I often get asked by folks seeking to eat more fruits and vegetables or transition to a raw food diet what tools I recommend for a raw food kitchen and home. I’ve assembled this list—from blender and food processor to bidet and toilet stool—for all health seekers.
Highly Recommended Tools for Your Kitchen
This should say it all: The money I spent on my Vitamix 5200 blender is tied for the best money I’ve ever spent. I’ve used this high-powered machine to prepare fruit smoothies such as MangOranges, green smoothies such as Green ‘n’ Clean, Fruit Dream Raw “Ice Cream” and hearty salad dressings such as Pepper-Tomato Walnut Dressing every day outside days away from home (I even brought my blender with me on trips I could) since I bought it in June 2010. Vitamix blenders churn out wonderfully rich, creamy smoothies and salad dressings and save me time in preparation and cleanup compared with a few conventional blenders, which broke after just months of making fruit smoothies from 2006 to early 2010. Read my full Vitamix review.
A food processor is helpful in quickly chopping foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in creating a wide range of recipes, from salsas, salad mélanges and entrée fillings to pie crusts. A Vitamix blender can do so much, but I find a food processor excels compared with a blender in some food preparations, particularly when a wide blade is demanded. The handy time-saving food processor I recommend is the Cuisinart Prep 7 7-Cup Food Processor.
I recommend a scale for transitioning raw fooders to weigh food as part of learning how to count calories, a practice I strongly recommend, especially in the early going. We’ve instinctively counted calories our entire lives but need to learn how many bananas, mangoes and oranges make a meal. Plus, a scale makes it easy to add food according to recipe specifications. I use an OXO Softworks 11-Pound Scale, which produces fast digital results—all the way down to minute amounts, helpful in measuring herb weights.
No one likes a salad with a pool of water at the bottom of a bowl! Excess water from washing lettuce leaves makes for runny dressings. Use the OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner to dry your luscious leaves, readying them to stand up to the thick, savory dressings you pour atop your colorful salad creations!
Additional Tools for Your Kitchen
Some raw fooders enjoy juicing fruits and vegetables as snacks and for breakfast and also for short-term cleanses. Juiced oranges, some have told me, is their breakfast staple! The Omega 8004 Nutrition Center Juicer and Champion G5-PG710 Commercial Juicer are solid, affordable bets. Of these two models, the former is your best bet for greens, and the latter is superior when it comes to preparing Fruit Dream Raw “Ice Cream.”
Slicers for Creative Dishes
Paderno World Cuisine Turning Slicer takes fruits and vegetables and turns them into noodles and circular and curvy shreds. This tool is very handy in making Zucchini Spaghetti with Savory Marinara Sauce, a favorite recipe among transitional and longtime raw fooders alike, and other dishes. OXO Good Grips V-Blade Mandoline Slicer can make slices, julienne strips and crinkle cuts out of fruits and vegetables. It’s helpful in making Zucchini-Tomato-Pepper Lasagna, one of more than 25 recipes published in Alive!, my raw food transition book.
I reach for OXO Good Grips Citrus Juicer when making my salad dressings. Most days, I halve lemons and limes and give them a good squeeze and turn on this tool. So quick and easy!
I find 1-Liter Nalgene bottles are perfect for smoothies, especially for folks on the go and athletes who might find glass bottles to be too fragile for everyday use.
Lots of people own reusable shopping bags, which help save paper and plastic production and litter, but reusable produce bags are often forgotten about. Bring It Reusable Produce Bags will make you a better steward of the environment.
Highly Recommended Tools for Your Home
We don’t reach for a towel first when our hands are dirty from gardening. We wash our hands first. Since fall 2010, I’ve used a bidet, which trains a stream of water at the bottom, for less invasive, more hygienic cleanup and to save trees and money. No longer am I flushing so much money down my toilet! Until recently, I used a kind of bidet that calls for some toilet paper to be used, but my time in Thailand in fall 2013 showed me there is a better option, but it might not be for everyone. Explore these choices: ABS Bidet Shower Head Sprayer and LUXE Bidet Vi-110.
In nature, we’d squat when going No. 2 in the loo! Check out Squatty Potty, which promotes the correct anatomical angle by placing our knees above our hips. The result is faster, complete elimination, helping with constipation, hemorrhoids, colon disease, urinary difficulty for women and pelvic floor issues. Squatty Ecco is the most affordable model. With a bidet, a Squatty Potty creates a bathroom experience that saves so much time and energy—and makes you feel so much better! Squatty Potty also puts out bidets.
Most soaps contain harsh chemicals and allergens. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps—my favorite variety is hemp rose, with the runner-up, lavender—are mild and to my liking. I use this soap for washing my body and, occasionally, hair as well as in my kitchen and bathroom. It makes a great laundry detergent, too.