Get your inner pioneer woman on and start a-cookin’ in that cast iron pan! Cast iron is my absolute favorite type of kitchen cookware. My brother Jeff is a fabulous chef and turned me on to the mighty magnificent cast iron pan years and years ago. It’s my kitchen comfort item akin to a cozy flannel sheet on a cold winter night. When I walk into my kitchen and see those hearty black pans all ready to go on the stove, I instantly feel a sense of calm and comfort.
In that brief moment I catch a glimpse back to a past life as a pioneer woman cooking over a fire with my trusted cooking friend. How amazing that we can still value and use things created a century (plus) ago.
When thinking about health and nutrition I often reflect on how people lived, how they cooked, and what they ate one hundred years ago. There were no synthetic chemicals, pesticides and herbicides contaminating our foods. No brightly colored breakfast cereal vying for all the attention at the morning table. I do idealistically long for a time when our food was cleaner and truly green.
Today, many of the pans that we cook in today are either made from or are coated with dangerous chemicals. Non-stick cookware has been linked to cancer and scratched surfaces may potentially leach toxic chemicals into your food. We herbalists know that’s just not right! Fortunately there is a safer alternative. Cast iron is naturally non-stick so it’s easy to clean. Just wash with hot water, wipe, rinse and you’re on to your next dish. Its’ hearty heaviness is the one small drawback but a good excuse to really engage those abs as you hoist it around yer old kitchen.
Try it! The leading U.S. manufacturer is Lodge Cast Iron, highly recommended. The major benefit of cooking in an iron pan is that the iron leaches out to fortify your foods. Maybe that is where those lumber jacks got all of their burly strength.