Solutions For Your Non-Toxic Baking Needs

My Non-Toxic Bakeware Picks

Most of us are fully aware of the myriad health tips for clean eating and have a good general idea of what we need to do to avoid things like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. 

However, many of us have need to learn about the important role of using non-toxic skin care, house cleaners, and other environmental toxins and the negative effects they have on the body.  If this is a new venture for you, join me for my workshop Express Detox on March 11th to learn more about some of the effects that your body care products may be having on your health. 
Now, if you have been following my posts or you know me at all, then you know I LOVE to bake. And non-toxic bakeware is a key component of reducing the chemical burden on your body. Maybe you’ve reduced your intake of processed foods and switched to non-toxic body care products, but have you considered the toxins in your bakeware?

When it comes to non-toxic bakeware, my philosophy is:

  1. Better safe than sorry when it comes to questionable materials.
  2. Buy fewer and higher quality pieces that will last.

Here are my tips for economically stocking your kitchen with non-toxic bakeware!

Aluminum foil

I didn’t realize how frequently I used aluminum foil until I decided to eliminate it from my pantry a few years ago. I would line baking sheets with it and store food wrapped in it.

Aluminum is a heavy metal controversially linked to neurological disease, including Alzheimer’s. Inone study, a variety of meats were cooked in aluminum foil. Researchers found that aluminum leached into all the meats cooked. They concluded, “there are no evident risks to the health of the consumer from using aluminum foil to cook meats. However, eating meals prepared in aluminum foil may carry a risk to the health by adding to other aluminum sources.”

Instead of using foil to line baking sheets, now I reach for this unbleached parchment paper (bonus: toss the used paper into the compost bin and you save on scrubbing your baking dishes).

Baking sheets

When I was detoxing my kitchen a few years ago, I went to Sur La Table searching for safe baking sheets and, even at this well-stocked culinary store, only found coated aluminum and non-coated aluminum options. Why aren’t these safe options?

I just touched on the concerns of aluminum above, but  I don’t want my food touching aluminum, since that is where the issue of leaching arises. But non-stick and coated aluminum bakeware is an even worse option, since they offgass toxic fumes when heated. Non-stick coating contains PFCs (perfluorinated compounds), a group of toxic chemicals. Two of the most common types of perfluorinated compounds include  PFOA (perfluorooctonoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate), both of which are considered by the EPA to be a likely human carcinogen. PFC exposure is also linked to low sperm counts, thyroid disease, liver and kidney damage, and reproductive problems. 

There are three options for safe baking sheets:

1. Stainless steel baking sheets – difficult to find in stores, so I found mine on Amazon. 

2. Cover non-coated aluminum baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper, so you food isn’t touching the aluminum. The parchment paper can be used in ovens up to 425 degrees.

3. Stoneware baking sheets – Personally, I’ve not used stoneware bakeware. However, a client of mine suggested it.  The key, evidently, is sourcing lead-free and American-made stoneware. This article from Weston Price is helpful.

Cake pans and baking dishes

Once again, the primary culprits here are aluminum and non-stick coating. Here is what I use for non-toxic bakeware:

  • Stainless steel cake pans
  • Stainless steel pie plate
  • Pyrex glass baking dishes – I love Pyrex for baking, and I’ve also found some great Pyrex baking dishes at thrift stores for cheap.
  • Cast iron muffin tin (you can also look at antique store for this) or stainless steel muffin tin or line aluminum muffin tins with parchment liners
  • Enameled skillet – I’ve also used my Le Creuset skillet to bake bread, fruit crumbles and, cobblers. It’s made with enameled cast iron, which is a safe bakeware and cookware option. It also lasts for generations.

Waffle iron

One common question I receive is on “What is a safe waffle iron?”  To avoid the non-stick coating on regular waffle irons, you can use this cast-iron waffle pan.

Is silicone bakeware safe?

I appreciate Katie from Wellness Mama’s post on baking with silicone. She believes the safety testing on heating silicone at high temperatures is not adequate. Because I’m on the fence about baking with silicon, I don’t bake in it. I do use silicon molds for unheated preparations, such as ice cubes, chocolates, and homemade gummies.

Do you use these non-toxic bakeware options? Any other suggestions?  I would love to hear your comments and suggestions below. 

Happy Baking!