January 9, 2013

Healthy Kitchens


How many of you have already given up on your New Year's resolutions?   I'm not typically one for resolutions, but I was definitely feeling that a detox was in order after the holidays, so my husband and I decided to do a 3-day juice cleanse.  And this got me thinking about how to encourage better health in kitchen design. Not only does this apply to your own physical health, but also your psychological health and the health of the environment.

I've come up with a whole list of things that contribute to a healthy kitchen:

Healthy Appliances

There are plenty of countertop appliances that encourage healthier eating.  For example, we purchased this juicer from Breville and have used it everyday since.  Whether it's a juicer or another specific appliance, evaluate your own habits and make sure you think about whether you'll actually use the appliance before you invest the money (and countertop/storage space).

image via Sub-Zero/Wolf

For built-in appliances, steam ovens are the way to go.  Not only do they cook foods faster, but cooking with steam also allows optimum retention of vitamins and nutrients.  AND you typically don't need to add oils or fats during the cooking process.

image via Sub-Zero/Wolf

Eating healthy means buying more produce, and needing storage for more produce.  Refrigerator drawers right at your prep surface make veggie storage ultra convenient.

Healthy Aesthetic


Aesthetics can impact how healthy you feel.   A crisp white kitchen with subtle (not overpowering) citrus tones can make you feel healthier and more cheerful.


Natural Kitchen

Nature plays a role too.  Any way you can bring the outdoors into your kitchen will impact your health.  The easiest ways to do this are through natural lighting and indoor plants.

Healthy Pans

Many people are concerned about Teflon non-stick coatings, which can release toxic fumes when overheated.  (The chemical is polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE).  Many new non-stick surfaces are being introduced, including this set recently launched by West Elm Market in partnership with GreenPan.

image via West Elm

Composting:

Composting is a great use for all those leftover healthy food scraps, and is an environmentally-friendly option compared to garbage disposals or landfills.  I did an entire post about working composting into kitchen design, using anything from countertop containers to full composting built-in units.  (See here for a good article about landfills vs. garbage disposals vs. composting).