Nomi: People get really tired, really fast of salads. I do, but you can take the same things that you put into a salad and throw it in the blender and do it up; it’s amazing what the addition of tomato or slice of mango or something can do to a concoction like that, and you can make yourself some delicious things fast.
Kevin: What kind of blender do you use?
Nomi: In my humble opinion, Kevin, there are only two great blunders. One is the K-tech, which I recommend for several reasons. The other is the Vita-mix. They’re both fabulous blenders. I prefer the K-tech. The main reason is it’s a whole horsepower stronger, but there are a few others. The difference between one of these blenders and a Hamilton Beach or whatever is the difference between a Pinto and a Rolls Royce. more? In my book, for example, I assumed everybody would have a regular blender. They’re not inexpensive. I would say to make this dish, grate the carrot, grate the parsnip, then put it in the blender. Well, one of these blenders, you throw the darn thing whole. I throw two frozen, rock-hard bananas, full, and 45 seconds later, I’m eating whatever it is. You can do things you could never do any other way with one of these blenders. I will take a couple of apples and cut them up and throw them in the blender with some cinnamon; I have to baby the blender a little because there’s no liquid in there, and I can turn it into applesauce in a minute or t because people think applesauce? Raw applesauce? No, it’s straightforward and possible if you have the right equipment.
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Kevin: It’s great for kids, too. I think the price comparison can tell me if I’m wrong or not; if you break two or three $100 blenders, you can eventually go for the bigger one.
Nomi: Well, I have taken two, probably $30 to $50 blenders, smoking, plate outside to finish their smoking process in the air where I tried to mandate something. They couldn’t handle it. I do understand, Kevin, that plenty of people are interested in this kind of food that will never be able to spend $400 on a blender. I appreciate that, and that’s why in my DVDs, I use a regular blender. One or two hints about that, if you have an old Oster blender or you can get your hands on one, which would be like at garage sales, 40 or 50-year-old blenders grab it because they have the most amazing motor. Now, they don’t compare with the Vita-mix or the K-tech. But they’re still nice and firm. My first few years, I was raw; I had an old Oster.
Kevin: I think that people sometimes believe that the only thing you can make in a blender is a frozen drink or a yogurt smoothie, and you mentioned applesauce, and then you just talked about pates. How versatile is a blender for making things?
Nomi: There’s a big crossover in equipment. When I make a plate, I use a food processor because a blender needs a lot of liquid. The pate I like best is in my book, called The Sunflower Pate, and it’s 3 cups of sprouted sunflower seeds and lemon juice because that’s a good preservative, tahini, and then some onion and scallion, and different spices. I use it in the food processor. The secret to blending is it needs liquid. Food processing is for drier things. The food processor could never work with as much liquid as a blender. It would leak all over the place.
Kevin: What about Sadako? Can you explain what that is for people who don’t know?
Nomi: It’s an odd name, it’s also called a spiral slicer, and some people call it a spiralizer. Another name is the garnishing machine. I finally just said, listen, I’m confusing everyone because I changed the name every time the company changed the title. And it’s called the Sadako. It’s now made in China. It’s just a simple plastic gimmick, but what it does is amazing. Here’s what it does that’s wonderful. It will take a vegetable; the most commonly used vegetable is zucchini. You put a three-inch piece of zucchini in this little thing, and you turn the handle, and what you get is pasta-shaped zucchini. It has this fascinating way of shredding, and you get long strands. I’ve had three and four feet long strands, where I’ve had to cut them in the bowl, of angel hair-sized pasta made out of zucchini, carrot, beet, sweet potato, or parsnip. It won’t work with anything soft.
Just turn like a tomato to mush, most cucumbers to mush. It has to be a profitable firm vegetable, which has revolutionized the palate of raw people. You never have to eat a salad. You can set your kids down, and they can eat this spaghetti. It’s tossed in a pesto sauce, which I’m sure, as you know, is garlic, olive oil, lots of basil and pine nuts, and just no cheese. It doesn’t taste any different, and then top it off with a raw marinara, and suddenly it smells like, looks like, and tastes like Italian spaghetti. The only difference is it’s not hot. This has, literally, this little gadget has revolutionized because you’ve got to have ways of doing food fast that’s tasty.
