How to Know If Your Dutch Oven is A Safe and Healthy One?

A Dutch oven is a very useful piece of cookware and can be found in almost every kitchen. It’s a two-piece cooking utensil that includes a pot along with its well-fitting lid. It has thicker walls than a regular pot and some of these can be used on the stove top or in the oven. You can cook a variety of dishes in them – from soups, stews to all kinds of rice and other casseroles dishes. But what’s important is if your Dutch oven is healthy for you. Let’s find out:

All you need to do is perform a simple baking soda test at home to know if it’s safe to cook in your existing Dutch oven. If it fails the test, it isn’t healthy and you need to look for an alternative. This is how the test is done:

The Alkaline Baking Soda Test for Leaching in Cookware:

  1. Boil 2-3 cups of water in any pot, when it starts boiling add 2 tsp of baking soda. Boil for 5 more mins. Turn stove off.
  2. Wait till cool enough to taste then taste the water (take a sip). If you taste metals, that’s what you’re eating! If water has a rubber/paint taste it’s the chemicals from enamel/glaze.

As a control, stir 2 tsp of baking soda to 1 glass of water and take a sip — you will taste just the baking soda.

Baking soda is a high pH ingredient. For a healthy diet it’s recommended that you eat mostly high pH foods; almost all vegetables, a lot of grains, lentils, beans, are alkaline. If your pot is leaching when cooking the baking soda, it most definitely is leaching into your food as well.

A healthy Dutch oven would be one that doesn’t leach toxins into food. The popular and commonly used Dutch ovens are typically made from metals like cast iron, aluminum, stainless steel etc. and ceramics, that is made from ceramic clay, porcelain, stoneware and the glazes and enamels are used for coating. All of which leach into food.

All metals, chemicals, glazes, enamels etc. leach toxins [chemicals like Cadmium, Lead, Petalite (Lithium) and metal ions like Al-Aluminum, Ni-Nickel (steel), Ti- Titanium (steel), Mo – Molybdenum (steel), Cr-Chromium (steel), Fe-Iron (steel)] into food while cooking, even at low heat. What happens is metals break into ions at cooking temperature and react with food while heat acts as a catalyst. These are then assimilated with food and accumulate in organs and tissues. This toxic accumulation in the body is the foundation for many illnesses, a compromised immune system and the production of weak hormones for the management of the body.

In order to find a healthy Dutch oven, you first need to look for one that’s made of a healthy, non-toxic material that doesn’t leach while cooking. MEC’s certified pure-clay™ is one such material that is scientifically tested for being naturally inert, so it doesn’t react with food. MEC harvests pure-clay from unfarmed and non-industrialized lands in USA and refrains from using any chemicals or glazes while making their pure-clay pots to keep them 100% non-toxic.

I love my MEC pure-clay pots! It feels good knowing there are no metals or chemicals leaching into my healthily cooked meals.”, says Michelle – an MEC cook who chose pure-clay pots to cook healthy for her family.

In case you are wondering, they do pass the baking soda test which makes it evident that they make the healthiest Dutch ovens in the market. Visit MEC to find the perfect size healthy Dutch oven for your kitchen and enjoy healthy cooking!

Until next time…

My Journey from Cooking ‘Bland’ Rice to Cooking ‘Healthy & Delicious’ Rice

I consider myself a healthy cook. I am usually careful about the ingredients I use in my recipes – their nutritional value, effects on health etc. But I was never particularly happy with cooking rice. I am careful in choosing not-overly processed, non-enriched, unbleached rice but it cooks very unevenly and either gets mushy or too dry. This is when I started doing some research on healthy ways to cook soft and fluffy rice. What I found was an eye opener:

The commonly used rice cookers are made of metals and ceramics. I have been using a metal rice cooker. I found out that both metals and ceramics leach toxins into rice while cooking. At cooking temperature, all metals leach ions that react with food, a biochemical entity that consists of water, nutrients, vitamins & minerals, proteins and carbs that are in the form of halogens, acids and bases.

Conventional ceramic cookware made from ceramic clay, porcelain, stoneware and the glazes and enamel used for coating are a composition of different chemicals, oxides, and metals. They leach toxins into food while cooking. Also, the heat from these pots destroys the foods delicate nutrients. Surprised? So was I.

