The anticipation of receiving new items for your home from gadgets to fine china is exciting. Creating your wish list to fulfill the vision of the “souped-up” kitchen can be overwhelming with all the choices; brands, color, patterns. Brain fog and tired eyes set in after a while, whether you are walking the isles of the store you’re registering at or sitting at your computer. It’s a big temptation to register things that look cool, like the soda machine, but the truth is you will more than likely never use these gimmicky items and they will be taking up valuable space in your cabinets and on the counter top. Trust me, I recently donated “never used” pasta & pizza cookbooks and expensive items from William Sonoma that loved ones generously gave me at my bridal shower twenty- two years ago! Help your friends and family spend their valuable money on the items that will support many years of use in your healthy kitchen. I discussed in a previous blog “must have” appliances to have in your kitchen that make planning, preparing and cooking healthy food simple.
Another big item on your registry is your cookware. This is a bit confusing to choose since there are yet again so many different brands, features and price ranges.
You may think that choosing a non-stick cookware set would be the best place to start, in terms of features, because of the quick clean up, which is true, but not a good choice for healthy cooking. When heated, the surface of nonstick pots and pans emits toxic particles and gases into the food and can actually cause flu like symptoms! If you have a bird or are thinking of getting one as a pet then Teflon “non-stick” is definitely off the list since the fumes from an overheated pan can kill a bird in seconds. Yikes! Heated Teflon surfaces cause flu like symptoms in humans and kills birds! This is a no brainer once you understand the facts. Take the “non-stick” off the table!
Now you know what should NOT be on your registry when it comes to cookware but what is the better choice for your health and the environment? I absolutely love to refer to the EWG, Environmental Working Group, for guidance and information pertaining to any products in my home. I appreciate that there is a free source of information that is based on scientific studies and uncovers lies that consumers are fed in the name of money with no consideration for the health of their customers. It makes me personally angry that innocent people are swayed to products, appliances and food that actually cause sickness and declined quality of life. It fuels my passion to introduce resources and information you may not otherwise have come across, like the EWG.
The EWG recommends cast iron and stainless steel cookware as safer options for stovetop cooking, and oven-safe glass for baking. Not as sexy as the sleeker, easier to clean “non-stick guys” but your health is worth it! Cleaning the stainless steel is easy with my favorite and time cherished Bon Ami Cleaner, which happens to be rated an A+ on the EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning!
Cast iron is my favorite cookware because it’s easy to maintain and clean, inexpensive and is non-stick when seasoned correctly. It fortifies food with iron, the essential mineral needed to transport oxygen throughout your body. This is especially beneficial for menstruating women and vegetarians who tend to be low in this really important mineral. I love that cast iron holds heat longer which works well whether you want to sear steak at a high temp, or simmer a stew on low.
I want to give you some tips if you already have a kitchen filled with Teflon treated non-stick cookware. I realize throwing all of it out and purchasing new may not be an option! Here are 6 tips from the EWG:
- Never preheat nonstick cookware at high heat. Heat at the lowest temperature possible to cook your food safely.
- Don’t put nonstick cookware in an oven hotter than 500 degrees.
- Use an exhaust fan over the stove.
- Keep pet birds out of the kitchen.
- Skip the self-cleaning function on your oven. It cleans by heating to high temperatures, which release toxic fumes from the non-stick interior oven parts.
- Choose safer alternative, cast iron, stainless steel, and oven-safe glass, when buying new cookware.
What we use to cook our food matters, just like the quality of the food itself! Skip the toxic nonstick and register for the beautiful stainless steal and sturdy cast iron to use in your BRIDE FIT KITCHEN!