Saturday, February 28, 2015

Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips

Guilt-free snack! I think these are even yummier than regular potato chips... Here’s just a few of the things I learned about sweet potatoes:

Sweet potatoes have more than 100% of the daily requirement for vitamin A.

They contain high amounts of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect our bodies from free radicals.

Sweet poatoes have more fiber per serving than oatmeal.

They are the best source for bioavailable (absorbable) beta-carotene.

The Center for Science in Public Interest has ranked the sweet potato number one in nutrition (ahead of spinach and broccoli).

But, best of all, they taste like dessert!

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp. melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Honey Yogurt Dip
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel sweet potatoes and slice thinly, using either a mandolin or sharp knife. In a large bowl, toss sweet potatoes with coconut oil, rosemary, and salt.
  • Place sweet potato chips in a single layer on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then flip the chips over and bake for another 15 minutes. For the last ten minutes, watch the chips closely and pull off any chips that start to brown, until all of the chips are cooked.
  • Meanwhile, mix Greek yogurt and honey until blended. Remove chips from oven and allow them to cool. They will crisp up even further as they cool. Serve with yogurt dipping sauce. You can also pack the chips in an airtight container and eat on the go. Enjoy!

Baked Tomato Cups

  • 2 medium/large fresh tomatoes
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped avocado and green onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut the tops of the tomatoes off. With a spoon (I like to use a serrated grapefruit spoon), spoon out all the tomato innards.
  • Add chopped avocado, onions and crack an egg in each hollowed-out tomato. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes. Season with salt & pepper then enjoy!

Protein Chocolate Chip Muffins


1/2 cup coconut oil,
4 egg
1 tbs. lemon juice
1 cup milk
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup vanilla protein powder, any kind
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda,
1/2 tsp. sea salt
4 oz. dark chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners. Add lemon juice to milk, and let sit for 5-10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine flour, protein powder, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips. Mix well. In another bowl, combine coconut oil, egg whites, milk (with lemon juice), and vanilla.

Use a whisk to mix it all up. Using a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Divide batter among muffin cups, and bake for about 13-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan. Enjoy!

Sunshine Breakfast


1 large sweet potato
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons coconut oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for topping:

2 - 4 eggs
1-2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 avocado, sliced
10 cherry tomatoes, sliced


Peel and shred the sweet potato. Then add the sweet potato and seasonings to a large bowl, mixing well to combine. Heat the coconut oil in a large fry pan on medium heat, add the sweet potato mixture and mix through the oil. Cover, then cook for 5-10 minutes until the sweet potato is cooked.

Meanwhile, add the coconut oil to another fry pan on medium-low heat, crack the eggs into it and cook for 2-3 minutes (depending on your preference). Divide the sweet potato hash between two plates, add the avocado, cherry tomato and top with the egg(s). Enjoy!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Lemon Butter Broccoli

  • 1 head fresh broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds ( optional)
  • Steam or boil broccoli until tender, approximately 4 to 8 minutes. Drain.
  • In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium low heat.
  • Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice. lemon zest, and almonds.
  • Pour over hot broccoli, and serve. Enjoy!

Roasted Sugar Peas

Quick easy side dish to compliment a meal, that goes with almost anything. They may not taste like Mickey D’s, but I’m loving them!

  • Half a pound of sugar snap peas, strings and stems removed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss peas or asparagus with olive oil, thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic powder until coated. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake for 8-12 minutes, until softened and just starting to brown. Serve warm. Top with parmesan if you like, or enjoy au natural. Enjoy!

Almond Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour or almond meal
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts(optional)

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and honey. Gradually beat the egg into the butter and honey mixture. Add the almond flour, salt, vanilla and baking soda in with the other ingredients and mix well. Add in the nuts if using and fold them into the batter.
  • Roll the dough into  balls and press them down gently onto a non-stick baking surface. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the cookies rise and the edges have browned.Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool before moving. Store at room temperature in a sealed container. Enjoy!

