It’s true that many dedicated raw foodies have a kitchen bursting at the seams with expensive or specific equipment like dehydrators, high-speed blenders and spiralizers. Even though I do have my own must-have raw food equipment, I also think it sometimes acts as an obstacle to raw newbies. What if you’re not yet a raw food convert but you want to give it a try? Are these appliances and accoutrements really that necessary?


If you don’t want to, you need never add any new gadgets to what you already have in your kitchen. Here are some of my favourite ways to do delicious raw food on a budget.

The oven trick

Did you know that you can emulate a dehydrator just using a regular oven?

Follow the dehydrator recipe directions and just pop your food onto some baking paper on a baking tray and place in your oven. Put your oven on the lowest possible setting - it will be something like 50 degrees celcius.

Prop the oven door open a tiny crack by wedging the handle of a wooden spoon inside the door opening so that the door stays slightly ajar - this lets the air escape so the food can dehydrate slowly. Allow to dehydrate for about as long as the recipe says, then use your judgement to decide whether it needs a bit longer.

The downside is that your oven will be on all night (or all day) which is especially annoying in hot weather. But if you just want to do the occasional dehydrator recipe or you’re just not ready to fork out a few hundred bucks for an Excalibur, this is a good option.

Standard blenders and stick blenders

In the raw food world it’s pretty hard to get by without some kind of blending device. But please, PLEASE don’t feel that you can’t enjoy raw recipes without a high-speed blender.

A standard fifty-buck blender or stick blender can honestly do a really good job of most things. For many recipes it’s just a case of letting the blender run a bit longer. This is especially true for green smoothies - blend your greens with some water first, and allow the blender to run for a good 3-4 minutes. Then add your fruit and blend again, and finish with ice (if your blender can handle it) and blend once more.

If you’re blending nuts make sure you have soaked them overnight and be sure to use plenty of liquid when blending.

Julienne tool or vegetable peeler

These simple little tools can create raw noodles from zucchinis and carrots just as well as a spiraliser. Ok, they may not come out all perfect and bouncy like Shirley Temple curls but you can create thin strips with a julienne tool or nice flat ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Then if you’re inspired by their deliciousness you can always splurge on a funky gadget a little later on.

If you’re really handy with a knife you can even just manually julienne your veg by hand. A sharp knife is best for this - that way you can cut your zucchini, carrot, cucumber etc into nice thin strips.


Give it a try and let me know how you go!