product review

Product Review – Mama’s Natural Magic Cotton Reusable Menstrual Pads – Heavy Flow / Overnight.

Just to warn my usual readers… this is what you think it is. But I am a reviewer of all things that interest me – hence the Eclectic name – so if you do not feel comfortable with reading this topic, I hope to bring you something more your style soon.❤

I bought this item with my own money online from Mama’s Natural Magic upon suggestions made on the Natural New Age Mum’s Facebook group.

As a brief overview of the item, please visit Mama’s Natural Magic product page here.

Disclaimer:

I am not being paid to make this review, nor am I deliberately singling this product or company out. I’m just trying to give an open and honest review on items I use in my household.

Please note:  This review is based solely on Mama’s Natural Magic Cotton Reusable Menstrual Pads – Heavy Flow/ Overnight. This is not a review of Mama’s Natural Magic themselves, or any other products, services or business they may offer.

5 out of 5 stars

My Review:

Last year I bought a series of cloth pads from different makers and I have to say that, even after all this time, the Mama’s Natural Magic Heavy flow/ overnight pad is still my favourite.

Why? Simply because I am a bigger bottomed woman and so need a longer pad. So love this larger size as it fits and protects me when needed…

I did warn you if this is a TMI moment! If this is upsetting you go watch some cute baby animals on YouTube, take a few deep breaths and visit me again when I post about a book or something! 😉

So, for those seriously interested in reusable cloth pads, these are excellent! Leak proof – both day and night – during any part of my cycle. And they last longer/ absorb more than disposable pads and so you don’t need to change them as often, even during your heaviest moment.

They are easy to attach with their snap locks, fold up nice and discreet to the size of the average disposable pad and are easy to clean. I simply wash them out when I am done with them and then pop them into a load of washing along with my other pads and things. I actually have a new washing machine that does a special “hygienic wash” for things like cloth nappies and pads and so I am curious to see what it makes of them. For now, I’ve had no staining or colour loss in my old machine. I do use a gentle eco-friendly washing liquid and no bleaches, fabric softeners or anything like that so I can’t vouch for what would happen if you were someone who did use such cleaners. For me, it’s either Method or Eco Store laundry soap. And no need to soak if you rinse them out as soon as you are done using them.

Due to what they are, and their layers, they do take a little longer to dry than an averge article of clothing. I’ve not tumble dried them so can’t comment on that, but do know they love a good line dry out in the sun or, if they’re not quite dry by the time I bring the washing in  – during winter – they finish drying nicely in front of the fire. No smell, no stains, no stiffness. Perfect.

I can see myself getting many years of good use out of these pads and so not only saving on my budget in the long run, but helping to reduce what we send to landfill and so helping the environment out too.

Would I recommend this product to others?

Yes I would. I feel so safe and comfortable in them and, as stated, no leaking! I’ve worn them out in public as well as at home and am protected no matter how active (walking, gardening, etc) that I am. And being cloth they are so wonderfully breathable and so you feel fresh – unlike with disposables.
The reason I would recommend them the most is they are a good fit for the larger woman, so very affordable, of excellent quality and do the job they were made to do without any accidents.

Would I buy this product for myself?

Yes, as said, I’ve done so already. And I don’t regret that purchase at all. In fact I am thinking of buying a couple more just to finish my set of pads. That is the wondrous thing about cloth pads; you can buy them one or two at a time to fit into your budget. It’s what I’ve done and I almost have enough to last an entire cycle without disposable. Such an awesome feeling!

In summary: They do the job they are intended to do. No leaks, easy to use then wash and use again! Best cloth pads I’ve tried.

Until next time,

Janis

Product Review – LG NeoChef 39L Smart Inverter Convection Oven. (4 of 4 reviews)

lg-neochef-smart-inverter-convection-oven

4 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Mouths of Mums for giving me the opportunity to review this device. I was sent a free LG NeoChef 39L Smart Inverter Convection Oven in exchange for at least four reviews. This will be my fourth and final review – published to both my own blog, as well as to the Mouths of Mums site.

Please note that my rating for this product may change in each review as I get to know the device more, learn the tips and tricks and so on. My final rating is 4 out of 5.

