Over the past few years, I have become somewhat of an aspiring chef. A whole foods nutritional healing chef to be precise. I am currently embarking on a program that will help me hone those skills and be able to apply the knowledge I gain towards my career in health and fitness. I see so many clients with dietary needs and restrictions so my cooking (while for me it’s a relaxing past time) will hopefully lend itself to something bigger some day.
In the meantime, while I dive into the Academy of Culinary Nutrition along with my 2016 semester tribe mates, I am making more of an effort to reduce the waste from my kitchen and making sure my cooking tools and food storage don’t wreck all my hard efforts cooking up organic, healing, body fueling, “glow from the inside out” food.
What you store your food in does make a difference. If you make healthy food, you don’t want to stick it in plastic that could leach chemicals and toxins into your food. You certainly don’t want to re-heat anything in it either. So what is the best to use? Here are the best options:
Mason Jars or Weck Canning Jars – Good old trusty mason and canning jars. It doesn’t get much better than that. I use these to store nuts, seeds, flour, flax and almond meal, oatmeal, sauces and dips, spreads, pesto, salads… They take up less room in the fridge and shelf and make access to the stuff you need easy to find.
Anchor Hocking Air Tight Food Storage – Nothing is leaking out of these suckers. They are great for smaller food items and snacks on the go. They stack and steal super tightly so even onions will not stink up the fridge!
Glasslock Oven Safe Containers – There is nothing too crazy fancy about these but they are BPA free and recyclable, oven and microwave safe and come with an assortment of sizes. I can never seem to have enough of these in my house. I store EVERYTHING in glass for the most part.
Wean Green – I have been using these for years and years and love them so much. They have never broken on me or my kids and I even feel safe sending these in my kids’ lunch boxes. They come in a variety of small to medium sizes and seal really tightly with a BPA free plastic snap on lid. My Wean Greens are some of my trusty old’ favorites.
If you are sensitive to nickel you might want to stick with glass but in general, stainless steel is a good option for use with food.
Stainless Steel Canisters – I really love these stainless canisters by Anchor Hocking with the clamp lids. These are great for bulk items and dry food that may be light and heat sensitive such as flax seed meal or some flours.
LunchBots – Another time tested product line that I adore. Lunchbots and I go way back. Like back to the years when my kids were in preschool and no one stared at their cell phone in the carpool line. Or anywhere else for that matter. I’ve used the same set over and over again and they still are in perfect condition and work great for not only lunch boxes but for toting along my own lunch to work. They later came out with the leak proof plastic lid versions which are fantastic too. Love our Lunchbots.
Collapseable Silicone Food Storage Containers– I don’t actually own any of these but they look like a cool idea if you are cabinet space challenged. Silicone is safe for food storage and microwave and dishwasher safe, although something about heating silicone disturbs me. Silicone is BPA, Phthalate, latex, PVC and lead-free and if you can’t deal with glass or stainless this is a viable option.
A Hybrid solution – U Konserve Glass and Silicone Food Storage – THIS I do own and it’s one of my best pieces in my food storage collection. Very sturdy, leak proof and the perfect size for storing batch cooked meals.
Alternatives to Plastic Wrap & Plastic Bags
Bee’s Wrap – This stuff is quite amazing. Totally natural and reusable over and over again. It seals with the heat of your hands and can be molded to fit just about anything and seals to itself (think wrapping a sandwich). They are made with beeswax, GOTS certified cotton, organic jojoba oil and tree resin and will last for up to a year if you take care of it. You can wrap anything and you can seal the top of a bowl.
Simple Ecology Organic Cotton Mesh Produce Bags – I like these the best mainly because you can see what is inside of the bag! This is good for home when you want to find something AND at the store at the checkout counter. Cashiers don’t want to dig to see what you’re buying. Organic cotton mesh keeps air flowing so you can keep your produce in them after washing for the fridge or counter if you like. They have a variety of sizes and wad up pretty tightly in a purse. I am making it a point to bring these every time I shop.