Wild Kitchen

A Raw Living Yoga Kitchen is a thriving and loving sanctuary, where souls gather for comfort and laughter, to be nourished and supported.  It is also a place where ease of activity should merge seamlessly with ease of clean-up, so that one and all can sit and enjoy together.

Because of this, learning how to create your Living Kitchen – a Yogi’s Kitchen – should be easy and non-stressed.   A calm harborage of refuge and gratitude.

The creation of a Yoga Kitchen takes a bit of effort in the beginning, but after that, its all easy.  So to begin .. lets clean!

Clean out the refrigerator of all the old stuff that has long since lost its identity.

Clean out the utensil drawers.  Ask yourself, “How many wooden spoons do I really need?”  Then toss out all the plastic utensils (including the duplicates).  The list of plastic utensils extends to colanders and measuring cups.

Clean out the kitchen hardware.  How long have you had that bread machine, planning on using it, but never have?  Now is the time to part ways.

Clean out the pantry of the half empty boxes.  If you don’t throw the contents away, then crush them and share with the songbirds.

Clean out the plasticware.  More than having tops that actually match containers, plastic food storage containers are dangerous to your health.  If you are not aware of this, here is a concise article on the subject:

http://www.bukisa.com/articles/232321_dangers-of-teflon-and-plastic-ware

Clean out the cookware.  Teflon should be the first to go.  Yes .. even your favorite pot, if its Teflon or otherwise coated, its hindering your health.  The same for alumunium and anodized aluminium cookware.  Time and again, all the research agrees that harmful toxins leech out of these into your body.

Now to the appliances.  Which ones are needed in a Live Kitchen?  Before you think about tossing out the oven ..lol.. consider it a great place to store items, or if one enjoys raw dairy, to make raw yogurt, kefir and cheese.  Or, if you have no dehydrator, the oven on its lowest setting works fine.

How about the microwave?  Do you really need one?  To keep it short: Microwaves contain a magnetron that affects magnetic and electric fields that interact with the molecules in food to change them, in a way that negatively impacts the body.  Here is a reliable site that details the dangers:

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/microwave-ovens-the-proven-dangers.html

Do you have a coffee machine?  First, many of these machines are fire hazards – think water + electricity.  Second, coffee, as it is consumed today, is not healthy.  Next, consider that coffee is an acid that is added to the bodies naturally occurring digestive acids.  These two acids create a toxin called hydrochloride that disrupts the normal function of several major organs.  For more information on the dangers of coffee:

http://www.articledashboard.com/Article/The-Many-Dangers-Of-Comsuming-Coffee/704586

How about the deep fat fryer?  Well, those three words in combination are enough for me, but if your not sure, consider that the machine is not only a fire hazard, but fat is explosive.  Fat can easily ‘jump’ from the machine to the counter top, floor and walls .. creating pools of liquid fire.  Then there is the health hazard of fried foods:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2003/10/18/worst-foods.aspx

If you have made it this far then you have probable said a few times, “This is nuts!  I will have to throw everything in the kitchen away!”  Now think about it this way, “There is so much I can learn here.  So many beneficial techniques and approaches!  This is going to be fun!”

So what goes into a Live Kitchen .. a kitchen truly fit for a Yogi?  Lets start with ..

-Knives.  Good ones, high quality, ceramic knives.  There is a whole world of discovery here!  Ceremic knives do not leave a metallic after taste, they only need to be sharpened every couple of years, and they don’t rust.  A paring knife is a must – and my most used Yoga Kitchen hand tool.

-Food Processor.  I call mine a “robot” because its that helpful.  The standard “S” blade is .. well, ‘standard’, but the other blades are where the real exploration begins.  I use my ‘robot’ to mince, dice, shred and spiral.

-Spouter.  There are many versions of seed, nut, grain and bean sprouters.  My favorite is a stackable tray system.  But do not discount the original wide mouth glass jar with a mesh lid.  Any any given time, I have a few of these on my counter as well .. mini wonder gardens of wholesome goodness!

