As I sit here in my kitchen eating my fourth piece of sourdough toast, dripping with melted butter plus lemon zest, sea salt, and raw honey, I’m looking around the kitchen and realizing there are four kitchen machines that I use every day and don’t ever want to be without. I would even say that I use each of them multiple times a day. That’s a good return on investment.
It will come as no surprise that my Instant Pot is one of my favorite kitchen machines. I use it, at a minimum, once a day. It EFFORTLESSLY does everything from making rice to oatmeal to hard-boiled eggs to soup or stew to chicken to cheesecake to pretty much anything you want.
When we move abroad I will do everything I can to take that sucker with me.
Coffee Pot ☕️
A stunning coffee pot.
A good cuppa coffee really makes my day special. It’s the little things. When I go to bed at night, I think with excitement about waking up and having my coffee.
My love with coffee started back when I was seven years old, and my Nana gave me my first taste. We are Italian after all. Start ‘em young. She also taught me to shave my legs at that age. We are Italian after all.
I’ve been using my coffee machine, a Technivorm, for about five years. It’s a beautiful machine, and its hefty price tag is worth it. As my Papa used to say, “It doesn’t cost more to go first class.” When you spend more for something, it’s usually for quality and it will last you.
Electric Tea Kettle
A well loved tea pot and my good ol’ blender
I’ve had this electric tea kettle for many years. I love how fast it heats water. I can also program it for a specific temperature to ensure the best tasting tea. I probably use it 4-5 times a day between using it for heating water to make oats, tea, or heating a thermos with the hot water.
A kitchen would not be complete without a good blender. I’ve had my high-powered blender, a Vita-mix, for about 10 years (and it looks like it – but, hey, it still works like a charm). My blender gets used every day, multiple times a day. I make everything from smoothies to dressings to ice cream to soups to chia pudding to Bulletproof Coffee.
This delicious, healthy, and gluten-free recipe was adapted from Dr. Weil’s Carrot-Banana Muffins in his True Food cookbook. If you want it paleo style, then use the coconut oil option over the butter oil options.
Glory Muffins is one of our favorite muffin recipes because the flavor is wonderful and the different textures make for a fun experience. You should definitely make these.
Although I often just like having my chicken made in a slow cooker as a stew or soup, this recipe deserves a spot in the chicken recipe rotation because it’s so damn delicious.
Garam Masala Orange Chicken (paleo gluten free) with carrots and greens.
I’d say we have chicken probably once a week, and when we do, it’s with the skin on and it’s always pasture-raised AND organic. I was excited to see that I could buy it online – and soy-free to boot! – from Good Earth Farms, since I wasn’t able to find it at any stores. Pastured chickens are small by nature since they’re not loaded with chemicals, hormones or anything nasty.
My chicken recipes are usually made with a pasture raised chicken that is 2 to 4 pounds (whole or pieced – to be honest though… when baking chicken I prefer it pieced because I stink at carving it post-roasting). This is enough to feed my hearty-appetite family (Greg, Kamea, myself) with some left over. With leftovers, I like to add it to my pastured eggs at breakfast or I add broth and make soup for lunch.
I really should name this recipe after my little girl, Kamea, because she loooooves it. Being a huge sweet potato fan as well as loving grass fed beef, this is right up her ally. My heart smiles when she says, “Mom, this is yummy in my tummy” or “Mom, this smells delicious!”
Sweet Potato Cinnamon Beef Stew with Paleo Bread
Here we go again with my beloved slow cooker. What can I say? It’s too dang awesome and easy to use not to have it regularly simmering away with healthy goodness.
In fact, I had planned on making this recipe after I came back home from a playdate one day. When I looked at the clock, I knew that I didn’t have to head out for the play date for another 15 minutes, so I challenged myself to throw it all together and have it cleaned up in that amount of time. That way I wouldn’t feel rushed to get home and get dinner going. That’s how easy slow cookers are. Mom, why did you never teach me about these? Turns out that I got it all done in only 11 minutes. Read that?! It took me only 11 minutes to throw together an awesome healthy dinner and have the clean up done, too. If you don’t have a slow cooker, what are you waiting for?
Plus, I adore it when I’m coming home after being gone a few hours and the heavenly smells hit you right when you step in the house. Slow Cooker food says, “Welcome Home.”
I update this post as I get new juicers, learn new things, or add videos… so be sure to read through it all.
