Eating vegan and especially raw vegan does require some kitchen re-tooling. Some items can be somewhat expensive but you don’t necessarily have to get everything right away. You may be able to find some items used at thrift shops or online on sites like ebay or shopgoodwill.com.
Here are the items I recommend based on my experience and research. Some of these are affiliate links and if you purchase using one of these links I will earn a small commission (at no cost to you.) Please consider purchasing using the links provided here and help support the work we do.
If you can only afford one high ticket item make it a high-speed blender. It makes short work of making smoothies, dressings, batters etc. and for grinding nuts and seeds. The two most popular brands are Vita-Mix and Bendtec. We have the Blendtec. The Vita-Mix has recently added many of the features that used to be available only on the Blendtec such as the automatic and timed cycles that start slow and gradually speed up and then shut off at the end of the set time. This allows for better blending by keeping the contents moving freely. The Vita-Mix has a tamper that you can use during the blending process to keep the contents moving and down near the blades.
There are other brands too. Here are some other options. Get the best blender you can afford. It will save you money and headaches down the line.
This is a must especially for raw food recipes. Fortunately you can make do with an inexpensive one if needed. You can often find used ones too.Choose one with a large bowl (10-12 cups) or one that has both large and small bowls.
The food processor is great for making pates, pie crusts, doughs, and for general chopping. If you have shredding and slicing blades it will make short work of prepping food for your recipes. Cuisenart is a well known brand that offers both higher end models as well as inexpensive ones. It’s the brand I used for many years. Hamilton Beach also has nice models. That’s what we have now. You should be able to get a good food processor for less than $100. Here are some options.
If you travel a lot and want something to help you eat healthy on the road consider a NutriBullet. I added one to my kitchen to take with me when I visited my family in Chicago. It fit in my suitcase and allowed me to make smoothies in the morning while I was on the road.
I actually found I used it at home regularly for times when the full blender or food processor was not needed or was too big to do a small job. This is a nice addition but I survived just fine without it for many years. If your food processor or blender has a small jar or bowl you probably won’t need it for regular use.
I probably won’t take the place of a high-speed blender, at least not for long. But if you need an inexpensive option to get started, it’s better than nothing. There are other brands of this type of blender as well. Check them out here.
Juice fasting is an important part of our healthy lifestyle. We fast several times a year and we always make our own juice. But even if you don’t fast, having freshly made juice is delicious!
There are a wide variety of types of juicers depending on what you plan to juice. For general juicing a centrifugal juicer is quick to use and will juice most fruits and veggies well. It also cleans up quicker. Look for a “wide-mouth” design that will allow you to add larger pieces. A BIG time saver.
There are also masticating juicers which do better with greens, wheat grass and the like. Consider what type of juice you’ll be making the most and what your budget is.
The recent popularity of juicing as brought about a lot of companies offering juicers at many different price points. Here are some juicers to choose from.
We make fresh squeezed orange juice almost everyday to drink or to use it for making our smoothies in the morning. There is nothing like fresh squeezed orange juice. A good citrus press makes quick work of this job. It also makes adding fresh lemon or lime juice in recipes a snap.
We use the Hamilton Beach press. This is not an electrical device although you can find powered citrus juicers on the market as well. This model will last for decades!
For raw foodists a dehydrator really widens the range of recipes you can use. Making kale chips, dehydrated breads and crackers, as well as drying fruit and veggies when you have them in abundance are all possible with a dehydrator. Ditch the microwave and put your dehydrator in its place.
My favorite is the Sedona Rawfood Dehydrator by Tribest. I love the clear front so I can see what’s happening in it, the digital timer and temperature control and the controls on the front of the machine. They offer a Refurbished Dehydrator as well.
There are a number of new brands of dehydrator available now. Look for one with a timer, temperature controls that is large enough to make a large batch of kale chips and your onion bread at the same time.
Spiralizers and mandolins are optional specialized slicing tools. They can help you create vegetable noodles, and very thin slices. These can be helpful for some raw food recipes.
If your food processor has the right slicing/shredding blades you may find you can accomplish many of these task with it.
Be aware that spiralizers and especially mandolins are VERY SHARP! Use with caution and use the vegetable holder tool that should come with it to avoid slicing your finger or knuckles.
These are my recommendation for the appliances and tools that will help you create delicious and healthy dishes your family will love. Start with what you can afford and add more as you are able.
Of course a good set of knives, cutting boards, measuring cups and spoons are the foundation of a efficient kitchen. Add in a hand grater, garlic press, peeler and a strainer and your job will be easier. There are many other tools and gadgets out there. Start with the basics, add as you find a need.