Again I find myself having to apologise for the delay in this review. I had wanted to try out a few more things to really put the NeoChef through its paces, but just didn’t really get around to it due to so many other commitments as the summer school holidays started to wrap up here. I really learnt an important thing – never again will I offer to review major appliances over school holidays! 😀

Okay, onto the actual review. Well, I am still absolutely loving the LG Neochef and all the things it can do… well, except for its griller function. Of that, I really am not a fan… even when you preheat it first. The griller in my oven is faster and therefore the more favoured device to use when making grilled cheese sandwiches.

But what the Neochef is good at is…

  • Defrosting
  • Reheating
  • Baking
  • Sensor cooking
  • Steaming
  • Airfrying
  • Proving

These are all things I have done with mine and am simply amazed at how good it is and how easy it has made my life!

Let’s go through them all…

Defrosting – I took 2 kilos of frozen chicken legs, followed the defrosting settings, allowed the “sitting” time afterwards and had a load of perfectly, evenly defrosted chicken legs I could then marinate and cook for dinner. Sadly I couldn’t fit them all in (there were almost two dozen) into the NeoChef so roasted them “old style” in my oven.

Reheating – The whole family is amazed at the reheating capability the LG Neochef has. It takes far less time and heats so evenly you really don’t need to take it out, move the food around and reheat yet again. And reheated chips come out crispy – not soggy! Score!

Baking – Okay, we readily admit that all we’ve really tried here has been the odd mug cake or minute pudding. But, again, it does it evenly, faster than the regular oven and, most importantly at this time of the year, without heating the whole house up. Another win!

Sensor Cooking – Three words for you: Perfect baked potatoes. I have become addicted to them since discovering how easy they are to make in the LG NeoChef. We’re having some for dinner tonight topped with a chorizo and beef chilli bolognaise creation of ours. Yum yum.

Steaming – steams veggies to perfection and makes the most amazing scrambled eggs. Really not much more I can say to that, except that I need to make some Chinese buns and steam them to see how it goes!

Airfrying – My kids loved the potato gems I’ve airfried in The Beast. I keep meaning to try homemade veggie wedges and will one day soon. Actually, what I feel would be perfect is make baked potatoes, quarter them lengthways, scoop out a lot of the middle to use in a cake or something and then airfry the rest…. Mmmmm, homemade potato skins with savoury yeast and sumac… MUST try that!

Proving – from yeast dough (spelt or wheat) to dairy free yoghurt. It can do it! I still prefer my slow cooker for the yoghurt side of things but am just SO in love with the yeast dough proving the LG NeChef does that I can see our bread costs going down as I make more at home. So easy to get the perfect rise now!

Okay, so that is all I’ve done… I have a pork loin in the fridge to be roasted in The Best tomorrow night and so if you follow me on Instagram, look out for the pics! Also look out for tonight’s baked potatoes. 😉

Would I recommend this product to others?

Yes I would. Ten times over I would. Especially those with a tiny kitchen and a dodgy normal oven. The LG Neochef is an oven, a microwave, a steamer and them some… it is just so useful I can’t recommend it high enough. I just don’t like how it grills. But hey!

Would I buy this product for myself?

Yes I would. I can’t see myself going back to a standard microwave oven after this. Yes it costs a LOT more than a standard microwave, but it also does a whole heck of a lot more so you can’t really complain!

In summary: The LG NeoChef Smart Inverter Convection Oven is indeed one of the best kitchen helpers I’ve come across in a long time. Easy to use, so many functions, so many possibilities to make your own food from scratch! Highly recommend.

Until next time,

Janis.

Product Review – LG NeoChef 39L Smart Inverter Convection Oven. (2 of 4 reviews)

LG NeoChef Pizza.jpg

4 out of 5 stars.

I would like to thank Mouths of Mums for giving me the opportunity to review this device. I was sent a free LG NeoChef Smart Inverter Convection Oven in exchange for at least four reviews. This will be my second of the four published to both my own blog, as well as to the Mouths of Mums site.

Please note that my rating for this product may change in each review as I get to know the device more, learn the tips and tricks and so on. For now, the rating is 4 out of 5.

Apologies for my second review being late, these things called Christmas and the New Year got in the road. 😉

So what have I been up to? Well, a few things actually and I am simply LOVING what my new ‘Beast’ (my pet name for my new kitchen baby) can do.

