The Postpartum Kitchen is your kitchen filled with love, nourishment and probably a bit more mess than you are used to.
Tools + Equipment
Most kitchens have these items already but it's good to take a fresh eye to what you have and check out if it's in good working order.
Cast Iron Pan: If you don't have a beloved cast iron pan or two around, it might be time reevaluate. Make sure yours is well seasoned and oiled, it will be getting a lot of mileage. Did you know that cast iron can help with iron levels in the food. Super bonus.
Stainless Steel Pan: Please just throw away your non-sticks especially if the coating is scratched. Dreadful chemicals are leaching into your food. You don't need this ever and especially not in postpartum! Stainless steel pan are the way to go. Yes, they need oil/fat to prevent sticking but that's just bonus flavor, nutrients and good fat if you are doing it right!
Glass Pyrex Bakeware: Consider ditching a lot of your older, coated bakeware for the same reason we are throwing out the teflon frying pans. You don't need a lot of pans and this is something that can be a gradual swap over - especially if you are using parchment paper.
Cookie Sheet: Wooooooooo......yeah, not for cookies! For freezing things
Parchment Paper: Unbleached. This is helpful for a lot of things but especially freezing riced veg, freezing grains.
Stock Pot: While we are all fans of heavy bottom stock pot, please double check that the enamel isn't chipped. A stainless steal pot will work too - not quite as romantic and will need to pay a bit more attention to heat source. If you have an Instant Pot, you'll need this less.
Immersion Blender: Blenders have way more parts and who wants to deal with that. Generally, the power of a decent immersion blender is all we will need. They don't take up space, are really versatile piece and you don't need to spend a fortune.
Peeler: Yup, I told you - pretty commonplace stuff.
Grater: I use a double sided box grater that has an insert to catch the food. The Box Grater is an underutilized tool - this will be used to grate ginger for congee, rice vegetables, hardboiled eggs.
Storage for freezer and fridge: While Purposeful Nourishment will deliver some compostable containers for putting meals in the freezer, you will still need containers to store all this food that is being made. Ideally, we are using glass with lids for this but some new tupperware could work. We aren't huge fans of tupperware in general but double check that what you do have is in good shape. No scratches, stains etc. At home, we mostly use large mason jars or pyrex glass food storage containers with lid.
Really, really helpful but not necessary...
Instant Pot: It takes a lot for me to not put this in the above category. While we may favor a traditional, less gadgety kitchen overall - one main exception is the Instant Pot - There is a lot of hype for the IP and I believe it to be well deserved. It helps batch cook, frequently shortens cook time, multi-tasker, and best of all it preserves more nutrients than most other methods because it uses less heat overall. When appropriate, you will have access to both versions of a recipe! If you were on the fence, and this pushes you over to getting one - I don't think you will be disappointed. It's also great for making baby food when the time comes. :)
Parchment Cups: Muffins, or freezing portions
Vitamix, Ninja, Food Processor: Yes, I know and I am sorry - there are lots of parts to these BUT its' only for one or two recipes that are fun and popular to make.
Nice (or fun?) but not necessary...
After soaking, you can go one step further and Sprout! Yeah, now you are ambitious! BUT this is time consuming, and requires clear attention. Again, thinking about setting out a reminder or a loved one request to help with this as a Ritual of Care - they can facilitate this as a lovely use of their helpful energy and intentions.
Since sprouts aren't generally recommended to eat in pregnancy, the household might be a bit out of practice.
We still want to work clean here so we can avoid untoward yuck like bacterial growth e coli and other unsavory and dangerous food-borne illness. Clean conditions (clean hands, equipment and timing) are important components to this to ensure we consume sprouted foods safely. Always consume sprouts within a few days, fresh and straight out of the fridge.
There is a whole world of things that can be sprouted. Broccoli seeds are a personal favorite. The moong bean you receive will be great to sprout as well.
This will be updated asap but for now,
JUST REMEMBER, IN GENERAL, WE THEN WANT TO LIGHTLY COOK THE SPORTS INSTEAD OF EATING LOTS RAW IN THE EARLY POSTPARTUM.
There are some rules of thumb here. This is another area to not overthink too much right now. Simply taking your prenatal will be a big step in the right direction. When you are feeling ready, keep these things in mind.
Pair Iron + Vitamin C rich foods. A simple squeeze of citrus will do this!
> Garlic needs to be chopped and wait about 10- 15 minutes for the allicin to stabilize.
>Cutting fruits (and veggies) up helps break down the rigid cell walls.
> We aren't eating raw foods in the early postpartum anyways BUT cooking foods also increases the bioavailabilty.
Lycopene increases by cooking
Betacarotene is increased for any orange, red, tellow plants.
Denautres the proteins in meat and eggs so they are absorbed easier.
Decreases oxalates which makes iron and other mineral more available.
Turmeric needs peperine aka Black Pepper (and fat) to be more bioavailable to the body.
Place mushrooms gills side up in the sun for 10 -30 minutes to drastically increase the Vitamin D content in the mushie!
Eat Fat! Yes, here it is again. We need fat to absorb the fat soluble vitamins (A, D, K, E) in food!