Healthy Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1/3 cup honey

  • Preheat oven 350. Mix all the ingredients together, stirring well. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drop the batter on the paper, a heaping tablespoon for each cookie.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cookies should start to brown slightly around the edges. They may seem too soft, but if they’re starting to brown they’re good to go! Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes and they will firm up as they cool. Enjoy!
Optional: chocolate chips (1/2 cup), raisins (1/2 cup), or 1/4 cup shredded coconut and 1/4 cup pitted dates, or 1/4 cup chopped dried fruit and 1/4 cup nuts…or you choose what to put in!

Eat Good Fat to Lose Weight

Believe it or not, you can incorporate fat into your diet - as long as it is the right kind of fat.  For a long time, we thought avocadoes were good for nothing but ready-made guac and a decent California burger every now and then. But these little nutritional hand grenades are infused with a key nutrient for maintaining healthy weight: fat. There are several types of fat available to you and it is so important that you learn how and why bad fats are bad and good fats are good.

Fat is not something to avoid. For starters, it’s essential for normal growth and development. Dietary fat also provides energy, protects our organs, maintains cell membranes, and helps the body absorb and process nutrients. Ok, before you grab a deep-fried hot dog, consider this: not all fatty foods are created equal.  While a diet of stereotypically fatty foods like pizza, French fries, and hamburgers can contribute to weight gain and deterioration of health, the dietetic community is learning that the overall nutritional content of these foods—not their saturated fat.

Saturated Fats = Good Fats

Unsaturated Fatty Acids: Consisting of both monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), they are important for health. MUFAs are found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, olives, and avocadoes, Our bodies need these fats in order to complete various tasks such as fight inflammation, combat chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis, as well regulating hormones and improving cognitive functions.

None of this disease fighting or hormone creating could be managed without the magic of healthy forms of fats. Healthy types of fat can be found in natural and unrefined versions of coconut oil, palm oil, organic olive oil, and organic, raw butter are some great examples of the fats you need to incorporate into your diet. These oils, when used in their purest forms, prevent and fight inflammation while they work to raise your metabolic rate. When your metabolic rate is raised, you burn more calories and fat.

Fat isn’t the easiest nutrient to digest, so it sticks around in the digestive system for more time than many other nutrients. “Eating good fats along with an effective exercise program can increase muscle,” says trainer and owner of Results Fitness, Rachel Cosgrove, CSCS, who notes that increasing muscle mass is vital to increasing metabolism and burning calories both in and out of the gym.

Other forms of healthy fats that are great for health and weight loss are Omega-3 fats. Because many people are eating a lot of processed foods, they are often not getting adequate amounts of Omega-3s each day. Healthy forms of Omega-3s can be found in foods like raw walnuts, salmon, leafy green vegetables, organic eggs, grass-fed beef and chia seeds

Hydrogenated = Bad Fats

Then there are the so-called bad fats—those apparently "artery-clogging" saturated fats from meat and dairy products . These fats are solid at room temperature.The Surprisingly, even with all of the dangers associated with these types of fats, nearly every pre-packaged or processed food on store shelves contains these types of dangerous oils.

When fats become hydrogenated, the molecular structure of them changes and becomes something that our bodies can no longer recognize and has no idea how to process. Thus, our bodies label hydrogenated fats as toxins that in return create inflammation in the body as our bodies attempt to fight them off. This inflammation can result in a higher rate of cancer, arthritis, weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and even birth defects.

Trans fats lurk in all kinds of processed foods, from French fries to cookiesThis is why it is so important to read every label. Even the foods that claim to be healthy such as low-fat and fat-free foods still have hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. Other common foods that contain these horrible fats are margarine, packaged cookies, cereals, breakfast bars, and snacks like chips and crackers.

