As I’m sure you know, one of the features of a kosher kitchen is the total separation of milk and meat ingredients. This means that kosher cooks have two sets of pots, pans, utensils, serving dishes, crockery, cutlery etc. etc. – one for milky food and one for meaty.
However, the vast majority of food falls into a third category – parve (sometimes called parev).
Parve is a sort of gender-neutral, neither-milk-nor-meat catch all category which includes, among other things, eggs, fish, grains, fruits, vegetables, pulses, nuts, seeds… and all their derivatives like oils, flours etc. These foods can all be cooked and eaten alongside either milky or meaty foods. However, if you cook (for example) vegetable soup in a milky pan, you can’t then eat the leftovers with a meaty meal. Somehow the ‘milk-ness’ of the pan leeches into whatever is cooked it in…
If you’re organised like my Mum, you have a large parve pan specifically for making vegetable soups, rice etc. to serve with both meat and milk meals.
Anyway, when DH and I combined our kitchens, as you might imagine we had a lot of stuff. Fortunately, much of it was complementary – I had virtually no meaty equipment (since I don’t eat meat) while his milky selection was more limited. Unfortunately though, there were some items that we both had, which is how we ended up with two milky stick blenders.
Now, I love a good stick blender (or hand blender). They are brilliant for liquidising chunky soups, making smooth sauces, and a whole lot of other jobs. And we do use the two milky ones A LOT.
So, imagine my delight when I received the Braun Multiquick MQ325 Hand Blender to review! At last – a parve hand blender!!
We began to put the Braun hand blender through its paces. DH made me a delicious fruit smoothie, and the sharp, steel blades made short work of turning diced fruit into a smooth and refreshing drink. Braun claim that this is because the “Floral bell shape draws food towards the blades for fast blending results.” Whatever the reason, it certainly whizzed up the fruit in no time. DH also commented that the shape of the beaker included with the blender seemed to help the process along. So far, so good!
The blender also came with a mini-chopper attachment. If you go to the search box at the top right of this page and search for ‘mini-chopper’ you will see just how often I use one of these. They are fantastic for chopping herbs, mincing garlic, chopping nuts, whizzing up marinades, making dressings, and a whole host of other things besides. I use my milky one to make flavoured butter, so it was definitely milky. What joy to have a parve blender to do all that stuff for parve/meat recipes!
The final attachment included with the Braun MQ325 was a balloon whisk. Now, the whole ‘no dairy desserts after a meat meal’ thing has been taken as something of a challenge by kosher cooks, and there are all sorts of cream alternatives available in the shops – usually sold under the title ‘parve whip’ or ‘parve whip topping’. These chemical confections typically whisk up to a white, fluffy consistency not unlike whipped cream (or shaving foam) but they are IMHO no substitute for the real thing, and further, their ingredients lists look like something out of a chemical catalogue. How else could they have a shelf life of 3000 years?!
Anyway, in pursuit of something better, I decided to use my new parve electric whisk to try out coconut whipped ‘cream’. I read about this somewhere and couldn’t quite believe it would work, but it really does! A carton of coconut cream, whisked with the new Braun hand blender for a couple of minutes, created a bowlful of softly peaking whipped coconut delight!
Kipper and I had made some very easy tropical fruit jellies and the subtly coconutty fluff was the perfect topping.
I must admit that my amazing, all-natural, 1-ingredient, vegan parve whip wasn’t a universal success. DH was surprised that it tasted of coconut (!) and rather took against it on that basis. Personally, I quite enjoyed the subtle – and it really is subtle – coconut flavour. That said, I think this would work best on desserts made of things which go well with coconut, like tropical fruits, chocolate, rum… this barbecued pineapple for instance. After a night in the fridge the remaining coconut whip had stiffened slightly (much like whipped cream is prone to do) and I was able to dollop it onto a quick fruit salad. Yum. It’s good with strawberries, oranges and mango too, apparently.
I’d be interested to try making this parve coconut whipped topping with a drop of vanilla added, to see if it hides or highlights the taste of coconut. I’ll be experimenting and posting recipes using more of this wonder ingredient soon! Parve pavlova? Profiteroles? Trifle?! Watch this space…
Take the stress out of meal planning! Get deliciously easy, family-friendly recipes like this delivered straight to your inbox. Click here to sign up. (I’ll never pass on your email address to anyone.)
- 500ml tropical fruit juice
- 1 packet (kosher) lemon jelly
- 250ml carton coconut cream
- Use the tropical fruit juice to make up the lemon jelly according to the packet instructions, in place of water. Pour into four bowls or glasses and allow to set. Chill.
- Pour the coconut cream into a large bowl. Whisk vigorously (or use an electric whisk) until the coconut cream thickens to soft peaks.
- When the jelly is set, top with the whipped coconut cream.
- Eat immediately or chill until required.
- These will keep for a day or two in the fridge. Any unused whipped coconut cream can also be kept refrigerated and used to top fruit salad, cake or other desserts.
Disclaimer: I was sent the Braun Multiquick Hand Blender to try. I was not expected to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.