Modern Maidservant #6 – Steamer

#6 – Steamer

Our top recommendations – Instant Pot or Miracle Stainless Steel Rice Cooker (and vegetable steamer) or VitaClay Smart Organic Multi-Cooker (for stovetop Stainless Steel or Silicone or Bamboo Stovetop steamer)

Instant-Pot-1-300x300So many options. Yes, I’ve given many recommendations above, and below I’ll give you my thoughts, so you can choose the best for you. The Instant Pot is my newest fave, as it’s a very versatile pot that can do just about anything you need, not just steam veggies and cook grains.

Some vegetables as well as grains increase their digestibility when cooked. To lose as few nutrients as possible, steam the grains and vegetables you cook, the vegetables only until tender-crisp. A Stainless Steel electric steamer or multi-cooker is super to have. A Stainless Steel pan insert is good too, though I prefer the timer and preset ease of use on the electric ones.

You can get stovetop steamers of many kinds. Stainless steel steamers come in various sizes to fit the pans you use, (some even come with them. See the Fagor Pressure pans I love. More info on our Cook and Bakeware page,)  or even an inexpensive collapsable model that will fit any pan. (Those aren’t the easiest ones to use, but they are cheap.) Silicone steaming baskets are also available.  Bamboo steamers are also considered a good choice, but I’ve never used them. Be sure to buy the right size of bamboo steamer to fit in your pan. The pan should be about 2″ larger than the steamer.

Steaming your food is usually not a major lifestyle change and you can begin with a stainless steel collapsible insert for vegetables for just a few dollars if you are unable to afford anything else right now. The electric steamers also are great for so much more, including reheating leftovers. See, you really don’t need a microwave! We also like to do grains, as well as soups and casseroles in our Crock Pot.

So … on to the electric steamers.

When we began steaming foods, we used a Black & Decker HS2776 Double-Decker Flavor-Scenter Steamer Deluxe Food Steamer, plastic vegetable steamer/rice cooker, because I won’t use pans with non-stick coatings, and this one was big enough for our family. This inexpensive plastic steamer/rice cooker held up and performed well. We used it every day for years. It works great for steaming vegetables, cooking rice and other grains, and reheating leftovers. But I’d prefer to do without that plastic, so these aren’t really recommendations. [Oster has a newer model that is digital and has more feaures, but a little smaller size, if you’re really wanting to go this route. Oster 5712 Electronic 2-Tier 6.1-Quart Food Steamer.]

Miracle Rice Cooker ME-81So … I was still on the lookout for a stainless steel rice cooker/steamer, and hoping to find one that would also hold a larger quantity. (We got to where we really needed a bigger rice bowl.) We found the Miracle ME-81. Finally, there was an electric rice cooker that has a pure stainless steel rice bowl. The Stainless Steel Rice Cooker Model ME81 is the only electric grain cooker/steamer that we found (at that time) that does not have a non-stick coating on the rice bowl, and we love it for grain cooking. We cook brown rice, quinoa, oats, and steam vegetables but I never realized its complete versatility until I started searching online for recipes. Wow! But it’s steamer insert is not large enough for everything for us, so we still had to use a stainless steel pan insert steamer on the stove or that electric (plastic) steamer for steaming vegetables.

 VitaClay___Smart_50a2bc38baa4f2Next, we found an electronic rice cooker/slow cooker that comes with a unglazed clay bowl, (now called) the VitaClay Smart Organic MultiCooker. Nice! No chemical glaze such as on other slow cookers. It also has many other handy features, such as fully programable and fast pre-heat. This multi-cooker can also steam veggies, (by adding your own steamer basket,) and make yogurt. I’m probably most excited about this because I know and love the features of cooking with clay (as you’ll see in my stoneware notes on the cookware page.) VitaClay cooks up to 8 cups (dry) rice, or can be used as a 4.2 qt. slow cooker. (Smaller size also available.) However, I didn’t buy this cooker, as I hadn’t satisfied my research into its quality of performance over time. It was a bit sketchy and new, and availability over time uncertain, at the time I originally wrote this article. [Update: Time has shown the VitaClay to have favorable reviews with updated models, but …]