The bottom line is that the body needs dietary fat. Fat is a source of energy, it allows the proper function of cells and the nervous system, and fat is required for the proper absorption of certain vitamins. Fat also helps us maintain healthy hair and skin, and insulates us from the cold. Nonetheless, we should probably limit our fat intake to no more than 30-35 percent of daily calories. You should avoid any and all pre-packaged and processed foods as much as you can to avoid consuming these dangerous fats.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Exercise vs. Diet


Eating fewer calories and including less fat in your diet is necessary to shed pounds. Adding exercise increases the number of calories you burn so that you speed up your weight loss. Benefits of exercising is you build muscle, which keeps your metabolism in high gear to burn calories more readily.

Exercise is important for everyone. The fitter you are, the less your risk of having a heart attack or stroke or developing diabetes or some other crippling and deadly disease. Regular exercise is an important part of effective weight loss and weight maintenance.

The key to weight loss is to consume fewer calories than you burn. For most people, it's possible to lower their calorie intake to a greater degree than it is to burn more calories through increased exercise. That's why cutting calories through dieting is generally more effective for weight loss. But doing both — cutting calories and exercising — can help give you the weight-loss edge. Exercise can help burn even more calories than just dieting.

Losing weight by crash dieting or by drastically restricting yourself to less than 1200 calories a day, you're more likely to regain weight quickly, often within six months after you stop dieting. Getting regular exercise also can help prevent excess weight gain in the first place.

Studies show that even the most inactive people can gain significant health benefits if they accumulate 30 minutes or more of physical activity per day. Research consistently shows that regular physical activity, combined with healthy eating habits, is the most efficient and healthful way to control your weight.

When you eat more calories than you need to perform your day's activities, your body stores the extra calories and you gain weight
When you eat fewer calories than you use, your body uses the stored calories and you lose weight.
When you eat the same amount of calories as your body uses, your weight stays the same.

"As a rule of thumb, weight loss is generally 75 percent diet and 25 percent exercise. While diet and exercise are both important for long-term weight loss, remember this: "You can't out-exercise a bad diet," says Talbott.

Avocado Dressing

Submitted by: Linda Funk

Avocado dressing as a healthy replacement for ranch dressing!

  • 1 large avocado
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • Put all the ingredients in the blender and blend for 2-3 mins. Enjoy with your favorite salad!
Avocados are a super food and they're also one of the best foods you can eat, packed with nutrients and heart-healthy compounds. Here are five great reasons to eat them regularly.
  • Avocados are packed with carotenoids
  • Avocados can help you lose weight
  • Avocados can help stabilize blood sugar
  • Avocados can protect your unborn baby—and your heart
  • Avocados can help lower your cholesterol

Water: The Key to a Healthy Body

A surprising number of people don't drink enough water each day, even though the risks associated with dehydration are serious. And, for people working towards their goal weight, or trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, even a small amount of dehydration has shown a drastic drop in metabolism.

Water truly is the key to a healthy body. A surprising number of people don't drink enough water each day, even though the risks associated with dehydration are serious.

Insufficient hydration causes:
Clumsiness and confusion
Lethargy and dizziness
Increased heart rate and blood pressure
Heat stroke, blackouts and potentially death

And, for people working towards their goal weight, or trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, even a small amount of dehydration has shown a drastic drop in metabolism. Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.

Water also plays an essential role in diet and weight loss. While our bodies are generally marvels of mechanics and engineering, there are still glitches in the system. One of those glitches is that our bodies are pretty bad at differentiating hunger from thirst. As a result, we may misinterpret those midafternoon pangs for hunger and grab a snack, when what we really need is a tall glass of water.

Drinking water before meals is actually an effective weight management technique. Because of our body's inability to distinguish hunger from thirst, we're prone to eat more during our regular meals than we would if we weren't thirsty.

Water Can Help Control Calories. For years, dieters have been drinking lots of water as a weight loss strategy. While water doesn't have any magical effect on weight loss, substituting it for higher calorie beverages can certainly help.

"What works with weight loss is if you choose water or a non-caloric beverage over a caloric beverage and/or eat a diet higher in water-rich foods that are healthier, more filling, and help you trim calorie intake," says Penn State researcher Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan.

