Moving towards a more conscious kitchen
What is in my kitchen? It is not something i think of everyday but one day i did, and am so glad i did. The idea of a conscious kitchen came with a need - need to be more fit and healthy, need to do right for my family.
First thought was food - Tons of literature on how convenient and over processed food have become a curse and is a huge contributor to lifestyle diseases. And i moved to buying more local produce and organic food. Food started tasting more fresh and i was very happy with my decision. I started looking deeper into all the ingredients, and i realized that the change i have made is good but there is so much more to this.
Here are a few things i changed in my kitchen, and also a few ideas i have in my mind to change - difficult to do all in one go and i like taking small incremental steps. :)
- Organic food /local produce whenever possible. I started with fruits, my predominant raw food.
- Soak your veggies/fruits/greens in salt water for half an hour before cooking/consuming. This will remove most of pesticide residue, if any.
- Research on cooking time for vegetables - over cooking will kill the nutrients.
- I try and make a visit to the fruit and veg market for most of my produce - i just find them more fresh than what i would buy from the racks of a department store.
- When I buy groceries, I look at the ingredients and if i see things I don't understand, I don't buy them. There goes my biscuits. cookies, fries! I stock up on good old banana/tapioca/jackfruit chips made in front of me for my indulgences. Similarly there are shops which gives freshly pound wheat, turmeric, coriander and the likes (will share the list in UAE in another blog post). Another advantage of buying from shops like these are, you can get them in your own containers, avoiding unncecessary plastic.
- Being a south Indian, I love my coconut oil. And there is enough research to support why I should love it more :). And for salads, I have olive oil. I make sure I buy my oil and ghee only in glass bottles. I am probably very biased, but I just think an organic oil/ghee sold in plastic bottles cannot be pure!
- Replaced processed sugar with jaggery, table salt with sea salt.
- I tend to not put cooked food in the fridge, cook enough and eat fresh.
- I got quite a lot right and then I realized I cook these in non stick pans. Defeats the purpose, doesn't it? Moved to cast iron, aluminium and earthen pots and pans - what my mom and grand mom used. And of course same with ladles - aluminium and wooden.
- Wooden chopping boards - yes pls!
- Stainless steel and glass containers to store dry food - nuts, pulses, masala powders
- Moved to all natural coconut scrubbers for cleaning my utensils - simply because I know what they are and they are 100% biodegradable.
- Plenty of all natural dishwashers/ surface cleaners are available in the market - on my bucket list to make my own - i think vinegar does the trick, need to research.
- Garbage bags - shifted to bags made from corn starch, decomposes naturally or sometimes I just reuse plastic bags that come into my house even when i try not to
- Try to carry my own shopping bags and vegetable bags - leave them in the car, but there are days I realize I have none in the car. Note to self - be more mindful.
- Zero waste - bucket list!!
I didn't do this all in one go -I admire the ones who can. I started with making sure every new thing I buy for my kitchen was thought out and then slowly began replacing the stuff I didn't want. It is a journey, I am still at it and will be - I am sure there is more!
"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old but on building the new" - Socrates
Btw, some of these products are available on www.inkahaani.com and we strive to add more products in this line - afterall, food is the essence of all we are!