1) Green Star – Quality juicer that is popular. Extremely durable (I’ve had mine for about 7-8 years now). It’s a pretty awesome piece of equipment. I can make juice and store it without it degrading too much in quality (for about 1-2 days maybe, and the way it’s stored is important. I fill a glass mason jar to to the top and make sure to use a lid that is BPA-Free). But, here are the drawbacks… it takes a while to juice and clean. It’s also a bit of a workout in that you have to really push down on certain veg as it’s going through. Good ab workout though!
Many times, things like apples and cucumbers just end up all mushy in the shoot as they struggle to get through the screen and juiced. That sucks! As a result, a trick to help this is alternating something hard like carrot, beet, or cabbage between pieces of cucumber or apple. And, make sure your cucumbers and apples are chopped in small pieces.
It produces foam (like many juicers) which means the juice is oxidizing apparently. I always have to strain the juice either once through a nut milk bag (or if I forgo the nut milk bag, I strain twice through a metal mesh strainer which doesn’t squeeze out all of the juice and can be wasteful but easier than a nut milk bag). As a busy new mama, this juicer is not ideal.
2) Breville – small model (I’m calling it “small” that’s not really it’s name). Not as high quality of juice as Green Star, but it’s lighting fast (also has a container to collect the juice that has a great lid for holding back foam when pouring into my glass – I find myself actually using this container to catch juice from my Hurom, which I then use to pour juice into a big bowl through a mesh strainer – I know, so much to do with juicing, but it helps.).
It collects the pulp in the bin as opposed to shooting it out into an external cup. Its chute at the top is large enough to fit a whole (small) apple or a whole cucumber so it saves on time since you don’t have to chop produce before using it.
Great for people making small batches of fast juice. Not super for juicing leafy greens, but I can usually do a decent job by the way I stuff them down the shoot. Also, again, this is for small batches of juice, for a single person perhaps. All of the pulp is collected inside the machine and would require emptying between batches if you want to make more. Speaking of pulp, Breville Juicers are notorious (as are most centrifuge style juicers) for leaving you with wet, mushy pulp (that’s a waste because there is juice to be had! However, you can use the pulp in raw crackers or on top of your salad for extra nutrition). Keep that in mind when you think you’re attracted to the cheaper price of a Breville, because you’ll be buying more produce to juice the same amount that you’d get with a Green Star or Hurom. It’s a great starter juicer though (read on to read another review about my second Breville juicer the Ikon).
3) Hurom – This juicer is like a hybrid of Green Star and Breville mentioned above. It’s a high quality juicer, easy to clean, and quite fast for that type of “slow” juicer (not as fast as the Breville, but, remember, you sacrifice quality of juice for speed when using the Breville). I’ve had my Hurom for awhile now and it’s great, although not without its own flaws. I had one of my screens crack but no biggie, the company quickly replaced it for free. And, there have been a couple of occasions where my cucumber or romaine got backed up in it and didn’t juice properly (this only happened twice from the many times I’ve used it). Plus, there is a lot of foam (and pulp which you typically don’t want with juice – as the point is to have it easy to digest and sans pulp!!) with this juicer (ugh), but I strain it with a nut milk bag for extra smoothness (or I strain twice using a metal mesh strainer, or dare I confuse you with how I actually do it these days… I use my large Breville pitcher from the Breville Ikon described below… to hold back most of the foam while I pour it through mesh strainer number one into a bowl. Then, I pour it through another strainer into another bowl – a process I tell ya, but it’s for a good cause. However, with my NEWEST juicer purchase, you’ll see this noted in the latest update below, I shouldn’t have any pulp, because I bought a Norwalk Juicer! Anway… back to Hurom…). Until I bought my Norwalk, I would use this juicer the most. While the Hurom requires straining and chopping food before juicing, it’s still a pretty fast juicer while making a higher quality juice that gives a decent yield (the pulp is dryer than what you get with the Breville juicers). If you’re not in the market for a Norwalk Juicer, I’d most likely recommend the Hurom over other juicers for most situations, but read on because different lifestyles can call for different juicers.
UPDATE (8/19/11): Since getting my Hurom, the screen with white plastic has broken twice. The first time, I didn’t think much of it because I thought it was a fluke. I contacted the company and they quickly sent me a replacement free of charge. However, I’ve since been using my Hurom the past month (although below this paragraph you’ll read why I love the Breville Ikon… However, I’m now in a position where I can take more time juicing, so I’m using my Hurom juicer)… the darn screen (the plastic part) broke again! I contacted Hurom and here is what they wrote back (after getting some info from me such as the serial number and when/where I purchased it):
Your request has been processed and you have been issued an upgrade from thestrainer you currently have. It will ship to you via UPS in 5-7 businessdays. The upgrade includes 1 clear yellow GE Ultem screen. This material is8 times stronger than the former 2 strainers and performs the functions of both of the screens offered before. In addition you will receive a new mainbowl which includes a wider pulp outtake chute. All of your other assembly components are compatible. These upgraded parts should significantly improve your juicer’s performance. Enjoy your Hurom in good health!
