In recent times, due to pandemic stress, “health” has become a prime priority for majority of the population. Nowadays, more and more people are exploring and adopting, healthy lifestyle practices in their day-to-day life. many ancient healthy lifestyle practices such as Yoga and Ayurveda is gaining immense popularity due to their holistic approach and incredible health benefits.
“Cooking in clay or mud pot” is one of those ancient healthy lifestyle practices that are gaining popularity in mass. People all across the world are keen to use clay pots for their cooking and replacing their aluminum and non-stick cooking pots with clay or mud pots to obtain many health benefits.
What is clay pot cooking? What are some incredible health benefits of cooking in a clay pot? What are the things that you need to keep in mind before start cooking in a clay pot? Read the post to know more!
Cooking in a clay pot: An overview and history
Using various mud pots like Matka (water-storing container) and Handi (deep round container for cooking) was a normal part of ancient traditional lifestyle in many parts of the world (including India, China, Vietnam, Korea and many other countries). people had admired clay pots cooking as it was helpful in enhancing the flavors of food and also provides many incredible benefits for overall health and well-being.
With changing times, clay pot cooking become an old-fashioned practice. Aluminium and non-stick cookware have become a more suitable option due to easy to use and hassle-free cleaning.
Routine aluminium and non-stick cookware may seem like an easy option for everyday cooking but it may cause various serious health hazards in long run.
Replacing this routine aluminium and non-stick cookware with clay pots is one of the best things to reduce the risk of health hazards and gain various other health benefits.
Incredible health benefits of cooking in a clay pot
Here are some amazing health benefits of cooking in a clay pot:
Cooking in a clay pot adds nutrients (like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and other minerals) to food
It has been said that cooking in a clay pot makes food nutrient-dense. It helps in adding various essential nutrients like calcium, iron, phosphorus and magnesium to food and enhance the nutritional value of food.
It helps in keeping nutritional value of food intact
Along with enhancing nutritional value, cooking in clay pot also help in keeping nurtional value of food intact. Clay pots are porous in nature. It allows the slow circulation of heat and moisture in food while cooking. Cooking in a clay pot is a slow process. And it plays a vital role in keeping nutritional value of food intact.
Cooking in a clay pot help in reducing oil consumption
Increase oil consumption is one of the major cause of many health issues (like heart disease and increase cholesterol level). Cooking in a clay pot requires less oil and help in reducing oil consumption. This small step makes the whole food healthier and reduces the risk of various lifestyle disease.
It helps in maintaining a healthy PH balance of food
Nowadays, we consume lots of acidic food that is not good for our health. A clay pot is alkaline in nature and it helps in neutralizing the acidic nature of food and maintain a healthy PH balance. This way, it makes food healthier.
Cooking in a clay pot enhance the flavor of food and add an earthy aroma
This one is another amazing benefit of cooking in a clay pot. Clay pot cooking helps in enhances the natural flavor of food and adding an earthy aroma to it. It makes food not only healthier but tastier as well.
Along with these health benefits, clay pot cooking is an ecofriendly and economic option. It is good for our environment and helps in reducing pollution. Compare to other routine cookware, clay pots are a cost-effective option and did cause any burden on your pocket.
Important things to keep in mind before starting cooking in a clay pot
Selection or purchasing of clay pot
This is the first and most important step. Purchasing a good quality clay pot is essential to get above-mentioned health benefits. clay pots come in mainly two types glazed and unglazed. Unglazed clay pots are a way better option than glazed ones. Avoid buying glazed clay pots as they may contain lead or other toxic materials that may cause more harm than good to your health.
Also, it is important to buy a clay pot from a trustworthy potter or shopping center. The clay that has been used in making pots should be of good quality. Otherwise, it may cause other health problems.
Seasoning of clay pot
Seasoning of clay pot is the next important step before starting using a clay pot for cooking purpose. Seasoning is a process that helps in making clay pot solid and preventing early breakage.
First, clean the clay pot with normal tap water properly and remove any dirt by handling gently. Now, immersed the clay pot in a large vessel (filled vessel with clean water) properly for at least 15-24 hours. Make sure to follow the same process for the lid as well.
The Next day, remove the pot from the water and make it dry completely. After that, apply a generous amount of any vegetable oil (coconut or sesame oil) all over the clay pot properly. Now, fill the pot with water and put this either on stove pot (at medium or low heat) for 2-3 hours. Alternately, you can bake the pot in oven (at 350–400 Fahrenheit) for 2-3 hours. After 2-3 hours, take out clay pot from the heat and allow it to cool down completely.
When it gets cool down completely, wash it again properly and dry it thoroughly. After this step, your clay pot is seasoned and ready to use.
Cleaning of clay pot
Cleaning a clay pot is another important aspect and it requires using another approach. Clay pots are porous in nature and they can absorb dish-washing soaps or liquid easily. It is advisable to avoid using any harsh and chemical based dish- washing soap or liquid for cleaning the clay pot.
You can use lemon, salt or baking soda mixture to clean the clay pots.
Avoid using a steel wire scrubber for cleaning clay pots. Use coconut scarps as a natural scrubber for easy and effective cleaning of clay pots.
Storage of clay pot
Clay pot requires careful handling and storage. If you are going out of station and not using clay pots for a few days, then it is best to keep them in a safe storage place. First, clean the clay pot properly and allow them to dry completely. You can keep them in sunlight for drying properly. After drying, you can store them in a proper place. Make sure the pot is completely dry before storing, otherwise mold may form due to remaining moisture.
So, there were some amazing benefits of cooking in clay pots. Have you tried cooking in a clay pot? What was your experience? Please share with us.