The raw kitchen is actually quite simple but it is very different in its focus and it does require a few tools that are not in most traditional kitchens. With the right kitchen tools transitioning to a raw foods diet is easier and more enjoyable.
Because of the variety of tasks that are required (smoothies, soups, nut milks, breads, batters, grinding nut butters), most raw foodies recommend one of the powerful high speed blenders (Blendtec or Vitamix). These blenders also have the added advantage of being able to warm soups for serving.
I had been using my old trustworthy Oster Beehive blender. I have had it for at least a decade and it is still going strong. Admittedly, it takes a bit longer than the others to make my smoothies and batters but it still gets the job done.
Recently, I finally decided to upgrade to a professional quality blender. Wow! What a difference. If you are serious about adding more raw foods and plant based foods, it is indispensable. After a lot of research I selected the Blendtec . Admittedly, one of the primary reasons I landed on this blender is because Costco had a major discount on it at the time I was looking. I have been happy with my purchase. I will do a comprehensive review later but my takeaway is this, Blendtec and Vitamix are both considered top of the line. I have friends who have the Vitamix and love it too. They are both noisy. I might choose a round carafe rather than a square for easy of cleaning, but I really have not had any major issue.
I am still using my Kitchen Aid 3-cup chef’s food chopper. The last time I prepared raw foods I had a larger one but this time I am making smaller batches of food so that I can eat a wider variety of things. If you have a family to feed you will definitely want a larger model.
Truthfully many of the high-end blenders can almost substitute for a food processor. I would buy the blender first but there are some things that a food process just does better, like grating cheese. (Not an issue for vegans). Many conventional kitchens already have this appliance. It is not easy to choose which raw kitchen tools to buy first, a food processor is useful but not at the top of my list.
And now for the not so common items.
To be honest, a mandoline has been a key item in my kitchen for most of my adult years. I had a Boerner slicer for over 20 years but the safety holder finally broke this year. I liked that particular model because it actually stores well (it doesn’t take up much space). The inserts allow you to make thick or thin slices as well as julienne or shred. It makes perfect fries too.
I bought the Kitchen Aid mandoline as a replacement. The benefit of this slicer is the extra safety over the blade. Storage is more of a pain with a very large safety holder and a container to hold the inserts. I love the color too. After trying the kitchen aid for a while, I decided to return to the Boerner. It just did not compare.
Below you will find a number of mandoline options. I still have my old Boerner and bought a new one for replacement parts.
The last time I was eating raw foods I did not invest in this tool because I had the Boerner slicer to julienne and I had to order it from a specialty store. This time around I was in the store and saw the Veggetti Spiralizer in the kitchen department. I couldn’t believe it and it was under $25 so I just thought I would try it.
This thing has changed my life! It is worth the investment to make the best vegetable pasta. I use it a few times a week. It makes simple work of turning sweet potatoes and other harder vegetables into tasty noodles.
Not all spiralizers are created equal, however. It is important that the device stay stationary while cutting the vegetables. The blades on the spiralizer are very sharp and you can hurt yourself if it moves around while cutting hard vegetables. We have highlighted some that have good Amazon reviews.
This is another not widely used kitchen tool that will make your raw adventure more enjoyable.
Last time I bought the Nesco dehydrator because of the price. I was able to make many recipes but the round shape with the hole in the middle was a little restrictive in terms of the appearance of my food. This model is well suited for making beef jerky and fruit leathers but not as flexible as I needed. But the price was right.
In 2007, the highly recommended Excalibur dehydrators were around $200 and up and I did not want to make that significant an investment in something that I might not use for long. This time on the trip to the store I found the low-end Excalibur 2400 dehydrator for under $100. I jumped at the chance to get it that day and have no regrets. It really is the dehydrator of choice for raw food lovers.
You can see that I have put my Excalibur on my stove top. I literally never use the stove.
If you are just experimenting with raw foods you may be able to get away without using one, but if you are trying to stay raw for the longer term you will need this to make things like breads, raw tortilla chips, nut flours, eggplant bacon and other dried foods. Also when the cold weather arrives the Excalibur dehydrator has a cabinet which can be used to warm food. Very handy!