Health Benefits of Terracotta wares
Terracotta. Clay utensils. Clay wares.
Now you must be thinking what about these? Why am I telling you synonyms?
You must have seen terracotta or clay wares and other artifacts decoring people’s homes and placed here and there to match their house theme. No doubt they look beautiful but here’s the thing, “They are not just beautiful but healthy for us too.“
Now don’t start thinking that you will have to chew the clay, of course not! But think deeply; can you remember clay utensils being used in kitchens or even imagine that? I think you won’t have a hard time doing that because Indian kitchens have been using clay wares to cook food for a long time.
There was a time, about 25,000 years ago when Indian kitchens solely or mostly used terracotta utensils. Over time, however, somehow the insides of the kitchen changed and clay wares were replaced by brass, aluminium, stainless steel, and non-stick. But now people are going back to the good-old clay wares. Why?
Here’s are the reasons–
Benefits of Clay Utensils or Clay Pots
In this section, we will see the benefits clay utensils can provide us.
1. Preserves Nutrition – One of the biggest benefits of clay utensils is they retain the nutrition of the food. It is scientifically proven that the pores present in the wares help regulate moisture and heat while cooking and keeps the nutrition at 100% while other utensils can’t.
2. Adds to the Nutritional Value – Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Copper, and Manganese, are among the deficit minerals which are present in clayware that majority of the population lacks. Therefore, cooking in clay pots adds these minerals to your food. These additional minerals will help you with Asthma, Bronchitis, and Cancer.
3. Neutralizes the Acidic Effect – You must have heard somewhere before or have known already that clay utensils have an alkaline nature. In other words, they are of basic nature. This helps in neutralizing the acidic effect of food and hence prevents issues like stomach ache or irritation or digestion-related problems.
4. Prevents Bacteria Growth – Clay is hostile to a certain type of bacteria growth which makes it the best utensil for cooking as it helps prevent bacteria growth and spoiling of food. This is scientifically proven through an experiment. The food cooked in a clay utensil remained good even after a 36-hour train journey in hot weather.
5. Less Oil – You may already know that clay has absorbing properties, so, when you cook in clay utensils the clay will absorb the oil. After a few uses, the utensil will retain all the moisture needed for cooking and you won’t need to add much oil, making your food naturally healthier.
6. Food gets More Delicious – Health benefits are one thing but don’t you think we usually have to trade taste for healthy? But that’s not the case with clay wares. You must have heard from elders that slow-cooked food tastes better. Clay utensils take longer to cook food. The process of slowly cooking the food not only adds the clay minerals to the food but also the aroma making the food taste 10 times better.
7. Keeps water Cool – The pores present in clay helps the process of evaporation that keeps the water cool. Unlike refrigerated water, which gives cough, cold, sinusitis, clay pot water prevents them. Apart from that keeping water in a clay pot will add minerals to the water. So, it is a wise decision to keep water in clay pots. If for some reason you can’t drink clay pot water, you can drink the water of copper vessel as well. It also has amazing health benefits.
8. Cheaper than most wares – Clay wares are not only easily available but are also cheaper than most types of utensils. Apart from saving money and cooking healthy, you will be helping a family financially by buying handmade clay utensils.
How to use clay pots ?
There are a few things you must keep in your mind while working with clay utensils. These few tips will help you in easy cooking with terracotta.
1. Clay wares should be wet completely before they are ever used. You can put them in a tub or sink full of water for a few hours or overnight.
2. You should use some type of oil to rub on the pot and leave it for a few hours before cooking. This way extra oil will be absorbed and the clay pot will retain its moisture.
3. Every time you cook, you should put the clay wares in water for 15-20 minutes.
4. Clay utensils take longer to heat, so, cook your food 15-20 minutes longer.
5. Always use some cloth, or oven mittens, or baker’s pad to lift the pot.
6. Never place the utensils on a cold surface as it can lead to cracks in the utensil.
So, now you must have understood, there are numerous advantages and benefits in cooking in clay utensils. Health benefits, economic benefits, better taste, better aroma, and the traditional values attached to them but apart from this the satisfaction of helping someone out.
Also, it is not necessary that you only cook curry or something like that in clay pots. You can also cook a variety of sauces and chutneys, eggs, stews, veggies, meat, poultry, fish, and even chapatis or rotis as we call them.