Essential Cookware

March 19, 2018lectinfreemama
Blog post

Transitioning to a healthier lifestyle guarantees you’ll be cooking more from home. Home-cooking ensures that nothing but compliant, whole ingredients are going into your food. Also, many of the things you’ll want to eat simply aren’t available in a package or at a restaurant. The downside is–for those who’ve been surviving off the microwave and one pot–you’ll suddenly find a need for more (or better) cookware.

I probably have way too many kitchen gadgets. But I’ve given it careful thought and compiled the 6 most important items in my kitchen, from”Must-Haves” to “Nice Extras.” The must-haves are cookware items I use nearly every single day. The nice extras are things that have drastically improved my lectin-free kitchen experience, but aren’t an absolute necessity (most things fall into this category). For perspective, I’ve also included a list of things that aren’t worth it.

 

Kitchen guide: The Essential Cookware for the Lectin-Free Kitchen. Here's what you need for sautéing, steaming, boiling, and blending all those veggies!

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Must-Have Cookware: The Essentials

Kitchen items I use on a daily basis for simmering, steaming, and sautéeing all those veggies.

 

Skillets

While nonstick pans work well for fragile foods, stainless steel is best for frying anything that requires higher heat (like sautéeing veggies or searing meats). Since stainless steel is made of…well, steel, you don’t have to worry as much about chemical coatings or exposure to heavy metal compounds. There is a general consensus among most home chefs that All-Clad stainless steel is the best of the best. My personal recommendation is the stainless steel, tri-ply bonded 10-inch fry pan (pictured below):

 

Available through Amazon Prime.

 

Although a nonstick surface is really only necessary for things like flaky fish and eggs, I find myself using it most of the time because it’s so dang easy to clean. Watch out for Teflon or perfluorinated chemical coatings, though, as these have been linked to disruptions in the endocrine system. My personal recommendation–for both safety and ease of use–is this Stone Earth 10-inch skillet by Ozeri. The manufacturing process of the stone-derived coating uses none of the controversial chemicals used in typical nonstick manufacturing: alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEO), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), and N-ethylpyrrolidone (NEP).

Available through Amazon Prime.

 

Deep-Sided All-in-One Pan

If you have limited room or budget for only one pan in your kitchen collection, let this be it. You can do everything in a large, deep-sided pan: sauté veggies, make stir fry, braise meat, simmer sauces, boil small batches of soup or pasta, soak beans before pressure cooking, and bake frittatas. The high sides prevent veggies from shooting over the side as you stir them around the pan, and a nice big size will allow you to cook and finish a whole meal in one pan.

I’m going to, once again, recommend the Stone Earth cookware by Ozeri, because they make this awesome all-in-one 5.3-quart deep sided pan with the perfluorinated chemical-free German stone coating. It also comes with a tempered glass lid. I’m telling you, a pan like this will have a permanent home on your stovetop. I don’t even bother to put mine away after cleaning it, because what’s the point? I use it for every meal.

 

Available through Amazon Prime.

 

Cast Iron

Cooking in cast iron is like taking it to the next level, which you’ll eventually do if you continue to eat a non-processed, whole foods diet. Cast iron is great for deep searing flavorful meat and doing anything that requires stovetop-to-oven cooking, like crispy pizza, skillet breads, and even seasonal desserts like fruit crisps and crumbles. Get one that’s pre-seasoned, which means it’s been oiled and heated enough times to retain a nonstick quality when cooking (with oil). One of the best cast-iron skillet lines on the market is the Lodge 10-inch pre-seasoned pan. It has thousands of positive reviews, with a consistently good quality brand.

 

Available through Amazon Prime.

Cleaning Tip: Use sea salt as an “exfoliant” to scrub crusty food off the skillet. Rinse with hot water, and immediately heat over the stove to dry.

 

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Nice Extras: The “Kind of Essential” Cookware

Kitchen items I use on a weekly to bi-weekly basis, but not every day.

