Posts Tagged ‘raw food equipment’

Raw Food Gift Buying Guide for the Holidays

If you eat lots of raw food, or know of someone who does then this list will help you pick the perfect gift this holiday season. This easy to follow raw food gift buying guide will come in handy this Christmas season.

One thing to keep in mind though, is that people who eat more raw food or are into environmental causes prefer to tread lightly on the earth. So only buy them something if you know they will appreciate the gesture. :)

Raw Food Books & Stocking Stuffers

Great Raw Food Books that make great Gifts

sweet-gratitude-raw-food-books

Alright, so I’m a huge book worm. If you’ve watched any of my more recent videos you know what my bookcase looks like. I personally love looking through raw recipe books for inspiration and to spice up my kitchen routines.

That being said, always check to make sure the person you are buying a gift for doesn’t already have the book you’re getting them. :)

Here are a bunch of great raw themed books that will be a sure hit this Christmas!

Dry Skin Body Brush

dry-skin-brush

If you’ve read my post on the benefits of dry skin brushing then you’ll know that most raw food lovers will enjoy this gift.

Here’s the gist of it: dry skin brushing is great for removing toxins from the skin, allowing for lymph circulation, reversing cellulite, and getting smoother skin.

I recommend the Purest Palm Body Brush, it’s the one I use every day.

Salad On the Go Containers

chill-and-go

This makes a great gift for anyone, regardless of whether or not they have kids. It’s a great container that you can bring with you whenever you travel, or even if you’re out and about for the day.

The lid allows you to store a salad dressing, and you can pack a delicious salad in the main compartment. Never worry about leakage or soggy salads again! Get the Aladdin Chill & Go for yourself, or for the health conscious friend who is often on the go.

A Case of Larabars

cashew-cookie-larabars

When I asked what makes a good gift for fellow raw foodies on Twitter, @LuvSchweetHeart recommended a case of Larabars. I thought it was a brilliant idea, and with so many flavors to choose from you can’t go wrong.

My favorite type of Larabar is the Cashew Cookie. It’s just got the best balance of chewiness and the flavor isn’t too overpowering. You can buy a whole case of Cashew Cookie Larabars online and have them shipped before Christmas!

Handmade Raw Chocolate Treats

Gnosis Chocolate offers a variety of handmade raw chocolate bars. You can order online, and have mouth watering chocolate in time for the holidays!

Shazzie’s Chocolate bars are full of superfood goodness, and are perfect if you live in the UK. There’s a flavor for the goddess in you and for the goddess in your raw food friend or partner.

One lucky duck treats are great if you live in New York City, but they also offer shipping. Why not treat your raw foodie with some delectable desserts and hand made cookies.

Nut Milk Bags & Sprouting Bags

I’m a big fan of making your own nut milks, and sprouting your own sprouts. If the raw foodie in your life has yet to explore these new ways to “cooking” then getting them a nut milk bag is the way to go!

You can buy the kind of Nut Milk Bag that I buy here, they are handmade in Vermont. I met the lovely lady who makes them, and it really made my day to know I’m helping local people every time I make some nut milk or sprout some mung beans.

Raw Food Appliances Make Very Generous Gifts

When I surveyed Twitter, @NaomiNiles recommended kitchen appliances and tools, and I totally agree! Some of my kitchen appliances came as gifts and I couldn’t have been a happier little witch. :)

The Cadillac of Blenders: The Vitamix

Vitamix

The Vita-Mix or sometimes known as the Vitamixer is definitely a top of the line blender. I know several people who are asking for one from Santa, too.

I got my first brand new vitamix this year and I cannot see myself going back to my old blender.

Yes, it’s expensive. But if you’re spending money anyway, you might as well get something that will last. The vitamix comes with a crazy 7 year warranty, a 30 day no risk money back guarantee, and they’re even offering a 3 payment plan.

The best thing about my vitamix is that I can make green smoothies for skeptical people and they love them. The secret: no chunks!

The greens go down smooth, and I know I’m contributing to someone’s health without forcing them to gulp something down uncomfortably.

Also, I get this question a lot – the Blendtec and the Vitamix are very comparable blenders, and I definitely recommend you get whichever one you personally prefer. Either way, you’re getting a high end blender that’s going to last you for years to come.

Food Processors That Make Tasty Meals

I happen to have a Magic Bullet, but to be honest since I got my vitamix I haven’t used another type of food processor. It’s enough to handle my blending and processing needs.

That being said, after getting a blender, I think it’s a good investment to have a food processor. If you are shopping for a new raw foodie who doesn’t yet have a food processor, I recommend the Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus Food Processor.

