Setting up a raw food kitchen is exciting and uplifting, especially when you are new to raw foods or taking your diet to a new level.
The following check points will help ensure that your raw food kitchen is as easy and functional to use as possible, making your chances of staying with the lifestyle much more likely and much more simple.
1) Keep your key pieces of equipment in a prominent and clear position, next to a plug point, plugged in and ready to go for whenever the need strikes!
2) Next to each piece of equipment keep the relevant foodstuffs and/or ingredients that you are going to be using with that appliance. For instance, I keep all my smoothie ingredients and a big bunch of bananas next to my blender, my fruit bowl next to my juicer and a chopping board next to my food processor (which is next to my juicer so serves them both).
3) Keep as much of the counter space completely clear as possible. This not only looks and feels better, but it means there is never an excuse not to make something because of lack of space or having to clear up first!
4) Group your foods into different places. For instance, I keep all my dried herbs, spices, sea veg and misc. other in one cupboard, my superfoods, flavourings and sweeteners on a shelf next to my blender, my salts, oils and sundried tomatoes in another corner where I may go to season dressings, dips or salads, and all of my nuts, seeds and dried fruits are kept in my "Lazy Susan" (the rotating half- moons that sit behind cupboard doors and are usually used to keep saucepans on!). Any cooked food items that I keep for my son or visitors I keep out the back in my utility room, so that they're there for emergencies but are never the first things I see or easy to get to. All the rest of my food is kept in the fridge, with a few frozen fruits and/or raw ice-creams kept in the freezer.
5) Keep a good clean supply of water in a prominent location so it's always close to hand. There are many ways to obtain good quality water, but this is probably something for later on. For the short term I advise NOT to drink tap water and at the very least invest in a basic jug water filter or investigate other more effective pure water systems.
6) Keep your sharp knives in a drawer, a knife holder or on a magnetic wall hanging as close to your chopping board as possible. This way you are always ready to chop and go!
7) Keep a notepad and pen, chalk board or pinboard with blank paper and pen attached close to hand so that when you start experimenting you can make notes or write down your new recipes as you go. Also great for making sure you know what to buy or order in when you run out of a certain ingredient, of course.
8) Keep your bowls, jugs and Tupperware containers all in one cupboard so that you know exactly where to find them when you need some containers.
9) Keep one drawer purely for housing miscellaneous tools such as salad servers, a hand held citrus juicer, your zester and grater, you measuring cups and your spatulas and any other utensils that you use as part of your fresh food prep.
10) Find a safe and a clean place to house your favourite recipe book/s and any other useful literature, but avoid the temptation to create clutter. Best to choose one or two frequently used books and keep the remainder filed safely elsewhere.
When you have made the necessary changes to you kitchen taking all of the above into account, run it past the all-important final check...
Final Check Questions
* Is my kitchen functional?
* Does it look spacious?
* Are things easy to get to?
* Are my most important accessories and appliances in clear view and/ or super-easy to reach for?
* Is my food well organised?
* Are my cupboards clear, clean and well organised inside?
* Are my "less healthy" foods and kitchen appliances harder (if not impossible!) to get to?
* Does my kitchen inspire me to take care of myself?
* Does it look beautiful?
* Have I made the most of this space?
* All things considered, have I set my kitchen up for success and does it inspire me to get creative?
This is just a tiny fraction of what you can do with your kitchen for making it the best it can possibly be.