Whenever I talk to someone who says they are really serious about changing the way they eat, learning about healthy cooking and creating “Clean Cuisine”, the first thing I do is encourage them to give their kitchen a complete overhaul.
Most people interpret a “kitchen shape up” as something like opening up the cupboards, tossing the junk and replacing it with healthy food. But it is also tremendously important to shape up your cookware too…not just for health’s sake, but also for taste!
Healthy Cooking – Better-For-You “Clean Cuisine” Starts with Healthy Cookware
Many people do not realize that the cookware they use may actually be leaching toxins into their bloodstream. This is especially concerning for people who are trying to eat well and think healthy cooking means using non-stick cookware.
What they don’t know is that PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid), a carcinogenic man-made chemical, is widely used in the production of many non-stick cookware surfaces. When heated to a high degree or scratched during normal cooking, non-stick cookware can release toxins into the food. The use of non-stick cookware could be a reason PFOA can be found in the bloodstreams of 95% of American men, women and children.
Other non-safe, non-stick cookware is made using PFTE (polytetrafluoroethylene), which deteriorates when cookware is heated to high levels and emits dangerous gases that have been linked to flu-like symptoms in humans.
In fact, the Environmental Working Group has petitioned for a rule with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to require all cookware and heated appliances bearing any non-stick coatings to carry a label warning of human health hazards. I personally won’t use any non-stick cookware in my house.
Even though it is considered “green” by some, there is also concern about stainless steel cookware. Stainless steel is actually a mixture of several different metals, including nickel, chromium and molybdenum, all of which can trickle into foods.
Even though our body requires metals, we are really supposed to get them from our food, not necessarily our cookware. There is concern that metal that comes from cookware has no bioavailability which means that it has no value at the cellular level in the human body and can potentially be harmful.
Green Healthy Cooking: Finding a Pot To Cook In…
Just as there are plenty of pseudo health food products on the market, the same goes for wanna-be truly healthy skincare products, hair cleansers , soaps, detergents…and cookware. Let’s face it: “healthy living” and “green product lines” have become big business. There are many companies today who are jumping on the healthy band wagon and taking advantage of the green movement while not necessarily being an intrinsically green company.
There really should be universal standards that have to be met before you can call your product green. But there aren’t. Putting a non-stick ceramic coating on aluminum cookware does not make the product green because the manufacturing process involved in making metal cookware is extremely toxic to the environment and to the factory workers.
In my quest for healthy cooking, over the years I have tried all sorts of “green” cookware, including stainless steel, cast iron and even copper. But, the one I have found to be the “greenest” as well as the most versatile and also deliver the best-tasting food is Xtrema® cookware. As an added bonus, this cookware actually looks the very best too!
Extremely Green, Xtrema® 100% Ceramic Cookware Makes Foods Taste Better
Xtrema® cookware is 100% ceramic, non-scratch, non-reactive and non-toxic. It is considered to be the greenest, healthiest, most sustainable and most versatile cookware on the planet. Xtrema skillets, saucepans, woks, teaware and bakeware are completely manufactured with natural minerals from the earth’s crust, thus providing a much safer cooking alternative to traditional metal and non-stick coated cookware.
Foods cooked with Xtrema even taste better! That’s because there are no heavy metals or toxins that can leach into the foods which can distort the taste and nutritional value of your Clean Cuisine recipes.
Xtrema’s versatility — Stovetop, Oven, Broiler, Microwave Oven, Refrigerator, Freezer, and Table Top usage reduces the need for multiple products which can save energy, time and money. Very green indeed.
And I can’t help but mention again how beautiful Xtrema looks as well as how easy it is to clean. No tedious scrubbing required—Xtrema cleans like a dream.
I fell in love with the Xtrema® cookware line so much that I actually reached out to the company to learn more. I discovered the Xtrema manufacturing process is in fact very involved and requires highly skilled artisans twenty-two days of work to finish each and every piece. And believe me, the craftsmanship does not go unnoticed. When you cook with Xtrema you know you are using cookware that is extremely special and very well crafted.
What are the best Heat-Stable, Healthy Oils for the Best-Tasting, Healthiest Food
Because “Clean Cuisine” emphasizes good taste every bit as much as good health, it is also important to point out that your food will taste far better if you don’t use a non-stick skillet, so long as you also use heat-stable oils (note: a good test for any oil is that if it smokes the heat is too high for that particular oil.)
If you do not use a heat-stable oil then the heat can break down the oil and generate toxic byproducts that are neither good for you nor good-tasting. Of course some oils are heat-stable, but they aren’t necessarily healthy. The absolute best oils—for health, good taste and heat-stability– for cooking include:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
This oil is a mainstay of the Mediterranean diet and one of the oldest known culinary oil. Extra virgin olive oil cannot be heated to extremely high temperatures though or it will spoil so be careful to cook on low heat, such as low-heat sautéing.
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil:
Pressed from the fruit of the coconut palm tree, a superior quality extra virgin coconut oil will not make your food reek of some tropical-smelling sunscreen. So don’t worry about that. In fact, a high quality extra virgin coconut oil has almost no smell when used for cooking. Instead, it delivers a luxurious richness that can compete head to head with butter. Coconut oil is extremely heat-stable and can even be used for frying.
Macadamia Nut Oil:
Part of the popularity of macadamia nut oil stems from the fact that it is richer than any other oil in monounsaturated fat, even richer than olive oil! This nutritious oil finds favor with chefs all over the world for its versatility and practicality of use. Importantly, macadamia nut oil also has a high smoke point of around 425 degrees F, which is higher than that of olive oil. Because it has such a high smoke point, macadamia nut oil does not break down into toxic by-products that are harmful to your heart and overall health. All in all, it’s a very practical addition to your “Clean Cuisine” cabinet, especially for occasions when olive oil can’t be used due its lower smoke point.
I hesitated whether to include butter because it is very rich in animal-based saturated fat, which is pro-inflammatory. However, butter from pastured cows does contain fat-soluble vitamin A and K2 and a little goes a very long way. The best thing about butter (other than the fact it makes everything taste better!), is that it is extremely heat stable and resists oxidation. Just go easy, a little pat will do.
If you really are serious about eating clean and improving your health and the taste of your food, do yourself a big favor and go toss those non-stick skillets right now and invest in Xtrema® cookware. And buy the right oils. These two simple things will make a big, big difference.