I get this question a lot – what kind of cookware do you use? In 2014, part of my journey to ultimate wellness took me down the path of finding better cookware. I had worked hard to get plastic out of my home as much as possible, but felt overwhelmed trying to decide which pots and pans to move to. Cast Iron? Stainless Steel? ‘Green’ Nonstick options?
After doing my research I landed on ceramic cookware from a company, then called Ceramcor – know rebranded Xtrema. I got my first few pieces as Christmas gifts in 2014 and have added a few pieces to my collection since then.
So before I talk more about Xtrema specifically, why did I feel the need to change from the nonstick pans I was using? Those pans were cheap, they were easy to use and easy to clean. The main reason is they contain a chemical known as PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid). According to the Environmental Working Group, PFOA has been shown in many scientific studies to increase risk of heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, testicular cancer, pancreatic cancer, immune system damage and pituitary gland damage. I truly believe not one thing will cause you to get disease but constant exposure to environmental toxins will build up in your body as inflammation and inflammation causes disease. This is one of those environmental factors that I knew I wanted to work on eliminating as the next phase of our journey.
For the sake of today’s article, I am going to focus mostly on pots and pans. I will share some of the popular options out there and why I personally decided those weren’t for me.
Potentially Options You Might Consider:
- Cast iron. This is a popular option by many and has been around for a long long time. Iron can however leach into the food although some don’t feel iron is of concern while others actually see this as a benefit, especially for menstruating women. Another main reason I didn’t want to go down this path was quite frankly they seemed complicated.
- Stainless steel is the number one used material in restaurants. I personally don’t feel they are easy to keep looking nice and they do have the potential to leach nickel and chromium, especially if cooking acidic foods or cooking at high temperatures.
- Ceramic Nonstick Pans. These are newer to the market and I don’t believe have been tested very much, but some reports show they can leach a nanoparticle titanium dioxide.
**Overall, these are all still better options than the below two.**
- Non Stick Teflon pans, which I think I covered above why that is important.
- Aluminum has been shown to have potential to leach into food. Some studies show it to be toxic at certain levels but can’t agree what that amount is so I don’t care to risk it.
So back to what I use.
As mentioned, I ended up learning a lot about Xtrema cookware, which is a ceramic option but different than any other ceramic options on the market. They contain no metal, cadmium, lead, PFOA, PTFE, glues, polymers, coatings or dyes and meets California Prop 65 standards, certifying that it is free of more than 800 compounds that may cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm. And if you don’t want to take their word for it, they post results on the tests they have ran in the past and continue to run reguarly.
So for me the #1 reason I choose them was I didn’t have to worry about any unnecessary exposure to toxins or chemicals. They also have the benefit of heating evening and retaining heat. The company recommends cooking low and slow, which I found a benefit because you don’t lose as many nutrients from food when you cook this way. A bonus is they look nice so can go from oven to stove top, to dinner table and are dishwasher safe (although I hand wash mine).
They do have a couple of cons in my opinion. They are breakable, but in 4 years I have only broke one piece and chipped a couple. Also, there is a bit of a learning curve to using them. Low and slow is a different way of cooking for many I am sure. Here is a great summary of how to use and how to clean that they have on their website, including some videos.
My summary of their tips and key takeaways I personally practice are:
- Add an oil spray or drizzle of oil to the pan after it has warmed a couple of minutes. They mention you can use water, but I don’t scare away from fat!
- Cook low and slow. This is very important!
- Soak in warm water after you cook if you need to get food off. Or add warm water and turn pan back on, then use wooded utensil or pot scraper to remove dried on bits.
- Using baking soda and steel wool will also help if there is stuck on food, otherwise a normal brush or pad works fine. An SOS pad also works, but I don’t love what is in those, so if I need to us that I then rewash with a nontoxic cleaner really well!
If you can only switch out one pan at a time, that is totally fine and great. Remember it is a journey. Gradually trying to get rid of the teflon pans will only do your health good.
Just quickly as an FYI, I do use stainless steel pans and baking sheets for baking. I put a piece of parchment paper down to make clean up easier and then also use glass baking sets.
If you are interested in giving these pots or pans a try, they are offering an additional 10% off whatever sale they are having on their website by using this link and this code Savex10.
If you still aren’t convinced this is an option you want to consider switching to, here is a nice chart comparing the different types of cookware on the market now.
Give Xtrema a try now but don’t forget the code Savex10
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