21 uses for the Thermomix ThermoServer

Thermomix ThermoServerWhat a brilliant cooking companion I’ve found my ThermoServer to be! Get the most out of yours with this list. If you have other uses not mentioned here, please leave a comment! A lot of these ideas came from the ThermoFun community.

Don’t have one and not sure what it is? It is a serving container made from high-quality, insulated stainless steel – keeps food hot or icy cold for a few hours.

  1. Keeps food hot for family members who will be eating later.
  2. Use to soak your rice in boiling water while your curry is cooking to reduce cooking time. Should shave off 8-10 minutes.
  3. Alternatively, cook your rice and keep it hot while you use the bowl for curry or sauce.
  4. When cooking pancakes, pikelets or crepes, add to ThermoServer to keep them warm until all are cooked and ready to enjoy.
  5. Use to cook cous cous. Add 1 cup of cous cous to ThermoServer, cover with 1 cup of boiling water, cover with lid and it should be ready in 5-10mins.
  6. When barbecuing, use to keep cooked meat hot.
  7. Use to heat baby food or milk. Simply pour in really hot water (couple of centimetres), place the bowl, bottle or pouch in the water and pop the lid on for five minutes or so.
  8. Use to prove bread dough by placing inside. Alternatively, you can fill with hot water, put the lid on and then place dough wrapped in ThermoMat on top.
  9. Place cooked risotto in for a few minutes to absorb liquid.
  10. Keep tortillas warm by wrapping in tea towel and placing on closed ThermoServer that is filled with boiling water.
  11. Use to serve chilli mussels.
  12. Keep soup warm at the table.
  13. Keep excess Varoma food warm by placing Varoma on top of full ThermoServer.
  14. Use as an ice bucket at BBQs.
  15. Use to serve sorbet.
  16. Use to keep salads cold.
  17. Use to keep seafood cold, e.g. prawns.
  18. Fantastic for transporting food. Use the base as a lid. Seals beautifully.
  19. Use as an incubator for making yoghurt.
  20. Use for ice cream making.
  21. Use the base to serve dip and crackers: dip in the middle, crackers around the edge.

How do you get one? You have access to the ThermoServer when you host a Thermomix demonstration (Australia only).

Thermomix tips and tricks

In this post I’m adding links to any neat Thermomix tips and tricks that I come across to help you get the most from your machine.

Peeling garlic

Yep, the clever little thing peels garlic thanks to the reverse function!

http://www.whyisthereair.com/2011/07/20/thermomix-tips-and-tricks-peeling-garlic-the-easy-way/

Separating eggs

If your recipe calls for egg white(s), simply crack your egg onto the Thermie lid with MC in place. The egg white will slide into the bowl through the teeny gap between the MC and lid, and the lid will catch the yolks. To remove the yolks, just carefully lift the lid up (with MC in place), then remove the MC and tip the yolks through the MC hole into a container. 

Stop liquids from boiling over

No more splatters thanks to this little trick.
http://www.whyisthereair.com/2011/07/27/thermomix-tips-and-tricks-stop-liquids-from-boiling-over/

Juicing citrus

Hit the scale button. Hold the fruit over the Thermie lid with MC in place and using your spatula, squeeze required amount of juice, allowing it to drizzle into bowl through the little gap between MC and lid. The lid will catch all the seeds.

Faster dough proving

If you’re like me you’ll want your bread to just hurry along already. Some ideas to speed up the proving process:

  • Boil the kettle and fill a loaf tin or baking tin with the hot water and place on the bottom shelf of a cold oven. Place dough (wrapped in ThermoMat or in a oiled bowl with clingwrap) onto the shelf above and close the door.
  • If you own a ThermoServer,: fill the server with boiling water, pop the lid on and then leave the dough (wrapped in a ThermoMat) on top to prove. Particularly effective in winter.
  • Or, put your wrapped dough into a microwave and leave the door open with the light on.

Transporting food in your ThermoServer

Whipped up a hot or cold dish in your Thermie and want to take it to a gathering without any spills? Easy! Use the base as a lid. It sits really snug and is airtight, so no spills.

Simple ingredient swaps

IngredientsIt wasn’t until my son came along that a little switch went off in my brain and I became committed to further educating myself on food. Real food, as  nature intended with little or no processing. I’ve always been a make-it-from-scratch kinda girl, but even that kind of cooking can be a silent assassin if you’re using dodgy ingredients.

Anyway, don’t quite know how, but I managed to do a lot of reading through my zombie-like introduction to motherhood. It was actually a little crazy how driven I was (and still am) to offer the very best for my child. Hats off to that maternal instinct!

I bought a couple of things to begin with (let’s face it, I didn’t have a heck of a lot of time to cook up a storm in the beginning!) and slowly cleaned up my pantry as I used things up. I do recommend doing it that way as there’s no point in wastage. Here are some of the ingredient swaps that I made.

