One Green Planet LogoBoth new and long-time vegans will definitely agree that the right appliances make cooking and baking easier and more enjoyable. Take cashew cream for example. Soaked, blended cashews make an amazing base for frosting, dips, raw desserts, and sauces … but a high-powered blender or food processor is a must!

The right appliances allow you to whip up new, creative ideas at home instead of buying everything pre-made, ultimately saving money and allowing you to customize recipes to your preferences. Check out the guide below to help you find the right appliance for your needs and budget.

Juicers: Juicing fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs gives you a nutritional boost and allows you to mix together your favorite combination of produce.

Breville makes a line of high-quality juicers that fit various kitchen needs. The least expensive, at about $150, is the Breville BJE200XL 700-Watt Compact Juice Fountain. It’s a compact juicer designed to save counter space. The deluxe model, the Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt Juice Extractor, sells for around $300.

Trusted brands like Black and Decker offer more affordable juicers, like their Fruit and Vegetable Juice Extractor. This model is available for under $40.

Want to get juiced but not sure where to start? Check out these 5 awesome recipes!

Blenders: A high-powered blender is a must for smoothie lovers and raw foodies! Smoothies are an amazing way to get a healthy dose of fruit and/or greens, and are a nice complement to juicing. A powerful blender is also the best way to make a variety of sauces, raw soups, and even nut milk.

There’s a reason the Vitamix has an almost cult-like following; vegans and raw foodies around the world will attest that it is the ulimate blender. Its powerful motor,  various settings, and patented tamper stick allow you to do much more than with a typical blender. Ranging in price from $329 to $649, the Vitamix is definitely an investment, but you can use it to juice, blend, chop, powder and process with ease. The company’s unparalleled 5-to-7 year warranties guarantee your satisfaction.

There are also plenty of great blenders available for under $100. For example, this Oster Blender with a bonus food processor attachment is available for about $70 on Amazon. Check the appliance section of any store for more options.

Food Processors: A good food processor is indispensable for making raw desserts (like no-bake brownies!) and finely chopping vegetables. A number of models are available from well-known brands such as Black and Decker, Cuisinart, KitchenAid and Hamilton Beach.

Look for sturdy construction and adequate cup size, especially if you plan to use this appliance frequently, for large batches, or on hard to process foods. Food processors aren’t cheap these days, but you do often get what you pay for in the world of appliances.

Dehydrators: Dehydrating is a common practice, and it’s not just for raw foodists! This appliance is awesome for making raw pizza crusts, crackers, dried fruit, and much more.  Like the Vitamix, a good dehydrator is an investment. But after making a few batches of “cheesy” kale chips or raw granola, the machine will pay for itself in a short time period.

The Excalibur 3000 Series Dehydrators are highly regarded for their superior quality and customized timer settings that simplify the dehydrating process. Their 5-tray dehydrator is available on Amazon for about $200, and the 9-tray version is a bit more.

A less expensive option is the Ronco 5-tray Dehydrator, which retails for about $50. The Ronco model provides a clear view of your food as it dries, and comes with the option to add additional trays.

Do you have a kitchen tool that you can’t live without? Let us know in the comments section below!

More healthy eating stories on vegetarianism from MNN & partners:

How to survive your first month as a vegetarian

Side effects of becoming vegetarian

Vitamins, minerals and nutrients decoded for vegans and vegetarians

This story was written for One Green Planet and is reprinted with permission here. One Green Planet is your online guide to making conscious choices that help people, animals and the planet. To learn more, visit the site, subscribe to the feed and join the growing community on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.