Food with high water content tends to look larger, its higher volume requires more chewing, and it is absorbed more slowly by the body, which helps you feel full. Water-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal, and beans.

Cells that don't maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue.

Your skin contains plenty of water, and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. But don't expect over-hydration to erase wrinkles or fine lines, says Atlanta dermatologist Kenneth Ellner, MD.

"Dehydration makes your skin look more dry and wrinkled, which can be improved with proper hydration," he says. "But once you are adequately hydrated, the kidneys take over and excrete excess fluids."

You can also help "lock" moisture into your skin by using moisturizer, which creates a physical barrier to keep moisture in.

To ensure you're getting enough water in your diet to enjoy the summer months while also maximizing your chances of weight loss success, consider these steps:

Drink actual water. Flavored water is still water, but you'll also have to take into account the added sugar and calories that make your water taste like strawberries. If you prefer some flavor to your beverages, consider adding strawberries, cucumbers or lemon to your water.

Drink a glass of water before meals. In 2010, a Virginia Tech study found that people who drank 2 glasses of water before meals ate 75 fewer calories than those who didn't, which shakes out to about 14 pounds a year.

Fruits and vegetables are your friend! Fruits and vegetables are almost entirely water, so if you want a little substance with your hydration, fruit and veggies are the way to go. It's important not to go overboard. Drinking too much water immediately before meals can deplete the acids in your stomach, negatively affecting digestion.

Healthy Cookies

Submitted by: Sophia Aashna Dhaliwal

Ingredients :
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup of soft butter
  • 4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cups oat flour (regular oats blended)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • Take regular old fashioned oats or quick oats and blend them until they resemble a flour or powder in a blender or food processor. Combine the vanilla extract, large egg, and brown sugar in a bowl. Melt the coconut oil, butter and let it cool slightly before adding to the bowl. Beat everything together until just combined.
  • Stir in the oat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and then fold in the dark chocolate chips.
  • Chill the dough for at least one hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Scoop out balls of the dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Press a few more chocolate chips in the tops if desired.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.
  • Remove and allow to stay on the baking sheet for another 2 minutes before removing to a wire cooling rack. Make sure you cool completely before eating them or they will likely crumble to pieces! Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Almond Coconut Fudge Pops

  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 14 ounces can of full fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Whisk all the ingredients together and pour into popsicle molds. Freeze for, at least, three hours. Enjoy!
Note: If you don’t have available molds, pour it into paper Dixie cups, cover the cups with plastic wrap (to hold the stick in place) and poke a stick through, then freeze.

Mashed Cauliflower

Submitted by: Isabel De Los Rios

Just as delicious as mashed potatoes!


1 med. Fresh cauliflower
1 sml. Yellow onion
2 tbs. butter
2 garlic cloves


Steam or boil the cauliflower. Chop the onion and sauté it with either olive oil, butter, or coconut oil. (My sister used olive oil. I used butter). Add the cooked cauliflower to the sautéed onions and sauté together for approximately 8 minutes. Take the cauliflower and onion sauté and puree in a food processor or blender. Add a tablespoon or more of butter and blend. Take 2 cloves of garlic and chop them up into small pieces. Add more olive oil, butter or coconut oil to pan and cook the garlic until brown (but try not to burn it). Pour the garlic into your mashed cauliflower and mix by hand.

Depressed? It might be the diet soda...

Diet soda is the constant companion of dieters everywhere, who feel that they're getting a bargain by getting flavor and hydration, all for zero calories. While diet soda may be free of calories, it's not free of health side effects.

While hardly an ideal beverage, Diet Coke may seem like a better choice than classic Coca-Cola. Diet Coke has no calories, sugar or carbohydrates, while a 12-ounce can of regular Coke has 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar.

