Raw vegan food is plant-based, whole food that has not been cooked or processed with heat. Raw vegans generally do not eat food that is heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit or 48 degrees Celsius. In doing this, raw dieters strive to better preserve the nutritional content of the food.

Maintaining a raw diet can reap healthy rewards, but it takes some knowledge, patience, time, and money to fully commit to the lifestyle. Quality kitchen tools such as a mandoline, dehydrator, and juicer are fantastic aides for making all of your own raw meals. However, these gadgets are often pricey and to buy every tool at once would break the bank for many of us.

Do you want to get the benefits of eating a raw diet without spending all of the extra cash? Here are five ways to eat raw without all the expensive tools:

1. Slice without a mandoline or spiralizer 

Mandolines and spiralizers are fantastic raw cooking tools because they allow you to slice, julienne, and shred vegetables quickly, easily, and decoratively. With these tools, you can turn zucchini, carrots, and other vegetables into ribbons to use as pasta. To get this effect without the tools, try using whatever vegetable peeler you have in your kitchen. It may take longer, but you’ll save lots of cash!

2. Dehydrating without a dehydrator

Raw vegans need to dehydrate, process, or sprout their own food, which makes owning a dehydrator important for easy preparation. However, you can dehydrate food by putting it in a warm, dark, dry place for several hours. For example, to make your own dairy-free yogurt, you need to ferment a coconut and probiotic powder mixture by dehydrating it for 8 – 10 hours. Set up a dehydrating station somewhere in your house that can stay warm, dark, and dry for several hours at a time. Also, you can set your oven at its lowest setting and leave the door cracked open just a tad. You may need to do this for about half the time recommended with a regular dehydrator – the key is to check your food often in this method.

3. Chopping without a food processor

If you don’t have a food processor, try placing the ingredients you want to crush into a bag. Seal it, then take a rolling pin to crush many types of ingredients. Try to make pesto this way with this 5 Minute Basil Pesto Raw Zucchini Pasta recipe. Or, if you have a basic blender, this will often do the trick!

4. Juicing without a juicer

Juicers can be expensive, heavy, and take up precious cabinet space. They work very well for separating the juice from the pulp, which is a lovely convenience to have to make a variety of raw meals. If buying a juicer is out of the question, you’ll need a blender, a bowl, and a fine mesh strainer. Without these, it’s hard to juice unless you squeeze.

5. Grinding without a spice grinder

There are many varieties of special spice grinders on the market. If you don’t have the money to spend on the tool, you can grind your own spices using a microplane grater, which you may already have lying around the house. Just slowly run the whole spice down the length of the teeth on the grating side of the microplane grater. Or, you can buy your spices pre-ground in bulk!

Preparing raw meals can be fun and the end result can be surprisingly delicious. With the above tips, you’re ready to start preparing raw meals now without buying all the equipment right away. As you understand the lifestyle more and more, make smart purchases on gadgets that you’d use every day to get the most bang for your buck.  And while you’re at it, check out our tips for adding more raw foods to your diet too!