Happi November All!
I was thinking about how it was for me when I decided to take this raw journey. I had to ask myself what you're probably asking yourself since you decided to make the raw journey and that is,
"what do I need to do this?"
When I got started, I combed the internet & books to try to make sense of it all. As is common in the "natural foods" world, there are always a variety of methods, protocols and procedures. One thing that has held true for me, in this natural health journey is, find what works best with you, glean from what's being offered and go with it! This doesn't negate the fact that you may need to make somelifestyle & dietary changes, and be realistic in your approach.
As stated in blogs past, my goal for this site is to be a wealth of resources to help you succeed in making the changes you need. This helps me too, because it keeps me accountable.
I want also to reiterate that my reasons for doing "raw" are purely for health reasons and I want to look and feel as good as I can for as long as God allows. I care about animals and the planet
and acknowledge that even God says "that good people take care of their animals"
( prov 12:10NCV) and also that we should properly steward the earth (and that's according to biblical principles and not man's) but the key in all of it (living, caring, loving etc.) is "homeostasis"! Perfect balance i.e.! Which by the way can only be achieved through relationship with Yeshua (Jesus Christ) as far as I'm concerned.
Much of the information available on raw out there is indeed extensive.
Again, glean from the good and tailor it to what works best for you. And another thing, if you choose to be a little different with it, be confident in that difference. i.e. for your situation and do what you need to do and your homework! Your situation may warrant that you may need to be 100% raw, where the next person may do well on an 80/20 (despite some teaching 100% raw) those who choose to do have found what works for them! All is based on you understanding what your needs are and remember, "there is therefore NO condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus!"
Seek and pray to know what is best for your situation and go with that. I also ask that if a resource is offered here, that you take the time also to look into it carefully to see if it is something you should embrace. I do my best to glean from the best information, but much of it as with most natural health philosophies are laced with some type of "spiritual" reference that may not be the way you believe. I glean the practical applications, methods and tangible evidence with regards to these raw foods resources, but I ONLY glean my spirituality from the Word of God. (and even some teach perspectives supposedly from scripture that I personally view as out of context. One particular health teacher teaches all should abstain from all forms of meat and they do this using scripture, yet Yeshua himself ate fish!) This is not to "dis" anyone's biblical belief but Yeshua is always our first example. I choose not to eat meat personally because I don't want to eat it. That's it, plain and simple! If you have issue with this, and are a believer, please, please read Genesis chapter 9:1, which many of these teachers seem often to overlook!
All in all, let the Holy Spirit (our teacher) lead you, He knows what will work for you best!
Well with that said, let's talk about setting up your RAWsomacious Kitchen so you can succeed on your raw foods journey! Now remember, where ever we can, we'll be doin it ghetto style(on a budget) but keep in mind, some stuff, you just gotta pay for, cause in the long run, it ends up being more cost effective, so if you have to, save your pennies to get what you need, shop from some of my resource listings, or join some of my affiliate programs listed on this site by clicking through the links to earn some extra cash towards the things you need, this is called getting the cash from someplace other than your pocket (an dats ghettowise!)
Your RAWsomacious Kitchen!
Here are my suggestions for getting started:
I think these are the most important appliances & tools you will need to get started, remember, if you don't have them or can't go heavy duty yet, then work with what you have! You will find the importance of owning good quality appliances a necessity as you delve further into your raw foods lifestyle, because these appliances are to your raw foods kitchen what your pots & pans were to your "cooked" kitchen.
You'll want to have some decent knives to prep your delicious fruits & veggies. You'll also want knives which can "handle" their business, i.e. they need to be able to chop through a variety of textures and even nuts. Good knives are so important when you may not yet have that much needed blender or food processor.
Especially beneficial for cutting produce are Ceramic Knives. Reason being, Ceramic blades are far more hygienic than metal - they will not react with your fresh food (will not turn produce brown as with metal knives) nor do the change the taste of your produce by depositing metal ions. Another great reason to use Ceramic Knives is the blades are said to stay sharper longer than steel blades under normal home kitchen use. A ceramic blade's sharpness can last years without needing sharpening.
2.MANDOLINE SLICER Here's a Kitchen Buddie that can make slicing super thin or crinkly cut veggies easy. This tool is perfect for slicing root vegetables and extremely helpful when making raw chips! Using your mondoline slicer benefits you when using your dehydrator, allowing you to uniformly cut your fruits & veggies and potentially improve your drying time. The mandoline slicer is really cool for making your raw foods dishes look more decorative and appetizing!
This Kitchen Buddie will be a blessing to you especially if you don't have a decent quality blender or food processor, because you can actually use it for grinding flax seeds and other nuts into flour to use in your raw recipes. They are relatively inexpensive and are a cheaper alternative to most grain mills.
4.VEGGIE SPIRAL SLICER
This is a RAWsomacious gadget! The spiral slicer allows you to create raw delicious veggie pasta! Use zucchini, squash, sweet potatoes, cucumbers etc. to make a healthful alternative to traditional pasta. The spiral slicer also makes ribbons & slices.