Aspartame, the artificial sweetener in Diet Soda, came on the market in the 1980s, there was great public concern that it might cause cancer. These fears appear to be groundless, explains the American Cancer Society explains in a review of aspartame research. And aspartame may cause minor discomforts -- headaches, digestive distress, mood changes -- in susceptible individuals. If you feel ill after consuming aspartame.

In this video, Dr. Michael Greger explains the reasons why artificially-sweetened beverages with chemicals such as aspartame have been associated with depression. He presents several reports of aspartame causing neurological and behavioral disturbances not only in sensitive individuals but normal people as well.

Soda is hard on tooth enamel, with the sugar and acid being the most problematic ingredients. Diet soda eliminates the sugar, but not the acid content of pop. Most of us are familiar enough with acid that we can imagine its impact on our tooth enamel.
Drinking diet soda can also lead to bone loss. This is because the phosphoric acid in the soda causes calcium in your bloodstream to be excreted more quickly than normal through urine. Your bones then give up some of their calcium in order to keep the bloodstream calcium level constant.

Some people may feel that drinking diet soda gives them a "free pass" to eat more foods that may not be so low in calories, thereby leading to weight gain. Another theory posits that the sweet taste of diet pop alerts our digestive system that high-calorie foods are coming. When they don't, our bodies are confused and our appetite increases in anticipation of the food it's expecting.

Danish researchers discovered that drinking non-diet soda leads to dramatic increases in fat buildup around your liver and your skeletal muscles, both of which can contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes.

The bottom line? The healthiest diet drink for you is water. Or try one of these other healthy "diet" drinks:

Green Tea

Mint Tea

Orange juice

One Percent Reduced-Fat Milk

Soy Milk

Hot Chocolate

Low-Sodium Tomato Juice

Cranberry Juice

Roasted Honey Cinnamon Chickpeas

  • 15-ounce can garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drain and rinse the chickpeas in a colander. Place them on a towel to dry off. Spread chickpeas on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until crispy. 

While the chickpeas are still hot, toss them in a bowl with the oil, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Enjoy as is, or for a caramelized effect, place them back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Store leftover chickpeas in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

  • 1 can of chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt

Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients until evenly coated. Spread the chickpeas in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 30 to 35 minutes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Zucchini Pizza

I'm sure we've all enjoyed our fair share of French bread pizza in my house.......Introducing our new fave......Zucchini Pizza! My kiddos love it!


4 sml. zucchini
0.25 c. cheese,  mozzarella
1 tsp. olive oil
0.5 tsp. garlic cloves
sea salt, unrefined, & fresh ground pepper to taste
0.25 tsp. parsley
2 tomatoes, roma
0.5 tsp. breadcrumbs

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the center where the seeds are with a spoon. Brush the surface with a mixture of crushed garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange sliced tomatoes into the grooves, sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Remove and place diced or shredded mozzarella in between the tomatoes, place them back in, but now under the broiler til golden and bubbling. Remove and sprinkle with parsley (or basil or both)! You will love this as a side dish OR a meal! A serving is both halves of one zucchini.

Val's Greek Chicken

Submitted by: Valerie Erwood


1 whole chicken
3 garlic cloves
2 tbs. basil, ground
2 tbs. oregano, dried
sea salt, unrefined and pure to taste
2 lemon, fresh,
Paprika to taste


Quarter your chicken and loosen the skin with your fingers. Pull back the skin on all the pieces of chicken. Cut peeled garlic cloves into slivers. Arrange garlic slivers under the skin of chicken pieces. Sprinkle basil, oregano, sea salt, and pepper under skin of chicken pieces. Cover chicken with the skin. Salt and pepper all of the chicken again on top of skin. Cover tightly with foil in foil-lined pan. Roast in 350°F oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven, and remove foil. Squeeze lemon juice over chicken. Arrange the lemon quarters alongside the chicken pieces. Sprinkle liberally with paprika. Make a loose tent with the same foil you used to cover the chicken and place over chicken. Increase temperature to 400°F and roast until crispy and golden brown. Serve with Brown Rice Pilaf & Green Salad of your choice.

