Uncooking Toys for the Kitchen

2

September 9, 2011 by Living Girl Living Foods

Ahhh a foodie and their kitchen. ❤ It can be a battle field at times having a blender, food processor, juicer, citrus juicer, spiral slicer, mandolin, dehydrator, sprout jars & bags, hanging herb bundles, bowls of seaweed or dehydrated tomatoes soaking and cutting boards & knives that I keep vegan friendly while having very little counter space and feeling like no kitchen will ever be large enough for me. All my toys take up a ridiculous amount of space and I'm always astonished when people do not believe me that I use multiple tools. I think people imagine me washing a carrot and eating it just like that for lunch. But just like cooking, there is an art to uncooking.

Here's a list of equipment in order of importance.

1. Juicer

2. Blender

3. Food Processor

4. Mandolin

5. Spiral Slicer

6. Sprout Bags/Jars

7. Ceramic Knives

8. Dehydrator

The most important thing for a person to have in their house if they want to consume more living food is a juicer. I own a Jack LaLanne that I picked up at Macy’s for a steal. It’s a pain in the butt to clean but I love having fresh juices, I feel amazing when I drink them because I am getting so many vegetables and fruits at once. Our bodies have less work digesting all of the nutrients, vitamins, nutrients, enzymes and fiber so you can quickly gain energy. It’s important to give your body this cleansing time to breakdown everything and help your body naturally detox. If you aren’t too crazy about vegetables I recommend juicing spinach, apples, and carrots (all together or solo, but this combo is quiet good). Cucumbers and celery are also great starters that produce lots of juice too.

My Hubby

Some other great companies to buy a juicer from are Champion & Breville. I’ve heard mixed reviews on Omega juicers so I’m a little reluctant to mention them. A coworker of mine has one and it’s even more difficult to clean than mine and it doesn’t break everything down well at times. The Queen of juicers is a Norwalk Press. A Norwalk juicer is the ultimate juicer because once you juice from it and keep your liquids air tight all of the enzymes, vitamins, minerals and fibers are unharmed for 3 days when refrigerated. It has a hydraulic press that is extremely gentle and sufficient that makes this possible. Another plus is this machine can handle wheatgrass which other juicers can not juice unless you buy just a wheatgrass juicer. So why don’t I have one of these? It’s around $2,000…I need to win the lottery. If you want to learn more about this juicer here is an informative review, this link also has reviews on other times of juicers.

If you do not have a juicer you can try using your blender. I personally have a blender that is absolutely terrible, it takes forever to make anything, the pitcher is small and it never completely blends anything. This is something I’ve been saving up for but it’s going to take a while longer sadly. I have my eye on a Blendtec ❤ ❤ ❤ Owning a blender is definitely the second most important thing to have in a raw kitchen. You will use it when making smoothies, dips, dressings, soups, desserts, nut milks and so on. Some wonderful blenders are Vita-Mix & Cuisinart. I personally think a Blendtec is the best, followed by Vita-Mix, and Cuisinart is third. I’m bananas over the Blendtec because it guarantees that it will not heat up your food, the motor on this machine is powerful enough to cut your lawn and it’s one of the fastest and smoothest blenders I’ve seen. It can blend credit cards and coffee even, and you can see it for yourself here.

Sometimes to get the right texture a food processor is the way to go. If you plan on making your own tahini, nut butters, coconut butter, truffles and energy bars. I have a food processor that my mother has had before I was even born by Cuisinart that still works wonders. Kitchenaid food processors are great too; I’d say these two brands are probably tied for being the best. Great blades, settings, easy clean up and lots of crazy attachments are available too.

To cut down on all of your cutting time a mandolin is a beautiful thing. Sometimes I just grab one of each veggie in the fridge and just slide them through a mandolin and make a salad. mandolins are great for making strips of vegetables which are great when you are building something like a sandwich, lasagna, slicing vegetables to dehydrate, “stir fry” and ravioli. Mandolins make shredding and shaving so easy that it is kind of fun. Please be very careful using all of this equipment, especially mandolins and spiral slicers.

