In today's world, having a nontoxic kitchen can get complicated. Have you ever considered what kind of salt and pepper grinder you use? Once you realize the majority of them you buy from the store are plastic, you start to realize how much plastic you are grinding into your food. In this blog post, I'm going to share 12 of my favorites for a less toxic kitchen, so you can do your best to avoid toxins on a daily basis. Be sure to check out my storefront below in order to shop all my kitchen picks!
Wooden Cutting Boards - most cutting boards are made with wooden parts, but they can include bamboo or MDF and harmful adhesives or glues. Finding a cutting board that is one entire piece of wood such as a butcher / chopping block is going to be the best option. Also, ensure it is not coated with any chemical lacquers. Use beeswax or another food safe oil to treat and coat the board time and time again in order to make it last. They sell beautiful whole cutting boards on Etsy, and also some eco-friendly option on Amazon.
Glass Food Storage - I can't explain how important it is to avoid plastic as much as possible, especially when storing leftovers that may not be completely cooled. Plastic Tupperware can leach chemicals, so choosing glass (which lasts 10x as long) is going to be the safest and most eco-friendly option! Pyrex and Anchor Hocking are some of my favorite go - to brands.
Glass Tea Kettle - One of the last things on our minds is our tea kettle and what it's made of. Choosing a kettle made of eco-friendly materials can ensure the least amount of chemical exposure. I always opt for borosilicate glass, which holds up to high temperatures. You can place your kettle right on the burner and it won't crack! Choosing porcelain, tin, aluminum and other materials can lead to chemical and heavy metal exposure over time.
Cast Iron Pans - One thing I get asked about daily is cookware. One thing to note is that nonstick cookware will not ever be the least toxin option. There are less toxic choices out there such as Greenpan, but it will still expose you to chemicals over time. Cast iron and stainless steel are going to be the safest option. Keep in mind that buying unseasoned cast iron is best to avoid the company seasoning before you buy. They often use seed oils or soy which are less than optimal. Stargazer is my favorite brand! They are high quality and tested for heavy metals.
Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls - These are a must have for any kitchen! With baking, mixing scrambled eggs, etc. they come in handy for anything, and are indestructible - opposite of using glass bowls. We have mixing bowls that we invested in a few years ago, and they hold up to so much wear and tear over time, even the dishwasher!
Wooden & Stainless Steel Utensils - I always invest in thick, wooden utensils and they last if you take care of them correctly! The best thing is, they won't scratch your pans. Use beeswax or another food safe oil to condition them often and never place them in the dishwasher. Similar to cutting boards, try to find utensils that are one whole piece of wood, not pieces of wood glued together, which won't last as long and can contain harmful adhesives.
A Glass Blender - If you can't swing a glass blender (Oster makes one), be sure to transfer your contents to glass after completion. Making hot soups and hot sauces is where the risk of leaching comes in. But I have been known to make cold shakes with our plastic Vitamin (they also make a stainless steel blender).
Mason Jars - Mason jars are a MUST for canning, and food storage, but also double as great all purpose drinking glasses and companies like Jar Jackets make silicone covers for the bottoms. We use these as smoothie cups with silicone or stainless steel straws. What do you use mason jars for? The opportunities are endless!
Plastic Free Salt & Pepper Grinders - This may have been something you hadn't considered before! It's important to choose salt and pepper grinders that are not made from plastic because these grinders have been known to leave plastic residue behind which drops into your food when seasoning.
Plates, Mugs & Bowls for Daily Use - Investing in drink ware, bowls, coffee or tea mugs and even plates that are made from safe materials is key. Lead free glass is always a great option, but stainless steel is too! It just depends on what works for you and your family. Anchor Hocking makes my favorite borosilicate coffee cups that stand up to heat and doesn't leach any chemicals into acidic drinks.
Stainless Steel Sheet Pans - I switched to stainless steel pans about two years ago and haven't looked back! There is a brand I love and use linked on my Amazon store (called TeamFar). They make great stainless steel kitchenware (muffin tins too!) and they last forever! Be sure to clean stuck on grease with steel wool, which you can find here.
Glass Baking Dishes - Baking in glass is a game changer, y'all! I use pie plates and bread baking dishes knowing that I can score them for a great deal, and they LAST!! No worries of baking with teflon and leaching chemicals into your pumpkin bread. Borosilicate glass is naturally lead free and safe for oven use!
Don't forget to use a chemical free disinfecting cleaner when cleaning up your kitchen. If your kitchen looks like mine after a meal, you need a serious cleaner. But you don't want one that's full of toxins. Whatever you spray onto your kitchen counters to clean, gets absorbed by your skin and food from contact. Unfortunately the majority of kitchen cleaners that do a good job disinfecting include unwanted toxins. Other cleaners don't clean well enough. So what's the resolution? I have always trusted Force of Nature in my kitchen. Yes, I do make my own cleaners! But there are times I need a deep clean, especially for my floors (where guests and family can track in germs) and counters (where meat is prepared). Force of Nature is completely toxin free, and disinfects better than bleach! Say what?! Yep, that's right! Use my link for a 40% discount off bundles (with free shipping).
All of these categories above have a long list of recommended products, many of them are listed on my amazon store! Be sure to shop all my kitchen picks here, including less toxic paper towels, the glass tea kettle I use, and more!
Throughout this process of making healthier swaps, understand that you don't have to go and replace everything in your kitchen at once. It takes time and a great deal of effort as well as research, in order to choose exactly what you want. Your kitchen is a work in progress! Every small step counts. You got this!