Kitchen Essentials for Raw Foods
Equipment for Preparing Healthy Meals
Just because we’re not heating up a stove to prepare raw food doesn’t mean we don’t need the proper kitchen equipment. A blender and standard knives would probably suffice, but a variety of tools facilitates preparation of a wider variety of foods. Good starters include:
• A great knife. Raw foods cooks slice and dice a lot, so invest in a chef’s knife, small paring knife and serrated knife, all of which should comfortably fit the hand. Wusthof, Henckels and Shun are good, long-lasting choices.
• Food processors. These work better than a blender for grinding nuts and seeds and making soups, sauces and spreads. Opt for a high-quality one (Cuisinart is always a safe bet) that has attachments for shredding and slicing vegetables. A mini-food processor also helps in chopping garlic or grinding nuts and seeds.
• A dehydrator. Although a dehydrator isn’t a must, it’s a help. Use it to make raw cookies, crackers, breads, fruit leathers and even ersatz burgers. The Excalibur dehydrator has a fan to distribute heat evenly and a temperature gauge to help judge how hot the food gets—important with a raw foods diet ().
• Spiral slicers. Great for cutting long, thin strips of butternut squash, zucchini or other vegetables to decorate salads or make raw ‘pasta.’ Joyce Chen makes a good, simple version (JoyceChen.com).
• A juicer. A good basic juicer is available for $100 to $150. Or, go for the gold with a Green Star juicer (GreenStar.com), a high-end model that actually presses, rather than grinds, the produce. This creates less heat, which increases the juice’s quality.