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raw on a budget

I want to go raw but dont have a dehydrator or a nut blender or anything really besides a juicer and a regular blender. most recipies seem to use a dehydrator or other type of machine, does anyone know of a raw cook book or something that i can follow without all the machines? and can you make nut butters in a regular blender?



  • i’m on a budget- a strict one. I’m a college student living on my own without any support from parents and not much from financial aid.

    I don’t really use my dehydrator… at ALL. I’ve used it twice since i bought it. I really don’t think they are absolutely necessary. I rarely use nut butters- they’re expensive and i personally don’t feel like taking the time to make them. They’re almost NEVER truly raw.

    You can totally do it! you can be raw without those appliances. Just think of ways to make things without dehydrating. You can make roll up style sandwhiches using lots of different large leafed greens.. and big salads of alll different kinds.. dips are easy to make in blenders and soups and smoothies and puddings…

  • I second mango woman. I bought a dehydrator months ago and have barely used it. I have a combo blender/food processor and have been able to make most of my meals with it. You don’t need to get an expensive one, and may even find one on ebay or Craig’s list. You don’t need to be rich to be raw!

  • I’m in my second year of grad school (6 straight yrs of college) and only work part time so im tight on cash! I only have a juicer (which i got for my bday) and a blender and feel there is no need for a dehydrator thus far. I live off of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. I use a hemp protein supplement because Im an athlete who trains harder than the avg person but that’s not expensive compared to some super foods out there. I’d rather spend the money to buy a dehydrator that I prolly wont use much since I’m tight on time with work, school, and training and put it towards lots of whole nutritious foods! There are tons of great recipes on here that you don’t really need any fancy equipment for. I experiment too..it’s fun and what being raw is all about!

  • I’m can’t say that I am stressing the blender or the juicer thing (which I stupidly left with my boyfriend when I moved out). When I buy totally organic goods I feel like I’m getting pranked at the check out. I live in NYC and there are no farmers markets this time of year.

    I’m in starting over mode so money is beyond tight. It kinda stinks because I would really like to expand my Raw food repertoire. I’ve been sticking to the basics…lettuce, avocados, cucumbers, carrots, mangos, oranges etc.

    I know I will get bored but I can’t afford to experiment. I’m not a big nut eater. Can anyone suggest some “most have” staples that are worth the expense?

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    For your “equipment” needs/wants goto www.freecycle.org for your area… people put all sorts of stuff up for grabs that is FREE! You can also post a “Wanted” request. Actually, I did see someone post (in my area) they had some veggies to give away… Be adventurous.

  • I guess I have to Bluedolfin… and free is my favorite price… I will definatly look into it. Thanks!

  • You might want to look into Bryan Au’s recipe books. He calls it raw in 10 minutes and doesn’t use any dehydrator (you can’t make anything in 10 minutes using a dehydrator).


  • angelsfeet, I am definately the queen of ‘smoosh it with a fork’. I have all of the equipment but most of the time I just can’t be bothered with the clean up. I smoosh gauc with avacado, tomatoes, garlic and lime juice and then wrap it with romaine lettuce. I also love to smoosh bananas or any other smoothable fruit and add little things like sunflower seeds or dried fruit which makes a chunky pudding like dessert. Oh, you can also fill mushroom caps with gauc.. yumm!

  • Spirit you made me laugh… and I’m a bit inspired. Since I’ve been eating raw I can’t seem to go a day with out avocados… I’ll give it a try. Thanks

    SocaL I’ll take a look at that site… thanks.

  • RawVoiceRawVoice Raw Newbie

    A great recipe book for people with typical kitchen equipment is “Raw Food Made Easy for One or Two People”. Some of her recipes do requre a food processor though. Do you have one?

  • Nope… I just moved back home and I’m living with a friend… I will figure it out if I really want it… and I do. I’ve been haning in the library alot lately so I’ll check out that book when I’m there next.

    Thanks for the tips everyone.

  • Angelsfeet, I live in NYC, too. Yes, there are farmer’s markets this time of year. The biggest is Union Square market which is open Mon, Wed, Fri, and Sat. Of course, this time of year the pickings are a little less, but there are still plenty of greens, root vegetables, apples and pears. And if you go at the end of the day, a lot of stuff is half price.

  • A great way to stretch your budget and eat raw is to SPROUT!!! All you need, despite all the fancy stuff available, is a colander, 2 plates, some water, and plenty of air. Of, and seeds. I often use the ones in the bulk bins instead of buying expensive sprouting seeds. Quinoa, buckwheat, mung and sunflower seeds are CHEAP and easy. Smaller seeds, such a broccoli, radish, alfalfa, etc, are more expensive, but worth the money and effort for what you get. You may need a bag or really fine colander for those. Good luck!

  • ANGELSFEET - Have you shopped in Fairway? There is one near 125th Street right along the Hudson and another (location? Bowery I am thinking) in the city. I find their organic stuff to be less expensive then most and there is a great selection. Of course if you want raspberries or somthing like that, it’s gonna cost you. I like their uyoung coconuts but I am sure that they are not organic. They are beneath the bins and you will have trouble finding them at first so ask. They call them white coconuts and you will find them low down near the other spanish stuff (yuca, etc.). They get their organic delivery on Sunday mornings. There is a whole section next dedicated to organic produce. Speaking of Whole…it’s a lot cheaper than Whole Foods. ALOT!

  • jenoz could you give me a little more info on sprouting. that sounds very interesting.

  • Ok… Now I see what this site is for. Thanks for the info.Hippie Chick I am headed for Fairway Tomorrow (Sunday).

