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Crohn's Disease Forum » Parents of Kids with IBD » Diet/Cooking for Kids with IBD » Boosting Iron with cast iron cookware


03-12-2013, 12:31 PM   #1
crohnsinct
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Boosting Iron with cast iron cookware

Hey gang. Sorry haven't been around a lot lately. Dealing with some stuff. I am currently sick in bed and saw this fact on daytime tv and thought I would share it.

Cooking in cast iron pots and pans can boost the iron content in your food by up to 20%! Apparently when you heat the pan the iron from the pan leeches out into your food. The trend away from cast iron cooking is in part to blame for the rising occurence of lower iron levels these days.

Take it for what it's worth. I haven't done scientific research on it but how hard is it to just switch a pan? A good workout for the cook too!
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Daughter O dx 2/1/12 at age 12
Crohns & Remicade induced Psoriasis
Remicade
Methotrexate (12.5mg wkly - oral)
Vit d 2000IU
Multi vitamin plus iron
Calcium
Folic Acid
Previously used - Prednisone, Prevacid, Enteral Nutrition

Daughter T dx 1/2/15 at age 11
Vitaligo, Precoscious puberty & Crohns
Methotrexate (15mg weekly oral)
Enteral Nutrition
Entocort
IBD-AID Diet
Vit d 1000IU
Calcium
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Previously used: Mtx injections
03-12-2013, 12:34 PM   #2
Clash
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You know, I think I remember David mentioning this in one of his threads. We use our cast iron cookware but maybe I should use it more. Hope you get to feeling better quickly!!
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Dx May 2014: JSpA
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03-12-2013, 12:41 PM   #3
Farmwife
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We heard the same thing years ago.
We don't have any cast iron cook ware.
I've always wanted a frying pan and kettle.
I'll have to start asking the hubby.


I hope you get better!
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I'm mom to............... Little Farm Girl 8 yr old
Ibd (microscopic)
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dx Juvenile Arthritis
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dx Erthema Nodosum
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Bladder and Bowel Dysfunction
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03-12-2013, 01:23 PM   #4
Jmrogers4
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My mother has always said this, told to her by her grandmother who was a nurse. My mother has always cooked in cast iron skillets. Whenever us girls seemed a little more tired and off then usual when we were little I remember my mother frying up a steak in that skillet and giving it to us with some OJ. I have several but they are in the camp trailer, maybe I should get them out and start using them.
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Mom to Jack (18) dx Crohn's 2/2010
Vitamin D -2000mg
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Centrum for Him teen multivitamin
Past meds: Imuran/Azathioprine; allopurinol; methotrexate; LDN; Prednisone; Apriso; Pentasa; EEN

Husband dx Crohn's 3/1993
currently none due to liver issues
03-12-2013, 03:10 PM   #5
Tesscorm
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Have no idea if it was coincidental but I'd heard this as well and went out and bought a couple... Stephen's HGB had been low and it did bounce up a bit at his next test. We try to use the cast iron pans as often as possible since then.

Do they sell cast iron pots? Need a new pot and was thinking about a cast iron one???
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Treatment:
May-July 2011 - 6 wks Exclusive EN via NG tube - 2000 ml/night, 1 wk IV Flagyl
July 2011-July 2013 - Supplemental EN via NG, 1000 ml/night, 5 nites/wk, Nexium, 40 mg
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03-12-2013, 03:13 PM   #6
Farmwife
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Where we live it's usually sporting/camping stares still sell them. Their expensive but I guess it's worth it. Also I always see them at second hand stores.
03-12-2013, 03:14 PM   #7
crohnsinct
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Yikes! FW! You are dangerous enough with that rolling pin. Don't know if we want you running around town with a cast iron skillet
03-12-2013, 03:23 PM   #8
Jmrogers4
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Dutch ovens tesscorm. Not so much sauce pans as they need to be seasoned, you don't wash them like regular pots and pans.
03-12-2013, 03:28 PM   #9
Tesscorm
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hmmm, true re washing them... I'm not 100% sure what a dutch oven is... is it 'cast iron' on the inside and enamel on the outside?
03-12-2013, 03:32 PM   #10
Jmrogers4
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It can be. But also can be solid cast iron. You can use in the oven or camping you put hot coals and the lid and bury it for a few hours. I have some great "dump" recipes. You just dump all ingredients in and leave it to cook.
03-12-2013, 04:05 PM   #11
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And if you cook something acidic in them (i.e. tomato sauce) you get more of a benefit as the acid in the food pulls out even more of the iron.
03-12-2013, 06:33 PM   #12
sickofcrohns
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Cast iron doesn't have to be expensive. I got my best cast iron cookware at antique shops and garage sales.
03-14-2013, 09:31 AM   #13
David
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95% of our meals are cooked on cast iron, in large part for this very reason. My wife is vegetarian and was forever anemic and it has played a large part in her improvement. The other 5% are on stainless steel. I NEVER use anything else, it's too toxic in my opinion. I also only use stainless steel and wood cooking utensils, NEVER plastic. I also don't purchase any iron or steel cookware that is made in china. I just plain don't trust them to not use harmful additives.