Very exciting! It seems they’ve improved the juicer since I bought mine and their customer service continues to be excellent.
Update 2/22/12 Video showing the Hurom
So… why ANOTHER juicer? Well, as much as I love my Hurom (and other juicers), I’m finding that being a new mama is a very busy time for me. As a result, I’m turing to my small Breville more often than the Hurom right now. The problem with my small Breville is that I can’t juice a lot in one juice session because it’s the smaller model (perfect for single people, not so perfect for a High-Raw family who drinks a lot of juice). Therefore, I decided to buy this beauty from Breville and so far I am LOVING IT!
It’s MEGA fast. As a new mama making juice for my family daily, I need speed right now or I’m just not going to end up juicing as much.
It’s super EASY to clean.
It juices large quantities because it shoots the pulp out into an exterior container and has a large carafe for the juice (with a top that holds back foam so I don’t need to strain it). This way, I can make large servings for both Greg and myself.
And, here is another cool feature. It has a knob for changing the speed of the juicer so I can turn it down for leafy greens and turn it up for harder fruits and veggies. It’s helpful because it juices greens better than the small Breville model as a result. I don’t know if it’s helping to reduce oxidation as well, but it might. Still, when I use any fast centrifuge model of juicer, which typically gives juice that isn’t as high quality like the slow juicers, I drink the juice within 15-20 minutes of making it to get optimal nutrition before too much oxidation takes place. This is a great juicer, just know that the pulp is mushy and the juice quality is not as high as with a slow juicer, but it’s fast as hell.
Even though this juicer doesn’t give the best yield and even though it oxidizes quickly, I can’t help but sing my love for this juicer. She’s such a lovely bird… fast and easy. I really love it. But, I know better in that I need a juicer that doesn’t oxidize as fast and that gives a better yield.
Overall – I love all of my juicers for different reasons and I will use them all but at different stages of my life – so they’re definitely not going to waste. They all have pros and cons, but you have to decide what’s important to you at the time, and then go from there when selecting a model. The goal is to juice! So, which juicer is going to help you accomplish that goal the best? Now that I’m not using the small Breville, I’ll save it for traveling perhaps. I’ve heard of some people using it for that. Of course, it’s not super small, so I’ll have to sacrifice taking some other things, like shoes – but hey, juice is a priority for my family. We do what we gotta do!
I had a comment on my last blog post where I shared the details about the Raw food I had for the day and she wrote, “You look like such vibrant, happy mother! And you totally smash that argument of ‘I’m too busy to eat healthy!’ I have a little sister, so I can say for a fact that nothing’s busier than mom duty!”
Mimi, your comment was awesome and really struck me. And, you’re right. I am busy as a new mom, but I make it work so that my family is eating as healthy as possible. One of the ways I accomplish this is using a juicer that juices fast and is easy to clean.
I just made this batch of gorgeous, vibrant juice with my Breville juicer. The pulp and juice looks like a rainbow… so pretty! And… so healthy, too. My Rainbow Juice had 2 green apples, 2 carrots, 1 beet, and 1 cucumber. Delish!
I’m still pregnant and still loving it. I had my non-stress test yesterday with my midwife, and my baby is happy and healthy. Last night we met up with our friends Malynda (vegan fitness goddess) and Robert Cheeke (vegan body builder). You can read about it over on my Green Mommy Blog.
Here are my awesome eats for today. (The shake recipe below is so amazing. So delicious. One of my summer favorites now for sure!)
Magnesium powder in hot water As you can read on the Green Mommy Blog link posted above, I was in need of some magnesium today. My calf is still sore as I write this, but I’m taking it easy.
Cukes on Ice I juiced 2 fresh organic cucumbers using my Breville juicer and served it on ice. Delish!
Chipotle Veggie Bowl My husband brought me lunch so that I could take some time off from the kitchen. I had the veggie bowl, but it’s done up “Kristen semi-raw style.” I have them put a tiny amount of rice in the bowl, topped with two scoops of black beans (getting my protein), and that is topped with guacamole (healthy raw fats and nutrients). I usually skip their salsas since they’re loaded with sodium. Instead, I add my own fresh chopped organic romaine lettuce (and organic tomatoes if I have them), and I sometimes add a little bit of vegan Daiya cheddar cheese. By loading on the guacamole, lettuce, and tomatoes, it gives this dish a nice “raw” edge to it.