Raw Food Dehydrator for Crunchy Treats

excalibur-dehydrator

This is the cadillac of food dehydrators, it’s the Excalibur 3900 Deluxe Series 9 Tray Food Dehydrator. I’ve had mine for a few years now and I love having it to make raw crackers, cookies, breads, kale chips, and other dehydrated snacks.

You can also buy them second hand, or opt for a cheaper smaller version. Most dehydrators don’t come with a temperature setting though, but the Excalibur does.

breville-juicer-gift

Fresh Juicer for The Juice Loving Raw Foodie

I’ve heard great things about the Breville Juice Fountain, and many raw foodies recommend it. One of the benefits is that it’s a good quality juicer, for a pretty fair price.

It also has a wider opening, so you don’t need to cut fruits or vegetables as small to get them juiced.

omega-juicer-gift

The juicer I own is the Omega J8005 Nutrition Center Single-Gear Commercial Masticating Juicer. What I like about it is that you can use it to make green juice, and other treats like nut butters, raw fruit sorbets and ice creams, and baby food.

It’s got a heftier price tag, but because it uses a mastication system you’re actually getting more juice for your buck. Before I got this blender I always cringed when I saw how much juice was left in the pulp. Now the pulp is totally dry.

Pasta Making Spiralizer & Spiral Slicer

raw-spiral-slicer

One of the easy and delicious raw recipes that gets a lot of raw foodies excited is raw pasta! This type of pasta is usually made from spiral sliced vegetables like zucchinis or spaghetti squash.

After using a spiralizer, you get angel hair pasta! Or at least something that imitates the texture and look of pasta, but tastes light and delicious.

If the raw food lover in your circle doesn’t have a spiral slicer yet, you can go with a basic Saladacco Spiral Slicer or a more advanced Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer.

The Homemade Icecream Maker

raw-ice-cream-maker

Okay, so you can make raw ice cream using a vitamix, an omega juicer, and a food processor. Why do you need a specialized icecream maker you ask? Well apparently, we raw inclined folks like to collect kitchen gadgets… Just kidding!

With a specialized ice cream maker you can blend up the raw ingredients you like, then add them to the ice cream maker to get fluffed up. This is very different from soft serve ice creams you can make with the vitamix, the juicers, and the food processors.

I rest my case. This is the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker.

(And no, this is in no way a hint to my boyfriend or family members. Ahem. Seriously, though.)

Raw Ingredients or Superfoods

organic-raw-maca-powder

Most raw folks love to create in the kitchen and these ingredients are so much fun to experiment with! If you’re not familiar with what types of raw ingredients or superfoods you should get the raw foodist in your family or friends circle, here’s a quick run down.

Gift Certificates to Raw Food Restaurants

If you live near a raw restaurant, or are planning to travel near one then gift certificates make a great gift! What better way then to try some fun new raw dishes than by eating out at a raw restaurant.

There are tons of other raw restaurants out there too, so do a google search or look at Happy Cow to find ones in your area!

Gifts for Raw Moms with Kids

Raw Recipe Book for Kids

Kid Friendly Raw Recipe Book

This is the perfect gift for busy moms who want to include more raw foods into their kids’ diet. It’s hard enough being a mom, let alone trying to come up with raw recipes your kids will love.

With this ebook you’ll get your kids to join in the raw fun, and get recipes like Chunky Monkey Ice Cream, Froggy Delight Green Smoothie, and Alien Slime Smoothie. Yum!

Give Monkey Mike’s Raw Food Kitchen a Whirl!

snack-catchers

Kid-Engineered Snack Containers

These little Munchkin Snack Catchers are great when you’re on the go with younger kids. You can easily feed your kids munchables like grapes, berries, nuts, and seeds, without making a mess!

Your children can take out as many of the small snacks as they want, and there isn’t as much of a chance of spilling grapes all over the floor.

Giving Goodwill by Adopting a Family in Need

Master J. Begin wrote this short piece about giving to someone in need this holiday season.

This Christmas is going to be a real Christmas for us! Our group has decided to adopt a couple of families that truly are in need and the entire team will pitch in by donating gifts and food so they can have a wonderful Christmas.

The concept is easy: get in touch with a local childcare agency or church and ask if they know of a family that could use help this Christmas. Find out the number of family members and their gender, and voila you have your adopted family.

This concept can be used in your workplace or in any group. It is making this Christmas so exciting and fun for us! Imagine a wave of giving taking place across the nation… And it becomes a blizzard of goodwill!

Green & Eco Friendly Gifts

When I asked about green and eco gifts, @DRumbold had some great suggestions! Here they are. If you’re planning on hosting or would like a lovely eco-friendly bouquet of flowers, then Harmony Hill Gardens is the place to go.

