Monday, 9 March 2015

Hotpoint Steam Blender Pt 2, Review.

I've had my Hotpoint Steam Blender for almost two months and I have thoroughly enjoyed testing this kitchen appliance. I have made a variety of dishes in my steam blender, mainly for my breakfast and lunch: I have to credit this applicant for my new love of healthier eating. My first review post I focused on my initial thoughts of using this product, but this post focuses more on my thoughts of the variety of recipes that can be made using this innovative appliance.
Hotpoint Steam Blender
After having this product for almost two months, I love stretching this machine to see what it can do. I've started marking pancake mixtures using the blending facility and found this such a hick way to make the batter for my plantain and coconut pancakes. I found the machines blending facility to be excellent and able to cut through a starchy ingredient such as plantain. I find that blending pancake and batter mixtures far easier now, as all you do is add the mixture in the blender, turn on setting 2 or 3 for around 2 minutes to discover a wonderfully blended mixture. 
Plantain and Coconut Pancakes. 
 Many of us enjoy steaming vegetables to ensure that all the nutrients remain contained in the vegetables. This Steam Blender does so much more than steaming vegetables, there is a handy basket which can be used to steam meat and fish separately. This means you can make a delicious a chunky chicken and vegetable soup, for example and place all the ingredients in the steam blender, but separate the chicken from the vegetables. I decided to test the basket facility by making ta chickpea and 2 vegetable soup which surprisingly worked very well and as they say "was a doddle to make". I simply steamed the chickpeas, onions, coconut milk and seasoning and placed the vegetables in the handy basket whilst they steamed separately. Once everything was steamed, I removed the basket, blended the stock and served in a bowl. This method would work when including chicken breasts (thinly sliced and wrapped in foil) and prawns.
Here is my Chickpea and Two Vegetable Soup:
Chickpea and Two Vegetable Soup.

Sweet Potato and Broccoli Soup.

Another favourite when using this my steam blender is making juices; it's such a healthy way to the start the day. In fact, I'm sure making juices for my weekday breakfast has contributed to my 5 lbs weight loss. I like to in-cooperate a combination of vegetables and fruits, which is always blended thoroughly so you can't taste the vegetables.
Lemon, Ginger and Parsley Juice.

Melon and Grape Juice.

For those who love indulgent drinks, the steam blender makes a fabulous milkshake. Although the ingredients for the milkshake is frozen (the ice-cream and ice cubes), blending these ingredients are no problem for this appliance. The results  of a milkshake in my steam blender is a glorious, indulgent and rich shake. 
Coffee and Banana Shake.

Recipe for Coffee Banana Shake, from 1000 Juices by Deborah Gray.
300ml coffee ice-cream (if you do not have coffee ice-cream, use vanilla and add 2 tbsp instant coffee powder)
2tbsp milk

 Put all the ingredients into the steam blender and process on low for 30 seconds, stir and process on high until smooth and whipped. Pour into a glass and serve immediately.

Makes 1 glass

Disclaimer: I received a steam blender from Hotpoint, I was not required to write a positive review and as always, all opinions are my own. 


Saturday, 21 February 2015

Greens 24/7: Delicious Recipes for Green Veg at Every Meal, Review and Giveaway.

I have missed reviewing cookbooks on my blog, the last cook book I reviewed was in early January and now as we are heading towards the last week in February, I have missed writing about glossy pages full of recipes which makes me drool. I was sent this book, Greens 24/7 by blogger Jessica Nadel in  early December, which was perfect for looking at ideas and recipes to make in 2015 when we are all trying to eat healthier. I have to credit this book for finding a love of making juices and smoothies for breakfast instead of my usual fare of cereal or porridge. This book contains 100 easy vegan recipes, which to a meat lover is a pleasant surprise to me as I did not realise vegan recipes could be so versatile.
The front cover instantly had me sold as this features: several juices, a burger, chocolate cake and a pizza all which are vegan! For those who have never cooked primarily with green vegetables, there is a handy green fact file with the different types of greens, alongside recommended recipes which can be used making these recipes. For example, green vegetable kale, can be used to make cherry-kale, quencher smoothie, kale Waldorf salad with avocado, kale chips, kale and kabocha enchiladas verde and sweet massaged kale and fruit salad. Not sure how to eat greens throughout the day? Well there is a "typical day" of green recipes for: the parent trying to feed their kids green, for the super busy, for the health conscious and for those who love to entertain.
Greens 24/7

Greens 24/7 is divided in 5 chapters.
  • Smoothies and breakfasts, recipes to try include: Tropical Green Smoothie, Chocolate Super food Smoothie, Sweet Spinach Pancakes and Cinnamon-Courgette Waffles. 
  • Green sides and small bites, stand out recipes include: Rocket and White Bean Hummus, Foccacia with Tomato and Courgette and Israeli Cous Cous. 
  • Green soups and salads, recipes to try include: Mexican Tortilla Soup, Curried Dahl with Chard and Green Bean and Mango Salad. 
  • Green main meals, recipes to try include: Linguine with Lemon, Olives and Rapini, Sundried Tomato and Rocket Pizza, Stuffed Baked Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli and Humus and Sweet Potato and Greens Burger. 
  • Green Cakes and desserts, my favourite recipes include: Secret Ingredient Brownies, Chocolate Hazelnut Avocado Torte, Avocado and Kiwi Iced Birthday Cake and Vanilla Mint Cheesecake. 
So far, I've made Green Smoothie Without a Juicer, Chocolate Super food Smoothie and Green Bean and Mango salad, all which were delicious. 