Firstly I tried to make yoghurt and was originally rather disappointed. Proving yoghurt takes at least 8 hours and I usually make it overnight in my All in One device. But as the Smart Inverter AKA Beast said it could make it too, I gave it a go. As I don’t like leaving ovens and similar devices running all night alone – a quirk of mine no doubt – I made it during the day and so was not only inconvenienced by not having the Beast to use for other things, but the noise it made did get on my nerves rather quickly. I will say here and now that the noise level isn’t too loud, just persistent. Very similar to when using a dehydrator.

lg-neochef-yoghurt

All the essential ingredients I use to make dairy free yoghurt.

And speaking of dehydrators… the Smart Invertor can be used to dehydrate too! And that’s where I went wrong with my yoghurt. After proving it for 8 hours I then put it in the fridge for 24 hours to cool – like I always do when making yoghurt. Annnd… after 24 hours it was still very runny and watery, but tasted like a yummy dairy free yoghurt all the same.

A failure? I had thought so, until I went to prove some pizza dough in the Beast the following day and realised, when making the yoghurt, I’d had it on Slow Cook setting 2 – dehydrate! Not Slow Cook setting 3 – Prove! It will mean I have to spend another day making my dairy free yoghurt in the Smart Inverter, just to ensure it was my at fault, but I can honestly say I do find using my All in One easier for yoghurt making.

I will say, however, that the runny and watery yoghurt tasted really nice and we simply couldn’t waste it. So put it, some over-ripe bananas, frozen blueberries, frozen strawberries and tinned lychees into my Thermomix and blitzed up some gorgeously purple breakfast smoothies. Tasted amazing! No dairy, no gluten/wheat, no added sugar (just the fruit) and all gone in a matter of minutes!

So I see that as a win win personally!

Due to my hordes nagging me, I also bought some potato gems and cooked them in the Beast. I am not a fan of this sort of pre-made thing, but it was part of putting the Smart Inverter through its paces and so I did. I cooked them following the instructions in the manual (the cook book that comes with the Smart Inverter is near useless) and did it twice in one week. Both times came out perfectly cooked, evenly cooked and just as easy – maybe even easier – than doing it in the wall over. Also not as noisy or hit and miss in its cooking (or time consuming) as in my airfryer. Didn’t heat up the house and kids were super happy. I really must try it now with homemade chips and see if just as successful!

lg-neochef-potato-gems

Potato Gems for Hungry Hordes.

The only other thing I’ve had a chance to try in my Smart Inverter was pizza. At first I just wanted to prove some yeasty dough and was then going to make it into an old style Lardy cake… but lunch time was approaching, I had a house full of hungry hordes and not much else on offer. So I checked my giant pizza dish fitted in the Beast (that’s a 13 inch diameter pizza pan) and it did! So I put the dough on it (gorgeously fluffy from its proving), smeared on extra virgin olive oil, herbs and some salami and mozzarella cheese. Put it in on the pizza cooking setting and left it do its thing.

Yes the dough used was probably two thirds more than the recipe that comes with the Smart Inverter, but it cooked through, puffing up more like a giant focaccia than a pizza. But it was cooked all the way through, cooked evenly and my kids, hubby and visiting family members loved it and want me to it again – often!

So another win to the Smart Inverter.

Pizza montage.jpeg

Dough proving, proved, baked into a giant pizza, eaten. Yum.

Other than these minor experiments, I have been trying to find if there is a way to cook popcorn in the Smart Inverter using the Crisp Tray and Steam dome… I even asked Mouths of Mums via Facebook message but couldn’t find the recipe anywhere and got no reply (but it was Christmas and the New Year after all). So that is the downside I have to the Smart Inverter… I don’t feel that confident just yet to experiment with it like I do other devices as I am terribly worried about breaking it – I love my beast too much!

Though I have gained some confidence after both the yoghurt and pizza so can see myself just going for it one of these days. It can’t be any worse that popcorn in an airfryer, right? And that is still a laugh!

For now I can honestly say I am LOVING the Smart Inverter and have hardly used any of my other cooking devices since then. Making pizza in it didn’t heat up the whole house like my wall oven would have – a huge bonus when summer gets so hot – and it reheats food faster and more evenly than my old microwave… which is now looking for a new home as the Beast is here to stay! 🙂

Would I recommend this device to others?

