Sunday, May 13, 2012
Everywhere you look, there is a lot of emphasis on cutting the fat out of our daily diets, but who wants to cut out the fat if it means cutting out the flavor? When it comes to baking, there is a way to cut down on your fat intake without changing the ingredients in your favorite recipes. If you switch to nonstick silicone bakeware, you can cut down on your fat intake with minimal effort. Because the bakeware is nonstick, you never have to use butter, shortening, or grease on your pans or sheets to ensure easy food removal.
The first silicone items made exclusively for baking were small silicone mats that fit nicely on your cookie sheet and allowed you to bake cookies with out greasing the cookie sheet or worrying about the bottoms getting burned. These little mats were a huge success and stores were hard pressed to keep them in stock.
As the popularity of these mats grew, manufacturers decide to explore the idea of making more bakeware from silicone. They began making spoons, spatulas, and whisks that could withstand high heats and could be used with nonstick cookware with no fear of ruining the coating. Silicone utensils were the perfect choice for candy making or any other project that required a boiling and sticky liquid to be stirred.
Kitchen supply manufacturers also introduced silicone potholders and oven gloves. Because they can withstand heats up to 500 degrees, they are the perfect insurance that you won’t get burned when you pull a hot dish from your oven. They don’t conduct heat the way that a cloth potholder does and they are much sturdier and easy to keep clean than traditional potholders. Home canners fell in love with silicone baker’s mitts because they could actually reach into a pot of boiling water to remove a hot jar of food once it was done processing. As an added bonus these durable potholders do double duty as lid grippers making opening jars a snap.
Once silicone hit kitchens in the form of baking mats, utensils, and pot holders, kitchen experts began to see the potential of this material in everyday baking. Suddenly almost any type of bakeware that could traditionally be found in stainless steel, aluminum, glass, or stoneware was being offered in brightly colored silicone. Stores began selling muffin tins, bread loaf pans, cake pans, and pie pans. The most popular pieces tend to be the specialty designed cake pans that allow you to make cakes shaped like everything from roses to pumpkins. They even have mini cake pans that make individual, fancy shaped cakes.
The popularity of silicone bakeware skyrocketed as cooks began to see the benefits of using this material in their kitchens. Foods pop out of silicone pans with amazing ease. You never need to grease, flour, or even use cooking spray on a silicone pan and that adds up to lots of calories and fat grams saved with each meal. Because silicone is very flexible, it is easy to bend and twist it so that cakes and breads pop out easily. You never have to force baked goods out of the pan, so they retain there shape and you don’t see a lot of split and broken cakes.
Silicone is a bakers dream when it comes to making evenly cooked delicacies. The material distributes heat evenly, so you never end up with a cake that is burned around the edges and still not cooked in the middle. It also cools down quickly ensuring that you foods will not continue cooking and possibly drying out once you remove them from the oven.
Because silicone is nonstick, cleanup is a breeze. A little soap and water and any crumb left on your bakeware disappears. It is nonporous, so it never retains any odors from the foods you cook. Completely versatile it goes from oven to table to freezer and can even be thrown in the dishwasher. Once you are done cleaning it, storage is a snap. With its flexibility, you can twist it, bend it, fold it or mash it up so it can fit in the smallest of drawers or cupboards.
If you haven’t tried silicone bakeware, add a piece or two to your kitchen. You will be surprised at its quality and flexibility.