Instant-Pot-1-300x300[Update:] In the meantime, we have now added another multi-purpose cooker for steaming and grain cooking that I LOVE! It is even more versatile than our Miracle Stainless Steel Rice Cooker, larger than the VitaClay, and has more features than either. It is the Instant Pot DUO60. This 6 qt. 7-in-1 Multi-functional Cooker with stainless steel pan is not only a steamer and rice cooker, but also a slow cooker, pressure cooker, yogurt maker, browner, and warmer. My Miracle Rice Cooker may be about ready for retirement. And (for now anyhow) the larger size and addition of the pressure cooking feature will probably keep me choosing this over the VitaClay.

Where’s the Meat?

Where’s the Meat?

Our position on meat in the Good for You-Naturally!™ Lifestyle of Eating


Many times I’m asked about the lack of meat in the Rab Chai (Abundant Life) Good for You-Naturally!™ lifestyle of eating.

Below is a post I sent to my egroup in 2002, addressing our position on “meat eating” — with a “bottom line” addition.

Greetings from Me and My House,

I thought it would be appropriate on this Feast Day of Thanksgiving to address the topic of meat in the Good for You – Naturally! diet(lifestyle of eating.) Some of you are enjoying your meatless feast. Some of you are enjoying your turkey feast. And some of you are enjoying your meat, but feeling guilty about it. And some of you aren’t in the U.S. and don’t get it.

In Genesis 1:29 God sets forth His original diet for man, a way of eating that is not just adequate but also beneficial for man. Yet, we know this perfection doesn’t last. After the Flood He allows the addition of certain animals for food. Teachers of the Genesis 1:29 pattern of eating generally emphasize this as an “allowance”, a concession. The problem that we can’t get around is that there are times when God even commands people to eat meat–namely the priests, but at the Feasts it is declared that all will eat it. This can be a hard thing for purists, and legalists to live with. It is a hard thing for those who look to optimum health–and see the destruction of health from meat. Yet, no matter its ramifications we cannot command what the Word does not command–to not eat meat.

So where is the balance–not compromise? Here are our conclusions after much study of the Word and nutrition. The first, being the meat itself. What does the Word say about the meat we can eat? One of the only commands given specifically for the gentiles was to “abstain from blood”. To understand this we must go back to understanding God’s order, as He sets it out in the Old Testament first, for the Hebrews. The Life is in the blood, therefore God commands that the blood be drained from the animal so that it not set in the meat–the Kosher practice of slitting the animal’s throat to kill it. A “practice” no longer in practice. Most animals are now “stunned” before they are killed which causes the blood to rush to the muscles and set in–the opposite of what God sanctifies in meat eating. When Christians holler, “We aren’t under the Law. We can eat what we want.” They always overlook this verse written specifically to gentile Christians. The Law itself, (not included in the specific command to the gentiles) included the not eating of the fat also. The fat was the Lord’s. Yet, many people look for that prized “well marbled” piece of meat. The blood and the fat just “happen to be” the greatest health risks in meat eating. Most diseases caused by the eating of meat, in general, stem from one of these two properties of meat. Perhaps God had our best interests in His heart?

The second point about the meat itself is that it is to be from “clean” animals only. This is the one that gentiles usually argue over, that they aren’t under the “Law”, saying they can eat anything as long as they give thanks for it–usually siting Peter’s vision, which they neglect to notice that God gave an entirely different interpretation to, that has nothing to do with eating meat. Again, we must look at what the Word says, not just “proof texts”. It says we can eat all animals God has sanctified. He never sanctified unclean animals for food. They are good, very good, for what He created them for–to be scavengers and help clean up the earth, not as nourishment for us. Yet, even as awful as I think it is to eat such detestable animals, I can’t say that it will send you to hell. It is not what goes into the body that defiles it spiritually. But eating these animals certainly does defile you physically–the health risks for eating unclean animals are tremendous. Again, perhaps God was looking out for our health?