 Yes I would, I have already been making friends and family jealous when listing all the things it can do and all the things I have made – and plan on making with it. I do feel, thanks to the lack of recipes and support that come with the Smart Inverter that it is better suited to someone who has had a similar device before. This is not a Beast for a new cook or someone who needs their handheld throughout the cooking process. The Smart Inverter is definitely not for the inexperienced.

Would I buy this device for myself?

The price still daunts me… but so far it is worth it as the Smart Inverter is so many different devices in one you really are saving money when buying one as it replaces pretty much everything else!

In summary – A heavenly helper sent to help those into whole food cooking make food faster, easier and for more people. Loving it!

Until next time,

Janis.

 

Product Review – Crio for One + 3 Taster Packs (Cavalla, Coca River and Vega Real).

crio-bru-gift-pack

4 out of 5 stars.

I bought this item with my own money from Crio Bru Australia.

I am in no way affiliated with Crio Bru Australia – other than being a frequent online customer.

Disclaimer: I am not being paid to make this review, nor am I deliberately singling this product or company out. I’m just trying to give an open and honest review on items I use in my household.

Please note:  This review is based solely on Crio for One + 3 Taster Packs (Cavalla, Coca River and Vega Real). This is not a review of Crio Bru, or any other products, services or business they may offer.

My Review:

What can I say? I enjoyed the Crio Bru Mojito so much I just had to try a few more sample packs. And how better to try them than with a double walled glass and diffuser!

Let’s get the minor negatives over with first – they are tiny and down to personal taste rather than flaws in the product.

Firstly, the glass wasn’t big enough! 😀 Sorry, but I like a BIG cup in the morning and so have a much larger double walled glass – which this diffuser fitted in perfectly.

Secondly, the diffuser was made of plastic. Not silicone or metal but plastic. I’m not a fan of plastic, especially when heated like this by having boiling water (well 95° C for French Press) poured through it. So, yeah, minor thing but it does mean I don’t actually use the glass or diffuser that often – only when my bigger glass and metal diffuser are in the dishwasher. See, I have a work around and am not devastated so it’s all good! 😉

crio-bru-cavalla

My big mug – Cavalla was tried first.

Now the good side of things… Wow I love the variety I tasted between these three flavours. I heated them all the same way and sweetened them with either coconut sugar, coconut nectar or date syrup and added either a Coconut rice milk or Almond Coconut milk.

Sometimes I drank them hot, other times I steeped them overnight and drank them cold the next day, just to see how they go as both a hot Crio Bru and an Iced Crio Bru.

I have to say, out of the three, that the Vega Reál is my absolute favourite. It just works so well as both a hot and cold drink, the flavour is strong, but not too strong and stands out against the flavours of the sweeteners and the milks.

The Cavalla was nice too… but did get hidden by the other sweeteners and milk and, as much as I like the Coca River, it is a bit too strong for me. If you ever need to pull an all-nighter to reach a deadline – drink the Coca River!

crio-bru-iced-cavalla

Iced Cavalla – a family favourite for my kids too.

I must emphasise they were all totally delicious and thoroughly enjoyed by myself and my family… but the Vega Reál is a stand out winner for me!

The only downside to this gorgeous pack is that I now want to try ALL the different flavours… and so need to save my pennies and work my way through. As I really want to review each flavour on its own to give it the time and effort it deserves. A hobby for the New Year maybe? 😉

Would I recommend this product to others?

Yes I would. Yes I felt I had a better glass and diffuser already, but not everyone is a tea and chocolate snob like me so won’t be as well-equipped and so this pack is an excellent way to be introduced to the wonderful world of Crio Bru.

I also love how the pack gives you a range of flavours. A mild, medium and strong… to help you decide what level of Crio Bru best suits you. I feel this would be the perfect gift for lovers of Cacao and those who love coffee but just can’t drink it – like me.

Would you buy this product for yourself?

I did, love it, have no regrets and have used it daily since I got it. The thing I love the most about Crio Bru is it is like having coffee… but not getting the ill-effects I have always gotten from it. No heart palpitations and headaches from Crio Bru!

Secondly, it’s more than just a cacao drink. Yes I drink powdered cacao too, well, I used to but I feel Crio Bru has now replaced that. Why? The flavour is so much better and I don’t get the Cacao headache. So I win on both accounts! I get to feel like I am having coffee, actually drink cacao and get all the great pick up effects of it and none of the bad ones I get from coffee or powdered cacao. Win win!

