Earth Day may be over, but like Mother’s Day, every day should should be a “green” day. The warmer weather is a good time to explore recipes that utilize your cook top instead of the oven, to keep your home cooler without air conditioning or fans. An easy way to do something nice for the planet while upping your cooking productivity and comes with this set of Ribbed Nesting Bowls from Natural Home (srp. $24.99). They look just like the heavy, deep mixing bowls my grandmother (a fabulous cook) used for everything from baking, to whipping up a scrambled egg. But Grandma’s bowls were heavy, took a lot of room up on the shelf, and were fragile porcelain. These new bowls from Natural Home are a modern version. They are moboo® (molded bamboo), made with bamboo sawdust, rice starch and an all-natural, plant-based binder. This natural alternative to won’t leach chemicals, and it’s sustainable from fully mature bamboo raised in well-managed forests.
That’s the green part, but there are other benefits, such as space-saving storage. This set of four bowls stack neatly, so they save space. They are durable and well balanced, and dishwasher safe, but don’t use them in the microwave.
I like the design, too. Since the sides are deep and not sloping, you won’t slop batter or eggs over the sides. And the ribbed sides help you grip them easily. One caveat for those who feel strongly about products made in China. Natural Home is in Topeka, Kansas and the materials used on the bowls are “green” down to the cardboard wrapper printed on recycled paper, but the bowls are made in China.
And when you’re ready to cook those eggs or make anything that requires a pan on a stove-top, another “green” idea is this 4-piece Natural Home EaziStore Nesting Saute Pan Set (srp. $59.99). This set features an 8″ saute pan with a lid, and a 10″ saute pan with a lid. But the things that make these pans unique are fantastic. The pans are made of 93% post-consumer recycled 18/8 stainless steel. In case you are wondering, according to Natural Home, stainless steel is unique in its recyclability. The amount of recycled content in a product has no bearing on its strength and the pots are high quality. In addition, Natural home uses wastewater recycling systems, recycled raw materials, and natural light instead of electricity in the workshops, so EaziStore cookware by Natural Home reduces manufacturing waste by 60% without sacrificing it’s structural or thermal integrity. The company’s manufacturing process is free of harmful byproducts, utilizes more than 50% percent recycled content, and produces a line of products that consume approximately 50% less energy per item to ship. For the eco-conscious, Natural Home pans are a no-brainer to buy!
But of course, the pans have to perform. The first thing I noticed (and that I absolutely love) at the Green Products Expo where I first spied these, is that the pans are stackable, with indentations in the handles so that they nest into one another with inverted lids, perfectly. If you live in a small space, this really makes a difference for storage. The company claims these pans reduce storage space by more than 67%. I don’t know how they came up with that figure, but these nesting pans and lids really do make for impressively, visibly, less clutter.
The green element of recycled metal of course, is the main attraction for many eco-conscious people.
But do the products, perform well? According to Natural Home, their cookware is manufactured using impact-bonding technology that has the structural benefits of stainless steel and the thermal conduction of aluminum. Unlike copper and nonstick materials, Natural Home cookware is scratch-resistant, dishwasher-safe and safe to use with induction heating elements. The pans have brushed metal interior and a multi-layered bottom, and shiny sides and handles. They’re not the heaviest pans I’ve ever used, but they’re no lightweights, either.
The indented handles are metal and are firmly attached through the pan for security. The lids are clear, so you can see inside without having to lift the lid (a nice touch) and the metal rim fits security on the pan. There’s also a black rubberized handle on the lid that you can pick up without a pot holder. To test them I did the Advice Sisters “egg test.” I always use this to see how a pan will work. I tried a scrambled egg and also fried eggs, cooked in a modest amount of olive oil. Thanks to the aluminum core, both egg tests showed quick heating, even cooking results, and easy cleanup with very little residue on the pan. I personally don’t like to put nice pans in the dishwasher, but this scratch-resistant set is dishwasher safe.
Natural Home has plenty of other green products that will help you “go green” and save some “green” as well (they’re really modestly priced). Any and all would make a fabulous gift for any kitchen, and especially for newlyweds or a new graduate starting out on his/her own. You can get Natural Home in stores such as Target, Amazon, Zabars and Home Market. You can also visit: http://www.naturalhomemerchandise.com
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