Detoxing our kitchen is a crucial part of the natural health lifestyle. Toxins in conventional pots and pans are linked to flu-like symptoms, tumors, and endocrine problems. Whatever you do, avoid Teflon-coated non-stick pans!!
So what do we use instead? There are a number of options for healthy cookware! Here are my favorites:
Cast iron has been around for the longest time and despite the hesitation, it is a fabulous option for healthy cookware! With a few minutes of care after each use, cast iron can last a lifetime. Actually many lifetimes!
Cast iron is an efficient heat conductor which saves time and money, and it's said it can even add some iron to the food. (I wouldn't count on it for dietary iron intake though.)
I personally love the way foods cook in cast iron. Keeping a cast iron pan well-seasoned is key. And it's not that much work. After each use and a gentle cleaning, we heat up the pan on the stove until the water is evaporated, spread some fat around the entire surface (tallow is my favorite), and heat until the tallow is mostly cooked off and the pan is well seasoned. Every few months, it's good to give the whole pan a good extensive seasoning. There are lots of good instructional videos online on how to do this.
Some people don't like the upkeep and maintenance of cast iron pans. They are also very heavy which can be a downfall for some people, especially those with arthritis or hand problems. Use of cast iron cookware is not recommended for glass-top stoves. (But that type of stove is currently my only choice so I use cast iron on it anyway and have never had any problems.)
Some good places to purchase cast iron pans are camping/outdoor stores and even garage sales if you feel like giving them a good scrub and deep seasoning.
While not as durable as cast iron, stainless steel is generally the most preferred non-toxic cookware. It doesn't rust, chip, or dent easily. Stainless steel doesn't leach any of its surface into food, ensuring that the true flavor of the food is not affected.
Unless a stainless steel pan has a base (aluminum or copper), the heat conductivity is poor and the food can burn very easily. I don't ever recommend stainless steel pans without a base.
Even good stainless steel pans can be difficult to keep a nice, non-stick coating to it. I like stainless steel pans but I never cook eggs in them.
Stainless steel pans are a great option for those on a really tight budget. Many years ago, I replaced all the Teflon cookware in my kitchen within one garage sale season for under $20. It's considerably easy and inexpensive to find stainless steel cookware (with bases!) at garage sales. Of course many stores and online vendors offer new ones that are nice too!
For those who want the best of both worlds, and can budget for the best, titanium cookware is where it's at. Titanium cookware offers the advantages of cast iron--keeping a non-stick surface--but without the maintenance. Titanium is one of the lightest metals so it's a great lightweight option as well.
Titanium is lightweight, stable, and one of the strongest metals. It weighs about half of the average steel but is as strong as stainless steel. It is acid-resistant and does not corrode easily.
But is it a healthy option?
Pure titanium surfaces are considered a safe, non-toxic choice for cookware. This metal has been proven to be non-toxic even at high doses.
But not all titanium cookware is the same. In general, there are two kinds of titanium cookware.
1. Pure Titanium-This kind of cookware has an inner surface of titanium finish. The titanium layer keeps the food from touching the aluminum base, is resistant to scratching, and provides a natural, non-stick surface.
2. Titanium-infused Ceramic Coating-This kind of cookware uses non-stick ceramic along with the titanium to provide a non-stick surface. Cookware with this kind of surface is generally considered safe. However, it is important to ensure that cookware with ceramic is free of PFOA (Teflon), heavy metals, and other harmful materials that are often present in some non-stick coatings.
My preferred Titanium Cookware is from Young Living. Young Living's titanium pans are made of hand-cast aluminum bases that conducts heat efficiently and transfers it evenly on the pan. The pure titanium finish (not ceramic) prevents the aluminum from seeping into the pan and offers a natural, non-stick surface that doesn't scratch and doesn't need to be seasoned.
With this titanium cookware, you can use little or no oil, fat or water for cooking. Food retains maximum nutrients, enzymes and flavor. The surface is a patented, high-tech, non-stick, scratch-resistant titanium finish. The thick thermobasic hand-cast aluminum base ensures optimum heat distribution and retention. The non-porous titanium layer is 100% effective in preventing the aluminum from leaking. The handles, lids and knobs are oven proof up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius).
To clean the pans, use warm water and a little dishwashing liquid and a normal dishwashing cloth. We do not recommend putting the cookware into the dishwasher. Do not use scouring pads, steel wool or abrasive cleaners.
To be honest, YL's titanium cookware is the ideal option but also the most expensive. If it is out of your price range, there is always the option to use Young Living's referral program to pay for more products. Click here for more information.
There you have it! Some great natural, non-toxic options for healthy cookware for all types of budgets and preferences! Detoxing your home and reducing the toxins that your body is exposed to can be easy!
Blessings of good health,
~Sara Jo Poff
Natural Health Practitioner
Healthy Families for God
Young Living Platinum Leader #1565710