    Jenoz… About how long does it take to sprout? I mean to say, in your experience which seeds come through the quickiest?

    I knew that the Union Square market was open but I didn’t think that they would have enough to make it worth the trip… Mon46 if you say differently I will take a look.

    Thanks for the helpful info. I will post some results shortly.

  • ANGEL - I made the mistake of going last Saturday and they were out of everything (dino kale, cilantro, etc.) organic that I needed. I am now a dedicated Sunday shopper.
    With 2 shin-digs to do, what are you doing talking with us? LOL! Have fun!

  • Ok I stupidly went to wholefoods BEFORE I the farmers market…now I’m tapped. I got sprouted grain bread but it is frozen… should I just let it thaw and eat it like that? Yes I know, its a totally rookie question but I didn’t want to ask anyone in the store…

  • angelsfeet, as I mentioned, you can still get pretty decent greens, root vegetables, apples, pears. There is also a stand that sells a variety of sprouts. Best days to go are Weds. and Friday. Monday is kind of dead, and Saturday is a zoo (though in winter, it’s definitely more manageable).

  • Hey ya’all. Never really felt the “pinch” before I tried to do a juice feast. I don’t have a juicer and went to get my day’s supply of fresh juice at Wild Oats. It was almost $20. Suffice it to say, I didn’t do a 10 day juice feast. I have a family and can feed all of us on $20/day. Even with a juicer, fruit and veg to make the juice would be expensive. Alas, in another life maybe I’ll have my juice feast….until then, I’ll hit the green smoothies!
    hugs! RL

  • ANGELSFEET- Don’t forget about Fairway. Just to warn you though, their organic mangoes have been awful for the past few weeks. I have had to juice them or toss them…either way not the best bang for the buck, ya know?
    Headache better? Hope so!

  • Yes I am fully recovered Hippie Chick thanks for asking. I am also back on track. I’ve decided that the best stuff on earth is Raw Honey…

    Either way I got enough produce to last until payday… I hate having to plan every meal…. but what are you gonna do???

    I do live in a great city, full of reasources… I’m excited again.

  • angelsfeet,

    Trader Joe’s at Union Square has really good prices and a great organic produce section. I don’t know what your schedule is like, but Monday afternoons/evenings are usually good, and any weekday before 5:00 PM. Weekend mornings are decent.

    Most other times the place is totally destroyed, haha. The selection is great when they’re stocked! Its at 3rd Avenue and 14th Street. As a rule, I go there first then head to Whole Foods to grab anything TJ’s was out of.

    Also, the Park Slope Food Co-op is located a few blocks from the Q (I think…at Union Street & 7th Avenue in Brooklyn). Its CHEAP. I’m talking, giant bunches of greens for $1.60, $.80/lb apples, etc. Ridiculous! You pay a $25 joining fee and a $100 investment (you get back the investment when you quit—also you can pay it in installments of $10/month). You work one 2.5 hour shift every 4 weeks, and shop any time you want. Their hours are great, I think they’re open until 10 or 11 most days.

    Good luck!


  • I forgot all about Trader Joe’s… There is one on L.I. too. Okay… now that’s what I’m talking about…Thanks Al!

    The coop sounds great too… I may wait until the weather gets better… (yes I know that’s lame)...

  • This might make you feel better about not owning all the fancy appliances.

    This guy actually argues against the use of dehydrators: (see the dehydrators page)
    Blind Guru

    BTW, I got a store-brand blender for $40…the most powerful one I can find, and it does alright for itself. I did get a dehydrator at a garage sale…one worth over $120 new for $20. (Although I only use it occasionally after heeding Blind Guru’s warning.) Watch the second hand shops and spring garage sales…you never know what you might find!

    The bottom line is, keep it simple…there’s nothing wrong with a salad! :)

  • I had lost my love for Trader Joe’s but now we’re back together again. Not only do they were silly shirts but they have a great selection. Plus if you’re not satisfied you can get your money back… no questions asked.

    I am still too new to the Raw lifestyle to chime in on arguments about the merits of appliances and techniques. I’m still on the first chapter of this book. It’s nice just concentrating on finding a consuming whole LIVE food.

  • I don’t dehydrate. I only do 50% raw. I mostly make green smoothies in a crappy old Oster blender. I love these smoothies. I also eat raw almonds (trader joes) and raw pepitas (trader joes). Oh and whatever fruit is cheap. I do eat cooked food as well, mostly oatmeal and rice with Korean vegetables.

    I also have a little garden where I’m growing kale and herbs and starting my tomatoes for the summer as we speak. Almost anyone can start a tiny herb garden or something.

    My budget is about $3-5 a day. I easily make it on about $3 a day.

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    Kevin Gianni has some ideas for being on a budget on his The Renegade Health Blog.

  • raw foods for busy people is a really nice, short and cheap book that has a lot of recipes that are for people who don’t have machines at all, although he does include recipes for dehydrators ( a whole chapter) and blenders and food processors, a lot of recipes have alternatives without the machines. you dont need a dehydrator though, they’re just luxury

  • carrie6292carrie6292 Raw Newbie

    go to www.rawinten.com Trust me, buy this book for $22 (no shipping) and it will save your budget in the long run. All you need is a blender (which you already have) and either a peeler or a mandolin (i use my dual sided peeler – one’s a regular peeler and one’s the julienne side). There are a few things that you need to invest in – Chick Pea Miso, Pine Nuts, Agave… other than that, it’s mostly things in the grocery store (not sure where you live, but i live in Central NY - not the easiest place to shop if you eat raw… and i can find everything i need here). If you need something and can’t find it, just email the author and he’ll get it for you at a great price! Trust me on this!!!!

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