When embarking on a raw journey, we all have the same question on our lips: “how best to equip our new kitchen?” I strongly suggest reading my article “Ultimate Guide To Equipping Your Raw Kitchen” for an overview of the various tools/appliances that I recommend and where to buy them.
You can find several appliances and kitchen tools (including the Breville Juice Fountain, Benriner’s spiralizer, Borner V Slicer mandoline and various forms for desserts) in my Amazon Store here: Kitchen Tools and Accessories.
Ask any raw foodie, the appliance that gets the single most usage in a raw kitchen is a blender! You use it for making smoothies, dressings, sauces, soups, spreads, puddings, pie and cake fillings, ice creams… and I’m sure I must be forgetting something! For many years we had a ‘regular’ blender such as a Kitchen Aid or Black&Decker. While it would puree soft fruits and veggies, it didn’t do a fantastic job at it. And with the sort of use a blender gets around our kitchen, it generally didn’t have a very long life span either. When we finally decided to invest in a ‘real beast’, a high power blender, we could hardly believe how we could do without one all these years!
Back then it boiled down to either the Total Blender by Blendtec or the Vitamix 5000. Both appliances are very highly rated by the raw food community.
In the end, the Vitamix’s 7 year warranty on ALL parts is what sealed it for us. Blendec used to give 8 years on their machine, but then reduced the warranty to 2 or 3 years, and only 1 year on the carafe (the one thing that is most likely to need replacement!) Sure makes you wonder… If they had such confidence in their product, why would they REDUCE the warranty!?!
And so we went with the Vitamix 5000 and am extremely happy with my purchase. It’s elegant, easy to use and reliable, and the texture of soups, smoothies, etc is just unreal!
Enters The Omni
A couple of years ago we discovered a solid high power blender alternative to the more common Vitamix and Blendtec’s Total Blender. Not because these don’t do a fine job, but because they leave a great big gaping hole in your budget.
At $279 (includes free shipping in the US), the Omni 3 HP blender costs significantly less than similar machines and yet yields a comparable performance.
Some Omni facts:
- Electronic like the Blendtec but much simpler to use
- Substantially quieter at 85 db
- Somewhat slower RPM means thorough emulsification requires a bit more time than the competition, and for that the motor should experience less stress/longer life
- Comes standard with the 64 fl oz square container and a food tamper
- Has a six blade system
- Comes with a 7 year warranty on parts and labor for the motor/base and 1 year on the drive socket, container and blade assembly
As Don points out in his Kitchen Blender Value Review, “clearly the Omniblend V is the substantial Value King as it is about equal to the competition in functionality and expected durability for a much lower cost.”
Finally the Omni also comes with a free copy of a raw recipe book that I’ve written especially for it: Deliciously Raw. (That’s how impressed I am with its performance!)
You can find out more about the Omni V 3 HP Blender here.
Looking for a blender that will best suit your needs? Here’s a thread you might find helpful.
After following a simple diet of fruit smoothies, raw soups and salads for several years, Don and I started experimenting with more complex, dehydrated recipes. We had a hunch that a dehydrator would greatly help us in staying raw through the winter; and we were right. Not only did it allow us to create more elaborate dishes, it provided a fast and simple way to warm up our food before eating. I’m quite aware that this is just a psychological thing, but hey, it did the trick! We find that the dehydrated recipes have come to replace the cooked stuff we used to crave, and therefore haven’t felt drawn towards cooked foods at all since.
I played with our neighbors’ old handmade dehydrator for a while and quickly determined that it would be worthwhile investing in an Excalibur. And wow, what a difference! It has made uncooking so much easier and fun!
I highly recommend the Excalibur 9 tray; it is absolutely the best for the buck! You can find others for a lot cheaper, but they usually have the heat at the bottom (which means you need to rotate the food), or no fan (dehydration takes much longer with high risk of fermentation.)
Excalibur is also available in 5 trays, but in our experience, the trays fill up quickly so that proves to be too small. The latest Excalibur model has a timer and is quite a bit more expensive than the previous one (the ED 2900). Personally, I don’t find that feature necessary, as you can pick up a little timer at the hardware store for much cheaper. (Timers are handy if your food is ready in the middle of the night or while you’re not around.)
You can purchase Excalibur dehydrators either via the Raw Food World or the Excalibur banner below:
Raw Online Store
Our favorite place to buy any raw specialty products is The Raw Food World. Make sure to check out their ‘At Cost’ Specials once you’re there!