In Summary: Better than coffee. Better than powdered cacao. A good flavour selection and an excellent starter kit for anyone wanting to begin their journey with a much better, healthier drink!

crio-bru-coca-river

Kicking off Monday with a Coca River in the glass that came with the pack.

Until next time,

Janis.

Product Review – LG NeoChef 39L Smart Inverter Convection Oven. (1 of 4 reviews)

lg-neochef-smart-inverter-convection-oven

3 out of 5 stars.

I would like to thank Mouths of Mums for giving me the opportunity to review this device. I was sent a free LG NeoChef 39L Smart Inverter Convection Oven in exchange for at least four reviews. This will be my first of the four published to both my own blog, as well as to the Mouths of Mums site.

Please note that my rating for this product may change in each review as I get to know the device more, learn the tips and tricks and so on. For now, the rating is 3 out of 5.

I can see the rating will most likely go higher, I just simply haven’t had the time to try my new kitchen baby that much as it only arrived late Tuesday, it is the last week of school for the year for my kids and, well, things have been a bit crazy. My review today will be more a ‘first impressions’ opinion, and my next review will be where I start putting the NeoChef through its paces.

And so, what are my first impressions? Gosh it’s big! 😀 It is not only a little bigger on the outside to my old microwave, but inside it is HUGE! You honestly could roast a decent chunk of meat for a large family in there. We don’t do roast turkey at Christmas time as way too hot, but if we did I can see the LG NeoChef 30L being able to do it. The back of the device also sticks out a lot more than my old microwave and we need to actually pull it into the middle of our bench and away from the wall to use it so we ensure it has the required 20cm space around it when cooking.  Then there is the fact the door swings down, rather than out to the side and this just adds to the amount of space it takes up. So yes, the size it in some ways a bit of a negative… but I have seen it as an excuse to re-arrange my kitchen and maybe install a new cupboard! Win win! 😉

lgneochef-arrival

It is here! And JUST fits on my ugly avocado bench top.

We took it out of the packaging, loved that it actually came with both racks and the crisp tray and steamer you need – unlike the Philips Airfryer that said you needed these items but didn’t include them – so another big positive right there.

I went through the instructions and did the ‘warm water test’ it asks you to do to ensure the microwave wasn’t damaged in transportation. All works well and what a groovy little tune it sings when it’s done. Much better than that monotonous BEEEEP most microwaves do. I will have to try and record it to share if I can. Too cute.

The microwave did have that “new item” smell and there were no instructions on whether we needed to give it a wipe out, heat it for a while first, etc. before use and so didn’t. I do feel we should have as, the first thing made in it was using it as a griller and the whole house filled with a chemically smell and we were uncertain if the food cooked should be eaten after the odour. In most heating devices – like a wall oven, toaster or kettle, they do advise you to heat it up first before use. Nothing of the sort – besides the ‘warm water test’ of 20 seconds – was mentioned in the manual. Oh, and there is a big spelling error/typo in that warm water test. We assumed we were to FILL a cup with water, not FILE it with water as said in the manual. But I am yet to see a manual these days that isn’t riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes. I know a lot of my work includes such clangers too, but I’m a reviewer and not a major company. You would think a major company could spend more money getting their written documents up to scratch.

But perhaps I am being a bit picky as user manuals and documentation is what I used to do for a living!

However, speaking of bad documentation, the cook book that comes with the LG NeoChef is horrible! You can clearly tell it was either written by someone where English is not their first language or, more likely, some sort of translator software was used. It is not pretty and I don’t think I will be able to use it to make anything. Which is a shame as I am yet to find any recipes online for this device either. I would have at least expected something at the LG website, but zip!

Okay, that is enough of being a negative nelly as, quite frankly, no modern device has a decent cook book or easy to read manual no matter the brand. And, more importantly, I don’t want to say anything too mean about my new kitchen baby as I love it too much! 😉

I’ve only used it to reheat meals, melt some honey and coconut oil for some honey roasted cashews I was making, and grill a cheese sandwich. But it is early days people! I still have a piece of pork to roast in it, a stew to slow cook, yoghurt to make and, according to my children, popcorn to pop. I also want to see how it goes as an airfryer as it has such a marvellously LARGE capacity.

