Cleaning up your home and removing harmful products can be a little intimidating. These simple swaps for a healthy non toxic kitchen are easy and can make a huge impact on you and your families health. If you have been looking to live a more toxin-free life, cleaning up the kitchen is a great place to start!
This post is in collaboration with several of my blogging friends who also focus on natural and healthy living. Check out these posts!
Let’s talk about these simple swaps you can make for a non toxic kitchen
But first, what is your why?
Why is cleaning up your kitchen and creating a more natural space important to you? For me, I truly started to think seriously about the products that were in our home when I was pregnant with my first child. There is something about carrying a child who is at the very start of their life that makes you think about the way you are living and how you can give that child the absolute best start to life that you can.
My husband and I had been choosing healthy foods for several years, but when it came to what I was cooking the food in or what I was cleaning with, I was blissfully unaware of the toxins I was being exposed to on a daily basis.
When I started to discover how unhealthy my non-stick pots and pans were and how toxic my delicious smelling dish soaps and cleaning sprays were, it was quite a shock. But it got my attention and spurred me on to begin the journey of eliminating toxins in our home. Not only did I want my baby to have a healthy life, but I want my husband and I to be as healthy as we can be to be able to be there for our children for years and years to come.
Maybe you fall into this category and are seeking to live a cleaner lifestyle. But figuring out your “why” is important as you move forward. Knowing your why helps you to keep pushing forward in making these swaps. So my next question would be..
how are you going to do it?
These swaps, while simple, are going to be different for everyone and definitely take some time. My best suggestion is to choose the easiest swaps first, or just one swap a month or every two months. Get your rhythm down with that swap, and then move on to the next thing! It certainly does not have to happen overnight.
I hope these steps gives you confidence and inspiration to work towards removing toxins in your home for your own health and the health of the ones you love most. So let’s go!
1. Choose Healthy Oils
This is probably one of the simplest swaps you can make pretty quickly that will make a huge impact. The fact that you are using oil in all of your cooking means that you are getting a lot of oil over time. It is important to make sure the oils you using healthy oils and avoiding oils high in polyunsaturated fats.
In addition to choosing healthy oils, it is also important to pay attention to the smoke points for those oils. If you are cooking with an oil past its smoke point, the oil will begin to break down and can cause harm to your health.
Healthy Oils for Cooking by Smoke Point:
- Low/No Heat (up to 350℉) – Olive Oil
- Medium Heat (up to 400℉) – Grass-fed Butter, Ghee, Unrefined Coconut Oil
- Medium-High Heat (up to 450℉) – Ghee, Sesame Oil
- High Heat (up to 500℉) – Avocado Oil
Oils to avoid Cooking with or when listed in ingredients:
Canola Oil, Sunflower Oil, Soybean Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Rapeseed Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Corn Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Vegetable Oil
2. Replace Toxic Cookware for Non Toxic Kitchen Tools
Along with avoiding oils that release harmful materials into your body, the materials you are using to cook with and store your food with matter greatly when trying to reduce toxins in your kitchen.
Use non-toxic Stainless steel or Cast Iron Pots & Pans. Teflon and other non stick cookware contain chemicals that release harmful gases when you cook with them. No matter how healthy the food you are cooking is, if you are cooking it in pots and pans releasing toxins while you cook them, it is going to have a negative effect on your health.
Switch our Plastic Tupperware for Glass Containers for storing food. We have had these for years and I love how nice they look and how well they have held up.
Avoid cooking things directly on aluminum foil as much as possible. Instead, use Unbleached Parchment Paper vs. Bleached (just learned this one… goodbye Costco bulk parchment paper), or Silicone Baking Sheet, which is reusable! These stainless steel baking sheets are a great alternative to non-stick baking sheets.
Water is another hugely important factor in keeping a healthy, non-toxic kitchen. Instead of buying water bottles (remember, we are avoiding plastic as much as possible), install a water filtering system for your kitchen sink or consider a Berkey Water filter. The Berkey is on my wish list, but for now we use an under the sink water filtration system.
3. Read the Labels!
Another simple habit you can add into your life that will help to reduce toxins is to read the ingredients labels on the food you are purchasing! If it is canned, frozen, boxed or jar item, you should always read the ingredients. If the label has more than a few whole food ingredients, chances are it is not very good for you. In order to make food shelf stable, unhealthy preservatives and artificial flavors are often added. Natural flavor is listed on tons of “healthy” foods you might be consuming frequently, however it is important to know that just because it is listed as “natural” does not mean it is good for you.
Basically, if I have to google an ingredient because I don’t know what it is, chances are I am going to want to avoid it. The EWG Food Scores site has an excellent rating system for all kinds of foods and brands. You can download the app and check things as you grocery shop. It’s super helpful and free!
4. Use Natural Non Toxic Kitchen Cleaning Products
Most of the big name cleaning products contain harmful ingredients such as synthetic fragrance and other cleaning agents that can cause irritation to your skin and that you definitely do not want to ingest. Harsh cleaning sprays with toxic chemicals should have no place in the kitchen where you are preparing food and interacting with it frequently. Think Dirty App or EWG Cleaners Guide both rate the toxicity of hundreds of cleaning products.
Instead of toxic cleaners consider swapping for non-toxic brands or creating your own!
For an easy DIY All-Purpose Spray, mix up some filtered water, castile soap and some essential oils such as lemon, tea tree or peppermint in a glass spray bottle. This will work to clean any surface and is completely non-toxic. My kids love to help me clean and I am totally comfortable with them handling this spray!
5. Cook with Whole Foods
Instead of premade or processed foods, or foods with long ingredients lists, cook meals using whole foods! From scratch cooking is such a good way to eliminate unhealthy additives and oils that are found in a lot of premade or pre-seasoned foods. If you are cooking with whole foods, you don’t have to worry about the ingredients list! Choose organic as much as possible to avoid the harmful chemicals sprayed on non-organic fruits and vegetables.
If your local grocery store doesn’t have a great selection of organic produce or you find it to be overpriced, I highly recommend checking out Misfits Market! I have purchased organic produce, spices and more from this online grocery shop. The produce was so fresh and delicious and the prices are better than our local grocery shops. Use this link for a discount if you want to try it out!
From their website:
"Misfits Market is the online value grocer dedicated to making affordable, high-quality food more accessible while helping break the cycle of food waste. We work directly with farmers and food producers to source organic produce, high-quality meats and seafood, sustainable pantry staples, and other groceries that might otherwise go to waste and deliver them to you at up to 40% off grocery store prices."
6. Salt Your Food with Good Salt
Salt is such an important part to our body and how it functions, however the type of salt being used makes all the difference in whether or not it is benefiting your health. Iodized table salt is highly processed to the point that it loses any of the minerals that are so beneficial from pure forms of salt.
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That’s it! Not so bad, right?! I’d love to hear how you remove toxins from your kitchen and what other tips you have!
I finally would like to add that we are nowhere near perfect in having a toxin-free home. But we have certainly made efforts to make one swap at a time when it made sense and when we had the ability. Over time, these choices have become second nature and are just a normal part of our life. I hope this encourages you to begin eliminating the toxins in your kitchen and gives you some easy and simple steps to do it!