Kitchen utensils

Without the proper cooking utensils, preparing meals can be rather frustrating and tiring. One of the main reasons that cooking seems like an uphill task right now might be because you don’t have the right utensils for the different dishes.

Which pans to choose?

Fortunately there are quite some materials available that are suited for heatlhy cooking. Steel pans are recyclable, easy to use and free of harmful substances (such as Teflon with PFOA in non-stick pans), but they can be sticky and thus harder to clean. Ceramic, (porcelain) enamel and cast iron pans are great and provide safe substitutes for your non-sticking pans. Cast iron pans are more expensive than most other materials but they are the most durable and are often passed down from generation to generation. Cast iron pans can be seasoned with coconut oil to be non-stick.  

Baking tins and oven dishes

The best tins are made of steel, copper, cast iron or enamel.  Also baking moulds made of safe 100% silicone without plasticisers are a good option. The best oven dishes are made of glass, enamel, stainless steal or cast iron. 

Bottles

A stainless steal bottle is the best substitute for a plastic bottle and a more durable option. Most plastic bottles contain BPA. If you ingest too much BPA (as a result of heating / hot water), it is harmful to fertility and can have an effect on the hormone system.

Lunchboxes and containers

Some companies label their products as BPA-free but use toxic replacements instead. The best choice for (lunch) boxes would be stainless steel and glass containers. 

Safe Kitchen Utensils

Even when it comes to kitchen utensils, it is nice to know that your food remains pure and safe. For this there are different types of spatulas, colanders and serving spoons made of olive wood, safe silicone and stainless steel.

Cutting boards 

A cutting board made of bamboo, wood, cork or a combination is a natural and beautiful alternative to a plastic cutting board. There are however, cutting boards made of recycled plastic on the market without the harmful substances mentioned earlier. 

The healthiest cooking techniques

Now that we have covered the kitchenware, lets examine some cooking techniques. When looking at techniques it is important that your food keeps its nutritional value during the cooking process and that it won’t develop harmful substances like AGE’s (Advanced Glycation Endproducts) and free radicals or that it will be blackened. 

The most well known coocking techniques are:

  • Baking
  • Baking in oven
  • Baking in Romertopf or Tajine
  • Grilling
  • Cooking/Boiling
  • Steaming
  • Stir Fry
  • Frying
  • Au bain-marie
  • Slow cooking
  • Microwave

Of these techniques the healthiest are: 

  • Baking in pans as described above
  • Baking in the oven 
  • Poaching 
  • Baking in the Römertopf or Tajine 
  • Steaming 
  • Slow cooking

The right choice of oil and butter

Then last but not least, your choice of oil or butter will determine whether your food will be pro- or anti-inflammatory. 

Most vegetable oils consist of omega 6, which is an inflammatory fatty acid and will disturb your omega 3/6 ratio [1]. Next to fish oil, which is a great source of omega 3, there are vegetable sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These are mainly linseed oil, rapeseed oil, walnut oil, soybean oil. These are best used cold and should not be used for baking. Olive oil, an omega 9 oil, is perfect to use in your salads. 

To avoid are margarines and baking butter as they are highly processed and have replaced butter as a so called healthier choice but are far from that. Butter, ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil are the better choice to bake with because they are satisfied fats which won’t be turned into transfats. Polyunsaturated fats are not suited for cooking with high temperatures because they will be transformed into transfats which are known for increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

[1] A lot can be said about essential fatty acids (like omega 3, 6 and 9) but this goes beyond the purpose of this blog

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