I have been busy baking batches and batches of holiday cookies (and don’t worry, they have all been made without refined sugar, no dairy and no refined grains). After posting all of my cookie recipes I received a good number of questions asking advice on how to select the best non toxic baking pan.
Without a doubt, I am a firm believer that healthy food starts with healthy cookware. For the most part it is not really all that hard to find non-toxic pots and pans if you know what to look for (my favorite “green” cookware happens to be Xtrema 100% Ceramic Cookware.) But finding a healthy baking pan is a little trickier.
In fact, because the market is flooded with so many non-stick (but toxic!) baking pans, in some ways it is easier to locate a healthy cookie recipe than it is to find a healthy pan to bake them in.
How to Select a Non-Toxic Baking Pan
Ok, here’s the deal: the absolute greenest baking pan would be a stoneware cookie sheet and we trust Pampered Chef has and their incredible line of unglazed stone cookware that we absolutely love.
The next best option for a non-toxic baking pan would be 100% stainless steel. However, a number of stainless steel baking pans have been dipped in an aluminum coating, which I am not too crazy about.
The other problem with stainless steel is that it really is not the best option for conducting heat uniformly and consequently your cookie recipes might not turn out the way you expect.
Also, some manufacturers coat their aluminum cookie sheets with substances much worse than aluminum, including toxic non-stick chemicals, which is often done to improve the cooking performance of the stainless steel cookie sheet.
However, you can always cover your stainless steel cookie sheets with unbleached parchment paper, which will help prevent aluminum and other toxins from leaching onto your food.
A professional baker who is not as concerned about the healthfulness of his/ her cookies might tell you that the best bet for a cookie sheet is aluminum because it is such a great conductor of heat, but if you go with aluminum I would definitely cover it in parchment paper to prevent aluminum from leaching into your food.
Why We Recommend Unglazed Stoneware
We love unglazed stoneware because that’s all it is, unglazed, uncoated stoneware that is pure and clean to bake with. It’s quite simple really. Here are 6 things that we love about using stoneware:
#1: You do not have to preheat the stoneware. Just simply place your food, cookies or pizza directly on the stoneware and place it in the oven.
#2: Stoneware has an amazing heat retention
#3: Your food will be light and crispy because the stoneware draws moisture away from your food.
#4: The stoneware doesn’t retain oils, odors or flavors. I’ve had some of my Pampered Chef stoneware for 15 years and the flavor of one dish never transfers to another.
#5: Your stoneware is safe in the microwave, freezer and in the oven up to 450 degrees.
#6: Oh!! Pampered Chef stoneware is made in the USA.
What Baking Pans do we Use?
My very favorite baking pan is this stoneware cookie sheet. Yes, it can be a bit pricey… but you have to decide if it’s worth the long term investment. I’ve had this same large pan unglazed stoneware from Pampered Chef for over 15 years and still use it, worry-free, to this day.
Another favorite is this round pizza unglazed stoneware that is perfect for homemade pizza.
I truly believe that using unglazed stoneware is really, truly the best thing for you and your family and no unbleached parchment paper needed. However, if you don’t want to spend the money on stoneware, then the, Norpro Stainless Steel Cookie Sheet is the second best option.
A Few Healthy Holiday Cookie Recipes to Bake in Your New Baking Pan!
Just in case you missed my healthy holiday cookie recipes earlier this week, here are my 3 favorite:
We also have our Clean Cuisine Decadent Chocolate eBook available in our shop, if you are a chocolate fan!
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