Since there is no cooking involved it takes a lot of complication out of the equation. No need to worry about things baking weird, burning, under-cooking, or remembering pesky timers. Hah, take that, oven! Raw food preparation also means less mess and less clean up. Since nothing is baked or cooked on, it all washes off easily and sometimes I just need to rinse a dish off for it to be clean enough to put away. You will find yourself using less oil as well since you do not need to cook anything in it.
Yet another terrific feature of un-cooking food is the amount of creativity you can apply! Recipes are hard to ruin and easy to adapt. Essentially you are throwing a bunch of wholesome, nutrient-dense ingredients together in different forms and serving it in a way that is pleasing to the eye. If you loathe getting out your measuring cups, or are always worried you added too much of this or too little of that – this kind of cuisine is right up your alley. There’s no need to fret over exact measurements; you can pretty much eye-ball everything and change the recipe as you desire. Adapt my recipes as you desire; think of them as inspirational blueprints.
Lastly, I have found raw food preparation to usually be extremely fast (and easy) but there are certain circumstances when a lot of time is required to make a recipe. I am talking about fermentation, dehydrating foods, and soaking. You will sometimes see these semi-lengthy processes in my recipes, but not often, because I think raw food should be quick and easy. They are worth the time though, and usually increase or intensify the nutrition of the food.
On to what you are going to want in your pantry and fridge. It should be easy to guess the obvious – lots of fruit and vegetables. Just buy whatever is affordable and preferably local and organic. Hit up your city’s farmer’s market and see all the cool hippies buying alfalfa sprouts – you better grab some too. Foods I regularly use are berries, bananas, apples, oranges, avocados, tomatoes, cucumber and bell peppers. Veggies I often eat are broccoli, cauliflower, onions, eggplant, garlic, yams, zucchini, beets and carrots. Stock up on nuts and seeds (cashews, almonds, walnuts, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.) and dried fruit (especially dates, raisins and prunes) – they are the base for almost all my raw desserts. You will also need coconut oil and cacao powder for many of my recipes.
Even if you’re making raw food recipes every day, you don’t NEED any expensive equipment. You can thrive on the simplest and most natural meals: fresh and dried fruit, sliced veggies, nuts and simple salads. Having said that, sometimes you gotta mix things up simply because it’s just so much fun and tasty. On top of that it keeps things interesting and easy to stay on track if you ever feel yourself getting bored. Although… when has a kiwi ever been boring? Yes, that was a serious question.
Some of this equipment has been specially designed to increase nutrient density for you and help you get the healthiest foods in your body in super efficient ways. For example, with a good quality juicer fresh made juice enters your blood within 15 minutes. And with blended smoothies – I can gulp down way more greens and fruit than I would like to chew, so it saves me time and energy. No matter what your diet is like, buying and using these pieces of equipment will help you find new and exciting ways to experience healthful food. Some of them are a bit pricey, but trust me when I say they are worth every penny. Invest in your health and vote with your dollar!
The appliances you may want to think about buying are: a high speed blender, a food processor, a good quality juicer, and a spiral slicer (spirooli) or mandolin. I recommend buying a Vita-mix or Blend-tec blender, and an Omega juicer; other good brands for juicers are Green Star or Champion. I hear Cuisinart makes a good food processor. One more appliance that may come in handy is a dehydrator, but you can use your oven at it’s lowest temperature if you aren’t ready to make the purchase. The best brand for dehydrators is Excalibur. Remember – you don’t NEED all or any of these appliances, but I do use them for most of my recipes. You can always look for used ones, or more affordable brands.