Organic Blueberries (6 oz) Watermelon and blueberries are my favorite fruits. They are both things that I can eat all day long (not together, of course… gotta pay attention to that important food combining rule of not mixing melons with anything else. That’s usually the only food combining rule I follow. ;)
Wakame chugged down with water I keep a supply of this wakame and every few days or so I take a spoonful of it with water. I quite enjoy it this way… salty without having me experience much fishy-ness since I don’t chew it.
According to Navitas Naturals’ website:
One of the most hearty vegetables of the sea, wakame is in fact an algae that is amongst the oldest living species on Earth. This sea green has been used extensively in traditional Japanese, Chinese, and Korean cuisine as an important health food and key component of Eastern medicine for centuries.
Wakame’s salty taste is not simply “salt” – rather, it is a balanced combination of essential organic minerals including iron, calcium, and magnesium, alongside valuable trace minerals as well. Additionally, wakame well known for its detoxifying antioxidants, Omega 3 fatty acids (in the form of Eicospentaenoic acid), and body-building vegetable proteins. Wakame also provides many vitamins like vitamin C and much of the B spectrum, and serves as an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Berry Lip Luscious Smoothie (3 cups) This smoothie is mega super duper massively delicious. I can’t say enough about it. I’m in love! The recipe yields a quart, but I only had 3 cups of it because I saved some for Greg. He loved it, too! The smoothie is filled with huge antioxidants, fiber, protein, and all things good for the body. If you’re looking for an awesome protein smoothie that is brimming with nutrition, then THIS is the answer.
Berry Lip Luscious Smoothie Recipe by Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com Yield 1 quart
Blend it all up and enjoy. * I am loving Body Ecology’s RAW ORGANIC young Thai coconut water that I get in the freezer section from Whole Foods Market. It’s delicious, convenient, and healthy! You can read a little more about it here.
Organic Watermelon (lots)
Mulberry Kiwi Kale Salad I made a simple massaged kale salad topped with hemp seeds, mulberries, and kiwi (the vitamin C in the mulberries and kiwi helps my body absorb the iron in the kale much more efficiently).
If I’m up late tonight and find that I’m hungry, I’m sure I’ll raid the refrigerator for more watermelon or other fruit (I have apples and bananas that need eating).
I made a splendid batch of fresh organic green juice. Yum! It’s probably my favorite way to start the day because it really gives my body and digestion a clean energy boost. Ever since finding the raw life and including lots of green juice on a regular basis, I’m never sluggish in the morning. I wake up refreshed and raring to go. That’s the way to live!
Drink fresh green juice and you can experience the following, too: Alkalizing, hydrating, delicious, refreshing, nourishing, and cleansing.
This batch made one quart and had: 2 large cucumbers 5 stalks celery 1 head romaine hearts 1 kiwi 1 small knob of ginger
I used my Breville because I knew I’d drink it right away and extra fast speed was important. I generally like to use my Hurom juicer (that’s my favorite), but today’s desire for speed trumped anything else. If you’d like to see a video where I discuss the three juicers I have (Green Star, Breville, Hurom), then check it out here.
Hhmm… isn’t that beautiful, vibrant and full of life? You know that will make my cells dance for joy! I tell ya… I cannot live life without fresh green juice. Can you imagine if everyone drank fresh organic green juice on a weekly (or daily!) basis!? Whoo Whee! The buzz of life and energy that we would all experience. That would be awesome. (If you’re wondering why my Blendtec container is there, it’s because when my Breville container runs out of room, I transfer it to my blender and then continue juicing with the Breville.)
Having green juice (a.k.a. Plant Blood) on a regular basis is very important for my family. We love it! It’s invigorating. It’s filled with easy-to-assimilate nutrients. It’s powerful. It makes the cells in my body boogie-down as if they were listening to Earth, Wind, & Fire! Like the vegan version of being a vampire, I feel absolutely super-human when I’m drinking it.
Fresh fruit and vegetable juices can do wonders for your body, spirit and mind. They can help cleanse your body and detox. They can fill you up with energy because you’re giving your digestion a rest with the removal of the fiber. They can help make you feel like you’re on top of the world (at least that’s what they do to me when I drink them). And for sure… a number of people use fresh organic juices as a part of their weight loss routine. I know that after I give birth, and breast feeding is done, I’ll be using a green juice weight loss program to help me lose the pregnancy weight.
A while back I posted about the two juicers that I have in this post. But, I have a new addition to my family that is worthy of discussion. In the following videos I discuss the pros and cons of each juicer (Green Star, Breville, and Hurom), from my perspective. And, I show you one of the juicers in action.