These blades are sharp and to slide the vegetables you make loss your grip if you aren’t careful. I personally do not think it matters much what brand you buy just get a Japanese style one and not a French style (the French one is massive and is usually not made with the best materials).

Mandolin

I bought a Martha Stewart one that was on clearance. The main reason why I picked up this one is because it came with something to attach vegetables to, so it’s easier to use and safer. I like having fingers 🙂

When I first purchased my mandolin I was obsessed with it, then my brother & sister-in-law bought me a spiral slicer and I completely neglected my mandolin for a while. Sorry 😦 But spiral slicers make the most amazing noodles! I’ve made curly salads with beets, carrots and jicama with them before. Plus they are so much fun to use. You attach your vegetable onto spikes, lock it in place with a lever on the side and turn away. My spiral slicer is by World Cuisine, it comes with three different types of blades. One that makes shoestrings, another which makes wide slices and the third makes very thin shoestrings. Some vegetables are very difficult to put in here, like carrots if it isn’t very wide or thick. For the price, blades, and suction cups on the bottom this spiral slicer is fantastic.

<img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-60" title="Spiral Slicer

I have friends who swear by their Saladacco style slicers but there are only two blades and neither make a great spaghetti, your vegetables have to be cut into pieces 3 1/2 inches long or shorter and it’s more difficult to slice vegetables that are curved.

The blades on this are extremely sharp so please please please be careful. Especially when it’s time to clean up, I’ve cut myself before trying to clean the blade. You may want to use a vegetable scrubber when cleaning all of this equipment; it’ll speed up your clean up time and keep your beautiful fingers attached to you 😀

If you plan on sprouting (beans, green sprouts, nuts) then you are going to need a sprouting jar or bag. I actually do not sprout much, it makes too much beans or greens for me. Here‘s a great video by an amazing raw chef on how to sprout.

Now the last two things on my list are not essential at all compared to everything else. However, they are great to have around.

Ahhh ceramic knives, something I desperately wish I had myself. Ceramic knives are super duper sharp, light, durable and hardly ever need to be sharpened! Woo finally cutting some corners. Did you know you are actually more likely to cut yourself using a dull knife?

Ceramic blades are chemically inert, meaning they will not transfer any smell or taste to foods nor causing any oxidizing reactions (keeping your food alive for longer). My favorite company is Kyocera. I’ve heard great things about Shenzhen Knives & Boker as well.

I recently received an Excalibur dehydrator with four trays and I am pretty excited to have one because I can make great snacks to trips, treats to gift, and I absolutely LOVE kale chips and fruit leather. A dehydrator warms food at 110 degrees & this all depends on the settings of your machine. It’s a fun way to get that crunch you may miss from cooked food. I’ve made my own hot sauces, falafel, cookies, apple pie filling, kale chips, apple chips and lots of other yummy treats.

Excalibur!The Trays

This is an educational review on dehydrators that really breaks down L’Equip’s Model 528, Nesco/American Harvest’s Gardenmaster, Excalibur’s Large Garden and Living Foods’ Jumbo dehydrator. All decent machines!

Something to keep in mind, most dehydrators need teflon sheets, so whatever you are making does not fall through and sheets are sold by the piece typically. They are pretty expensive, around $7 each :/ So plan wisely, keep them safe & clean!

Today has been kind to me! The sun is just starting to come out after days of rain, yoga class this morning was just what I needed, and I came home to a package from One Lucky Duck 😀 My wakame, bended glass straw, teflon sheets and a free sample of their fig bar! The sample looked so cute all sealed up it took me a while to convince myself that I couldn’t just look at it I needed to eat it. Oh my goodness it was fantastic, I bet I could give someone one of these and they wouldn’t even realize it’s raw. The texture is perfect, it’s not too sweet, I love the fig filling too.

Bended Glass Straw from One Lucky DuckFig Bar Sample From One Lucky Duck

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2 thoughts on “Uncooking Toys for the Kitchen

  1. […] Dehydrators (105 degrees) are used to make wraps, desserts, chips, crackers, lasagna, candies, cakes, flax pancakes and etc. […]

  2. […] It’s difficult to place this in an order of importance but I think I got it I have a previous post that isn’t on such a budget but looking back at this now I can’t believe how low of […]

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