Lately there’s a lot of information floating around about what foods are good for you, which diets are the best, and if what we’re eating is actually good for us based on where it comes from. Whatever doctrine you chose to believe, we have some hard facts – clad-iron hard – on a simple cooking method we use everyday at Ignite that benefits your health: using cast iron pans. It turns out, not only will cast iron withstand our 700 degree ovens, but it also infuses itself into the food, elimates the need for teflon or other harmful chemical-based non-stick surfaces, and reduces the need for a lot of oil.
Reason #1: Fortifies food with iron
The act of cooking can actually leach vital nutrients and minerals from food, but this isn’t the case with cast iron. In fact, cooking with cast iron actually releases certain nutrient into your food- iron to be exact. For example, cooking certain foods in cast iron, especially acidic foods like tomato sauce, can actually increase your food’s iron content by as much as 10-15 times. This is a very good thing, particularly for women, because we’re more likely to become iron-deficient. And iron deficiency can ultimately lead to health problems like extreme fatigue when working out and even weak, brittle nails.
Reason #2: Chemical-free cooking
Another benefit to cast-iron cooking is that you’ll avoid harmful chemicals found in common, every day cookware. Ever heard of perfluorocarbons or PFC’s? They’re the very effective repellent coating that keeps food from sticking to Teflon and many other types of nonstick pots. Unfortunately they’re also a very harsh chemical that’s been linked to diseases like cancer. And if you want to limit exposure to PFC’s concern you, one very easy way to do it is by cooking with traditional cast iron.
Reason #3: Cooking with less oil
As I mentioned before, one very cool thing about cast iron is that it just gets better and better with age. And here’s another bonus to cast iron: when seasoned properly, cast iron will become non-stick- which means less oil when cooking! Sweet! Just make sure you properly season, clean and store your cast iron. And last but not least, have fun cooking on it. Because the more you use it, the better cast iron gets, and non-stick cooking will still be easy-breezy.
Ready to try some Cast Iron Specialties from ignite? We recommend the Wood-Roasted Chicken with Oven Roasted Veggies or the Boneless Pork Chop with Whipped Butternut Squash. To Your Health!