I started looking for alternatives – something that doesn’t leach toxins into food and is not harmful to the nutrients. Luckily, I found a healthy rice cooker that is naturally inert and 100% non-toxic. MEC’s pure-clay™ pots make excellent rice cookers. They are handmade from certified pure-clay without using any chemicals. I did this baking soda test at home to confirm if they are really non-toxic. This is how the test is done:

  1. Boil 2-3 cups of water in any pot, when it starts boiling add 2 tsp of baking soda, boil for 5 more mins. Turn stove off.
  2. Wait till cool enough to taste then taste the water (take a sip). If you taste metals, that’s what you’re eating! If water has a rubber/paint taste it’s the chemicals from enamel/glaze.
  3. As a control, stir 2 tsp of baking soda to 1 glass of water and take a sip — the taste of this water will be very different from that of the pots. And similar to the water boiled in MEC pots.

AND the rice cooks fluffy, soft and each grain separate from the other – that too without using any fats or additives, the pot takes care of everything! The semi-porous breathable pot lets excess moisture evaporate and cooks with a unique far infrared heat that is food-friendly and keeps nutrients intact. MEC’s pure-clay pots are ideal rice cookers. I can now proudly say that I cook healthy and delicious rice, that is not only well cooked but is also free from metal or chemical toxins. Try MEC’s healthy rice cooker yourself and enjoy healthy rice cooking.

A Healthy Dutch Oven

Dutch ovens are pretty useful and versatile piece of cookware. It’s a two-piece cooking utensil that includes a pot along with its well-fitting lid. They have thicker walls than a regular pot and some of these can be used on the stove top or in the oven. They are used to cook a variety of dishes, from soups, stews to all kinds of rice and other casseroles dishes.

When choosing a dutch oven, we look at the shape, size, and weight to make sure it would be easy to handle and clean while fully serving the purpose of cooking in it. But have you ever thought of choosing a healthy Dutch oven?

A healthy dutch oven would be one that doesn’t leach toxins into food while cooking. Typically Dutch ovens are made from metals like cast iron, aluminum, stainless steel etc. or ceramic. Cooking is a chemically transformational process, the metal ions from metal pots and the chemicals and oxides from ceramics react with food with heat as a catalyst. In fact, all metals, chemicals, glazes, enamels etc. leach toxins [chemicals like Cadmium, Lead, Petalite (Lithium) and metal ions like Al-Aluminum, Ni-Nickel (steel), Ti- Titanium (steel), Mo – Molybdenum (steel), Cr-Chromium (steel), Fe-Iron (steel)] into food while cooking, even at low heat.  These toxins assimilate with food and accumulate in the body, causing health problems.

In order to make a healthy dutch oven, the use of chemicals, metals or ceramic must be avoided. MEC’s pure-clay™ pots make healthy Dutch ovens as pure-clay is naturally free from toxins and doesn’t react to food at all. MEC’s Dutch ovens are hand made from certified pure-clay with the utmost care to avoid the use of chemicals.

I love my clay pots! It feels good knowing there are no metals or chemicals leaching into my healthily cooked meals.”, says Michelle — a healthy MEC cook concerned about the health of her family.

MEC’s healthy Dutch ovens are 100% non-toxic and can easily pass the baking soda test, that can be performed at home to test the toxicity of a utensil. This is how it’s done:

  1. Boil 2-3 cups of water in any pot, when it starts boiling add 2 tsp of baking soda. Boil for 5 more minutes. Turn stove off.
  2. Wait till cool enough to taste then taste the water (take a sip). If you taste metals, that’s what you’re eating! If water has a rubber/paint taste it’s the chemicals from enamel/glaze.
  3. As a control, stir 2 tsp of baking soda to 1 glass of water and take a sip — you will taste just the baking soda. It shows the material doesn’t leach anything and is appropriate for cooking.

If the dutch oven in your kitchen fails this test, head over to MEC to find a healthy alternative!