 

Large Soup or Stockpot

If you want to start making your own broth in large batches, a 12-quart or more stockpot is a must-have. You need to be able to fit bones in there if you’re doing chicken, beef, or seafood stock, along with veggies and the water. Big stock pots are great for cooking crabs or lobsters, for you coast-dwellers. And if you ever plan to preserve your own vegetables, you’ll need a big pot like this for sanitizing and sealing the jars.

I recommend going with stainless steel–it’s not necessary to get nonstick for something like this. I really like this Cook N Home 20-quart Stockpot from Neway International Housewares, mostly because it’s inexpensive and it gets the job done. It’s not necessary to get a super high-quality, brand-name stockpot for something you’ll use so sparingly.

Available through Amazon Prime.

 

Pressure Cooker

This is almost an essential cookware item for me. If I were vegan or vegetarian, I’d go ahead and bump this up to a “must-have” for lectin-free cooking. The only way beans and legumes are compliant on a lectin-avoidance diet is through pressure cooking. Pressure cooking destroys most lectins, enabling the body to digest not only those, but also the other anti-nutrients like phytates, tannins, and trypsin inhibitors in legumes.

The one I use (and everyone I know uses) is, of course, the Instant Pot. More specifically, the #1 selling Duo60 7-in-1 Cooker (6-quart size). I make soup, whole chicken, beans, Indian Basmati rice, veggies, broth, chili, ribs, and pretty much everything else in this cooker. Should you opt to spend $99.00 or more on an Instant Pot and/or accessories, the Instant Pot Online Store offers a special deal for my readers to get $10.00 off your purchase (+ free shipping).

Use coupon code LECTINFREEMAMA to get $10.00 off your purchase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also available through Amazon Prime.

 

Powerful Blender

Though it’s not used everyday–especially in the winter–a blender is necessary for things like pesto, smoothies, salad dressings, and soups. To make something like nut butter though, you need a powerful, high-speed blender that will grind nuts into cream. I personally use a Vitamix, which is the only blender I’ve owned that can grind raw almonds into butter with no additional oil. If that particular quality is not a priority, the Ninja Professional is an affordable, powerful blender that comes highly recommended by thousands of people.

Available through Amazon Prime.

 

Kitchen guide: The Essential Cookware for the Lectin-Free Kitchen. Here's what you need for sautéing, steaming, boiling, and blending all those veggies!

 

Not Worth It

Things people say are necessary, but they’re kidding.

 

Salad Spinner

Ugh. I mean, yes, it’s really cool to spin dry your lettuce. It’s also a giant space-hogging bowl with seemingly 50 different pieces that are, of course, only hand-washable, lest you waste an entire dishwasher cycle on a salad spinner and its various accessories. Personally, I’d rather just eat damp lettuce. Or as I call it: extra hydrating lettuce.

 

Food Processor

Almost anything you can make in a food processor, you can make in a blender. I’ve already noted a blender is “kind of” essential above. A food processor is one of those things that comes with all kinds of attachments you think you’ll need, like a cheese grater and veggie slicer. But then you realize that, by the time you get the appliance out and put all the dang pieces together, you could have grated an entire block of cheese already.

 

Spice Grinder

A spice grinder seems like a cool thing–buy seeds and cinnamon sticks and make all your own spices! Beware: these things you’re grinding are so potent, the appliance will forever smell like the first thing you grind in there. And, if you use it often enough for everything, your spices will start to take on a “multi-spice” or “all purpose” kind of flavor. There’s a reason people make a business out of grinding spices and selling them bottled. My favorite spice company of all time is Penzeys. My recommendation: go with a quality, trusted bottled spice maker instead of DIY.

 

3 Comments

  • cindy

    March 19, 2018 at 4:23 am

    Love your blog Autumn. Can’t wait to order a couple new pans!! You are truly a wealth of information and your recipes are delish. Your chili is my all-time favorite. Thanks a bunch.

  • Jo

    April 10, 2018 at 6:32 am

    I have stainless steel pots and pans, glass, and enambled but I just bought a square copper pan from CopperChef. Does copper pass?

    1. Autumn.m.boyle@gmail.com

      April 10, 2018 at 5:36 pm

      Copper passes! It’s also an amazing conductor!

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