I’m constantly trying other things and learning so this list is evolving!

Coconut oil

Fantastic substitute for butter and olive oil when sauteeing and baking. Here’s some reasons why:

  • The fat in coconut oil is a healthy saturated fat and improves your cholesterol profile – helping to prevent heart attack and stroke.
  • The fatty acids in the oil are easily digested and converted into energy, which helps boost metabolism and burn stored fat.
  • Contains antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic properties that help strengthen the immune system.
  • Helps to regulate blood sugar levels and protects against insulin resistance – it can even help prevent Type II Diabetes.
  • Has a higher smoke point than most cooking oils. For example, olive oil will oxidise at high temperatures, creating free radicals which act as carcinogens.

Give it a try! A little bit every day goes a long way to better health.

Rapadura sugar

I try to keep my sugar consumption to a minimum, but when I do bake things that require a fair amount of sugar, I substitute sugar for rapadura 1:1. Here’s why:

  • The natural sugar cane is brimming with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fibres and phytonutrients that help the body digest the naturally occurring sugars. The minerals required to digest sugar are calcium, phosphorous, chromium, magnesium, cobalt, copper, iron, zinc and manganese. It also contains vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B6, niacin, and pantothenic acid, which work synergistically with the minerals to nourish the body. Now, the white sugar that we pick up off the supermarket shelf actually contains none of this goodness. Why? Because it’s ultra processed at high temperatures which strips it of its minerals and enzymes. It’s even bleached to remove impurities that cause discolouration.
  • Rapadura on the other hand is the pure juice extracted from the sugar cane, evaporated over low heat whilst being stirred with paddles, then ground to produce a grainy sugar. This organic, chemical-free process ensures all the goodness of the sugar cane is retained. If you’re going to eat sugar – might as well have some nutritional benefit hey?

Coconut nectar

Tastes like butterscotch, delicious. I use it in small quantities in things like ganache, mousse, raw treats, custard, and savoury dishes where sugar is called for to cut through sour or spicy flavours. Here’s why:

  • Coconut nectar is a sucrose-based sweetener which means when digested, the increase in blood glucose stimulates insulin secretion from the pancreas to facilitate glucose transport to your tissues. Whereas fructose-based sweeteners (e.g. sugar, honey, agave nectar) do not tend to stimulate pancreatic insulin production, so your body is likely to store the extra calories as fat which in turn increases your risk for developing diabetes and heart disease. Now, just to make it clear – there is still fructose within sucrose! However if you had to choose your sweetener, this would be a better option – particularly for people with diabetes.
  • Collected from coconut tree flower blossoms, coconut nectar is full of goodness – especially high in potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron (similar to coconut water) and is a natural source of the vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and C.  It’s also low GI (35).*

I tend to use coconut nectar over rapadura as a first choice due to the sucrose-base. I’m yet to actually try coconut sugar in baking. I figure I have enough sweeteners to get me by for now! *https://lovingearth.net/products/100/coconut-nectar-organic

Raw cacao powder

Move over cocoa powder! I substitute for cocoa in baking 1:1 (and in hot chocolate of course!) Here’s why:

  • Raw cacao is full of flavanoids, which act as natural antioxidants – protecting the body from ageing and disease caused by free radicals. It is 20 times more concentrated in antioxidants than 70% cocoa chocolate, and about 15 times more than green tea and red wine.*
  • It has the highest concentration of several key nutrients including iron and magnesium.*
  • Raw cacao tastes REAL! It’s bitter like chocolate should be in its purest form. It’s rich, intense and hands down better than cocoa. The highly processed Cadbury Bourneville Cocoa packaging states that it contains: Cocoa Powder, Flavours. Hmmm, what “flavours” exactly? Don’t you just love how food regulations permit this information to be withheld from the consumer?!

Word of warning: don’t overconsume! The downside is raw cacao has a powerful effect on the nervous system. They say no more than 6 teaspoons a day… certainly do not consume close to bed time – sleep may elude you due to the caffeine-like effects on the body. *http://www.thefeelgoodlifestyle.com/the-best-food-in-the-world.html

Unrefined salt

Cutting down on salt intake is one of the beauties of using the Thermomix. You know what is in your food! And too much salt as we all know is bad. BUT our bodies still need a bit of salt – so I choose to use an unrefined salt as a condiment on my food. Here’s why:

  • Refined table salt is devoid of all nutrients. During the refining process, up to 82 trace minerals and essential nutrients are destroyed by the heating process, leaving only one compound – sodium chloride. But not only that, other things are then added to the salt to prevent it from going lumpy such as bleaches and anti-caking agents.
  •  Unrefined salt, such as Himalayan or Celtic Salt is salt in its purest form with all the minerals our body needs. You can find these salts at a health food store. Just so you know too, unrefined salt does not contain iodine (that’s why refined salts are sometimes called iodised salt). Iodine is an important mineral and you can add iodine to your diet by mixing your unrefined salt with some seaweed flakes (e.g. nori, dulse).