For now, all I can tell you is this:

Melting coconut and honey – took 35 seconds, heated it evenly and quickly, easy to figure out how to use it and to raise or lower the time as needed. Loved it, worked a treat.

Reheating food in it – again it evenly first time and that makes SUCH a different to other microwaves where there is always one part that is piping hot while another is stone cold. Again it also took less time to do and the cooking time and heating level was super easy to change (I had read the manual you see). No complaints, big thumbs up.

Grilled cheese sandwich? Divine. My eldest daughter (11) made it with me driving the NeoChef.  She complained it took too long as she normally makes toast, slaps some cheese between it and zaps it for 30 seconds. Where with the NeoChef it was like using the griller in our oven – only easier! Took about 4 minutes a side to grill, it did it evenly so no burnt patch next to an underdone patch and definitely less fuss and bother than doing it in our wall oven. So, for me, a win. All my daughter could say was “It’s alright, and not as soggy as the old microwave”. Still, can’t please everyone!

lg-neochef-as-a-griller

Making a grilled cheese sandwich. Just four minutes per side for even toasty goodness!

I will say though that in grilling the sandwich in such a smooth, even manner I see GREAT potential for making pizza in this oven. Either using a homemade base or even just a tortilla, pizza in this baby looks like it’s going to be A-MAZ-ING! I can’t emphasise enough how amazed I am at the even cooking/ heating/ reheating it has done. Have NEVER seen that in a microwave before!

All in all though, for the limited interaction I have had with the LG NeoChef Smart Converter Oven, no complaints from me! I simply cannot wait to try a few more things and report back to you all next week. I just need to decide with I want to bake, roast, grill, slow cook or make candy! I feel I will need to pace myself and that this is going to be the start of a long and very happy relationship!

Would I recommend this device to others?

 To be honest, I feel it is too early in my reviewing to make that sort of comment. I mean, yes I am loving it and can see a lot of potential in it as it is meant to be able to do so many different things… But it is quite a lot of money to invest into a device – average retail price is $700 – and so I want to put it through a few more paces before I would truly recommend it.

Would I buy this device for myself?

To be honest, due to its price, if I was looking for a new microwave right now I wouldn’t. BUT! That is also because I know nothing about it and would assume I have enough devices already with my slow cooker, thermomix, etc. The thing to realise though is this is more than just a microwave and if it ever does go to appliance heaven I feel there would be a big enough hole in my heart left for all it does that I now WOULD seek to buy a new one. But that is only because I’ve gotten to try one first.

In summary – so far so good, amazing how to heats/reheats/cooks evenly and I really can’t wait to see what else it can do!

Until next time,

Janis.

 

Product Review – Philips Airfryer Viva Turbostar. (4 of 4 reviews.)

airfryer-from-philips-site

3 out of 5 stars.

I would like to thank Mouths of Mums for giving me the opportunity to review this device. I was sent a free Philips Airfryer in exchange for at least four reviews and so this will be my fourth and final review published to both my own blog, as well as to the Mouths of Mums site.

Please note that my rating for this product may change in each review as I get to know the device more, learn the tips and tricks and so on. For now, the final rating is 3 out of 5.

The last week reviewing the Philips Airfryer, have I changed my opinion of it? Not a heck of a lot really. I tried a few things out and have come to the conclusion it does meat items well… veggie items – not so well.

Earlier in the week I made veggie chips for dinner. It was really a “let’s clear out the root vegetables” meal and consisted of potato and sweet potato chips. I first seasoned some oil with salt, pepper, sumac and savoury yeast, I then rolled the chipped veg in this oil and airfried them.

It took…. Sooooo long! About two hours to do all the batches of veg. So the rest of the meal was stone cold when the last lot of chips was done. And, no matter how much I let them sit on paper towel, they did not crisp up and stayed soggy. So not so much chips as, well, cooked soggy veg. And the constant loud, droning noise of the airfryer for the two hours it took? Headache making and just added to the misery. Seriously this wasn’t a good meal no matter how photogenic it looks here.

airfryer-chips

Airfryer potato and sweet potato chips.

This morning I did two final meals with the Philips Airfryer, just to see if it could do them and, well, it could.

