Rigging for Raw

When I first discovered and then embraced the Raw Food way of eating and living, it was hard to know just where and how to begin  to restock my kitchen.  During the last 5 years, and especially since I have been teaching classes on Raw Food Preparation, many people have asked me about different kitchen appliances, where I got them, how I like them, etc.  Hence, my hope for this page is to give you a starting place for consideration about the things that, over the long term, will be most helpful. This page will consider larger kitchen toys, which need to be plugged in.  Another page will deal with smaller, perhaps seemingly less important items, but that make Raw Food Preparation simpler.  (We all know, don't we, that Raw Food Preparation is not difficult by any means?  It does, however, require lots of cutting, chopping, soaking, grinding,and so forth.)

Here, then, are some of my favorite kitchen helpers.

And they are just a click away....right here! (When you order through this blog from Amazon, they help me to be able to reach out to more people by sharing a small bit of the profit from their sale to you.  So, to the extent this makes this easy shopping of good quality products and at good prices helpful to you, thank you for using this easy access to Amazon.)

One of the most important items to have in a RAW kitchen is a good Food Processor. While inexpensive ones are available and do and admirable job with many recipes, I have appreciated my Cuisinart 9 cup Food Processor.  You can click on the picture to see the details, and then order if you like.  It's that easy!
Cuisinart makes both bigger and smaller food processors. I was tempted to get a larger one, especially for big loads of pate`s and such, but this quiet, powerful motor takes care of almost everything I ever want to do with a Raw Food Recipe.  It is easy to clean, assemble, and disassemble. Its S blade works very well for not only pate`s, but puddings, nut cheeses, pie crusts and fullings, cracker mixtures, and the shredder and slicer blades take care of many vegetable preparation chores.  The machine takes care of anything I need a processor for. I love it!

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Just as important as a Food Processor is a Blender. Some foods can be prepared by either one or the other, but there are times when one appliance will do a much better job than the other. We had an Osterizer that was given to us as a wedding present nearly 50 years ago, which I rarely used. When I began eating more and more Raw Foods, and making lots of Green Smoothies, I used the blender several times a week, and so it came to live, not tucked away in a bottom cabinet, but front and center next to the Food Processor on the kitchen counter. The thing was so old that I was sure it wouldn't be up for the rigors of a high Raw Lifestyle, so I looked around for a higher powered blender. Most of the authors remind us that we can do most things with an inexpensive blender, and then say something like, "...the high powered ones are very nice to have." And of the high powered blenders, most choose between the Blend-Tec and the VitaMix. In my experience, people love the one they chose. (They're both so expensive, I suppose that we all do considerable research before purchasing one, so we're pretty satisfied with what we choose.)

Given that they are both very fine machines which could probably  process nuts and bolts if asked, I chose the Blend-Tec for three reasons.  First, it is not as tall as the VitaMix, so fits nicely on the counter under the hanging cabinets.  Second, with no protruding knobs and buttons, the Blend-Tec is easier to keep clean. Third, there is nothing to disassemble for cleaning that then must be reassembled.  Small point, I know, but easier IS easier.  Take a look and see what you think.

If you'd like to see some videos which compare the Blend-Tec with the VitaMix, you can view several on You Tube.  Just come back here to get to Amazon to place your order!  Thanks!
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The only Dehydrator I ever seriously considered was an Excalibur.  Every person in the Raw Food community that I spoke with or read highly recommended that brand.  They are big and square, so the trays are well suited to sheets of crackers and breads, as well as bulkier items such as kale chips or mushrooms.  My only question was the size.  The 9-tray seemed so big compared to the more modest 5-tray, but I was persuaded in discussions that the 9-tray would be a better long-term choice, for a relatively small increase in price.  I have not been disappointed, and so advise you, even if you are just starting out by yourself, as I was, to go with the bigger model.  They fill up fast,  even with thin things like crackers.  I often will have a "dehydrating day" when I make two or three different recipes.  The dehydrating takes many hours usually, so it's good to be able to have recipes share the space.
Another question may arise regarding size. "Where," you may ask, "will I store that big thing?" You are correct. It doesn't easily "fit" on many kitchen counter tops. People I know have been creative in placing it in their homes. I have mine in the laundry room, where it can hum away unnoticed. A friend of mine has a nice enclosed front porch where she keeps hers tucked unubtrusively in a corner. The good news is that once you put a recipe in there, it will be hours before you even have to check on it. It's much different from "checking the oven."

This one pictured here is the deluxe model, and I think that it may have a timer.  I don't have one on mine and get along fine. Others love their timers. Suit yourself.  However, when you purchase a dehydrator, make sure you include the price of 5 (for a 9-tray model) teflex sheets.  Sometimes they are included in the price of the dehydrators.  I don't think that's the case here, though I'm sure they're available on Amazon.  They are very important -- so important that I wouldn't purchase a dehydrator without having them, whether or not they are included in the price.  Enjoy!  And then share some of your favorite recipes with us!IU

I have elsewhere written enthusiastically about my relatively new juicer. I had had two previously, each with strengths and limitations.  The first was attractive on my counter, made juice very quickly, which was a plus especially when we had a crowd here for breakfasts. It's downside was that it didn't juice greens well, and it left a very heavy wet pulp, indicating that there was still lots of juice left to be had.  Next, I came into a very heavy, well known brand, which juiced everything and  left very dry pulp.  It was also harder to clean (though not by too much), took up lots of room on the counter and in the cabinet, and was very slow. I tried very hard to like it, mostly because it did do a very efficient job of juicing, but I found it just inconvenient.  My third try, however, seems to be the charm.  It is compact on the counter and in the cabinet, (where it rarely is because I use it two or three times a week), juices fairly quickly with little noise, and leaves good dry pulp.  Additionally, it is relatively easy to clean.  I am very pleased with it.  Lest my enthusiasm make you suspicious, check it out by clicking on the image below, but also view some comparison videos, which abound, on YouTube.  Happy shopping, happy juicing!

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