5. A QUALITY BLENDER
GhettoItes, if you don't have a blender yet know that when you are ready to purchase one that YOU MUST HAVE A QUALITY BLENDER in your RAWsomacious Kitchen and there is no avoiding it. Though this item is listed as #5 it is integral to your daily eating routine because it will be used to prepare your purees, morning smoothies, *nut milks, soups and dips.
In my research and reading the reviews of many raw foodist, the VitaMix wins hands down everytime! It is pricey, but you have to view it as one of those items that is an investment not only in your raw foods kitchen but your family's health. A good quality blender is one of those things "you just gotta pay for", there's no skimping on this one. Now if you're not yet where you can afford a VitaMix, then do your best to get the best your budget can handle. Look for a strong powerful motor (if possible over 600 watts) as blenders with less power WILL burn out quickly with the heavy use it will be getting from you. A BLENDER IS A STAPLE IN THE RAW FOODS KITCHEN!! You will use it EVERYDAY! Take it from someone who knows, you'll regret cheap! ( I thought I was being ghettowise buying a lesser blender once and I got 4 mos good use out of the thing-motor burned out and it became clear that I was not being ghettowise, but just ghetto! (there is a difference you know!) So invest wisely, whatever level you're at.
*ghettowise tip: How to make nutmilk in a not so great blender - Be sure to invest in a good coffee grinder if you don't have the greatest blender. When trying to make nut milk, grind nuts in coffee grinder first then place into purified water in your blender and blend. With the nuts being broken down already, it should be easier for your blender to handle it and you may actually use less nuts to make your milk.
More RAWsomacious Kitchen Tools!
A dehydrator is a great special addition to your raw kitchen because you can make your own gourmet crackers & live breads. You can also use it to warm your favorite raw soups, gently dry your fruits and veggies and create awesome granola's & even fresh corn tortillas. A dehydrator is another item you will want to consider as an investment in your health & life. When making a decision towards a purchase, look for one that has temperature controls (remember, we don't heat anything over 118 degrees), also consider the shape and size based on your kitchen space. If you plan on using it frequently, then you'll want to invest in something higher end made for more heavy duty use. Also, check to see what the warranty offers. (This should be done with all appliances you purchase) this can become a life savor should something go wrong later. All in all, no raw foods kitchen is complete without one!
WARNING! Cheap juicers may be hazardous to that glass of fresh expressed juice you've got a taste for!
Juicers are another appliance you'll want to invest in-- many things are to be considered when getting one. Consider that what you want is a "juice extractor" which actually extracts the juices from the produce being juiced, leaving pulp behind. Consider your time. You can easily pre-prep produce for juicing a couple of days in advance. Once you start juicing you'll love a juicer that has easy cleanup and doesn't require a lot of scrubbing of all sorts of pieces. Consider space & portability when selecting your juicer. You might want to choose a juicer that doesn't take up much space and, if necessary, can be easily moved from one spot to another as the need arises. It's a good idea to learn the features of your juicer. I like appliances that can be used for more than one thing. (perhaps its the female in me that thrives to multitask!) My juicer of choice not only juices but makes nut butters, frozen desserts and more. In addition, its important to consider if it can handle the wear and tear you'll be putting on it in your raw foods kitchen. In the long run, a cheaper machine may have to be replaced several times a year, in which case you could have been ghettowise and saved the money to buy a more long lasting appliance.
When it comes to a food processor, I've also experienced the disappointment of having a "cheaper" model. Let me say this, it's important to select appliances that can hold up under heavy use. They need to have strong powerful motors and built to last long enough til you're ready to purchase another. I prefer two sizes of food processors, a medium sized 6+ cup and a mini 1-1/2 cup type. The cool thing is some processors come with both types of cup attachments and give you the best of both worlds. In the raw kitchen, a food processor is handy for those quick and in a hurry chopping jobs. No doubt you'll find it a useful addition to your kitchen.
I am a kitchen gadget queen. I don't have all of the kitchen gadgets I'd like but it doesn't stop me from eying the latest one to arrive on the scene. I just love em'! In our new Ghetto Raw Kitchen shop you'll see where some of my favorite "gadgets" are and simply some additional kitchen aides to have in your raw kitchen, be sure to take a look, each item was hand picked by yours truly and I hope they will be a blessing to you too!
Now, let's talk about Ch, ch, ch, CHIA!
I have recently been made aware of a tiny little seed that offers your body all sorts of tremendous health benefits. It's called "Chia seed" and it is an amazing health food that does far more than grow on the heads of little ceramic creatures!
What are Chia Seeds?
Chia Seeds are a raw highly nutritional food high in Omega-3 acids.
Whats it taste like?
Chia alone has a subtle flavor, but when mixed into something generally takes on the flavor of the thing it's been added to.
So how does it benefit me?
- Again, they are high in Omega-3 acids and Omega 6, and are a good source of manganese, they are low in sodium and are cholesterol -free. Top it all off with chia being great source of fiber.
