“ Brand: Annabel Karmel / Type: Food Mill „
When I had my baby girl, my sister very kindly passed on a few baby things that she no longer needed, some which she found good and others she simply said 'see what you think'. This product, the Annabel Karmel Food Mill, falls in the latter of these categories, and so I didn't really ever think that I would use it.
Fast forward five months, and I have a daughter who is in the early stage of being weaned onto solid food, and I am working my way through a couple of weaning books, making different fruit and vegetable purees for my daughter to try. I originally thought I would hand blend everything however, I decided that after cooking some carrot for my daughter, I would try out this food mill first, and then decide whether it was worth keeping or not.
You can buy this Annabel Karmel Food Mill on her official website for around £8 which seems quite a bit when you see that it is very plasticy. There are three parts to this food mill. Firstly the hand grinder, which you turn as the food passes through making it into puree form. The second part in the blue outside plastic case, which keeps the puree food together and then you can pour or scrape it out. The third part of the mill is the pale purple part as seen in the picture above, where the food that you wish to be pureed is squeezed up to the grinder between this part and the main blue part.
Annabel Karmel suggests that this food mill, as well as being ideal for pureeing food, will help get rid of tougher bits that you may find in the likes of sweetcorn, and is a better way of pureeing potatoes than a food processor which break down starch leaving stickiness.
As I said at the beginning, my daughter is in the early first foods stages of weaning, where everything needs to be smooth for her to eat. When I first tried this with the carrot I had cooked, I actually couldn't believe how easy it was to use, and if anything a lot easier and quicker than getting out the handblender and getting it into a big enough bowl to blend it. I just scoop the vegetable or fruit that I want pureed into the compartment and turn the grinder with one hand, and with the other, I push the outside plastic down, to make sure all the food has been pureed. I then empty out the pureed food into the little food cube boxes to put in the freezer. I find that it purees the food very easily and well leaving them smooth enough for my daughter to eat and digest.
There are a couple of downsides however. Using this mill can be a little messy, as if you are pureeing a fruit or vegetable that contains a lot of water or juice, it will come out at the bottom, so it is essential that you have a plate underneath this mill as you grind the food, but it can leave your hands a little sticky and messy. The other downside is that it probably is of limited use, in that once a baby is eating more and therefore needing more food pureed, it probably would take too long to pass all the food through this mill, and this is when I think it is worthwhile getting the hand blender out, when quantities are larger, and so once you get past the early stages of weaning, this may not be much use, and I can already see that being the case with me.
So, all in all, although £8 is pretty hefty for a tool that has limited use, I still think it is generally a good gadget for the early stages of weaning. If you can pick one up second hand then even better and if that is the case, well it is certainly worth it for even for that short time.