid off, Scrape down the sides etc.
Better still, if you have an ingredient in your fridge and you don’t know what to do with it, then just type in the name of the ingredient to the recipe search and see what comes up! You could probably cook something straight away if you had basic store cupboard ingredients or if you’re like me be immediately inspired to disrupt the recipe using your own experience and supplies! This function is really useful, but you do have to pay a little extra for that every year as it’s via subscription - but it’s worth it.
I love the machine for the control it gives me over what I eat and confession, I’ve seriously contemplated buying one for our flat in London where our girls live, but I’m not there long enough each year to justify the cost, just yet! But I do miss it there.
I love it for its versatility and its speed. if I want a freshly made plant based milk, I can now make it in seconds, but you do need to buy your own nut milk bags! Thermomix doesn’t provide those.
I’ve thrown away large tubs of ready-made Thai curry pastes as it’s so easy to make your own in the Thermomix, especially as, if you’re reading this article in the UAE or South Asia, it’s super easy and cheap to find fresh coriander, basic spices, kaffir lime leaves and good quality coconut milk (I don’t make my own yet!)
Similarly, if like me you have a small household and want to experiment with making modest amounts of super nutrient-dense foods, you can, as the processing power is so good in a Thermomix. Every morning we add finely milled flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and some almonds to fresh fruit, as it takes seconds to mill down the seeds themselves.
Don’t get me started on fresh soups in seconds, the best risotto you ever had or the topic of leftovers as very little food is wasted if you have a Thermomix. Did I say it steams dumplings, kneads any kind of grain or flour mix into dough and whips up egg whites into fluffy meringues in a couple of minutes?
Is it for you though?
Well that depends. I cook at home a great deal, but I also eat out a lot too. I’m quite imaginative with ingredients, I do have time to cook sometimes, but occasionally I want my fresh, tasty meal done in minutes.
The thing that may put some people off to start with is getting used to the power of the machine. While there are instructions for recipes built in, if you want to do your own thing it’s probably a case of trial and error.
You may end up with lettuce soup instead a crunchy Caesar salad initially. It certainly helps if you’re imaginative in the kitchen and you have the time and inclination to use your Thermomix often to get the feel of its capabilities.
Some people feel a bit daunted having to learn about how something so technical functions and well, some people don’t use their Thermomixes that much. It is an expensive machine coming in at just over AED 5000 that you can only buy via distributors.
I’ve learnt to love the power and versatility of the Thermomix and I quickly understood how to make it work for me and my household’s tastes, be it a simple soup for 2 or an impressive dinner party orange beetroot cake.
That’s the key, figure out what you like to eat, how you may want to change the way you eat and use the Thermomix as a powerful tool to help you achieve what you want.
I don’t sell Thermomixes, but I do help people get the best out of their machine according to their tastes and household set ups leaving them more confident to use it. .
To see some of my recipes that use a Thermomix in full or in part find my link below, I usually disrupt standard recipes to make them healthier without compromising on taste.
Cooks Tip - you can usually almost halve the quantity of sugar in most cake recipes without changing the taste!