- Chia also has many life- giving nutrients that nourish your entire body.
- Chia seeds have twice the protein of any other seed or grain, five times the calcium of milk and boron (a trace mineral that helps transfer calcium into your bones).
- Chia is great for those dieting because carbohydrates are released slowly when eating them they will in turn give you a feeling of fullness.
- Chia is an awesome replacement for wheat flour, so those with sensitivities may, in fact, enjoy this as an alternative.
Put 1/3 cup dry seeds into two cups of warm water whisk, wait fifteen minutes then whisk again then store gel in refrigerator .Use three tablespoons three times a day of the gel (seeds hydrated). You can mix them into any drink or food and may even just take the gel. Once a day you can take up to one tablespoon of the dry seeds and add them to fluid or sprinkle them on food, and drink fluid at the same time so the seeds hydrate from the fluid.
* To learn more about chia or to purchase your own click the link on the right near the top that says (Chia Health or click here)!
Raw Foods Chia Carrot Soup
3 Large carrots
1 Cup water or nut milk
1 Table spoon 100% Chia Seed Flour
¼ Cup raisins
Sea Salt to taste
Preparations: Wash carrots. Cut carrots into chunks and place in blender along with water and sea salt. Blend to a creamy liquid. Add Nuchia 100% Chia Seed Flour and optional sweeter, blend once more. Pour equal amounts of the blended mix into two medium sized bowls. Chop chives or scallions into small bits and add equal amounts to each bowl. Add raisins. Top with whole leafs of cilantro. Use organic ingredients where possible.
What's new is our new Ghetto Raw Kitchen Shop! As mentioned earlier in the post, I've added some of the items I talk about so that you can see them and shop for them. As time goes by I will add or take away items within our little shop. If you have suggestions or are looking for something, let me know, we'll see about adding it. Take a moment and click the link to the right of the page that says NEW! Ghetto Raw Kitchen Shop (or click here!)
Also, if you're new to raw foods, I'd like to encourage you to sign up for our weekly recipe list. I generally include 3 to 4 recipes each week of some of my own personal recipes and some from my favorite Raw Foods chefs & websites. Click the little envelope at the right and send me your email to get started today!
Did you know you can really reverse the aging process without surgery? Well you can, I have discovered a wonderful Raw Foods Veteran Tonya Zavasta. She is 50 and fine! Check out her website "Beautiful on Raw" to learn the secrets to looking and feeling younger the RAW way!
Speaking of raw beauty, I also want to introduce you to my FB friend Mimi Kirk. Mimi is a Raw Foodist who happens to be 71 years young! ya heard! Take a look at the awesome video posted towards the top of the page! If you needed another reason to go raw, consider Mimi!
Here are some cool natural foods beauty masks you can make with things you pretty much may have at home. I've included their links so you can visit and find more informative & natural beauty care tips.
Disclaimer- try these masks at your own risk. The recipes have been written for educational purposes. If you have any skin disorders, check with a licensed practitioner before attempting to use these.
Honey anti-wrinkle mask
Take one and half tablespoon of honey, half teaspoon of carrot juice, a pinch of soda bicarbonate. Mix carrot juice and honey and apply on face for 20 minutes with a cotton ball dipped in soda bicarbonate water. Then wash with warm water.
PUMPKIN FACE MASK
Get your skin ready for fall with one of Mother Nature’s most beneficial products, the pumpkin. Pumpkin makes an excellent face mask ingredient for all skin types, especially environmentally damaged or sensitive skin. High in Vitamin A (skin healing), C (anti-oxidant) and Zinc, the pumpkin soothes, moisturizes and acts as a carrier, assisting the other mask ingredients to absorb deeper into the skin and intensifying the results. Give your skin this healing mask for a healthy glow!
2 teaspoons cooked or canned pumpkin, pureed (see above for benefits)
one-half teaspoon honey (humectant, regenerative)
one-quarter teaspoon milk (or soymilk)(alpha hydroxyl acid, enzymes digest skin cells)
For Dry Skin
one-quarter teaspoon heavy whipping cream (moisturizing; alpha hydroxy acid)
-or- one-half teaspoon brown sugar (exfoliates, moisturizes, alpha hydroxyl acid)
For Oily Skin
one-quarter teaspoon apple cider (tonic action promotes skin circulation; alpha hydroxyl
acid; regulates pH). -or- one-quarter teaspoon cranberry juice (high in antioxidants critically important to the utilization of essential fatty acids to maintain balanced, nourished skin.
Combine the ingredients for your facemask. Mix gently and apply to your face avoiding the eye area. Rest and relax for 10-15 minutes while your pumpkin pie facemask gently exfoliates, nourishes and conditions your face. Rinse with warm water and apply the appropriate oisturizer for your skin type.
Contributor Deborah Burnes is a founding partner behind Sumbody, a line of chemical & preservative free skin care products. For more information, visit www.Lpiman World.
Shalom & Blessing,