The Vedic philosophy teaches us the idea of “Anna Brahma”, which means “Food as God”.
This description is a symbolic statement made by the poetic ancestors of India. It symbolizes the importance of food to life – suggesting it is as essential as God is to life. For this reason, our ancient science also gives immense importance to the metals that our cooking utensils were made of.
Traditional Ayurveda cooking methods were carefully developed to prepare the best quality and most non-toxic foods.
Cooking in the right kind of vessels can actually make you healthier!
While modern living has made us turn towards the more convenient steel, glass and non-stick cookware, old-school utensils are noted to hold therapeutic benefits, whether you use them for cooking, or to eat your meals.
Glass and Steel are fairly neutral, but coated or non-stick pans, aluminium cookware could be detrimental to the health. While it would be rather inconvenient to completely replace your cookware but you can still incorporate some pure metals (and clay) like copper, brass, silver, bronze, iron and earthen vessels into your kitchen to boost #health and longevity.
Lets Bring The Ancient Wisdom Back to our Kitchen!
- It is said that when you cook food in iron vessels, it reacts with the metal surface. As a result, iron gets released in the food.
- Also one small study confirmed that the iron content of some foods improved when they were cooked in iron pots (when compared to food cooked in non-stick pots).
- Furthermore, when these foods were given to children regularly for four months, the children’s hemoglobin levels improved.
- Apart from the health benefits, many women also prefer to use iron pots and pans as they are ideal for slow cooking and heat up evenly.
Why Iron Is Important!
“Iron is an important component of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to transport it throughout your body. Hemoglobin represents about two-thirds of the body’s iron. If you don’t have enough iron, your body can’t make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells.”
- It is an essential protein component for metabolism.
- Iron deficiency may often cause severe fatigue, body weakness, and other health ailments.
- It is a vital element for muscle health.
- Eliminates Fatigue
Advantages of Iron Cookware
- Iron utensils are safer than many modern pieces of cookware
- They are tough and durable
- They act like non-stick pans when seasoned well
- You can cook on high heat
- Food cooks evenly in iron vessels
- They can adapt to different types of cooking
- They are inexpensive and value for money
- Easy to clean
- Fortifies food with Iron
However, here are some things to watch out for:
- It is best not to cook in an iron vessel every day, keep it to no more than two to three times a week.
- Sour or acidic foods may react with the iron to create an unpleasant metallic taste. Cook kadhi, rasam, sambhar, or tomato-based curries in a stainless steel vessel instead.
- Wash the iron utensils with a mild detergent and dry immediately. Before storing, apply a thin coat of vegetable oil to protect it from rust.
- Water and other fluids should not be stored in iron vessels. Iron reacts with moisture and forms rust. This, along with other contaminants, may affect your drinking water.
- For the same reason, any food cooked in iron vessels should be transferred immediately to another dish, preferably a glass or ceramic dish.
Last but not the Least…
The benefits of this old fashioned cookware are many. For one thing, food tastes better when cooked in these elements. For another, these elements don’t have the chemical additives of the modern non-stick cookware.
“Traditional cookware lasts for years and is chiefly a one-time investment.”“If you have a chance to grab your grandmother’s daily cooking utensils made of brass, silver, iron, copper which are rare these days, then possess them as they could be an integral part of your household and your children will have the luck to carry this wisdom forward. Cooking styles may differ across cultures and cuisines, but traditional cookware certainly impacts the outcome in more ways than one.
Several brands like Zishta, Rock, The Village Fair, MBC Earthenware Healthware have lately cropped up in the Indian market that offer old-fashioned cookware for the entire kitchen: cast iron skillets and tavas, stone kalchattis, bronze urlis, as well as pots, kadais and bottles made from clay.
Pots and pans made from aluminum, stainless steel and Teflon-coated non-stick have nearly replaced the #iron #utensils of old, but they are no match for them in safety and durability. If you have inherited any rusty old pans from your parents or grandma, hold on to them. Traditionally, it is believed that cooking in iron utensils, such as a karahi, provides many health benefits.