Space on my kitchen bench is hot real estate. With a limited surface area and a bunch of appliances I use every day lined up on the counter, each machine really has to prove its worth to earn a spot there. I have a pile of dusty appliances stored in my garage, just waiting for another chance, but their odds aren’t looking good. Right now, I’ve got a coffee machine, a toaster and a kettle that I use almost every day (and in the case of the coffee machine, multiple times a day!). I’ve recently added the new Tommee Tippee steamer blender to this all-star line up.
As a work-from-home, run-my-own-business mum of an active 14-month-old boy, finding time to prepare meals for my toddler is tricky. I don’t like buying processed baby food, so my solution has been to batch cook a meal and freeze it in portions to thaw out and microwave for my son’s dinner. But using the microwave every night made me uneasy, and I wondered how it affected the nutritional value of the meal.
I wish I had time to cook fresh meals every night, but the thought of standing over a boiling pot while my overtired son hangs off my legs and screams at a pitch that sets off the neighbourhood dogs is not my idea of time well spent.
So, when I heard of the Tommee Tippee machine that steams and blends vegetables, fruit and even meat on an auto cycle, I knew I had to try it. When you’re a busy mum, any chance to multitask is a win!
The steamer blender needs to be washed in warm soapy water and sent through a 30-minute test cycle before first use. The instructions in the manual are clear, but make sure you do this at a time where you can focus (so not at 5pm with a screaming toddler!). Once the prep-cycle is completed, the machine is easy to use each time. Before you put raw food in the jug, chop to 1cm cubes and weigh. The container takes a maximum of 200g.
Steaming and blending
You can choose an automatic steam to blend cycle, or you can set the timer to steam or blend separately. I preferred the latter option so that I could pour out the excess water from steaming before I blended, making the final consistency and taste of the meal richer. I love the concept of the combined steamer-blender function in one jug, which limits the amount of pots and pans I have to use and clean afterwards.
Age appropriate meals
The beauty of the Tommee Tippee steamer blender is that the manual function allows you to choose how long you want to steam or blend for. If you have a six-month-old who’s just starting purees, you can steam and blend the vegetables or fruit as long as you like to achieve a smooth consistency.
The option to set shorter blend times (two to four seconds) means that nine or 10-month-olds get chunkier food as they transition from purees to family dinners. I have found that my 14-month-old still enjoys a range of textures and consistencies, so sometimes I just steam veggies and serve them whole, or mash them lightly with a fork. Other times I roughly chop his veggies for two to four seconds on the blend setting and mix with rice, tuna or cous cous. If I’m making a fruit puree to mix through yoghurt or vegetable based pasta sauce, I puree for six to 10 seconds.
You can make whole meals in the steamer blender too, by adding various proportions of vegetables, legumes and protein and seasonings like garlic or herbs. There are recipes on the Tommee Tippee website to get you started.
I loved my food processor at first, but the complex cleaning procedure meant I eventually moved it to the box in the garage. Thankfully, the Tommee Tippee steamer blender is really easy to wash and clean, with a removable blade that screws off. Just don’t misplace the washer that fastens it back on!
But the real test … what does my son think of the food?
The photo says it all!
(This is a sponsored post for Tommee Tippee)