Firstly I made Tamari almonds – which is just a cup of almonds tossed in a couple of teaspoons of wheat free tamari soy sauce and then roasted. This went well, took me half the time it usually would and the airfryer is definitely easier to clean out after making them than the tray for the oven would be.

airfryer-tamari-almonds

Airfryer Tamari Almonds.

I then did a fry up as, what else should an airfryer be cook at than frying food? It took me 20 minutes to fry up 5 long rashers of Kanmantoo Bacon, half a Torunska (a Polish like Kabana) and 2 large mushrooms. And at the same time I was able to make toast, scramble some eggs and make a cup of tea – and not burn or ruin any of it! So, unsurprisingly, the airfryer was good at a fry up. But as fry ups are an occasional meal in my house – not a daily or weekly occurrence – I can’t say whether this is a bonus or not. I mean, it was faster, easier and much easier to clean up after… but as it’s not something I do daily or weekly, was the airfryer a lifesaving kitchen device? No, not really.

airfryer-fry-up

Airfryer Fry Up – bacon, torunska and mushrooms.

But we do eat Tamari almonds weekly – if I bothered making them – and I will admit the airfryer did make them quickly and easily… so maybe my family will start getting Tamari almonds more often now?

I also do still wish the airfryer came with all the accessories it was advertised at having as, quite frankly, I would have loved to have tried making my granola in it, as well as bake bread and cakes… none of which I can do when all you get is just the basket.

Would I recommend this device to others?

After the four weeks? No, I really don’t think I would. It really does still come across more as a kitchen gimmick than something that would be a time saver in the kitchen. For a family my size and for the sorts of whole foods – no pre-made rubbish – that we eat, there are far better cooking appliances out there. An example would be – a decent sized fan forced oven with some cook cooking racks and trays.

Would I buy this device for myself?

No I wouldn’t. I am still in two minds as to whether I will keep this one given to be as a freebie or give it away to someone more into the types of foods it seems more designed for – reheating pre-made stuff.

I will admit it was great at cooking certain types of meat, and much easier to clean… but the size of the basket versus the size of my family meant I needed to cook multiple small batches of food over a long period of time. And, to feed my family on time, I would much rather just use my oven and have the not so perfect pork belly ribs or similar… just so we all got to eat at the same time and eat a hot meal at that. I don’t want to spend hours waiting while cooking so many batches – which is exactly what I had to do with this airfryer. It is noisy too and after having it on for so long the silence of it switching off it about the only nice thing I can say about it. And, I will add, I’m an owner of a Thermomix and I am saying this is loud… that says a LOT!

In summary: The airfryer is great at cooking some things, not so good at cooking others. The basket size is too small to cook large enough portions for a family of 5 and it takes way too long to cook all the small portions to feed us. I feel far more suited to people wanted to reheat pre-made foods for snacks and parties than someone looking for a useful kitchen device to help them cook wholefood meals for their entire family.

Until next time,

Janis.

Product Review – Philips Airfryer Viva Turbostar. (3 of 4 reviews.)

airfryer-from-philips-site

3 out of 5 stars.

I would like to thank Mouths of Mums for giving me the opportunity to review this device. I was sent a free Philips Airfryer in exchange for at least four reviews and so this will be the third one published to both my own blog, as well as to the Mouths of Mums site.

Please note that my rating for this product may change in each review as I get to know the device more, learn the tips and tricks and so on. For now, the current rating is 3 out of 5.

Okay… so this week I did more ‘from scratch’ cooking with this device and wasn’t as displeased with how it handled as I thought I would be… that’s me giving it a compliment by the way. 😉

Basically, what I did was chat to foodie friends who already own an airfryer of some sort and ask them what they liked cooking in it. Whole food suggestions only, no snip and serve rubbish. They told me pork belly, chicken, bacon (we know that one), veggies and so on.

So this week I tried a few things. Firstly – some marinated pork belly ribs from Barossa Fine Foods – they marinated them, not me. I love their marinated spare ribs, been a fan for years and usually grill them for half an hour 45 minutes and then have a lot of messy grease and oil to clean up afterwards. Sooo yummy… but very messy too.