The third issue about meat is the condition of the meat itself. Although we have come a long way in sanitation and preservation, perhaps that isn’t always to our best benefit. Our “new fangled” ways have allowed us to eat things that should never have been fit to eat. In times past, a fresh kill was a fresh kill and old stuff was rank enough you knew to stay away from it, unless it had been preserved /dried in salt and the sun–jerky, and even then the “shelf life” wasn’t very long. Animals were free ranging, eating the purity of the living plants that surrounded them, (the same Genesis 1:29 diet we were given) then slaughtered and eaten pure and fresh. Note also that all “clean” animals were plant eaters. (Scientific reasons abound for why they are “clean” and the carnivores “unclean”.) Today it is not so. Animals live off prepared “feed” consisting of not just living and sun-dried pure plants, but of many chemicals, drugs, and possibly other animals. They are given antibiotics and hormone drugs to keep them alive long enough and make them big enough to bring a good profit–but no benefit, only detriment to our bodies.

So where does this leave us? We do not believe in vegetarianism for any religious nor political reasons. But we do believe in “sanctified” meat eating–meaning pure meats only, “clean” and lean animals, kosherly killed (bled), with the blood and fat removed, and raised free-ranging and “organic” without chemical, drug, and hormonal additives in growing or processing. Are you saying, “Lisa, you’ve sold out! I thought you promoted a meatless Genesis 1:29 diet.” I do–for optimal health, and yet I cannot say my teaching is scriptural if I command abstaining from meat. There’s another verse that says those that are weak eat only vegetables. [Yes, it’s primary point is spiritual, those with a weak conscience toward animals sacrificed to pagan gods.] But, if this doesn’t depict the state of health of modern man! Because of the adulteration and lack of nourishment in our “foods” today, most of our society is sick and weak, and would therefore benefit greatly–in restoring their bodies back to health–by eating only “vegetables” (a Genesis 1:29 diet). Most of our digestive systems are in such poor shape that we aren’t able to digest meat properly, even if we do eat only the “sanctified” meats as mentioned.

Which leads me to our second area of balance, moderation in eating “sanctified” meats. Even when including many organic and raw (and some cooked) fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables, but still having your menus centered on (even “sanctified”) meat dishes, most won’t see the health benefits they desire. The fact remains that meat is hard to digest and very “acid-ifing” to our bodies, and the number one cause of dis-ease is acidosis.

So here’s our stance. The primary diet should be based on Genesis 1:29, an abundance of raw and organic (as much as you can find them) fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, with some cooked vegetables and grains. An occasional addition of “sanctified” meats is not life endangering for most people–such as on Feast Days, not once–or 2 or 3 times–a day, but rather every two or three weeks–or months. For the extremely “weak” (in health) even this could be life threatening, and they should abstain.

So enjoy your Turkey today, with no regrets–especially if it’s a nice kosher, organic one. Or enjoy your Feast today with NO turkey, but an abundance of the “fruit of the ground”. If you aren’t “here” yet, but your everyday menus are based on meat dishes, enjoy your turkey today, and tomorrow give this message some prayerful consideration. But above all, in all things, give Thanks unto God for He is good and His mercy endures forever.

[Update: Since this article was written there has been great change on both sides. The commercial meats have gotten worse, especially with the advance of genetically modified (GMO) grains (corn) being fed to nearly all feedlot (commercial) animals. This puts them in the even-more-dangerous-to-our-health category. On the other side, we have seen a great rise in the production of pasture raised/grass fed organic meats, making the clean meats better, even their nutritional value is better. However, they are still hard on our digestive system and acidifying. Therefore, we still recommend great moderation, even for those that are walking in good health–and great restriction or abstinance for those that are needing to heal. We encourage this, not for your spiritual life, but for your health. Also the higher cost of these properly raised meats will generally keep most from overindulging.]

