Tryazon: GEFU and Wheat Belly, Healthy-n-Lean 2015 Party Review #GEFU

IMAG2196

We are still in January and while many of us started at the beginning of the month with positive changes and planning for the “new you in 2015”, many of us are probably running dry when it comes to ideas, making time to eat well, and falling back into 2014 habits.

I’m all for making what I do today (i.e. eat veggies) so much better and even different. Why not? I grill, bake, saute, even eat veggies raw to just mix-it-up a bit. In comes GEFU, with a heck of a line of products that make eating healthy and well easier but in some ways better. I say better because it encourages us to eat as we should be eating, not feel like a perma-diet! I love pasta and I can reach a moment where I think making pasta primavera means at least it has veggies……so it’s sort of healthy. I even try 75% veggies with 25% pasta and my results are, I’m still craving pasta! GEFU not only will make my veggies a texture and let’s just say it, a shape that is more desirable. Their line of kitchen tools will make any dish from any cuisine a little new again. It goes beyond just pasta for Italian meals but think Asian dishes with vegetables that match rice noodles or just the vegetables themselves become the noodle!

I received these 4 GEFU kitchen tools to experience:

GEFU Spirelli Spiral Cutter in action on YouTube; Spirelli product details via GEFU

GEFU Julienne peeler, Striscia

GEFU Lemon Juicer

• GEFU Julienne Peeler ASIA (new to the US)

Plus, a cookbook:

Wheat Belly 30-minute (or Less!) Cookbook

 

IMAG2197-1

The Spirelli Sprial cutter (Item #13460) is the go-to and easy cleaning tool to achieve that “spiral cut” you desire.  Love that you can easily use it and it’s dishwasher friendly, due to the way the product is made.  You have stainless steel combined with high quality plastic that will provide many days filled with spiral julienne strips.  You can use any vegetable, which is firm in texture.  This includes carrots, jicama, potatoes, zucchini, radishes, cucumbers and the list goes on.  Create salads using raw ingredients or you can par-cook, to fully cook vegetable so the possibilities are really endless.  I was able to add a new twist to an Italian salad by having a more desirable texture and shape.  The olives I left whole, so it would mimic little “meatless meatballs”.  I sometimes had to thin out a vegetable that was too big for the hole, however I now know to purchase medium sized ones when using this product.  I give this product a 4.5 out of 5 rating do to how much you can do with it.

Retail Price Point: $29.99 on-line and available on Amazon, to Bed, Bath & Beyond

 

IMAG2198-1

Presco Lemon Juicer (Item #124585)is of course more of a citrus juicer and not limited to lemons.  I have a juicer but the type you slice and then press, so let’s call it a citrus presser.  Mine tended to dirty more by needed a knife and a cutting board, to then the press itself.  Get the towel ready because it was also a sprayer.  Thankfully, with GEFU’s Presco juicer, I just dirty one item to complete the task.  The stainless steel pierces any rind and I get every last drop where it belongs.  The skin is left intact, so I can even use a zester to get more use out of my citrus.  I give this product a 5 out of 5 because it’s one of those that changes a common task into a new way and let’s face it, less messy!  Also, dishwasher safe.

Retail Price Point: $9.99 on-line and I found the product on Amazon, Sur La Table to Bed, Bath & Beyond

 

IMAG2199-1 (1)

The Striscia julienne peeler (Item #13660) has changed how I make Asian dishes to even what I spent a good amount of time doing, “stick fries”.  You simply take a vegetable and just like a regular peeler, you peel and get perfect julienne cuts every time.  Cuts prep-work time and I now go from doing the prep-work the night before, to doing it that same day.  The handle is ergonomic and easy to hold and control, something you want when some potatoes can be extra starchy and wet to carrots causing things to slide.  The cutting/peeling portion is made of quality steel and produces cuts every time.  I was able to use cucumber to make an awesome yogurt base salads, that went great with the flat bread and beef kebabs.  It’s a meal we already make but this just created a better and more uniform cut than I can produce with a knife……also no hand cramping!

