Whenever I return home after traveling, the one thing I look forward to even more than sleeping in my own bed is cooking in my own kitchen! I’m always grateful for the opportunity to try new dishes (and who doesn’t love having someone cook for them) and I find so much inspiration in it that I just can’t wait to get to work creating.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I found a renewed appreciation for plant-based dishes when I was in Bali. I’ve made it a priority to incorporate more vegan meals, and that often does mean cooking at home.
I talk a lot about using quality ingredients: budgeting for organic where you can and incorporating local produce when possible. But another key to healthy cooking is the very base for most dishes. Believe it or not, the quality of your water is extremely important.
I am adamant about using filtered water, and here’s why:
- It can help remove dangerous contaminants: physical contaminants like sediment, microbial contaminants like parasites, and chemical contaminants like nitrogen, pesticides and even toxins produced by prescription drugs.
- Dangerous contaminants are removed, while retaining the healthy mineral deposits that balance the pH of drinking water – keeping the good stuff.
- Water tastes and smells better when chlorine and bacterial contaminants are removed.
- It can reduce the risk of gastrointestinal disease
Most fine restaurants use filtered water for cooking – why shouldn’t treat ourselves to the finest at home too? That’s why I use a filtered water not just for my drinking water, but for the water I cook with too.
I’m grateful to have a Zip HydroTap installed right in my kitchen – it’s super simple to fill everything from drinking glasses to stock pots. I love that pure tasting chilled, boiling and even sparkling filtered water is available in an instant! Need more convincing?
- Although many bacterial organisms are destroyed in high temperatures, most food isn’t cooked at a high enough temperature long enough to take care of it all.
- Chlorinated water can cause cooking water to taste odd, which could affect the taste of grains and pasta.
- Grains and pasta will cook faster and have a creamier texture.
- Chlorine can affect yeast, which is a problem if you’re baking certain breads like sourdough.
- Cleaner fruits and vegetables. You can prevent contamination by washing your produce in filtered water. Give your salad greens a good rinsing, too – even if you buy packaged greens that claim to be prewashed, do it again!
- Better tasting coffee and tea – you’ll likely find that they have stronger flavors and less steeping time when made with filtered water.
Even your kitchen herbs will be healthier when fed filtered water! Some studies show that plants can survive longer (weeks, even) in a vase of filtered water, and their growth can increase by up to 30%. If plants respond better to filtered water, there’s no doubt our bodies do too.
And with that, I’m happy to share a favourite plant-based dish that I’ve been loving lately.
- 150g kelp noodles
- 1⁄2 white cabbage, finely sliced
- 1 bunch bok choy, leaves chopped and white part finely sliced
- 4 spring onions, finely sliced, plus extra to garnish
- 3 carrots, finely sliced or shredded
- 3 cucumbers, finely sliced
- 1 red capsicum, finely sliced
- 1 green capsicum, finely sliced
- good handful snow peas, topped and tailed and roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp coriander, roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp mint, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp red chilli, deseeded and very finely sliced
- 4 tbsp toasted white and black sesame seeds
- In a bowl, add the kelp noodles and boiling water and let them stand for 5 minutes. Once soaked, remove the noodles, pat dry and then roughly chop them.
- In a large mixing bowl, add all the salad ingredients besides the sesame seeds and toss through well. Add the kelp noodles and toss again.
- In a small jug or mixing bowl, whisk together the dressing and adjust according to your individual taste.
- To serve, pour the salad dressing over noodles and toss well, then top with sesame seeds and sliced spring onions.