My healthy cookware haul | Tips to choose the right cookware
Are you often confused by the overwhelming information on what cookware to use for your everyday cooking? Read on to have all the simplified information at your fingertips.
Choosing the right healthy cookware is as important as sourcing quality produce and groceries for a healthier cooking experience. While is not required to obsess over the type of cookware and look at the bigger picture of eating balanced meals cooked from whole foods, it is good to know the pros and cons of different cookware available in the market so as to make an informed choice.
While non-stick cookware offers convenience, there are concerns about the safety of its synthetic coating, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), commonly known as Teflon. To reduce potential risks, invest in high-quality non-stick cookware with multiple layers of coating and avoid overheating. Moreover, use wooden or silicone spatulas and hand wash gently with a non-scratch scrubber. However, even high-quality non-stick cookware has a limited lifespan, around 3-4 years despite its high cost.
If you’re ready to switch, consider the following safer alternatives:
Stainless steel cookware is safe, long-lasting, and induction-friendly. I have stainless steel pans and cookware that have been passed on to me from my grandmother’s kitchen. Opt for tri-ply varieties for better cooking performance. Stainless steel pressure cookers and pans are also excellent choices, although larger pans can be heavy to lift when loaded with food. I use these for everyday subzis, making dals, stir fries etc. Steel pressure cookers are excellent for cooking dal, beans, rice, and curries and these are the cookware I use a few times a day in my kitchen. Pressure cookers in various sizes from 1.5L – 5L are useful in cooking different dishes in very little time. Stainless steel saucepans are also versatile in everyday cooking such as making tea, boiling water or milk, making soups, rasam etc.
Cast iron pans, favoured by previous generations, are making a comeback due to their safety and durability. They distribute heat evenly and add iron content to the food. With regular use, cast iron pans become naturally non-stick. Look for pre-seasoned cast iron utensils for easy maintenance. I like using cast iron pans to make roasted root vegetables that give it a crisp golden brown crust. For dosas, I prefer a cast iron tava the most for its natural non-stick coating and the golden colour it gives the dosas due to even heating. The drawback is that it is rather heavy and it may be difficult for some people to lift the weight of the cast iron pans especially when it has food in it, which adds to the weight.
1/3 Saturday lunch in the making – using a traditional cast iron tava and spatula / the colour and crispness of the Dosa made on cast iron is something else as compared to that made on non stick pic.twitter.com/jC0HowbCPS
— Dr Nandita Iyer (@saffrontrail) November 16, 2019
Soapstone cookware is making a revival and is known for its heat retention properties. It can be used on a flame or in the oven and is easy to clean due to its slippery surface. This is great for saucy curries like kuzhambu and sambar.
Recipe: Fenugreek seeds kuzhambu
Cooking in unglazed clay pots adds a rustic flavour to the food and enhances its mineral content. Clay pots are suitable for cooking tamarind and citrus-based curries and can even be used for biryanis. In Kerala cuisine, fish curry is often prepared in a clay pot which imparts a better flavour to the dish.
Storage of prepped and cooked food
For meal prep and food storage, opt for glass boxes with lids. These are a safer alternative to plastic containers and allow you to easily see the contents. Glass jars and bottles can be used for dressings, chutneys, and dips. Stainless steel casseroles can be used to keep cooked food hot until mealtime. These not only look aesthetic but avoid the daily exposure of cooked hot food to plastics.
Avoid using aluminium cookware and anodized cookware, as they may have potential health risks.
By choosing the right cookware, you can ensure a healthier and safer cooking experience while preserving the quality of your food.
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I recently bought the following healthy cookware from Flipkart Kitchen & Dining section and I’ll be using them regularly for many years to come. Below are the individual links to the products used, but you can also check out the various cookware options available on Flipkart here.
This post is brought to you in association with Flipkart.