Dorinda also recommended Eco Friendly Apparel from Green Changes. They’ve got some nice t-shirts that I’m sure some raw foodies would enjoy.

And of course you should check out some of Dorinda’s recycled green handmade soap. It’s just gorgeous, and will keep even the most adventurous raw foodies squeaky clean.

Another great gift idea for raw foodies is to buy JoeyFiveCents’ repurposed vintage jewelry. There are also a slew of other great small handmade gifts available on Etsy. I personally need to restrain myself from visiting the Etsy site, since there’s so much goodness there.

Another great place to shop for green and eco products is Carla Rose’s Green & Chic online shop. She’s got a variety of beauty products and other environmentally friendly gifts for the raw foodie in your life.

What Do You Intend to Give This Holiday Season?

Even though this gift guide is all about the material gifts we can give each other, I want to remind us that giving and receiving can take place in other ways too.

Being there for someone through thick and thin, providing love and support, being a good friend or family member, these are all great gifts! These are gifts that cannot be replaced by material things.

So go ahead, let us know what you intend to give this holiday season… no matter what type of gift it is. And feel free to share this list with those who could use some inspiration.

Love, Nathalie

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How to Dehydrate Raw Food Without a Dehydrator

Some of you have been writing in and asking how to go about making dehydrated snacks and crackers without a dehydrator. So I thought I’d give you a few options to pick from, so you too can experiment in the kitchen and have some variety of delicious raw treats and staples. First, for those who…

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Sprouting Guide: How to Sprout Seeds and Bean Sprouts

Learn one of the most useful and versatile kitchen tricks: how to grow your own sprouts. Dishes that include fresh sprouts tend to be more multidimensional, super nutritious, and definitely more fun!

Sprouting Guide Video


(If you’re reading via email or feedreader, click here to view the embedded video.)

Why You Should Learn to Sprout

  • You can grow sprouts yourself in the winter to get tons of nutrition without spending tons on produce.
  • Keeping dry seeds and beans for sprouting is a great way to be prepared for natural catastrophes that might leave you without food. All you need is some water to sprout.
  • It’s very satisfying to watch seedlings and beans awaken and sprout in front of your eyes. It reminds us of the magick of nature.
  • You can eat a variety of different beans and sprouts that you might not be able to buy in stores if you sprout them yourself.
  • Sprouts make a great addition to so many meals and they add a great texture to salads too.

How Sprouting Boosts Nutrition

sprouting-your-own-sprouts
Photo credit: Sriram Bala

Sprouts are much more nutritious than the dormant seed or bean from which they spring from. By “awakening” these seeds, we are actually eating all of the live potential energy of the sprout.

Because of the higher water content in sprouts as opposed to dry seeds and beans, we find a higher nutritional content. Sprouts contain absorbable protein, and contain increased calcium, potassium, sodium, iron, as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and C.

Growing Your own Sprouts is Cheap & Easy

Another benefit to growing your own sprouts is the cost efficiency. Seeds and beans are inexpensive, and can yield an almost unproportional amount of sprouts.

You can also buy sprouting seeds and store them for long periods of time without spoilage. Contrast that with a bunch of lettuce that does not last more than one week in the refrigerator.

Sprouts are one of the most economical foods and some have called them the foods of the future. Sprouting your own seeds and beans is so simple, and yields such savings and benefits that I cannot recommend it enough.

Do it Yourself – How to Sprout

  1. Soak seeds overnight in a bowl with water.
  2. The next morning, drain water and rinse with fresh water once or twice.
  3. Place in a sprouting bag, or sprouting jar without any water. (Should still be humid, not completely dry.)
  4. Every morning and night rinse with fresh water, to keep the sprouts wet and clean of mould.
  5. Ensure the sprouts never dry up, and repeat process until your desired length or age of sprout.
  6. Rinse out with fresh water and serve immediately in salads, wraps, smoothies, juices, breads/crackers, or just eat as a snack.

Sprouting Tools and Resources


I personally use a nut-milk bag, which resembles cheesecloth, for my sprouting needs. (As you might have seen in the video.) It’s inexpensive, and versatile because you can also use it to make nut milks too.

I’ve tried sprouting in jars, (though not with the Tribest Automatic Sprouter) and I prefer the flexibility and ease that a sprouting bag seems to provide.

Feel free to experiment with what works best for you, depending on the climate where you live.

One great source of sprouting information that has been around since 1993 is Sprout People. You can buy sprouts and sprouting kits from them as well.

What Are Your Favorite Sprouts?

Now I’m curious if you’ve ever grown your own sprouts and which ones are your favorites. I’m partial to mung bean sprouts, and buckwheat sprouts personally.