Green Smoothie Without a Juicer.

Chocolate Super food Smoothie.

Green Bean and Mango Salad.

Greens 24/7 cookery book gets a 4.5 star rating from Food Glorious Food: beautifully illustrated recipes, easy to follow instructions and contains a diverse range of vegan recipes. 

Recipe for Green Juice Without A Juicer
Serves 1 - Gluten Free.
Prep 7 minutes
60g spinach
2 apples
1 cucumber
2.5 piece of fresh ginger
250ml water

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain through the nut milk bag or cheesecloth and serve. If desired, garnish with a cucumber slices.

Calories per serving 250 calories.

The lovely people at Apple Press are offering three lucky readers a copy of this fab book. To be in with a chance to win this book follow the instructions:
  • Follow the instructions on the rafflecopter
  • Leave a comment on the blog (THIS IS AN ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENT) 
  • For additional entries join the blog, Follow me on Instragram, Follow me on Twitter, Follow me on Facebook Add me on Google Circles and tweet about the giveaway.
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  • Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random.
  • The competition will run from 21.02.15 - 22.03.15.
  • Winners will need to respond within 7 working days.
  • Apple Press will post out copies of the book.
  • The competition is open to UK residents only.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of Greens 24/7 by Apple Press, as always all opinions are my own.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Hotpoint Steam Blender Review Pt 1.

As an avid home cook there are essential small kitchen appliances and gadgets which the majority of cooks can not live without, or would find it difficult to have no longer in their kitchen.  For example, a toaster and a kettle are considered to be essential but for many foodies there are the additional  essentials that are must haves in the kitchen such as: food processors, hand-held mixers, kitchen mixers, healthy grilling appliances, steamers and blenders. I am fortunate to have all of those kitchen items in my compact kitchen, but there is a new kitchen essential that all foodies should consider: Hotpoint's Steam Blender. For the busy cook, or those who are pressed on time, I consider this small kitchen appliance to be essential to make: soups, milkshakes, juices, baby food and crushing ice, in a matter of minutes, in fact, I've made a soup from start to finish in 15 minutes. 

Many thanks to Hotpoint for my Steam Blender which arrived with a thorough instruction pack and some handy recipes such as Soup With Pesto and Gazpacho. I briefly read the instruction manual and decided to start on making a Butternut Squash and Bacon soup. My initial impression when making this soup is that the Steam Blender is quite heavy, durable but yet also looked compact and stylish in my kitchen. The two parts of the Steam Blender were easily assembled and I decided to test whether it works ok before placing food in there. Fortunately, for this appliance, if something is not quite right, than audio will occur with letters  such as E1 and the fault is listed in the instruction manual. 

Hotpoint Steam Blender
There are several positives which I have found using this appliance in the short period of timing which I've been using. The Jug holds up to 1.5 litres of juice, I usually only prepare soup or juices for 1 or 2 people, but the glass jug is large enough it could easily make shakes and smoothies for at least 6 people,  which is perfect for large families. I did find when using the steamer function there was an initial loud noise to begin with but this quietens, after a few minutes. 
Here is a collage of what ice made so far:

Ultimate Green Juice

Butternut Squash and Bacon Soup, Leek Soup.

Cucumber Smoothie.

Carrot Juice
Handy Facts
Unique Steam Cooker/Blender
Keeps nutrients locked in
4 Speed Settings plus plus function
1.5 litre Glass Jug
LD Display With Digital Timer
Ideal for Soups and Milkshakes
1300W Power with Cooking Function
600W Blending Power
Steaming Basket
Ice Crusher
3 Year Warranty

Dimensions - H 480 X W 215 X D 195 (mm).
Colour: Stainless Steel.

The RRP is £189, however, I have seen this item for around £65.

Easy to use.
Perfect to make smoothies, juices, soups, baby food and milk shakes.
Can blend a large amount of fruit or veg.
4 different settings.
Cooks and blends.
Made by a revered brand.
Looks stylish in the kitchen.
Reasonably priced.

Not so good
Water may need to be drained when steaming vegetables for soup to prevent having too much liquid. 

I think this appliance has been prefect for me drinking regular green smoothies, so here is the recipe for my ultimate green smoothie as seen in the first collage.

Serves 1, happily
Mug of spinach,
Banana (frozen for 10 minutes), then peeled and chopped.
1 green apple, cored and seeds removed
Handful of Ice cubes
200ml water

Place all the items in the Steam Blender, turn the setting to number 2 and blend for 2 minutes.


I received the Steam Blender from Hotpoint, I was not required to write a positive review and as always all opinions are mine.

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