Spelt flour

I like to use spelt flour as a substitute to wheat flour where I can. Here’s why:

  • The modern wheat found in almost every processed food on the market is described as the “perfect, chronic poison” by experts. Why? It was genetically modified in the ’60s to massively increase yield. In doing so, the nutrient content reduced significantly and it introduced a new protein called gliadin which not only stimulates appetite, but it is one of the key triggers of celiac disease.
  • Spelt on the other hand, is an ancient grain that has not undergone any manipulation. It is actually a species of wheat so is very easy to swap in recipes but it has much more fibre and protein than wheat and is easier to digest. Modern wheat was manipulated to naturally fight off pests with enzyme inhibitors –  the consequence for humans is that when digested, the enzyme inhibitors further retard the enzyme activity that is needed for complete digestion. This leads to stomach inflammation and associated digestive problems.

http://www.ecomall.com/greenshopping/benefitsofspelt.htm

Thermomix pantry items

Many people ask what is needed in the pantry to start cooking up a Thermomix storm!

It really depends on what you like to cook, but here are some staples that I like to have on hand:

(* items can be found at health or specialty store; pink items are cheap to buy online: click on link to see where).

Baking ingredients

  • Agar Agar (vegetarian gelatine)*
  • Baking powder (aluminium-free)
  • Baking soda (bi-carb soda)
  • Coconut (non-sweetened!)*
  • Dark chocolate (70%)
  • Dry yeast
  • Raw cacao powder* (I use in place of cocoa powder. Read why)
  • Xanthan gum (used in gluten-free baking)
  • Vanilla beans / vanilla paste

Dried fruit

  • Apricots
  • Cranberries
  • Dates (Medjool)
  • Goji berries
  • Sultanas

Flours, grains and starches

  • Aborio rice (for risotto)
  • Bakers flour (must-have for bread)
  • Basmati rice
  • Brown rice (Australian)
  • Cornflour
  • Oats (rolled)
  • Plain flour
  • Spelt grain* (mill to make spelt flour – I use spelt instead of wheat where possible . Read why)
  • Tapioca starch (used in gluten-free baking)*
  • White rice

Legumes, nuts and seeds

  • Almonds (raw/natural)
  • Cannelloni beans
  • Cashews (raw/natural)
  • Chia seeds
  • Chickpeas
  • Flaxseed (meal)
  • Lentils
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • Pine nuts
  • Quinoa
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts

Noodles and pasta

  • Pasta (fettucine, lasagne, penne, spirals – used occasionally but handy to have!)
  • Rice noodles
  • Slim pasta (texture more like noodles than pasta – gluten free)
  • Spelt spaghetti

Oils

  • Coconut oil
  • Macadamia oil (for baking where I don’t want the taste of coconut oil)
  • Olive oil (for sauteeing)
  • Rice bran oil (for shallow frying)
  • Sesame oil

Sauces and pastes

  • Chilli sauce
  • Fish sauce
  • Shrimp paste
  • Tomato paste
  • Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)*

Spices

  • Bay leaves
  • Chilli flakes
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Curry powder
  • Ginger
  • Italian herbs
  • Nutmeg
  • Paprika
  • Pepper
  • Unrefined salt*(Read why)
  • Seaweed flakes*

Sweeteners

Tinned items

  • Coconut cream
  • Coconut milk
  • Tomatoes

Vinegars

  • Apple cider
  • Balsamic
  • Red wine
  • White (buy a big, cheap bottle for your vinegar cleans)

Right, now where do I buy all this stuff?!

Most of these items can be bought from the supermarket. As mentioned in the beginning, items not found at the supermarket (*) can be bought from a health or specialty food store.

I’ve been to a few stores around the traps and the following seem to have everything under one roof:

  • Alive Organics (Morley)
  • Loose Produce (Como)
  • Manna Wholefoods (Freo)  Conventional and organic bulk/fresh food. While you’re there you can have lunch or a liquid refreshment (coffee, fresh smoothies) at their amazing cafe. Their salads are the bomb!
  • Swansea Markets (East Vic Park) – mostly conventional produce but fantastic range of bulk and packaged goods.

I encourage you to check out the online stores that I’ve linked to. I’ve found them to be pretty cheap and with a “baby on board” home delivery is most welcome. 2Brothers Foods Online is actually located in Perth so your order will be on your doorstep in 2 days. Super handy! In addition to all this are Perth co-ops. There is one called G Collective (south of the river) and I believe one north of the river too (not sure of the name).

Happy shopping 🙂