As sickofcrohns alluded to, there is cast iron and then there is cast iron. The best stuff is the older stuff as it's much easier to get a good non stick surface. Yes, the new cast iron will give you the benefit of iron, but I love the old antique cast iron as the quality is SO MUCH higher. I've purchased most of mine off ebay with a couple lucky scores at garage sales.

Here's an example of a dutch oven from one of, if not the best old cast iron manufacturers: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-1920...item460d630f0f

Your cast iron cookware should last forever and can be passed down as family heirlooms. The key is to make sure whoever is receiving it understands its value. Far too often I go to garage sales and people are selling grandmas cast iron because they like their teflon coated pans so much more.
03-14-2013, 09:42 AM   #14
Tesscorm
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If you were to buy a new cast iron skillet, what would be the approximate price for a good one? I bought ours at a department store (not a specialty 'kitchen' store) and remember being surprised and feeling that it should've cost more but, although I did look around at a couple of other stores, the prices were all the same. I don't remember the exact price but I think it was approx. $25. Does this seem right? I've always wondered if I should have looked in some specialty stores and have ended up with some cheap iron pans (and am missing out on the benefits???).
03-14-2013, 09:44 AM   #15
Farmwife
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I'm going thrift store shopping soon and will keep an eye out for some.

I guess first someone has to tell me to take care of them. I have no idea how.
03-14-2013, 09:49 AM   #16
David
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Tesscorm, that's about the standard price for much of the new stuff. A lot of it is made by, "Lodge" and like companies. And while it will give you the iron benefits, you may have a little trouble getting it as non stick as you want. If you take one of my Griswold pans and put it next to a new Lodge pan, the difference is remarkable. Even unseasoned the Griswold pan is very smooth (they would grind them down) whereas the Lodge pans are much more porous. But if you take your time and really season that Lodge pan, it should work great for you.

Ignore everything about seasoning cast iron except this: http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/20...ing-cast-iron/ -- note that I didn't use the flax oil like she suggests, I use canola, but everything else I do her way and the results are excellent.
03-14-2013, 10:11 AM   #17
Tesscorm
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Thanks David! I did pretty much what she said but have only done it once! Guess what I'll be doing over the weekend...
03-14-2013, 12:00 PM   #18
crohnsinct
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Thanks for all the cool advice David!

Poor hubby bought me a really expensive set of non stick pots and pans a few years ago and I am chucking them all because I am concerned about off gassing! Next in the garbage are my utensils!

Can't wait to make my Easter sauce in my cast iron pot!
03-24-2013, 05:42 AM   #19
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Hi,
I think they only went out of vogue because they are so heavy, can be heavier than pressure cookers and they take some beating!
You have to oil them when you have finished with them, don't you. And is it right that you don't wash them with soap and water to clean them but only kitchen paper...to avoid rusting.
I think they are still popular in France.
Non- stick is so iffy. What happens to the coating ...it ends up in our guts! I still use a fry pan that is non-stick!! Hmmm!!
I am currently using stainless steel for saucepans, and have an old pyrex one too...but I don't know the origins of our stainless steel cookware. Thanks for your posts David.... I do worry about chinese products !!
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03-24-2013, 05:00 PM   #20
jmckinley
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Very interesting! I've been thinking about ditching the non stick...may give it a try. I have 1 old pan from my Grandmother. I will strip and season it and give it a shot. Thus far, I have not used it because everything sticks.
03-25-2013, 04:09 AM   #21
sickofcrohns
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And is it right that you don't wash them with soap and water to clean them but only kitchen paper...to avoid rusting.
Well, if you get egg or cheese stuck on there, you have to soak them a bit and use soap and hot water. But over time, if you dry them thoroughly and oil them lightly before putting them away each time, you will build up a safe and non-stick coating.

Don't let the admonition not to soak them or use soap and water gross you out. You can do all of the above, so long as you are careful to maintain the pan without scratching off all of the seasoning layer.

--> Oh, and avoid cooking acidic foods for a long time in cast iron. They will leach the metal and taste metallic and turn dark. So if you're making tomato sauce or jam, use an enamelled pot instead.

--> Another bonus about using cast iron: you can make tarte tatin!
03-26-2013, 10:39 PM   #22
CarolinAlaska
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We love our cast iron. My dh uses our skillet at least twice a day. We also have a dutch oven which is fun for outdoor adventures!
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