Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Useful Appliances for a Raw Food Diet

In my last post I mentioned Vitamix and Blendtec Blenders.  I would like to further discuss appliances and tools that are a great help when on a raw or mostly raw diet.  Some of these can be very costly, but well worth the investment.  They all do not have to be purchased at once (I don't own them all yet)  and many times short cuts can be made to save money in purchasing these items, like purchasing from eBay.  We think nothing of buying the best electronics and the latest phones or televisions.  Our health, however, should be of utmost importance.  Think about how you have prioritized these items and where you have been investing your hard earned dollars.  Where will you and your family reap the best returns?

High Powered Blender:  These are very helpful in making the smoothest green smoothies, soups, dressings, sorbets, sauces and dips.  I have owned several kinds of blenders and most of them break down easily.  The only two I would recommend are industrial grade Vitamix or Blendtec.  As I mentioned in my last post, Costco carries both of these at least once a year at a reduced price.  Another option would be to purchase a demo model directly from the manufacturer, also at a reduced price.  Ask customer service about their availability.

Food Processor: I use my blender most frequently.  But my food processor comes in at a close second.  I make an innumerable amount of dishes with the aid of my food processor.  Even without being raw, a kitchen isn't complete without one.  I have owned a Cuisinart for nearly a decade and a half without ever having any problems with it.  In the raw foods arena, I use this to make pates, freezer fudge, raw brittle, salsas, gazpachos and many other dishes.

Dehydrator: This week I have used the dehydrator more than ever before.  Previously, I had avoided it like the plague.  As I had mentioned before, I don't like how noisy it is, and the time it takes to prepare a meal.  But after using it and seeing how my children scarfed down the meal I prepared, it is making me rethink my position on it.  People like dehydrators because they make it possible to prepare meals that seem like they are cooked.  My kids would wring my neck if all I gave them were salads and salad-like foods.  I made Allisa Cohen's Chik-un patties (Living on Live Food) with cauliflower, carrots and sprouted lentils -- all foods that kids may not have on their favorites list.  They loved it!  I also made them brittle this week with sprouted sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, a dash of salt and enough honey to coat it all.  Another hit!  ExCaliber is my dehydrator of choice.  It has 9 trays and can do a very large amount of food at once.  The drawback is that it takes up a lot of counter space and, as I said before, it creates a constant background noise when in use.  This may be the appliance that gets stored and used in the walk-in pantry, if you have one.

Juicer: This is more of a toughie.  People have their preferences as to which they choose to purchase.  I own an Acme centrifugal juicer by Waring which is fine for using once a week.  I really like the citrus juicing attachment and how quickly it can juice.  Centrifugal juicers do have a drawback.  I can only fill a pitcherful of juice before I have to stop and empty the juicer.  Dr. Richard Schulze recommends buying a juicer like Champion that will expel the pulp while you juice.  If, perhaps, you are on a juice fast, stopping to empty the juicer several times a day can become laborious.   Greenstar  and Omega are more suited for juicing greens and wheatgrass.  These juicers take a longer time to juice.  If you want the finest quality juice, be prepared to pay for it.  The Norwalk is priced in the thousands.  I honestly don't see the need to spend that kind of money, however.  I am hoping to purchase an Omega by recommendation of a friend who juices.  Click here, here and here for a few different sites that discuss juicers and their differences.

Spiral Slicer: Of all the appliances I have listed, these next two items are the least expensive. They usually run about thirty dollars.  A spiral slicer can help you turn zuchini into spaguetti.  Allisa Cohen recommends the Saladacco.  Raw Food World has a few different brands; ask customer service which is most popular.  I have yet to buy one of these.

Mandoline: I would like to get one of these to make sweet potato and zucchini chips.  Here is a site that reviews them.

Citrus Juicer: I should get one of the manual ones like this one.  For now, I cut limes or lemons and just squeeze wedges with my hands to extract juice.  For oranges and grapefruit I use the one on my acme juicer.  It's awesome!  Yes, I'm a girl that gets excited over kitchen tools and equipment.

Before you jump the gun and make your decision as to what to purchase first, take time to consider what your needs are.  If you are very sick and need to improve your health as quickly as possible, buy a juicer. (Juice fasting, bowel detoxification and hydrotherapy, when combined, can be life saving -- including for those dealing with cancer.  Go to herbdoc.com or call 1-800 HerbDoc for books and information on how to do a juice fast cleanse at home.  Another source would be to contact the Gerson Institute.)  If you are fairly healthy, buy a blender to begin making green smoothies. 

I have never regretted spending money on these appliances.  I use them regularly.  I'm even beginning to use the dreaded dehydrator.  Hey, if it means having my kids eat raw foods, I'll go for it.

Enjoy the journey!