4 Power Keys

4 Power Keys

Extra Help for Achieving Good Health

“Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like an eagle’s.” Psalm 103:5

Although we can eat the same “food groups” that God originally gave for mankind to the thrive on, nutritionally, we can’t have what Adam and Eve had in Eden. Sin has had its effects, and will, on every human born and on the earth itself. Environmental pollution and toxins have changed the nutrition of the foods we have. Our food sources, water sources and land are obviously not pure like Eden. But with a foundation of foods God created to nourish our bodies, and 4 Power Keys we can work to overcome the nutritional deficiencies and environmental impurities. We know that our bodies are going to eventually wear out and die.  We can not go back to the Garden physically, but we can take the mandates given there and apply them to our lives to achieve the best health we can have here on earth.

1. Juicing – will not heal us, only the body itself can heal itself; but fresh raw juice gets concentrated nutrients to the cells so they can heal themselves. Juicing allows 92% of all nutrients to reach the cells without using energy from our already worn out systems for digestion, because it’s 90% predigested. (Only 1-35% of nutrients in raw foods reach cells, less than that for all other food preparations.) Because fresh juice is raw food it provides all the nutrients including enzymes in perfect balance.

We recommend 2 glasses of fresh raw (primarily) vegetable juice per day as the best vitamin/mineral “supplement” you can take for a Rab Chai (Abundant Life) diet. Fresh juice is a meal rather than a beverage and should not be drank with meals. We recommend the Champion Juicer.

A juice diet (as opposed to a “fast”) consists of more than 1/2 gal. raw fresh juice per day. 1 month of juice only will provide the healing benefits of 6 mo. of raw food only. The body will need about 1 year of healing on Good for You-Naturally! foods for every 7 years of bad eating. See our Freedom & Simplicity™ Guide to Juicing ~ Drinking Your Vitamins for more info.

For those times when you can’t make fresh juice, we recommend and use  Barley Max, young barley grass juice powder. Until we got used to it, we mixed just a little natural green leaf Stevia Powder (about 1/16th to 1/8th tsp. per glass–or Sweet Leaf brand stevia liquid drops , 1-3 drops per glass) in with it to ease the “green” taste. It’s great! Our babies grew up on fresh juices including this barley grass juice powder and all loved it “straight”. (There is a Carrot Juice Max and Beet Max also.)

Even better, for fresh, nutrient packed green juice, is Wheat Grass Juice. You can grow and juice your own, or purchase it flash frozen.

[Since this article was written, another method of consuming larger quantities of high nutrient content foods has joined the line-up. Green Smoothies are made by blending, rather than juicing, fruits, vegetables, and large amounts of greens for a very nutrient dense drink of raw fruits and veggies. Raw nuts, seeds, and other super foods can be added too.]

2. Sprouts – are the purest organic food, with concentrated nutrients at the peak of enzyme activity. They’re easy to digest, packed with living nutrients and enzymes, cheap and easy to grow all year long. See our booklet on Gardening for Wimps to see just how easy it is to grow fresh daily, organic baby vegetables. We recommend the Sprout Master and the Sprout Bag. See our Modern Maidservants article on Sprouters for more info on others.

3. Cruciferous Vegetables – such as broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrobi, kale, turnip, radish, cabbage, brussels sprouts, rutabage, watercress, and mustard greens, contain anti-carcinogenic phyto-nutrients that are destroyed by cooking. Eat 1-3 cups a day.

 4. Food Combining – is eating foods only with other foods that properly digest together, because our digestive systems are stressed and wornout, and our cells acidic from our improper eating habits. See our simple overview on Food Combining.

Sample Optimal Menu

Sample Optimal Menu
for a Good for You-Naturally!™ Lifestyle of Eating

“O taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34:8 

Remember, this is only a sample menu–a basic outline of an optimal diet. There is vast variety in these choices. Check out our Recipe resources and read our ‘from me’ blog for ideas for variety and recipes.

