Non-Toxic Cookware

We spend so much time and effort eating healthy. It's equally important to educate ourselves about cookware and bakeware that can help us prepare healthy meals. 

The main issue with common nonstick and aluminum pots and pans is that they can leach hormone-disrupting chemicals and toxins into food. But choosing non-toxic cookware can be confusing. After much reading and trial and error, here is what I recommend.

Nonstick/ Teflon: Get rid of it. Nonstick cookware contains a carcinogenic chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which emits toxic fumes that you inhale every time you cook with these pots and pans.

Cast Iron: I love old-fashioned cast iron cookware. It's durable, versatile and easy to use, after you get the hang of seasoning it. (This is a great set of instructions: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-season-a-cast-iron-skillet-cleaning-lessons-from-the-kitchn-107614.) If you have low iron in your body, cooking in cast iron provides a simple and excellent way to increase the iron in your diet. If you don't want to consume additional iron, enameled cast iron is another choice. My favorite brands are Lodge and Le Crueset.

Stainless Steel: This is always a good choice. Stainless steel pots and pans can be used in so many different ways. You might not think of it, but my stainless steel rice cooker is simple to use and cooks brown rice perfectly well.

Silicone Bakeware: Finding the right bakeware is tricky. Cast iron, stainless steel and glass require a lot of oil and they still stick; aluminum chips easily and leaches into your food. The best bakeware I've found, by far, is Demarle at Home. Their well-known Silpat and other Flexipans are made of silicone (contributing nonstick properties) and woven glass (for even conductivity and cooking). It's not necessary to spray, oil or flour these pans. In addition, the Flexipan conforms to European and U.S. silicone regulations. It's FDA-approved, kosher and has been awarded the NSF certification for safety and quality design. This bakeware also carries a limited lifetime warranty.