Clay Pot Cooking – The Healthiest Cooking

Pure-clay is known to be the healthiest cooking material out there. Unlike popular metal/ceramic pots, it is 100% non-toxic in its natural form. It not only makes cooking healthier but is also good for the environment. A simple baking soda test that can be performed at home is a testament to this fact.  

The origin of this practice of using clay as cookware material can be observed in the distant past. Even before recorded history, people used to make cooking utensils from pure clay. Some might say that metals were not used at that time because they were not yet discovered. But that’s a myth as even when metals were used to make various tools and buildings, they were not used in cookware. Metal cookware is only the curse of modern society where making money is more important than health.  

Today, the cooking pots popular in market are made of metal or ceramic. Both these materials are toxic for food. At cooking temperature, metals break into ions and react with food which is a biochemical entity, as heat acts as a catalyst. These metals then accumulate in the body organs, tissues, and blood. If this goes on for a long time, many health problems arise ranging from minor illnesses to dangerous diseases.  

Still, there is a general lack of awareness about the bad effects of metal/ceramic cookware on health which is probably the reason they are commonly used. Miriam’s Earthen Cookware has been working hard to provide the consumer a much better alternative. After years of extensive research and study, they have a viable alternative — MEC’s pure-clay™ pots. Clay pot cooking is scientifically proven to be healthiest way of cooking – with absolutely no toxins involved.  

Some use glazed clay or ceramic and call it ‘healthy’, but MEC is different. They harvest pure clay from unfarmed and non-industrialized lands so that it’s natural inert properties stay intact. MEC also make sure that no chemicals are involved in the manufacturing process and most of the work is done by hands. So, what you get is 100% safe, healthy and green clay pots for cooking. Feel free to head over to MEC to know more about their products and all their goodness.

Dutch Oven & Pure Clay – Made for Each Other!

A Dutch Oven 

A dutch oven is like the king of the kitchen. It is a very flexible piece of cookware.  A variety of dishes can be prepared in it, from soups, stews to all kinds of rice and other casseroles dishes. Typically, it’s a two piece cooking utensil that includes a pot along with its well-fitting lid. It has thicker walls than a regular pot and is used on the stove top or in the oven. For its flexibility and usefulness, I choose to name it the ‘king’ of kitchen.  

Pure-clay 

Pure-clay™ is harvested from unfarmed and non-industrialized lands in the US by Miriam’s Earthen Cookware. It is by far the purest material to make cookware. It is naturally inert as it is free from any chemical or metal impurities, unlike conventional metal and ceramic cookware that leach metals and chemicals into the food. MEC’s pure-clay pots are handmade without using any chemicals or glaze so as to maintain its natural ability of being inert and safe for cooking. It is proven to be 100% non-toxic and healthy. In a world of toxic metal or ceramic cookware, pure-clay pots stand out as the healthiest alternatives. Hence, I choose to call it the ‘queen’ of cooking materials.  

The Perfect Pair 

What happens when you pair them both? You get an idealdutch oven that cooks your food in the healthiest way possible. It not only doesn’t leach toxins into your food but also preserves its nutritional value with unique far infrared heat cooking. This heat is food-friendly and cooks without damaging the nutrients.  

MEC’s dutch ovens require little to no monitoring when cooking. Heat given to the pot is held inside so all recipes can cook beautifully just on medium heat, and many times you can conveniently turn the stove off even if the food is not fully cooked… it finishes cooking with the heat retained inside.  

Moreover, the steam management properties of MEC’s pure-clay pots are a blessing; the strategic design of the pot & lid uniquely allow steam to circulate inside and let food cook with its own steam pressure. The straight walls of the pot, the pot being made in concentric circles, the inner flute on the lid and a cool underside of knob allow for steam to rise, get condensed and drop right back into the pot. Thus, the water-soluble nutrients are not lost by evaporation.  

No more leaching toxins into food — a healthy delicious dish every time you cook in a pure-clay dutch oven. Adding to the benefits, it is easy to handle and keeps getting better as it is seasoned (after 4-5 times of use).  

Why should this ‘Couple’ be a part of your kitchen? 

The popular cookware available in the market are made of metals or ceramic. At cooking temperature, metals break into ions and react with food (a biochemical entity). These metals are then assimilated in our organs and blood with food, and keep accumulating over time. Such toxins (metal and chemicals) are known to cause health problems that may range from allergies, minor illnesses to chronic diseases. Also, the heat from metal cooks food unevenly and damages nutrients in the process. What is left is a nutritionally lacking food full of toxins! 

“In a day and age when it seems everything is fast, furious and full of toxins, Miriam’s Earthen Cookware is like a breath of fresh air.”, says Anil from Arkon, AL, a customer after using MEC’s pure-clay cookware. With so many health benefits, who wouldn’t want this perfect ‘couple’ to be a part of their kitchen? Feel free to head over to miriamsearthencookware.com and order a healthy pure-clay dutch oven to enjoy delicious food with your family.  

Make Rice Cooking Easier, Tastier and Healthier with A Pure-Clay Rice Cooker

When cooking rice, there are many concerns you might have, like wanting to make it soft and fluffy, keeping grains separate and making sure all the rice cooks evenly. There is, however, one more thing that is important – cooking it in the healthiest way possible.  

As rice is usually cooked in metal/ceramic pots, there are many ways it renders unhealthy.  First of all, metals are reactive at cooking temperatures, leach into food and contaminate it. These metal ions — toxins from food accumulate in organs and blood to cause serious health problems over time. 

Secondly, their heat is damaging to the delicate nutrients in food. Rice and other grains are made of simple carbs, complex carbs, vitamins and minerals, the more potent the nutrients the more delicate and subject to damage they are.  So, the complex carbs, and vitamins and mineral barely survive the ordeal.  No wonder diabetes is a pandemic of this era.  When the body is provided a depleted diet with an excess of simple carbs, it leads to the mismanagement of the insulin hormone leading to diabetes. 

Lastly, heat is not distributed evenly. The temperature is high at the bottom, so the rice needs to be stirred constantly.  All these factors make cooking rice complex and unhealthy.  

Miriam’s Earthen Cookware’s pure-clay pots are the healthier alternatives. They are made of pure-clay that is proven to be 100% non-toxic as it is free from metals or chemicals. The breathable pot lets excess moisture evaporate. Thus, the rice cooks fluffy, soft and each grain separate from the other!  

The unique far infrared heat penetrates deeper into the grains and cooks them evenly just at medium heat. “The rice cooks even before the water fully boils”, says Alisa, an avid rice eater, and passionate pure-Clay cook. There is no need to add any oil or other fats to get grains to separate or taste better, just cook it in pure-clay and the pot will take care of the rest!  

So when looking to cook your healthiest rice, brown rice, quinoa or any other grain, choose the right grains – not excessively processed, bleached or enriched AND cook it in the ideal rice cooker.  One that will cook without destroying nutrients and without adding its own toxins to the food… Cooks it thoroughly & evenly, making it the best rice you’ve ever tasted! 

Things to Keep in Mind While Choosing the Safest Cookware

Looking at the profit-oriented approach of the cookware selling businesses, it’d be foolish to rely on catchy advertisements and their baseless claims of being the best. You need to keep a few things in mind while choosing the best cookware, irrespective of what is popular in the market.

For the sake of your health and that of your family’s, you need to be very careful while choosing the safest cookware. Following are the things you should keep in mind before you make a choice:

Composition:

Majority of conventional cookware are composed of metals (Stainless Steel, Iron or Aluminum), or ceramic. Most of them are also glazed with chemicals and enamels or coated with non-stick materials like Teflon. All metals are reactive and thus, have a tendency to leach into your food while cooking. Eating such food is harmful to you and your family’s health. Over time these toxins get accumulated in your organs and blood and contribute to sicknesses, allergies and many diseases.

Effect on nutritional value of food:

Few people are aware that metal cookware destroys the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in your food. If you try to touch a metal pan while cooking, it burns your fingers. It does exactly the same to food (plants, legumes, meat) that is made up of tissues just like we are made of living tissues. The pot’s heat diminishes the nutritional value by damaging these nutritional cells.

Loss of steam-Loss of water soluble nutrients:

Another important thing to keep in mind is what happens to steam during cooking. Steam is essentially water-soluble nutrients (Foliate, thiamin, riboflavin, Niacin etc.,) these support heart health, the bones and other systems important for the body’s functioning. Most of it is lost with conventional cookware and their easy vented lids. Even in the case of a pressure cookware where steam is supposedly locked inside, all of it needs to be released before opening the lid.

Manufacturing Process:

The way your cookware is manufactured plays an important role in keeping it safe for your health and that of the environment’s. Most commercial cookware (ceramic, metal) are usually processed with chemicals as they need to be made in a mechanized process. As discussed earlier, these chemicals also leach into food while cooking. Additionally, the metals are mined, thereby causing great damage to the environment through water pollution and deforestation, etc.

So, which is the safest cookware?

Miriam’s Earthen Cookware is an all-natural brand known for making the safest cookware from 100% tested pure raw material — pure-clay. It fulfills all the conditions of the safest cookware:

  1. It doesn’t leach any toxins into food as it is free from metals and chemicals.
  2. It cooks with a unique far infrared heat that penetrates deep into food without destroying the nutrients.
  3. It has a natural steam-locking property that lets the steam build up gradually rises to the lid, gets naturally condensed and drops back on your food.
  4. The manufacturing process doesn’t need any chemicals as it is hand-made from 100% tested pure-clay. The raw material is harvested without causing any negative impact on the environment.

Now that you know which is the safest cookware available out there, go to Miriam’s Earthen Cookware to get what is best for your kitchen and cooking style.

Why a Pure-clay Dutch Oven Gives You an Edge Over Other Types?

It is not an exaggeration to say that a Dutch oven is one the most flexible cooking utensils in the kitchen. Some even work both on the stove top and in the oven. A variety of dishes can be prepared in it which makes it a must have for every cook’s kitchen.

When it comes to choosing the perfect Dutch oven, the few things that come to mind are the shape and size, to the weight of the utensil so that it’s easier to cook with and while serving. It may surprise you a little but when buying a utensil for cooking, the most important thing to bear in mind is what material it’s been made of?

As cooking is a chemically transformational process, food is bound to react with the material in the utensil, in this case, a Dutch oven. Most of the Dutch ovens available in the market are made up of cast iron, ceramic or other metals. You may also find a few potters who use clay to make Dutch ovens, which is a perfect material to cook safely but only if it is 100% pure. Any kind of impurity in the clay (like ceramic clay) makes it prone to leach metal ions into the food also.

Hence pure clay is the only material that is inert and safe for making a healthy Dutch oven. So why isn’t it popular? It is simply because pure clay is not available just everywhere. There are only certain places from where it can be harvested. Also, the purpose of using pure clay is defied when using machines to make them because any mechanized process, in most cases, mandates the use of chemicals in the raw material.  So, it is not something that’s commonly made.

However today there is a company bent on a sole purpose, that is to make healthy cookware for their customers.  Miriams Earthen Cookware believes a choice of good ingredients cooked in the healthiest cookware is the ideal way to become sustainably healthy.  They make some of the best dutch ovens from 100% tested pure clay cookware.

So now that you are aware of the importance of the raw material used in cookware. Go visit miriamsearthencookware.com to see which size Dutch oven would be ideal for your family and start cooking healthy meals without the interference of toxins and chemicals from the pot.  This is not all, there are many other nutritional benefits to cooking in pure-clay and their website talks about it at length!

Thanks for reading! Hope this article has increased your HQ (health quotient). Until next time…

Miriam’s Earthen Cookware is an All-american company that makes 100% Healthy, Green & Non-toxic cookware.  They are America’s first pure clay cookware makers. Their pots and pans are individually handcrafted and hand finished without using ANY chemicals, metals, glazes, additives, extenders or toxins.  100% of the all-natural clay is from the USA and is harvested only after it’s fully & scientifically tested (in the US) to make sure there are no contaminants in the clay — it’s purer than the food grown today!

Here is an excerpt from their website:

Each pot and pan we make are a labor of love and they’re made to cook without destroying the foods nutritional cells and without adding any toxins/chemicals into the food (traditional cookware leach heavy metals, chemicals, inorganic oxides all of which are toxic in the body).  Please take a few minutes to browse through the pages of our site to learn more about this fascinating and timeless method of cooking that is very good for you and the planet.”