Having had a Thermomix in my possession for a little over a month, I do think the name is a little misleading. I think a better name would be the Wondermix. Or maybe the Amazingomix. Because until you actually get to play with one in your own kitchen, you cannot imagine the excitement and joy that its versatility and efficiency can generate. Everyone I knew that had one verged on the evangelical when talking about it, and now I can totally understand why.
Photo shows Jesus Loves You to Gojiness,
from Raw Magic, made entirely in the Thermomix
The Thermomix is a revolutionary kitchen tool, and that's why it is so perfect for raw food cuisine, the revolutionary way of eating. With the Thermomix, making healthy, nutritious, fresh meals has never been easier. Whatever you want to do in terms of raw food cuisine, the Thermomix does it triumphantly. Smoothies, milks, salads, soups, ice cream, chocolate, cakes, nut butters, all in minutes.
The Thermomix's main unique selling point is that, as well as being a food processor and blender in one, it also heats food at the same time. You may be wondering what value this has for raw-fooders, well, the exciting feature for us here is that the machine carefully regulates the temperature to the chosen degree, and there is a setting for 37 deg C. This takes the guesswork out of heating foods, and means we can always warm foods without worrying about destroying the enzymes. I believe in cooler climates such as that of the UK, eating warm food is very important. The Thermomix makes it easier than ever before to make warm soups and sauces.
In performance, it is similar to using a Vitamix. It has a range of settings, from 1-10, with an additional turbo setting. But because the food sits in a bowl rather than a jug, I find it much easier to use the lower settings on a Thermomix. In the Vitamix jug, bits of food easily get stuck in the bottom of the blades, and it's hard to chop food evenly without leaving a few large lumps. The Thermomix does it all evenly, and you can also add foods in at different stages to get different textures in the same dish. What's more, the Thermomix is incredibly fast. The boys have been using it to chop vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, avocados, olives, and peppers, and they are finding that it takes about 5 or 6 seconds to get the consistency they require. Blending takes a little longer, but you are still looking at around 30 seconds.
As for the motor, Thermomix representative Janie tells me, "Power and efficiency are determined by the combined design of the motor, bowl and blade. A good analogy would be if you had a fast Ferrari engine and square wheels the car would operate inefficiently! The Thermomix motor, bowl and blade are designed beautifully to give perfect controllable results (that's German engineering for you) - most importantly, because Thermomix gives you efficiency at both slow and high blade speeds, you have less oxidation of the ingredients and more retention of colour, flavour and nutrients. Higher blade speeds often overheat and degrade the food, but this is easily avoided with a Thermomix because the grinding/blending is so efficient."
Another immensely helpful feature of the Thermomix is that it weighs all your ingredients for you. This saves you weighing ingredients out separately, and then transferring them to your mixer. It might sound like a small detail, but when you're making recipes it's little things like this that turn food prep from a chore into a pleasure. Because of these kind of time-saving features, and its super fast chopping speed, the Thermomix can halve your time in the kitchen, leaving more time for having fun!
The boys are loving using it, and it is certainly a great tool for kids as its precision removes a lot of the guesswork from food prep. I can trust them to use it and get great results with the minimum of intervention from me. Plus, I think being boys, they love the amount of buttons to press and knobs to turn! When I was introduced to the machine, I said to Janie, "It's every woman's dream!" and she turned to me and said, "Oh but it's every man's dream as well!" It's like the Formula One of food processors, and any man who loves his gadgets and gizmos is going to want one of these in his kitchen.
Janie also told me that a team of 120 engineers and designers worked on the most recent model, and it's totally believable when you consider the level of detail that has gone into creating it. I love that, with eco-efficiency, it turns itself off if you leave it on stand-by for 15 minutes. I love that the spatula (which also doubles up as an effective tamper) has a lip on it which means that when you stand it on a surface, the blade of the spatula doesn't come in contact with the work surface, so leaving no dirty marks to wipe up.
So far I've had fantastic results with virtually every dish I've experimented with. Essentially, if you own one of these you have no need for another blender, grinder, food processor, kitchen scales, or porringer. I obviously haven't tested out its abilities to cook food as well, but I understand it's brilliant for preparing different kinds of meals at the same time. This makes it a real winner for a family where mum is trying to cater for the different needs and tastes of all the members of the household. She can make a raw dish for herself and then easily transform it into a cooked meal for others, and using the steamer basket, can even cook meat or fish completely separately at the same time.
There are so many thoughtful features on this machine, I am sure there must be some I have forgotten to mention. Like how easy it is to clean! Because it has a wide base, it is very easy to rinse out. My seven year-old son used it the other day and I asked him to wash it afterwards. He grumbled, but I told him it was very easy and to try his best. He cleaned it completely, and had to agree with me that yes, it was easy enough even for him! The blades come out if you need to give it a really thorough clean, and the seal on the lid is easily removable to ensure food doesn't get trapped round there.
Of course, for all this magnificence, it doesn't come cheap, but the company do offer several different finance options. And if you're as excited about it as I am, you could always consider becoming a rep. The Thermomix is already very popular across Europe, particularly in Germany, Spain, and Italy, it's only a matter of time before it catches on in the same way here.
I must say, not having had it that long, I'm not much of an expert on how to get the best results out of the machine, so I'll save proper recipes and usage tips for another time. The main reason you may not be familiar with it already, is that the Thermomix is not sold in shops or online. To purchase one you need to contact UK Thermomix and they will put you in touch with one of their local Thermomix demonstrators. After playing with mine for a short while, I can totally understand why. You really do need someone familiar with the machine to talk you through all its uses. I am not an official Thermomix representative! If you choose to buy one, I do not receive any commission on sales. This review is based entirely on my enthusiasm for the machine, and my desire for you to get the most fulfilment possible from your raw food preparation.
I will definitely be writing more on the Thermomix as I become more acquainted with it. For now, please direct all further enquiries to http://UKthermomix.com or call 01344 622 344. If you are not in the UK, you can still contact UK Thermomix and they will put you in touch with your nearest Thermomix representative, or of course you can simply browse the Internet to find one.
If you are in Switzerland, we recommend contacting Karin Roten-Isles, who is the Thermomix representative in Lausanne. You can email her on firstname.lastname@example.org.