WellnessSummitAndreaandJoWhittonAndrea chats to Jo Whitton of “Quirky Cooking”.   

 

Hi Jo I am so happy to talk to you today.

For me you are the allergy friendly and healthy cooking Thermomix-Queen. I have been in love with your blog posts for years and when I was a Thermomix consultant I told everyone to visit your webpage. Thank you so much for your time.

 

In August you will celebrate 10 years with your Thermomix. How has your life changed since then?

A lot! The Thermomix really opened up a whole new world for me with cooking. Over the last ten years, I’ve become more and more interested in getting back to basic ingredients, learning about healing with food, and helping people with healthy, allergy-friendly eating. The Thermomix has really helped me to take off in this direction, as it makes wholefood, from-scratch cooking and cooking for special diets so much simpler. And because there are so many people who buy a Thermomix for these reasons, I’ve been asked many times if I would write a cookbook to help them. I’m very excited that my first cookbook will be released in about a month’s time!

You already learned from your mum how to cook from scratch and you always loved to create wholesome and delicious meals.

But what kind of recipes or preparations do you now make differently with the Thermie?

For years I’ve tried to eat healthy and cook from scratch, but there were things I just couldn’t do (or that were too much of a bother) before I had a Thermomix. For example, making dairy free milks, creams, and ice creams; making gluten free breads from scratch, including milling the grains; and greatly reducing refined sugars, colours and additives in our diet. I also love being able to easily whip up a healthy version of a fancy dessert or a decadent cake, without fuss or a great big mess. And being able to cook layered meals that save electricity and time, and use up less dishes than if I did it the traditional way.

You cook for 6 people everyday. Does the Thermomix really make enough food for everyone? Sorry, I have to ask you this because this was one of the most common questions at demos from families who had more than 2 kids J

Yes, most of our meals not only feed all six of us, but we have leftovers! When you use the Varoma to add layers to a meal, it makes quite a lot. I do a lot of ‘all-in-one’ meals. In my book there will be quite a few of those. I also use the Thermomix to make a few different quick dishes for a meal sometimes, and that makes even more food – for example, it takes about 5 mins to prepare bread dough and set it aside to rise, then you can get a layered meal cooking in the Thermomix. Meanwhile the dough is shaped into rolls and put into a cold oven and turned on, the main is finished up, and it takes a couple of mins to make a chopped Thermomix salad. So there you have a big meal of a main, bread rolls, and a salad, in about 1 hour 15 mins, and it’ll serve 10 people easily. And you didn’t have to stand there the whole time stirring the pot. J

What are the main challenges you had when you found out about both your and your kids’ food intolerances?

It’s always a challenge to stay away from foods that bother us when we’re out and about, at other people’s houses, or really busy. At home it’s pretty easy, but when we’re out and hungry, it’s very tempting to just grab something that may not be so healthy or gluten/dairy free. Thankfully we aren’t allergic, just intolerant, so a tiny bit here and there isn’t the end of the world, but I really notice the difference if that happens too often.

So many people are struggling with similar issues and finding it overwhelming to change their diet.

Please share 3 main tips with our readers to make life easier for them:

  1. Keep it simple, especially when you’re first starting Don’t try and recreate all your old favourites right at first – start with the basics and you won’t feel so overwhelmed. Think protein (for me that’s locally raised grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, free range eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes, etc), steamed veges, salads, avocado, sweet potatoes (baked or made into oven baked wedges), coconut (milk, cream, oil, butter), fruit, leafy greens in salads, juices and smoothies, some rice and quinoa and buckwheat, and natural sweeteners in small amounts (honey, rapadura, dates, rice malt syrup, coconut sugar). Think WHOLEFOODS, the way God intended them, not foods that have been made in a laboratory which your body won’t recognize as food! Make slow-cooked broths to use as the base for soups and stews. Have a fresh green juice first thing in the morning, and then some protein to fill you up and give you energy. For a dairy free diet, make milk and creams from nuts – it’s so easy, just almonds or cashews and water – and use coconut milk and cream (which you can also make yourself). Nut milk based smoothies are great to fill you up between meals, or just some fruit, or a handful of nuts.

 

…. find the complete interview in our Easter issue 2014