Being Healthy in Your Kitchen

Sunday November 1, 2015

I love this kitchen by Benchmark Design of Colorado...made for the large combined family of like over a dozen kids or perhaps a lodge...comfy functional European style/great chairs/be glad you dont have to clean this ceiling or range hood

My Eight Steps to Food Preparation Success

A guide to those things we take for granted….Cooking is fun as well as a necessity. But to keep a clean kitchen takes time and effort. Its all about habits. You could have learned them growing up helping in the kitchen, learned them in a cooking course, or just figured them out yourself. Usually they are not written down since it is just assumed you wash your hands and produce, just like washing the dishes when you are done. Your kitchen is your temple. Treat it with respect. A clean kitchen, especially a well used one, is a delight.

this is actress sally field's kitchen. this celebrity cooks. an incredible amount of cutting boards....well used pots and pans...

1. Wash your hands. Lavez los manos.

Not just at the start of food preparation. Wash them after you finish handling raw meat, poultry, or fish of any type. Wash after working with a new part of the meal, such as finished chopping vegetables and ready to go make a sauce after cutting poultry to prevent cross contamination. Be sure to wash your hands after a trip to the bathroom, handling boxes and jars to use in a recipe, a trip to the garage fridge, or putting away groceries.

the duchess of duke street feel for the english country kitchen/designed by Sutherland/love the quasi pro refrigerator and where to store the baskets

2. Wash produce immediately before preparing, not before storage unless really gritty. Do not store mushrooms in plastic.

an updated working kitchen in citrus tones. Someone likes to bake pizza by the well used peels behind the burners...good place for the herbs instead of on the counter...cheese lovers with the glass dome over the cheese board on the table, just like in France

3. Think about what type of cleaners you clean your kitchen with.

If you clean with any chemicals that leave a residue, this can get into your food. It’s generally a very small thing, but there nonetheless. There are all sorts of safe green cleaners now especially for the kitchen. A favorite cleaner is white vinegar. It’s acidic enough to kill most bacteria, germs and mold, yet obviously safe enough to consume. Baking soda also helps, reacts nicely with vinegar, and provides that bit of scrubbing power the kitchen sometimes needs, as well as a few tablespoons down the sink and pour in the vinegar. Stand back. Rinse with hot water. Wipe down cabinets and all door handles.

french provencal designed by brian patterson of nouvelle designer kitchens/a very popular homey design for family/miles of countertop/stainless steel double door fridge is all the rage now, a nod to commercial style/I wish I could keep my counters so uncluttered/looks like carerra marble counters

4. Clean up as you go along.

Pay attention to dish towels and sponges. If you use the same towel to do the counter wipe downs as you do to dry dishes after washing them, you’re just spreading things around. My sister always uses paper towels to clean up after cutting meat and poultry. Mop up or wipe up spills on the floor. Replace a clean cloth dish towel daily or every other day, or when soiled. Replace sponges often as well, or else disinfect them. I just buy a couple of packs of sponges and replace them, then use the old ones for funky jobs like cleaning the legs of the table or the water crock or behind the fridge. I also like those plastic scrubbies and replace them when they get clogged with food.

a galley kitchen-great counter set up-cool soapstone kitchen sink-very clean look-great plank floor

5. Absolutely consider using more than one cutting board.

I always use a different cutting board for meat and other foods. Plastic is good, as is bamboo. Scrub after every use. If it can go in the dishwasher, that is the best for boards used for meat preparation.

I adore the color of this kitchen, the work table, and the set up of the appliances/height of the wall oven/designed by Chad Eisner/in the BBC miniseries depicting the 1900s kitchen, there is usually a scene where one of the actors is scrubbing the work table after dinner at the end of the work day

6. Put leftovers away promptly. The rule of thumb is within two hours to allow for a cool down so as not to drastically lower the overall refrigerator temperature. Remove from the heat and transfer to storage containers (keep a selection—glass with plastic lids is great or Tupperware in many sizes).

now this is a working kitchen...earthy japanese style...super comfy...everything in easy reach and best quality cookware (le cruset)/a good cook doesnt need a big kitchen to make great food

7. Keep a thermometer both in the refrigerator and freezer. I keep one in the oven as well. You always know spot right on what is the condition of the storage unit. This is important in the hot summer months.

modern country french for the privileged ready for a few guests...with crystal chandelier (who is going to clean THAT?) and a full set of copper pans/marvelous kitchen

8. Wash any pot, pan, platter, dishes, utensils or measuring cups that have not been used in a while or if you cant remember the last time you used them. Wipe down waffle makers, toasters, food processors, and other counter top appliances if they are not used regularly.

home sweet home/great pot rack/cereal bowls turned upside down to keep clean/ah the slow cooker right at hand/photo courtesy of design*sponge

Text copyright Beth Hensperger 2015

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.

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