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The holiday season is upon us, which means many of us will soon be baking and cooking up a storm with our families! And I don’t know about you, but I’ve been working hard these past few years to improve the materials I cook with in my kitchen. For one, non-stick is mostly out and so is plastic. Now I say “mostly” because I like to balance these goals with reality, but I do think the 80/20 rule is a great goal when it comes to these sorts of things.
So today, I’m excited to partner with our sponsor, MightyNest, to share some of the materials that you’ll now find a lot of in my kitchen. They definitely know their stuff when it comes to smart choices – all their products are free from known toxic ingredients such as BPA, PVC, phthalates, lead, melamine, formaldehyde, flame retardants, parabens and more. So while many of us are here because we’re concerned about what foods we’re cooking – let’s be sure we don’t overlook what tools we’re using to prepare, serve and store all that wholesome goodness as well!
Plus, not only does MightyNest have all the healthy gear you need to outfit your kitchen, but they also donate a very generous 15% of any order back to the school of your choice. A healthy kitchen and money for your school… sounds like a great combo to me! So, to help you get started with your transition to “5 Materials for a Healthy Kitchen” one lucky 100 Days of Real Food reader has a chance to win a HUGE giveaway package today, which includes both $400 of products and $250 for the school of the your choice – a total value of $650!! Just click the blue button below to enter!
For years now I’ve read recipes that recommend using a Dutch oven
but I never had one to use – until now (thanks to MightyNest)! My husband (who rarely gets excited about kitchen tools) even said, “That new pot is really cool!” And that’s because it’s made of cast iron, a material that can be used on the cooktop and, if necessary, transferred into the oven for continued cooking or braising. Unlike pans that are coated with a layer of that non-stick chemical stuff, cast iron cookware does not release gases or chemical particles into the air or your food when it is heated—so once you get it coated nicely you can get your sear on without worrying about what you’re inhaling or worrying about sticking, either. I can’t wait to use my Dutch oven
as an alternative to my slow cooker with recipes like soups, stews, roasts and chili. (As you can see below, my daughter gives it a thumbs up as well.)
Stainless steel is everywhere in kitchens these days, from decorative finishes to cookware and utensils. And that’s because it’s a time-tested, durable, and non-toxic material that can withstand use (and even abuse) on the cooktop, in the oven, on the table, or for storage in the fridge or pantry. Many stainless steel products are also comprised of recycled material, making this a great green option if that’s your thing. Higher grade stainless steel like 18/8 or 18/10 will never rust.
Now I was personally excited to get this stainless steel muffin pan
because I had already switched over my baking sheets from non-stick, but not these yet. So now I can make muffins right in the pan without worrying about liners. And we were happy to discover that with a little brush of butter (before putting in the batter) the muffins will come out clean without sticking!
When it comes to cutting boards
, bamboo is a good choice for many reasons. It absorbs very little moisture compared to other woods, and for this reason it also resists swelling, which can lead to cracking and warping. Cutting boards made from bamboo won’t dull your knives, and they’re also less likely to result in cross-contamination (like raw meat juices!) than plastic boards thanks to the naturally-occurring anti-microbial compounds in bamboo. One important note: you’ll need to hand wash these bad boys!
Baking, serving, and storing your food in glass
means your kitchenware is free of lead and chemicals like BPA that are commonly found in plastics. Now I do avoid sending my kids to school with glass containers (for obvious reasons), but when it comes to the home use that’s our storage material of choice. The key is to look for tempered glass, which can withstand temperature changes or even being dropped. We’ve had a set of glass containers
(pictured in the front below) for over 3 years now and only ONE has broken. I kind of can’t believe it. I also love that glass containers are pretty enough for both food storage and serving – plus they can go right in the dishwasher when you’re all done. What’s not to like?!
My family is a huge fan of homemade pizza, and one of the ways we love to make it is on our grill using our ceramic pizza stone
! Ceramic is an earth-friendly material that can withstand extreme temperatures. It creates the crispy crusts on homemade pizza, breads and other foods when cooked on it.
Bee’s Wrap (Bonus!)
Well, this creative alternative to plastic wrap was new to me – how neat! Made from organic cotton muslin, beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin, Bee’s Wrap
is a totally safe and sustainable food wrap that can be used again and again (for about a year). The antibacterial qualities of beeswax and jojoba oil help keep food fresh and all it takes is the warmth of your hands to soften the wax enough to form it directly around food or open containers. A little forming creates a seal, and as it cools, the material stiffens holding the seal intact. When you’re ready to use Bee’s Wrap again, just wash with a little soap and cool water and allow it to air dry. It’s perfect for covering leftovers like cheese, baked goods, bread, fruit or even half a lemon. Leave it to the bees!
What materials do you love to use in your kitchen?