Retail Price Point: $19.95 on-line and via Amazon, plus this one seems very popular and available at many authorized retailers

 

IMAG2200-1

This product is new to the U.S. and called the Julienne Peeler ASIA (Item #50410).  Shaped like a mandolin cutter, this product produces julienne cuts on one side and the reverse side, has a grater.  Like with many GEFU products, they used Japanese steel for the blades and the tool has a nice handle for control.  The grater portion has two types of surfaces, one for puree grating (i.e. horseradish, ginger, and the like), and the other has a spice grater for harder ingredients like allspice and nutmeg.  As you can see, the Asia portion in the name does not limit it’s uses.  I gave this one away via raffle because if I did not have all the components (separately unfortunately), I could see saving space and time with one tool.  I give this product a 4 out of 5 for making julienne cuts easy (I was told by my guest that won and tried it) and being really 3 tools in one.

Retail Price Point: $24.95 on-line and I did not see wide distribution yet, as this is a new product

 

 

IMAG2196

Not everything via diet books is always a fad and some diet books to hit areas about our overall eating.  With products being filled with corn, wheat, and really just fillers, no wonder we sometimes don’t feel at our optimum.  The Wheat Belly 30-minutes or less cook book allows the reader with ease to produce quick meals (no excuses!) that are healthy, delicious and gluten-free.  The way we should not eat sugar with every meal, well we probably should think about eating wheat with every meal too!  The book was easy to follow and even if you don’t want to make this your only way of eating, it’s an addition for those times you want to eat different.  Some of the guests felt the products needed and especially when cleaning out the pantry, was costly and restrictive but we all agreed that incorporating some of this diet is a must.  It’s cleaner and not to be taken at 100% (at least for us) but it showed us what more we can do with products we already buy (i.e. rice flour, bean flours, nut flours, ect.).  I don’t think it’s a book you can dismiss fully and it’s good to start 2015 with real changes!

Retail Price Point: $13.50 on Kindle and $16.37 Hard-cover

 

I was very happy with all the products provided and holding an event that focuses on vegetables is really cost efficient and easy to hold.  Most of us like eating the final products in their raw state or blanched and cooled quickly to preserve that crunchy texture.  We are all unfamiliar with GEFU products and not only were this great, but they have a huge array to choose from.  Now, I have my eye on that pasta roller! 🙂

 

 

Connect with GEFU products at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Tryazon, GEFU and Rodale Publications.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Advertisements

Remington: ICoffee with SteamBrew Technology Review

DSCN4237

With so many choices of coffee makers in the marketplace, each with their own patented technique for brewing or serving, a simple cup of coffee is not so simple anymore. I find myself asking, “Am I paying for a great cup of coffee or just a great looking machine?” I am chasing after the former because that is what matters most to me. I not only drink coffee but also bake and cook with it, so I don’t want to waste a drop!

DSCN4506

In comes iCoffee by Remington, with a technique that is all it’s own, SteamBrew. I have used a simple French Press, espresso makers, cappuccino makers, and even just the old fashioned simple drip-method from a common coffee maker. Each technique does produce different results even if you were to use the same coffee, so I was eager to try the “steam way” and see if it’s what I call “worthy to sit on my kitchen’s counter”.

iCoffee is very simple, not just from looks, but also operation. It’s simple enough that I did not have to refer back and forth to complex instruction manuals to see how to operate it. I really just looked at the quick-start sheet to make sure I was assembling it correctly. You can’t futz it up, with one place to add your coffee grounds (the reusable coffee filter) then add water in the back to the reservoir, where you add your water starting with a 2 cup measurement up to maximum capacity of 12-cups. The first feature I have to share is the happy tune this little machine chimes out. It makes me smile every time and iCoffee is eager to please so this is a great start. I was testing several brands of coffee, grinds and even brews (from light to extra dark), to get a range of operation and how successful the machine is in delivering a great cup of coffee.

The machine operates at a low level of noise and has the nice feature of being able to monitor the brewing process from a viewing window with LED light. You also have an LCD display that tells you when it’s heating water to when the cycle is complete, plus it signals you with a little music tune when done too. If you are not a morning person, no worries as iCoffee has a “mute” option if music or noise is not…..well, your cup of tea 🙂

DSCN4518

I tested Starbuck’s, Folgers, Gevalia, Green Mountain, CBTL, and Lavazza bagged coffees. I went with brands that are easily found in the marketplace and also reasonably priced.

