(I got a free trial to the ThermoHub website and their Family Friendly Recipes in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own).
I’ll be straight up honest with you – I am not the biggest “cook” in the world. Sure, I can follow a recipe and do my standard repertoire of meals reasonably well, but I’m not one of those people. You know, the ones that chuck random things into a pot and create a gourmet meal. It just isn’t me. And up until now, I have been more than okay with that. Hubby and I have gotten by on my standard rotation of meals for 4 years, and we have grown accustomed to (heck, we even LIKE) our set menus. But now with the little man in tow – who is starting to eat up a storm – I’m starting to feel like I need to branch out a bit more in the menu department and create some family friendly recipes. While I started making the little man’s purees from scratch, he is now at a stage where he can be eating more of a range of foods, and I need to jump aboard that bandwagon and get cooking!
I’ve been particularly flustered as of late with the stage of eating he’s currently at – somewhere between the lumpy and finger food stage – and the need to start packing lots of different foods when we go out and about. There have been a couple of occasions where I’ve been stuck buying banana bread because there isn’t anything else for him on the menu!
So we’ve decided to make changes, such as becoming more intentional in eating dinner as a family. This has meant that the time has (FINALLY) come for me to expand my family friendly recipe repertoire. But then (of course) the questions start – where do I find GOOD recipes? Where can I find meals that Starfish can eat too?
Before we start, I have another confession to make: I don’t actually own a thermo cooker (YET). The reason I chose to review this website (with the help of my beautiful friend from Child Friendly Dining who lended her Thermomix to me to play with) is because I know MANY of my mum followers DO own a Thermomix or Thermo cooker. My aim is to help YOU find the best resources and family friendly recipes available. And needless to say, after reviewing this site and playing with a Thermomix, I’ll definitely be getting one (right, hubby…???)
After making an agreement to start looking for better family-friendly recipes, I stumbled upon this gem of a website – ThermoHub – and I am so glad I did! This website has a wide variety of Thermomix recipes on hand, giving you the option of saving your favourite recipes (in “My Hub”), creating a weekly meal plan (under “Planner”) and compiling a shopping list of all the ingredients you’ll need for the weekly meal plan you previously created (in “Shopping List”).
Structure of the ThermoHub Website
The way ThermoHub works is exactly as it sounds – it is a hub for Thermomix (and Thermo cooker) recipes. The “Recipe Hub” (main page of recipes) lists a myriad of family friendly recipes from other websites, which are also categorized along the side bar and at the bottom of the page. On the Recipe Hub page, each recipe is shown as a tile and includes the following information:
• A picture
• The name of the meal
• The source (which website it is from)
• A rating (if it has gotten a rating through the ThermoHub site)
• The total time, prep time and cook time for the recipe
• How many servings
• And if it is an allergy friendly meal – DF (dairy free), GF (gluten free), LC (low calorie), EF (egg free) and NF (nut free)
There is also the option on the main Recipe Hub page to save recipes to My Hub (your overall catalogue of favourite recipes) and Planner (weekly meal plan) without having to open up each individual recipe, which is super nifty.
Once you click on a recipe you are interested in, it will take you to another ThermoHub page with more information about the recipe. As well as the aforementioned information, this page will provide you with an ingredients list, and any additional information or tips for the recipe – for example, substitutions that can be made, garnish or side dish options, additions or subtractions for the recipe, and so forth. This page also has a button for you to view the complete recipe, which will take you off site to the full recipe listing.
Benefits of ThermoHub
ThermoHub is a subscription website that requires membership in order to use it. However they have a very affordable 2-week trial period ($0.99) to allow you to peruse (and fall in love with) ThermoHub before you commit to a monthly ($12.95), 6-monthly ($60.00), or annual ($97.00) membership.
I mentioned the ThermoHub website to a friend who owns a Thermomix, and her initial response was “but you have access to Thermomix recipes from Thermomix themselves”. So I did some research and investigating, and what I found was that although this is the case, the ThermoHub has several key features which I think make it highly beneficial and worth the cost.
• ThermoHub is unique in that it creates a meal plan for you; It will automatically create a meal plan, in which you can then add/remove or tweak recipes within the plan as you wish.
• The Planner section has an interactive and flexible option – you can easily delete meals from the planner, select new recipes (either from My Hub or the Recipe Hub), and click/drag recipes around to different days.
• With this meal plan, you can then easily generate a shopping list with all the ingredients for the week’s meals.
• The recipes on ThermoHub are selected from a range of well-known sources, guaranteeing high-quality recipes that have been tried and tested (as opposed to other sites that are user-generated recipes).
As a first-time mum, time is very precious to my family and I, particularly in regards to cooking. I am new to this whole meal-planning and expanding-the-meal-range thing, so I wanted to look for convenience in family friendly recipes and planning. ThermoHub offers exactly that. I literally spent 10 minutes planning meals for the whole week, and that was because I was picky and chose my own recipes for the planning (rather than going with the automatic choices). I was then able to generate a shopping list (which also segments the ingredients according to their type, such as fresh produce, pantry, meat/fish/poultry, chillen/frozen, etc), and this helped me to organise our Coles Online Delivery which is equally brilliant. And within 20 minutes, I have organised and shopped for the whole week of food. Now I have a range of new meals to try that are all super easy to make and baby friendly.