Avocado Egg Salad

Submitted by: Isabel De Los Rios

2 egg
0.25  fresh avocado
1 tsp. dijon mustard
sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste


Hard boil the eggs. When they are done, peel and mash them. Add the other ingredients, and mash them all together in a bowl. Serve over cucumbers and tomatoes.

10 Facts You Need To Know About Cast Iron Pans


Cast-iron skillets may seem like an old-fashioned choice in the kitchen. But this dependable cookware is a must in the modern kitchen. Stainless steel, which seems to be the healthiest alternative, is expensive, and it does not lend itself well to cooking eggs, pancakes and other dishes that non-stick cookware typically excels at. If you have not yet discovered the benefits of cast iron cooking, here are 10 reasons to buy and use a cast iron skillet.

1. Avoid Toxic Fumes

Benefit to using cast-iron pans in place of nonstick pans is that you avoid the harmful chemicals that are found in nonstick pans. Cast iron can also replace aluminum cookware, which may also pose health hazards.

2. Use in oven

Besides the stove, you can use a cast iron skillet in the oven, at any temperature. This comes in handy for making corn bread, frittatas, and flat bread.

3. Nonstick

Surprisingly, a preheated cast iron skillet rivals the qualities of non-stick cookware, as long as it is properly seasoned and cared for. Cast-iron cookware is the sign of a well-seasoned pan, which renders it virtually nonstick. The health bonus, of course, is that you won’t need to use gads of oil to brown crispy potatoes or sear chicken when cooking in cast-iron.

Here's a great recipe for PANCAKES using only 2 Ingredients

4. Easy Clean up

Cast iron is easy to clean up. Not only does food easily lift off from cast iron cookware, soap is not needed or recommended, since it erodes the seasoning.

5. Health Benefits

While cast iron doesn’t leach chemicals, it can leach some iron into your food...and that’s a good thing. Iron deficiency is fairly common worldwide, especially among womenThis vital mineral is crucial for maintaining energy levels, and it helps strengthen immune systems.

6. Inexpensive

Cooks looking to replace non-stick cookware often investigate stainless steel. However, a high-end, 12-inch stainless skillet runs well over $100, while a similar-sized cast iron one costs less than $30.

7. Food cooks beautifully.

Using a cast iron skillet you can create restaurant-quality, homemade fish sticks, potato pancakes and French toast, complete with golden brown, crispy exteriors. Contrast this with non-stick cookware, which makes browning nearly impossible.

8. Sturdy/Wears well

Since it does not scratch, there is no need to use plastic utensils, and there is no fear of using your silverware to stir or scoop. It lasts for so long that many people still use cast iron cookware inherited from their parents and grandparents.

9. Any heat source can be used

In an emergency, cast iron cookware can be used over any heat source. As such, many disaster planning lists include cast iron as the survival cookware of choice.

10. Proven over years

It has been used for thousands of years. Natural News readers already understand how new technologies are often the least healthy, while those used by earlier generations are often more beneficial and more in line
with how we are designed. Our cookware choice is no exception.

The Drawbacks of Cast Iron...
  • There's only one thing you shouldn't attempt in cast-iron cookware: boiling water, which will cause the pan to rust.
  • Cast iron takes longer to warm than other surfaces but retains heat remarkably well and diffuses it evenly.
  • Cast iron remains hot long after you remove it from the stove. As a reminder to be careful, drape a thick towel or a mitt over the handle.
  • To avoid getting smudges on all your kitchen towels, designate one to use exclusively for drying your cast-iron skillet.
  • Cooking in cast iron increases the iron content in food. The longer the food is in contact with the skillet, the more it absorbs.

  • Although there are many benefits to cast iron cooking, make sure to understand the drawbacks before you start: cast iron pans are very heavy; they require intentional maintenance in order to keep them rust-free and non-stick; and care is needed if you have a glass-top stove.

    With that in mind, they're still a great choice. Once you take the plunge, you will wonder why it took you so long to start!