But doing them in the airfryer? Done to absolute perfection within 15 minutes. Still moist and juicy (not dried out and burnt like what sometimes happens in the grill), crispy crackling rind and I have to say the best way I’ve cooked them in all the time I’ve been eating them. Better still, cleaning up! Once the airfryer had cooled down, just wiped it out with some kitchen paper – that then went in the compost – and into the dishwasher with the airfryer parts– came out clean first time. No excess grease, mess, oil, etc. Far easier way to clean – so win win on the round airfryer!

airfryer-pork-belly-ribs

Marinated pork belly ribs.

 

I will, however, add that I cooked five small ribs in it in that time… as my kids don’t like them and they were just for hubby and myself. My kids had sausages and I would have probably had to spend an hour cooking those in batches in the tiny fryer basket so they were put in the oven. So yes it won pork belly ribs… but lost as a way to easily cook the whole family a meal.

The second recipe to try was my Asian style fried chicken… This is chicken breasts (or thighs for a budget) cut up and rolled in cornflour that has been seasoned with “pink” salt, freshly ground pepper and Chinese five spice. I usually deep fry it in coconut oil… which is yummy, but another messy experience and quite time consuming to do.

airfryer-chicken

Asian style fried chicken.

Airfryer version? Well, I had to cook in batches – but have to when deep frying too so no biggie there – and tried cooking the first batch without oil… Super dry and a bit dull… but still tasty. The remaining batches I sprinkled with some local extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and then cooked –much better. Just had to come and remove and shake the basket every few minutes rather than spending an hour standing over a pot of boiling oil. Nice change. The chicken still came out a bit dry, but not so bad and the kids and hubby yummed it up with some rice. I added some sweet chilli and tamari soy sauce to mine. Yum.

airfryer-chicken-with-sauce

Asian style chicken in sweet chilli sauce and wheat free Tamari soy sauce.

So, it took about as long to cook as if I deep fried it, but I didn’t have to be there and be on my feet (which is great with my current bad back) for that whole time.

Cleaning was a breeze too. Another wipe out with kitchen paper – then composted – and into the dishwasher. Not pan of used coconut oil to dispose of, no oily splatters all over the place – nice, simple and easy.

My goodness? Two things from scratch the airfryer is doing amazingly well… who would have thought it?!

I feel I have proved to myself I was wrong about the Philips airfryer to some extent. Yes it is still best suited to do snip and serve reheat pre-made foods… but it CAN be used for from scratch and it does it in a less time consuming, cleaner fashion. Just too small to do a decent family sized meal using just the airfryer to cook the meat.

Though, I will add, the recipe app for Android is STILL BROKEN since their update. I’ve reported it half a dozen times and even left a poor review on the apps page (and I am not alone with my complaint either from all the other people reporting it). It’s been three weeks now and the app has not worked since that update. So that has helped keep my score low as, quite frankly, a product with next to no decent customer support – which this shows – is a poor product indeed.

Next week I will be trying to cook asparagus in it, as well as see how it goes making another household favourite – tamari almonds. The whole roasting of nuts side of things has so much potential it is almost exciting to see what it can do!

Would I recommend this device to others?

If I am honest, the jury is still out on this as I have had such a hit and miss reaction to using it. I, personally, still feel it is better suited to those wanted to cook (reheat) pre-made foods from the frozen food sections at the shops… but do have to admit it cooks pork products – from scratch – pretty well. I would list the pros and cons and let the person decide if it’s for them. As it is an item that takes up a lot of space while not actually being able to cook a lot at once… and if you already have a cluttered kitchen and a large family to feed… you might still want to think twice about it.

I would also strongly advise the check what it is they are purchasing so they don’t end up with the one like me that lists all the fantastic things it can make… but then comes without any of the accessories, and so all you get is something that fries… I’m still frustrated over that, as it really does come across as false advertising!

Would I buy this device for myself?

I really don’t know… I am still undecided. It has been suggested I try buying the baking tin accessory and taking it for a spin. But as that is money I can’t afford right now, and I am perfectly happy with all the cake tins and my fan-forced Smeg oven right now, I don’t have a huge desire to go buy it. The airfryer is honestly just too small to bake something for my whole family anyhow. Though, one day, I would like to try bread.

In summary – it’s starting to show some promise, and I can see us using it to cook small batches of things in it, but still not a device I can easily cook a whole family meal in. Too small, too time consuming.

Until next time,

Janis.