<strong>Can your pots and pans bring stress/anxiety relief?</strong>
I know, I know, cast iron skillets are old-fashioned, they aren't available in pretty colors, you can't coordinate with them with your kitchen decor.
Cast iron skillets are heavy. They are expensive, clunky and hard to store in a small space.
And guess what - if you don't already own a set you should probably go out and get one anyway!
The answer may surprise you. If you are looking to relieve symptoms of anxiety, or if you are going through a stressful period, using cast iron cookware may provide some relief.
That's because the regular use of cast iron cookware acts as a natural iron supplement. And, if you are under intense stress, or anxiety getting sufficient iron is important.
The relationship between iron and stress/anxiety
According to the World Health Organization, anemia due to iron deficiency is the most common nutritional problems in the world.
Research has shown that not only can stress cause an iron deficit, but there is also a link between anemia and anxiety.
Although it is not a process that will happen overnight, regularly preparing your foods in castiron cookware will help boost your iron intake.
In addition to eating a mineral rich diet of whole foods, cooking in cast iron is probably the easiest way to boost your iron intake without taking supplements.
Additional reasons to make cast iron an essential part of your kitchen:
Cast iron skillets will last you decades. Seriously, decades. What other pieces of equipment or cooking utensils do you have that will not remain useful in the next ten years - but if cared for will actually be better.
Go check it out...I'll wait.
Personally, I've been using the same set of cast iron skillets passed down to me from my grandmother and they've outlasted every single piece of cookware I've owned!
Cast iron skillets, if correctly cleaned and seasoned, do not require the use of aerosol non-stick oil or chemically coated sealing to achieve non-stick cooking.
Have you looked at the ingredient list of your favorite non-stick cooking spray? Here's the list from a popular brand:
Canola Oil*, Palm Oil*, Coconut Oil*, Lecithin from Soybeans (Non-Stick Agent), Dimethyl Silicone (ForAnti-Foaming), Rosemary Extract (Preservative). CONTAINS: SOY. Also contains propellant to dispense spray.
And that "propellant to dispense spray"? Depending on your brand of choice, the propellant that moves the oil from the can will be nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide or propane. Yea - but no.
IDEAL FOR HIGH HEAT
Cast iron takes longer to heat up than your copper or aluminum pans, but once a cast iron pan is hot - it's REALLY hot and will uniformly retain that heat longer.
This makes it a good regulator for cooking foods evenly at a consistent high heat, perfect for searing, and unparalleled for producing crispy on the outside while remaining juicy on the inside meats.
A cast iron skillet can move effortlessly between the stove top and oven rack.
And, if you're into camping, there is no better piece of cookware to take along because a cast iron pan cooks as well over a campfire or on a grill as it does on your stovetop!
A well seasoned, well cared for cast iron pan requires little to no additional oil to perfectly brown, carmelize or roast your favorite meat and vegetables.
That's six great reasons cast iron cookware should be your go-to piece of equipment!
I admit it's not quite as simple to care for a cast iron skillet. Unlike an aluminum pan which you can pop in the dishwasher, cast iron has its own unique cleaning process. But, once mastered, it's very simple.
HOW TO CLEAN A CAST IRON PAN
- use a stiff brush and hot water (never, ever soap)
- dry completely with a clean cloth or paper towels
- cover the bottom with a layer of salt and oil and heat until the oil begins to smoke
- pour out the salt/oil mixture and wipe the bottom and sides of the skillet with a clean cloth or paper towels until the surface is smooth
While not exactly cheap, buying a good piece of cast iron doesn't have to break your budget.
You can buy a set of three in most discount stores for around $80, on Amazon for under $50, and, if you spend a little time looking, for considerably less at places like flea markets, Goodwill and yard sales.
A little extra stress and anxiety relief might be as simple as a tasty dish of sauteed mushrooms and spinach...prepared in a cast iron skillet of course!