Starbuck’s: I tested a blonde roast, breakfast blend to two different dark roasts. I noticed by the 4th try, that the steam method usually only loses about 1/4 cup of water (maximum) so you do get the most out of the coffee without losing moisture and this because the steam stirs the grounds. Here I found out what type is a worthy cup because if the blend was not of the best quality, you could taste it.

Folger’s and Gevalia: Even with lower quality coffees, the iCoffee gives you the best cup it can get out of it and significantly reducex the bitter notes, producing a smoother tasting coffee. Again, I was happier with these brands more than I usually am. These brands also produced more “sludge” but with the double filter, none ever made it to my pot or cup.

Green Mountain: Tasted the same as it does with my other machines, where it’s an “okay” coffee but I became less of a fan when I could taste everything it had to give and let me say it was not much. Made me reevaluate the brand!

CBTL and Lavazza: Best performing of the test group and this where I learned that like wine, a better (tasting) product yields better overall end results! These coffee brands do not cost the most but I tested a flavored Creme Brulee from CBTL and a Medium Roast from Lavazza. The inherent richness was immediately apparent. Not my French press, not even my expensive Krups Combo maker, ever produced a better cup than this one. We’re talking about a 25% intensity difference, and I mean it’s intense in taste, not necessarily in brew. It’s almost like iCoffee just gets more out of your grind and into the cup. I lost an immeasurable amount of water via the steam process with these brands, so again less water and the second filter also had less sludge.

DSCN4523 DSCN4525

Like any person that plans on a future purchase, I read reviews and found some unfavorable remarks about the “crema”, an essence to what some called sludge at the bottom of the pot when brewing is completed. Some even called it grinds that escape and this results in coffee grinds floating in your coffee. I tried reproducing what was reported by omitting the second filter and I could not. I have in my experience found more bits floating with a French Press and my drip coffee maker than I ever did with iCoffee. When I add the second filter, I had none…..like nothing floating at all, and a very clean carafe when it came to cleaning.

Quick Note on Pros: You will get a better tasting coffee cup and I went into the review thinking that I would not really notice the difference but once I had SteamBrew cup, I put my other machines away. I would say that speaks for itself and even though you do not have an additional espresso feature, a frother, or built-in grinder, the iCoffee is about producing the better tasting cup……period! It convinced me to also reevaluate my coffee selections because it will get the best a grind can offer. It made my not so pricey coffees taste better and my reasonable priced, but better quality coffees taste from great to fantastic.  A smoother coffee also means less sugar to offset the less desired notes and less creams/milk.  I even stopped using creamers because my cup needed no enhancement.  Flavored coffees yield a cup that delivers what you bought, so my Creme Brulee was more…….well, Brulee-ish and this means no syrups. I own everything from seasonal, to trends, to the plain Vanillas but I did not seek them out.  I just wanted to taste the coffee!

Quick Note on Cons: My only con is cleaning the system. It does take me 10 to 15 minutes by hand but please note that there are dish-washer safe components. I merely opted to just clean by hand so things could dry quicker. The 15 minutes is for a complete deep clean, like you can’t smell coffee was in the machine so I am sure a “quick-clean” would do well with a deep one on the weekend for everyday users. I am not a huge fan of shiny plastic and painted chrome parts, because with time it can dull and does not inherently lend itself to longevity, but then again this is personal preferences and has nothing to do with the operation of the machine. I just prefer a bit more metal and a matte (textured) plastic for looks.  Also, like with any coffee machine, the machine sometimes burps steam from the lid in small quantities, so please when brewing keep note of this so you do not cause damage to the underside of your cabinets with long-term use.

My bottom line is this: It makes good coffee great, but won’t make a bad one good. I would buy this machine. And if you want a simple no muss, no fuss great cup of coffee, and don’t need a machine that takes a PhD to operate and occupy half your kitchen counter, you should too. You owe it to yourself to try iCoffee.

Price Point: Retails for $169.95 (or less!) at most places listed on their site.

DSCN4524

To learn more about iCoffee, please visit them at:

I received the above product free of charge from iCoffee.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

%d bloggers like this: