There is plenty of information out there about detoxing your body. But what about detoxing your kitchen? After all this is the place where you prepare all your healthy meals. I have made a conscious effort over the past few months to greatly reduce the amount of plastics and other toxins which have made their way into my kitchen. My friends at Kitchenware Superstore have been a great help decking out the Veggies & Me kitchen with a beautiful large new wooden chopping board, stainless steel veggie steamer and leak-free Pyrex storage containers. Check these guys out online. They are an Australian company delivering all things “kitchen” for really great prices.

Lets keep things simple and start with three tips to get the discussion going.

Preparation
Ditch your plastic chopping boards. The science is still sketchy on how plastics in our environment effects our health and hormones. It is well and truly proven though that wooden chopping boards are more hygienic than plastic ones due to the natural tannins which exist within the wood. Wooden boards don’t tend to blunt your knives as much as plastic ones. The scratches which form on plastic boards are a breading ground for germs and bacteria which is hard to clean. Wooden boards can be cleaned simply by washing with warm soapy water before allowing them to air dry thoroughly. As always it is important to avoid cross contamination in the kitchen. If you do eat meat allocate a board just for this.

Cooking
Steaming is truly the healthiest way to cook your veggies. When foods are cooked with most oils, at high heats, the oils release smoke and free radicals which are highly toxic to our bodies. If you are going to fry or sauté your food choose an oil with a high smoke point such as coconut oil. Water, stock or wine can also be used as a replacement for oil when sautéing. I lightly steam my veggies most days which retains the majority of the nutritional content, flavour and texture of the food. When buying a steamer choose one made for stainless stele, that is very sturdy and that fits a variety of saucepan sizes. The steamer baskets are good but the one shown here is better as it will last forever, fits easily on top of your existing saucepans, has great handles, a glass lid and can be safely and thoroughly washed in the dishwasher.

Storage
I never throw away a glass jar. They can be used for so many things and it seems so wasteful to not reuse them. After all… it is better to reuse than to recycle. I use them to carry my smoothies with me, freeze my home made veggies stock, and store all my pantry items. They are hygienic and non-toxic. As I said, the jury is till out on the effect plastics have on our bodies. If you are going to use plastic storage containers make sure they are hard plastic and labeled BPA free. Those soft plastics that are used for take away containers and drink bottles are to be avoided when possible. Luckily Pyrex is now making leak-free storage containers that are suitable for the oven, freezer and dishwasher. I store my leftovers in these well designed containers and transfer items I buy in plastic, like marinated olives, into them when I get home.

I would love to hear your tips on how you keep things safe in the kitchen.