Upon rising –

  • Glass of distilled water with fresh lemon juice

Breakfast –

1/2 hour later and throughout morning, if and as desired –

  • Raw/ fresh fruit (or dehydrated with no additives)

Lunch –

  • Fresh veggie salad with sprouts and raw nuts, seeds or avocado
  • – with Lemon juice or nut (or flax or olive oil) dressing, if desired,
  • – and Steamed veggies, if desired
  • OR continue with raw fruit only

Mid-afternoon –

  • Fresh raw vegetable juice

Supper –

  • Fresh veggie tray or salad
  • Steamed veggies
  • Steamed / cooked whole grain or potato

Eating for Abundant Life

Eating for Rab Chai
(Abundant Life)

A Good for You – Naturally!™ Lifestyle of Eating

Following G.O.D. (God’s Original Diet) that He gave for man in Genesis 1:29 is best for our bodies and especially important for healing. God’s original 4 Food Groups are Raw Fruits, Raw Vegetables, Raw Nuts, and Raw Seeds. But due to our cultural traditions and habits, many of us find it very hard to give up cooked foods completely. Studies have shown that most of us, (if currently healthy,) can eat 15-25% of our foods cooked, if we eat the right things, without severely affecting our health negatively.

This Rab Chai diet consists of:

* 75-85% of food intake: 

  • raw fruits, including fresh raw fruit & greens smoothies
  • raw vegetables, including fresh raw juices
  • raw seeds, including sprouts
  • raw nuts

* 15-25% of food intake: 

  • lightly steamed or baked fresh vegetables
  • steamed or cooked whole grains (and possibly legumes)

8 Keys to Health

8 Keys to Good Health

Unlocking a Healthier You

Genesis 1:29 ~ “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food.” 

8 is the number of new beginnings–and I believe these 8 Keys can help give you a new beginning in health. Below is an outline of 8 Keys to Health.

1. Fresh Air: at least 1/2 hour a day outside, deep breathing exercises, window cracked open at night.

2. Pure Water: the way God does it–Distilled. Use distilled or Reverse Osmosis purification for all drinking water and food preparation. In addition to being totally pure, distilled water carries toxins out better than any other. Use a water filter on your shower too.

3. Living Food: G.O.D. foods (God’s Original Diet) consist of 4 Food Groups–raw fruits, raw vegetables, raw nuts, raw seeds. This is both the Eden and the New Jerusalem food source. This is the only source of alkaline for our bodies. All other foods, drugs, stress, etc. pull our bodies acid; producing aging, sickness, and death.

Nothing else provides enzymes, the life source that activates all other nutrients and physical components of the body. “Every breathe you take, every move you make, every thought you think and every action you take requires enzymes.” Man cannot understand how enzymes work let alone reproduce them. Only God can create Life. “If you ingest pure wholesome unadulterated foodstuffs in their raw state you will soon know the benefits of a body that produces unbounded energy, properly eliminate toxins, and properly signals you when you have put in something which it deems poisonous or unusable.” Sample Optimal Menu

4. Vigorous Exercise: pumps lymph which feeds and cleanses man’s cells, increases immune system, keeps cells, and the organs and tissues made from them, from atrophying. Rebound exercise (mini-trampoline) is best. 3-4 times a day 5-10 min. each time. Next best is fast walking 1-5 miles a day in good walking shoes. More Info.

5. Abundant Sunshine: at least 1/2 hour per day outside, no sunscreen, gradually build up a tan.

6. Peaceful Rest: needed by the body for cleansing, recharging, repairing and rebuilding. The body makes 2/3 of its energy and elimates toxins while we sleep. The body goes through 3 cycles daily: digestion–approx. noon-8 pm, when the body digests the food put in it; assimilation–8 pm – 4 am when the body assimulates the nutrients out of the foods we ate; detoxing–4 am – noon when the body rids itself of the toxins it has ingested and wastes it produced. Exercise before resting and quiet and fresh air help us to rest. 7-9 hours per night are needed. We need to dream for our emotional health. Stimulants, drugs, and meds keep us from properly dreaming. We also need one day a week rest from our work and our pleasure, set aside as holy to the Lord Yahweh.

