Sunday, August 4, 2013

Tools For the Raw Chef

Many people I have spoken to feel intimidated by some raw food preparation techniques and often claim that they cannot afford all the expensive tools that are needed to prepare raw food. I agree with them to a certain point.

Raw food preparation doesn't have to be difficult and you may only need a good knife and a cutting board. But the raw food fun really starts with a bit more sophisticated techniques and recipes. You definitely need a good juicer and powerful blender in your kitchen, but juicing is more expensive than making smoothies. If you are on a budget and can afford only one of these appliances, buy a blender first.

The next stage would be a food processor and a dehydrator. Both tools are very useful, but if you can afford to buy only one - buy a food processor first. Food processors are extremely versatile kitchen tools that can be used for preparation of many different dishes - cooked, baked and raw.


I believe that people, who made the gradual transition from cooked to raw and noticed how their health issues disappeared with every bite into a ripe fruit or a glass of raw juice, are willing to invest in the state of the art technology. They quickly give their first juicer away and buy the most powerful one on the market. All the money saved on "unhealthy" stuff, medication, and whatever else is wisely invested in a work saving tools that make raw food preparation so much more interesting. In no time at all they begin creating and sharing their own recipes. New tools appear on the kitchen counter and new recipes are created or re-created.

I love my 1200 Watt Breville juicer that came with a 35-year warranty. I bought it in 2006 to replace a smaller juicer that gave up its life after about ten years of service in my kitchen. 

My Breville juicer

I own a powerful blender, but intend to replace it with Vitamix which to my knowledge is the most powerful blender on the market right now. Vitamix is prohibitively expensive, but I know people who swear that they would never use another blender after they tried their "Vi." The texture of the smoothies is much nicer and you can blend thing that do not blend well in less powerful blenders. 

Another useful tool that may actually compete with the Vitamix blender is the Nutri Bullet. I watched a presentation by David Wolfe. He made some stuff with it that made my mouth salivate. I re-created the recipe using a food processor, but it did not look like the one he made. The good thing is that the tool is rather small and portable. You can take it with you when you travel.

Much of my food dries naturally in the sun, but I also own a dehydrator. If climate and weather permit, you can dry tomatoes, apple slices, mushrooms, herbs and other goodies in the sun. But, of course, dehydrator will make your life so much easier. You can dry different fruit and vegetables and make bigger batches. This will save you a lot of work.

There are many other less expensive utensils that are very useful in raw food preparation:
  • sprouting bags or jars
  • vegetable peelers
  • spiral vegetable cutters 
  • julienne vegetable slicer
  • V vegetable slicer
  • mixing bowls
  • measuring spoons 
  • mortar and pestle
  • a sieve
If you are a beginner, start slowly and always follow the manufacturer's instructions to prevent the tools from breaking. I know people who wracked their blenders by simply overloading them with chunks that were too large and too difficult to process.

Get a good raw recipe book and start you raw food adventure!

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

Dominique Allmon©2013

P.S.

Even if you decide that you do not want to be fully raw, investing in good kitchen equipment will pay off. It will help you execute many recipes and minimize your work.

         
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