Monday, July 20, 2015

How to Organize Raw Food Kitchen

Raw food kitchen differs a bit from the "ordinary" kitchen. Depending on your personal involvement with raw food you may notice that you hardly ever use pans and pots, but that your blender, your dehydrator and your juicer take up all the space on your counter top. 

Organization is vital if you operate in a limited kitchen space, but it is also very useful in large spaces. You do not want to run with your ingredients from one end to another, do you? You also want to have an easy access to your kitchen utensils, glasses, china and cutlery.

There are at least four aspects of the kitchen to consider:
  • food storage
  • food preparation
  • food presentation and serving 
  • disposal
All these aspects are very important in a well organized kitchen and all of them depend on the space you have to your disposition. 

Raw food is "live" food. If you are doing it right, you primarily work with fresh, perishable ingredients. A well functioning refrigerator is a must, but you also need some space outside of the fridge for produce that should not be refrigerated. Onions, garlic and tomatoes, for instance, should not be stored in the fridge or they will spoil quickly. Make enough room on your counter top for a basket or a bowl that would hold produce that does not need refrigeration. Also remember to save enough space for your sprouting jars and pots of fresh herbs you may want to grow.

While eating freshest food should always be your top priority, it really pays off to have a fridge with a large freezer that can not only hold your frozen fruit and berries, but also has enough space to hold dishes that require freezing, like some raw desserts and ice cream.

Your pantry may have to store fewer ingredients than a pantry of a "regular" household, but you still need some space to store spices, dried herbs, cold pressed oils, raw honey, nuts and seeds. Use glass containers and jars with labels to store your food. First, it makes it easy to locate the ingredient. Second, it makes the storage easier since containers can be stuck on top of each other. In this way you are saving space. If you are using your own labels, remember to write any expiry date a product may have.

Raw food recipes vary from very simple to quite complicated. Depending on your personal preference and experience you may be quite happy with a cutting board and a knife and enough space to put a salad bowl. At some stage, however, you may want to add a juicer, a food processor or a blender. You will also notice that with a growing sophistication of recipes your juicer or blender are used daily. To make it easier on yourself you should find a spot on your counter top where you set your tools permanently. A very few raw food lovers keep their juicers hidden from view, in some dark cupboard or a basement. 

There is nothing easier than setting up a juicer. You only must remember to have an easy access to the power supply and to reserve enough space for a juice collecting jar and the bowl of produce you are willing to juice. The same goes for a blender. It really helps considerably when you leave enough space for the preparation of your juices and smoothies. If your counter top is too small to hold your tools you may want to buy a small kitchen trolley that can be moved around the kitchen. 

Dehydrator is a very useful tool in a raw food kitchen, but it takes up a lot of space on the counter top. If you decide to invest your money in a dehydrator, make sure you have a permanent spot for it in your kitchen and that you are using it often enough. There is nothing worse than money spent and wasted.

Once food is made you want to serve it. Most kitchen cabinets offer enough space for your dishes and cutlery. Make sure that you have enough space to put your salad bowls or pasta dishes. Once again, you do not want to run around your kitchen, unless you believe that this would help your digestion.

I personally find that raw food kitchen produces much less waste than a conventional kitchen and yet, there is still some refuse. Have a compost bin ready for the disposal of your organic waste. Whenever you can, buy produce without packaging and when you buy packaged goods, make sure that the packaging is re-usable or at least recyclable and bio-degradable.

Eating raw, living food is quite an experience. Make raw food preparation just as enjoyable.  

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique 

Dominique Allmon©2015


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