7. Merry Heart: Pro. 17:22-23 Attitude is the most important aspect of health, because it will dictate what you eat and do. Stimulants (coffee, sugar, chocolate, soft drinks, constant snacking), drugs (alcohol and tobacco), meds, TV, negative music, being around/listening to negative people cause negative emotions and thoughts. Poor health creates a vicious cycle with negative emotions. (Obviously not the only causes of negative emotions, but definitely a cyclical one.)

There are 6 primary negative emotions. Each affects a different organ of the body, locking toxins in to contribute to specific diseases related to that organ. The attitudes and organs are: Anger/thyroid, parathyroid; Fear/thymus; Grief/pancreas, adrenal; Apathy/spleen; Rebellion/gonads; Selfish Pride/Self-will is the root attitude that leads to all the others when faced with a source of irritation. We need to shun negative input by avoiding stimulants, drugs, and negative mental input and instead face irritations with an attitude of gratitude and faith. 1 Thes. 5:16-18, Rom. 8:28, Luke 18:27, Phil. 4:7-8. We need to engraft the Word into our very beings by reading, memorizing, meditating on, and personalizing it. Ps. 1:2

8. Prayerful Fasting: Is. 58:6 Habits and/or addictions determine our health or lack of it. Fasting, through its denial of the flesh, brings the body into submission to the spirit. 1 Cor. 9:27, Gal. 5:16. Fasting breaks bondages/addictions and heals both physical and mental diseases. The body uses times of fasting to catch up on detoxifing the body of the overload of toxic and waste matter in it, and utilizes the energy saved from not having to digest food for healing.

A pure fast is water only. Use distilled, at least 1 gal. per day. A healing fast utilizes fresh raw fruit and vegetable juices, less than 1/2 gal. per day with the remainder of 1 gal. total liquid made up of distilled water. To prepare for a 3+ day fast we need to eat only raw fruits and vegetables for 2-3 days before and 2-3 days after the fast. Other less restrictive ways of “denying the flesh” are: A “Daniel fast” which is vegetables and water. This is sometimes translated sprouts, or pulse (dried peas). Some take this to include fruits, generally eating raw fruits and vegetables, but some also include cooked grains or legumes (all in their natural state, besides being cooked, with no additives). An “Ezekiel fast” is a bread consisting of various grains and legumes and water. Anyone can deny the flesh by eliminating harmful deceptive foods such as meat, dairy, and processed foods without harming the body, only bringing it health, but a Gen. 1:29 eating lifestyle is not a “fast”.

The Keyring that holds all 8 together is Connection to God through Faith and Prayer. The 8 Keys are natural law. They work for anyone. Christians also seek healing through faith in Jesus Christ, by prayer and anointing. God will heal us even when we caused the problem but He wants us to repent, change our ways, and “go and sin no more” so that “nothing worse comes upon us.” He wants to raise up His people into His Mighty Army accomplishing all that He created them to do. 1 Thes. 5:23

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is your body’s response to harmful stimuli, an attempt to remove the stimuli and start the healing process. When inflammation becomes chronic or overly intense it can become the trigger of many health problems. However, the FDA how now determined that inflammation itself is a disease. They are limiting freedom of speech about dealing with and overcoming it ourselves, and helping people understand health and make their own choices for living lives of vibrant health. The first amendment prohibits the government from banning speech because it does not agree with the message. And this is a prime example of an overstepping of bounds to protect big pharma from individuals sharing the benefits of natural inflammatories.

We have been blessed in the last month to have 2 doctors agree with us in the use of our natural anti-inflammatory essential oils and products made with them, instead of their recommended oral cortisone, in treating our son’s nerve damage. Those things have totally supported his body to heal, without side effects and quicker than usual for these types of injuries. But this huge overstepping of the FDA by issuing such regulations is a gross violation against freedom of speech, just to squelch the return to natural sources that enable us to support health in our own bodies.