-Blenders.  All purpose, high speed is the best.  One that can be used to make dressings, soups and smoothies.  Personally, my one speed – high speed – blender not only got rid of the whole ‘which button to use’ confusion, but does all I need quickly and with easy cleanup.

-Juicers. There are so many juicers on the market today that finding the right one for you can be confusing.  That, and you may also need to consider what you are juicing.  For example, I have a separate hand-turned juicer for wheatgrass, a I hand operated citrus juicer.  Literally, both are a labor of love for they keep the hands free from arthritis.  Then there are the awesome mastication juicers – which are the best for optimum nutrition, but pricey.  So work with what you have, consider your needs, then make a wise Yogi decision.

-Spiralizer. A fancy name for a snazzy gizmo that transforms yams, squash, carrots and other firm vegetables into ‘pasta’ looking threads.  The more recent models are fancy because they do some of the things a food processor does. Evenso, they are well worth their inexpensive price tag.

-Dehydrator.  This is perhaps the most controversial item in the Raw Living Yoga Kitchen because of both the heat involved, and the nature of “raw”.  Just as fermentation is one of the world’s oldest goddesses of goodness, so too has the sun led the way in drying fruits and vegetables that have fallen to earth.  A dehydrator lets us preserve fruits and veggies, and make crackers and pizza crusts, but traditional raw foodists disagree with the entire idea, because its been processed with non-living heat (electrical versus solar).  For me its been a matter of asking, “How often do I eat raw onion bread or flax crackers?”  If your like me and the answer is “Not often”, then get an inexpensive dehydrator or use your oven on its lowest setting.  If you want your Raw Live Yoga food to be more than raw, then still get the inexpensive one and explore the possibilities before making a huge purchase.

-Mini Food Processor / Grinder: I started with a coffee bean grinder because they make great small grinders for seeds and spices.  I have since moved on to a mini processor / grinder that has three blades.  These are great when you only have a small amount to prepare.  Plus, mine makes a single smoothie – a serving of one, and it comes with a lid so I can take it with.  Very convenient!

-Wood or Bamboo Cutting Board.  I have several sizes, and the smaller ones double as plates.

-Garlic Press.  Which is also use for pressing ginger.

-Glass Mixing Bowls.  Mine range in size from single serving to ‘huge’.

-Scoop.  These are fun, easy to use and clean, and make bite size shapes.  Plus, a ball-sized scoop of fruit is great tossed into the air and caught in the mouth.  A true Yoga past time!

-Vegetable Peeler.  Yes .. just like grandma had in her Living Kitchen!

-Colander / Strainer.  Different sizes are best, with different sized openings.  The small hand held / fine mesh ones work great for straining nut milks.

-Hand Towels. I prefer the organic cotton ones.

-Mason Jars.  I use these for food storage (dry and cold), for drinking glasses, for fermenters (making sauerkraut and kimchi), for mixing dressings.  I buy some of them, but the others have been recycled, so that any glass container with a lid gets washed out and stored in my cubboard.  ‘Recycle’ is just another word for ‘reincarnation’.

-Spatulas and Whisks.  Different sizes, from small to large.

-Sun Tea Jar.  Remember those?  What was it, back in the ‘70s.  They were all the rage!  Yea well, us Raw Living Yogi’s still use them.  And now that being all hippie is back in vogue .. like bell bottom jeans .. sun tea jars are being snapped up at garage sales across the county.  (Ok .. so maybe not bell bottoms.)

Some of these you probably have already.  And if you don’t, no need to rush out and buy it, just wait until you think you need it – basing it on your hands-on experience in your own Yoga Kitchen.  Having a Raw Living Yoga Kitchen is a learning curve, so best done slowly.  Consider patience – through trial and error – a vital virtue, and above all else .. have fun .. enjoy the journey!

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