Setting up your kitchen is the biggest thing that will determine whether or not your experience with the raw foods diet will be a positive one.
Having the correct ingredients on hand as well as purchasing the right kitchen equipment to prepare the meals is absolutely essential.
This includes getting rid of anything that won’t help you prepare successful raw foods meals. If you have a family hopefully everyone will be making the switch to a raw foods diet. That way, you won’t need to keep ingredients on hand that will not support this lifestyle.
Stocking The Pantry and Refrigerator
The first thing you’ll need to do is stock the pantry and refrigerator with raw foods ingredients. You may want to wait until you put together your menu before you start doing this.
Otherwise you may buy ingredients that you don’t need. However, you may just want to have certain things on hand just in case you want to put together a quick, impromptu meal.
No matter which approach you decide to take, these guidelines will help you as you go through the process of changing your kitchen.
Stocking The refrigerator
Your first step is to make sure the refrigerator is well stocked with the freshest, healthiest ingredients. You may want to have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand.
Fresh fruits can be prepared in a variety of ways including eating them whole, pureeing them, including them in smoothies, and juicing them. Fresh vegetables can be turned into juices, salads, and also eaten whole.
Filling Up the Pantry
What you include in your pantry will depend on what you like to eat and the kinds of recipes you will put together. However, here is a starter list of some things that you may want to include in your raw foods pantry.
- Various dried fruits
- Dried mushrooms
- Nuts and seeds such as sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and almonds (raw)
- Sun dried tomatoes
- Herbs and spices as long as they weren’t toasted or roasted
- Raw apple cider vinegar
- Organic olive oil, coconut oil, flax seed oil, and/or hemp oil
- Various grains like buckwheat, millet, wild rice, kamut, or quinoa
- Legumes such as black beans, lentils, mung beans, and chickpeas
- Various packaged foods that are acceptable for the raw foods diet.
As more and more people are embracing the raw foods diet, stores are starting to carry packaged foods which all meet the standards of the raw foods diet.
Get the right Kitchen Equipment
Since most of the cooking techniques out there are devoted to actually cooking food, this makes raw foods a lot easier to prepare.
This section will give you an overview of the various kitchen techniques that are acceptable for the raw foods diet and the equipment needed to pull it off.
If you want more help in this matter, it is a good idea to take a class devoted to teaching you how to prepare delicious raw foods.
A basic course will teach you the techniques and how to operate the equipment that is used to make the raw foods.
Kitchen Techniques Overview
The list of acceptable kitchen techniques is not long, but even this short list of techniques can add variety to the foods that you eat.
Remember, eating a raw foods diet is a lot more interesting than it may appear at first because it is about more than eating raw fruits and vegetables and endless salads.
The techniques include making sprouts out of various seeds, grains, and beans as well as blending ingredients, drying and dehydrating various foods, and creating fresh juices out of fruits and vegetables.
You can also soak things like dried mushrooms, dried fruits, and nuts, legumes, and grains. Soaking nuts, legumes, and grains activates some of the beneficial enzymes and is better for your digestion.
The Equipment Needed
To successfully pull off these cooking techniques, the kitchen needs to be stocked with the right equipment. Keep in mind that the equipment you choose will be based on your cooking style and the food techniques you ultimately decide to use. Here are some ideas:
• If you choose to dehydrate food, you will need a dehydrator. Some heat food to more than 116 degrees, however. So make sure you find one that doesn’t heat the food that much to dry it out.
This an example of dehydrator on Amazon:
• A high quality juicer is a real asset. Juices can bring a lot of variety and pleasure to the diet. Choose a versatile and powerful machine that doesn’t leave behind a lot of waste.
• An assortment of jars such as large mason jars is also an asset. You can store juices, sprouts, and other homemade foods in them.
• Blender and a food processor are also a good idea. You can use both for a variety of kitchen techniques included chopping, pureeing, and making smoothies. An immersion blender is a nice alternative to the standard upright blender.
• Standard kitchen tools like knives, bowls, and spoons are also a must have. If you make it a habit to soak beans, legumes, and grains you will also want to find some large containers with lids so that you can cover them as you soak them overnight.
Think about what kind of chef you are. If you don’t think you will be dehydrating anything don’t purchase an expensive dehydrator.
Start with one or two key items such as a blender and a series of jars and containers. As you add more cooking techniques in your repertoire you can expand.