Love, Nathalie

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Raw Food Dehydrators: What, Why, and How To Dehydrate Snacks

Do you still crave that warm chewy-comfort food feeling from your raw food? Then chances are the dehydrator is what will solve your issues.

raw-food-dehydrators

What is a Dehydrator?

(Click here to watch the video on YouTube if you can’t see it here.)

Why Dehydrate… aka What Does a Dehydrator Do?

A dehydrator is a tool that uses low temperatures and a fan to dry food. It essentially removes the water from food, but it keeps the enzymes of your raw food intact.

In my opinion dehydrated foods are not the easiest thing for your body to digest: it’s not the closest thing to nature. Essentially you don’t have the water content and that means it’s not the ideal food.

That being said, I think dehydrated foods are a great way to transition to raw food, and even as a great gluten-free treat. Most of the dehydrated foods can replace the textures and tastes of the most addictive foods like bread, cookies, and chips. Who wouldn’t want that?

How to Dehydrate Raw Food

Most dehydrators come with a temperature setting, and as long as you are dehydrating at temperatures below 112-118F you’ll be keeping your ingredients “raw”. (See what is the raw food diet here.)

dehydrating-for-preserving-produce
Photo by Jacqueline

Use a Dehydrator to Preserve Excess Produce

If you’re lucky enough to have an abundant garden (or just a great deal of fresh local produce) then you can use a dehydrator to preserve your harvest.

Simply clean and cut your fruits or vegetables and place on your dehydrator trays. Depending on how watery the produce is you might need to dehydrate for a longer time. Dehydrated fruits and veggies make great snacks, or can be used to top salads or in sauces and soups. Yum!

Make Raw Kale Chips

In my weekly ezine I wrote about a recipe for yummy kale chips. (Subscribe if you want to receive recipes every week!)

  • 1 Bunch Kale
  • Sea Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Diced Garlic
  • Juice of Half a Lemon
  • Pinch of Cumin

Wash the kale and then cut it into 3 inch long strips. Keep in mind that these chips will get smaller as they dehydrate. Put the sliced kale in a large bowl and add the olive oil, sea salt, diced garlic, lemon juice, and cumin, all to taste. Get your hands in there and massage the ingredients into the kale.

Wait for 10 to 20 minutes: the kale leaves should have shrunk a little bit. Now place your marinated kale on a dehydrator tray and turn the dehydrator on to dry for about 7 to 8 hours at 115F. You’ll be crunching these awesome kale chips so fast you’ll need to make a second batch! Be sure to experiment with different spices and mimic your favorite chips.

If you want a closer look at the process of making kale chips take a look at this post by Dhrumil of We Like it Raw.

Make Fruit Leathers

Making fruit leather is one thing that reminds me of being a kid and eating those sugary processed fruit roll-ups. Of course when you’re in charge of what goes into your fruit leather you can make them as healthy as you want! Why not dehydrate a green smoothie to take with you on a hiking trip?

  1. Blend your favorite mix of fresh fruits (and/or vegetables!) until smooth. You may need to add a bit of water if your blender cannot process it well, but try not to add too much.
  2. Spread the mixture on a teflex sheet or piece of cellophane. It should be about 1/4 inch thick, but you can experiment with different thicknesses.
  3. Place the sheet in your dehydrator and dry at 110F-118F for about 4 hours.
  4. When the leather is dry enough, peel it off the sheet and flip it over to dehydrate on the other side, and place it on the mesh of your dehydrator. So that both sides dry. Dry for another few hours until it reaches a malleable but dry consistency.

Enjoy as a snack or use it to wrap other ingredients in, let your creativity run wild.

Unlimited Uses for a Dehydrator

Although I always tell people that they should consider investing in a blender before a dehydrator, dehydrators can be fun. I’ll definitely be posting new recipes and ways to make use of your dehydrator.

Recommended Dehydrators

Depending on how much you care to spend you can get a really good Excalibur Dehydrator or pick up one of the less expensive types at most kitchen stores.

I’ve had my Excalibur Dehydrator for almost 3 years now and I love having the option to make dehydrated crackers, cookies, and fruit leathers.

What’s Your Favorite Dehydrated Snack?

If you’ve ever bought dehydrated snacks or have your own dehydrator, what’s your favorite recipe? Let us know in the comments!

Love, Nathalie

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Blender or Juicer: Is it better to juice or to drink smoothies?

Are you overwhelmed by the number of accessories and machines “Raw Food Gurus” tell you are needed to make eating a raw food diet successful? With the help of this guide you’ll be able to decide whether you should invest in a blender or a juicer, and figure out which one is more likely to…

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