This post is unknowingly co-written by Todd Albi of SilverFire. From the SEAL Team to devoted dad of four and entrepreneur, he's pretty much the most driven and hardworking person I know. He's my dad; and a huge inspiration to me. He's an expert in many things, and has become quite knowledgeable about cast-iron cooking through his business of recreation and off-grid cookware and stoves. I've become quite enamored with my cast-iron skillet as a result, and have recently experimented with recipes beyond my go-to sautéed veggie dishes.
"While our landfills continue to fill with useless plastic lifespan products, many consumers are considering sustainable, long term lifestyle products. Cast iron cookware falls into the latter category and is often handed down from one generation to the next. It is durable and offers merits that other cookware lacks. Quite simply: cast iron has soul. It provides even heat distribution and retains heat more uniformly than any other cookware. As an added bonus, those with iron deficiencies appreciate increased iron absorption cooking with cast iron.
A well-seasoned cast iron skillet means no hazardous non-stick coatings and therefore, no dead birds (as our landfills and oceans are full of detrimental material, animals are suffering). In terms of the aviary population specifically, pans treated with non-stick polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) coatings are associated with aviary deaths caused by fumes generated from over-heated TeflonÒ, Innovex 75T, TheromSpot T, as well as other non-stick coatings. Degradation of PTFE has been shown to be toxic to humans too, as documented in The Lancet as early as 1951.
Not only do these cast iron pans have a positive impact on the environment, a well-seasoned cast iron pan means less oil is required when cooking. This results in recipes becoming more heart-healthy, as well as lending a superior taste." -Todd Albi
SilverFire is a local off-grid stove and cookware retailer, and carries a variety of vintage, collectable, and Finex artisan cast iron cookware at 2472 Willamette Street in South Eugene.
OK, now that you know where to stock up on artisan cast-iron (as well as environmentally friendly stoves and cookware), did you know cast-iron skillets can also be used to desserts? It's true! Here's my recent gluten-free vegan dessert recipe baked in my cast iron skillet pan. Not only is it extra flavorful, it's vegan and good for the environment, plus sneaks a little extra iron into my diet. Hurrah! I love my Lodge skillet as it's a great pre-seasoned one made in the US that's not nearly as pricy as the more collectable pieces.
Blackberry Skillet Cookie
1 cup gluten-free oats
1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
1/2 cup gluten-free flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 chia eggs (or 2 eggs)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup coconut sugar
3 tbsp almond milk
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 heaping cup fresh blackberries
1. If using chia eggs (vegan option), whisk 2 tbsp ground chia with 6 tbsp water and set aside. I prefer white chia seeds from this chia brand but any type will work.
2. Heat oven to 325 F and grease a cast-iron skillet with coconut oil.
3. Melt coconut oil and warm almond butter, whisking well. I stock up on Maranatha almond butter because I like the one without sugar or salt; it's perfection. (Peanut butter also works well). Stir in sugar, maple, nondairy milk and chia eggs, and vanilla.
4. Stir in dry ingredients and let batter sit for a few minutes.
5. Fold in blackberries, pour into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Batter may seem soft in center; let sit for 15 minutes as it will continue to set). Cut and enjoy!