What Is a Green Kitchen?
We now live in a very busy society and as a result, how to cook healthy has become one of the hottest topics. If a green kitchen is the beginning of eating healthy then the next eco-friendly option is to think about getting a green kitchen.
Green cooking is cooking in a more environmentally-friendly way. It is finding ways to cut down on energy consumption in the kitchen. You get your own share of saving mother earth by lessening the release of carbon from the cooking process that results to unhealthy air. Thanks to my wonderful boss Terry Retter, the owner of Your SMART Kitchen, he taught me how wonderful it is to have a smart kitchen.
So what is the most energy-efficient way to cook food?
First, you have to choose between gas and electric cook-tops. A gas stove requires less energy, it is cheaper and has a better control on the amount of heat and speed; a model with an electric ignition use 40% less gas over a continuous energy-burning pilot light. However, when it comes to baking or oven use, using an electric stove is more economical.
For an electric burner, the most energy-efficient, though could be expensive, is an induction element which transfers electromagnetic energy directly to the pan, leaving the cook-top itself cool. A convection stove can be the best option because it can distribute heat more evenly, reducing time and cooking temperatures while using less than half the energy standard coil elements consume.
Surprisingly, a large percent of households use gas ovens because electric cooking is three times more expensive than gas cooking.
Some people use the country-style "smokeless" stoves with open fire inside dwellings. These stoves are built with a special pipe or chimney to vent the smoke and reduce the health impacts of smoke inside the house. Wood stoves are very efficient because they don’t need electricity to work, which allows you to use them if the power goes out.
For kitchens in the winter zone, this can be an interesting read, "What's the most sustainable fuel to use on my fire this winter?"
The Green Cookware
What you cook with matters. Ideally, your pots and pans should be made of an inert substance that does not easily peel or chip, crack, or harbor bacteria, along with being a good conductor of heat to save energy.
- Glass heats up more efficiently than metal in the oven, so, you can save time.
- A multifunctional pot can divide into sections so you can cook several items at once.
- Electric frying pans, woks, and slow cookers are alternatives to energy-intensive cookers like broilers.
- Pressure cookers cook food 70% faster compared to other method saving a large amount of heat.
- A cast iron pot or pan holds heat for a much longer time cooking food evenly, in spite of an uneven heat source. Cast iron is the most natural non-stick.
- The microwave uses between one-fifth and one-half as much energy as conventional stoves. So when it comes to reheating, defrosting, boiling a cup of water, or cooking small meal for yourself, use the microwave instead of the stove.
According to the Market Transformation Programme, blitzing frozen veggies in the microwave instead of boiling them not only saves time but cuts on energy consumption, as well.
Is a Green Kitchen Old-Fashioned?
Simple, delicious and healthy recipes from fresher ingredients is an epitome of a simple country cooking. It is produced within the limits of a budget, and its strength comes from those limits. The reason pot roast, not prime rib, epitomizes old-fashioned cooking is that pot roast brings out the best in the cheapest cuts of meat.
Home-cooked meals encourage the use of sustainable and locally-grown products. It’s much more efficient to use fresh ingredients and flavor them using natural spices and herbs rather than eating packaged food.
- Cooking from scratch is less impactful on the environment. It allows you good control of ingredients. If you are familiar with vegetarian cooking, it relies so heavily on fresh produce yet dishes turn out so delicious and even tastes like those with meat. Preparing a new dish out of what's left from last night's dinner is an art.
- There is nothing more sustainable than growing your own food like parsley, oregano, basil, mint, tomatoes, zucchini, spinach, peppers and other wonderful vegetables that can be easily planted and harvested out of your own backyard. The green cook finds it a good start of the day watering her garden; and when the harvest is abundant, she would very much enjoy sharing fresh produce with neighbors.
- A green kitchen finds it more efficient to purchase salt, sugar, rice, flour, oil, and vinegar in large quantities directly from producers. It takes pride in a very homely pantry that keeps a variety of staples on hand like root crops, citrus fruits, butter, egg, cheese, soy sauce, vegetable oil, along with herbs and spices that give luster to your roasts.
If you’re trying to think about ways to truly live a sustainable lifestyle, green up your kitchen and be the next green cook. If you save energy, you save money. The environment will thank you!
Are you ready to be the next green cook? I am!