Inflammation—The 3.5 Million dollar word.  That’s right!  Even though the dictionary defines inflammation as redness, swelling, pain, tenderness, heat, and disturbed function of an area of the body– the FDA has now designated it as a “disease.” Therefore, those of us who have natural approaches to dealing with it can be fined excessively if we refer to it, which is what happened to a sister company that is now responsible for paying them $3.5 million dollars.

Inflammation is the body’s complex biological response to harmful stimuli such as pathogens, irritants, or injuries. It’s a natural, protective attempt by the body to remove the stimuli and start the healing process. When this inflammation becomes too intense or chronic, the inflammatory response itself can damage tissues. Atherosclerosis, asthma, allergies, autoimmune disorders, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and even cancer are all triggered, caused by or involve inflammation.

Although it is a natural protective response of the human body, the FDA has decided that inflammation is, in and of itself, a disease, and that statements about the ability of supplements to treat inflammation are “implied disease claims.”

Read the rest of the article at Hallelujah Acres

Modern Maidservant #5 – High Performance Blender

BlendTec Total Blender - http://gfy.frommeandmyhouse.comOur Top Recommendation–BlendTec

You may already have a stand-alone blender or an all-in-one kitchen center, so why a high performance blender? Smoother smoothies!

Well, that’s a good place to start anyhow. We do not recommend blending “whole food juices” instead of extracted juices, such as from the Champion Juicer. No matter what their slick sounding commercials say, we do not believe these blended foods are better than or a replacement for fresh extracted juice.

But, they do have a place in the Good for You-Naturally!™ lifestyle of eating. We do know that many who are juicing aren’t juicing large quantities of greens, and even those eating a diet high in living raw foods may not be eating enough of those dark leafy green vegetables. Blending, in particular Green Smoothies, are the best and easiest way to make sure you get your greens—and make them taste great too! So there is a place for both blending and juicing in the Good for You-Naturally!™ lifestyle.

These living green foods are great for your health, and blending them makes them not only go down easier, but also, by blending them in a high performance Blendtec® blender, their cellular walls are broke open making greater quantities of nutrients more bio-available to you. They are easier to digest, thus more of the nutrients in the food get into your cells.

But Green Smoothies are only 1 reason and usage of the Blendtec®. You’ll find it helpful for so many other food prep uses in the Good for You-Naturally!™ kitchen, especially as you increase your intake of living foods. Almond (and other nut) milks and butters, ice dreams, purees, sauces, dips, soups, and the list goes on.

Yes, you can keep using your current blender, but it won’t blend as smooth, it won’t break down the cellular walls, and it may not last long if you’re giving it the work-out that a Good for You-Naturally!™ for Life lifestyle of eating brings.

If you are on the road and don’t want to haul your Blendtec® with you everywhere, I recommend the NutriBullet Pro 900 as a good secondary blender.

Learn more about the Blendtec® and Order Here

Modern Maidservant #4 – Dehydrator

#4 – Dehydrator

Our top recommendations – American Harvest 1000watt
or Excalibur 3900/3926T

After raw, the next best foods for nutrition, convenience, and storage, both weight and space, are dehydrated foods. Dehydrators vary greatly! Look for opaque (not see through) machines for nutrient retention, with temperature control from 90° or 100° F. (or below) to 145° or 155° F. (or above) to enable you to do everything from herbs and yogurt to jerky (if you wish). Horizontal airflow, over each tray that provides even drying and no mixing of flavors when you have different foods on different trays is also important. I don’t recommend anything less than 500 watts, and highly recommend 1000 watts. In other words, I truly believe you’d be wasting your money (probably on more than just the dehydrator itself) by buying a transparent dehydrator with only a heating element in the bottom, and no adjustable temperature settings or fan, and low wattage.

Pressurized airflow (up the sides then over each tray) will give you even drying with no tray rotation. The next best, in my opinion, is the fan in the back of the machine blowing evenly over all trays (but many times with these you still have to turn/rotate the trays around). The ability to expand is a great benefit also.