There’s another one I’ve just learned about from Germany, and it’s called Spirals. If you do like a parsnip, beet, carrot, and turn it into this little skinny pasta — I’ve done this at shows, and little kids have walked by, and I’ve got it on the table next to the machine to show what it does, and these little three-year-olds will grab it and eat it. The mother or the grandmother will go, “I can’t believe it; he won’t eat any vegetables!” Something about cutting that vegetable into facets, let’s say, really brings out the sweetness like no grating or slicing ever could.
Kevin: Not only does it bring out the sweetness, I think, but it’s so much easier to eat. You look at a carrot and ayou’re like, oh, a carrot. I got to chew this thing forever, and when it’s in that small form, you can eat it, and you keep eating it and eating it and eating it.
Nomi: When I started with raw food, I had a Champion juicer at the time, but it was in storage. When I started with 100%, honestly, all I had was an everyday blender, a good sharp knife, and a grater, and I didn’t have any other equipment for at least the first six months. So I do like to say to people when people say, “I don’t have the money to go out and buy all that stuff.” And you don’t have to, but on the other hand, I have to say that having some of these gadgets, the Salidako, I mean, is $24.95, really the ability to change these foods, their shapes, their size, pureeing or taking and turning into this little strand what suddenly is delicate and tender instead of chomping down on some hard. I would never eat a parsnip the way you might take a carrot and chew on it the way you would a carrot. I just wouldn’t, but it’s so delicious when you turn it into pasta. It’s wild. It’s like a whole other thing.
Kevin: You talked about some quick things you can do, like the applesauce. What are some other real quick ideas that someone can do to make a meal, in 5 minutes and go?
Nomi: Let’s not forget that almost any rawand vegetable can be eaten as it is. Suppose you start with a bowl on your counter filled with apples, oranges, bananas, whatever you can find seasonally, grapes, papaya, mango, whatever, and then in your fridge. In that case, you have different kinds of greens, like broccoli, cauliflower, and all that there’s nothing wrong with going and sitting down and eating three apples and two bananas and mango. I mean literally. I very often eat a red pepper like you would like an apple. I found some that are so delicious, and I directly wash the thing off and bite it, and even if I get some of the seeds, they’re not hot or anything as they can be. We’re so removed from going into the backyard and plucking fruit or walnut from the tree that we forget, especially the younger generation, that food doesn’t come in a box.
I’ve got a gadget called the Toss’ n Chop. It’s such a smart gadget. You throw everything you want for your salad into the bowl, and your dressing ingredients go in a bowl, but no cutting, no cutting board, no knife, no chopping, nothing. Then you go at it with this thing: a cross between scissors and a tossing implement. The other thing, and I’m sure you I’meady know this, is there’s just there’s-craze going on with something called green smoothies, which I did mention in my book, suggesting you could put your sprouts and things, and sneak them in smoothies. Would you like my green smoothie recipe, which is my current passion and craving?
Nomi: Okay. I put a cup of either orange or tangerine juice in the blender, and that’s taking that’s four tangerines at the moment. I set about 8 cups of greens in; I wouldn’t starwouldn’that many because it might taste bitter to you at first. If there are any supplements I’m taking, aI’mI’m usually tI’mng some supplements, put that in. Then, if I can get my hands on papaya, I put that in. Yesterday I put a little bit of mango in instead or a handful of blueberries, and then I topped it off with two frozen bananas. I like it because I like my smoothies to be thick and cold. It gives me about 24 oz of smoothie. It’s fabulousIt’shave it at least once a day, every day. I vary out. You don’t want todon’tthe same thing every day, no matter how good you think it is for you, because you need variety.