Air Preserve 1000 watt dehydratorAmerican Harvest has been making a dehydrator that meets all our recommendations and has done a superior job every time for the many years we’ve used it–sold as the Nesco Garden Master (and previously, Air Preserve II.) It has the above features with the patented pressurized airflow; is stackable to 30 trays (and reducible to 1), is 1000 watts for faster drying; comes with 8 round trays, 8 fruit leather sheets, 8 mesh screens, and a video from the #1 book on dehydrating foods. It is their best package deal! This is model FD1018. Accessories for the Garden Master are also available.

This dehydrator is now also available in a redesigned and updated model–the FD1040. The electronics, fan and heating element, are all in the lid and the thermostat is digital. This model can be stacked 20 trays high. This new model automatically runs only when needed to maintain proper temperature, saving electricity.

Excalibur Dehydrator 3900The EXCALIBUR dehydrator has been “the” dehydrator in the raw food community and Culinary Institutes for 35 years. It is a great dehydrator also. It is Made in America. It has the fan in the back (for the air to evenly cover each tray–but trays may need to be turned to evenly dry the food for some things), nearly square slide-in trays (with no center holes, and convenient loading/ unloading), and temp settings from 95°/105 – 155°/165 F.

One advantage of the Excalibur is you can put larger things in it – such as taller jars for making raw yogurt or such, or baking pans for dehydrating bars or raising bread (by removing trays). These things won’t go on an American Harvest with the air flow hole in the middle and shallow stacking trays.

Screens come with the dehydrator. Solid sheets (for fruit leathers and other non-solid foods) are available as Premium (non-stick) or Ultra (silicone). I highly recommend the silicone “Ultra” ones as a safer/healthier option, but they are a bit more expensive. (Purchase separately).

We have and recommend the 3900 series (pictured), which has a 600 watt motor and 9 trays for 15 square feet of drying space. This is the dehydrator that always stays on our kitchen counter, and is running nearly every day with almond pulp (from almond milk, and for use as almond flour,) or granola, or fruits or veggies, or yummy raw recipes. (Our Garden Master is brought out when we are doing large loads of produce at harvest or case sale times.) The Excalibur 3926T adds a 26 hour timer, to automatically shut the dehydrator off at your set time. I personally don’t feel the 3926T is worth the extra money, as this dehydrator cannot be ran without the timer. Food preparation is an art, not a science, a skill not a formula. Foods vary in water content and humidity differs from day to day as well as location to location, and size/thickness of the pieces of food vary by who is preparing it. Therefore it will take varying amounts of time to dehydrate, from batch to batch. If the dehydrator shuts off during the night and sits for hours until you get up and store the food, it will begin to absorb more moisture back from the air. So my recommendation is to start foods at a time that they will be finished during waking/at home hours, based on estimated time for dehyrating. If you want a timer that shuts your dehydrator off, I recommend getting an appliance timer and plugging your dehydrator into it, so it will shut it off at the time you set. That way you can use the timer when you need to, and not use it all the time. The Excalibur 3900 is available in Black or White.

The newest Excalibur D900CDSHD has stainless steel trays. I really like this option over the plastic (no BPA) trays, but it does cost a bit more, and has a clear door, that I’m not real thrilled to see. All Excalibur styles also are available with 5 trays. Excalibur dehydrators are not expandable, so we recommend the 9 tray models. Stainless Steel trays can be purchased separately for the 3900 if you’d like them.

The Excalibur 3900 series is a more expensive machine than the American Harvest/Nesco 1000 series. It is also considered more durable/ long lasting (and is made in the USA). Thus we have the 2 Top Picks. Weigh the pros and cons of both and decide which is best for you.

Our company also offers the L’Equip FilterPro Dehydrator. I’ve heard good things about its feature of filtering the air intake to remove pet dander and other “floaties” from the air that is blown over your food, but have not had any experience with it. It also is a stackable dehydrator with a hole in the center, like the American Harvest, but rectangular in shape. It can be stacked to 20 trays, and is 530 watts.