Why AGA cast iron cooking is healthier for you

The Nutritional Merits of AGA Cast Iron Cooking

I strive to be healthy. Alright, yes, leave me in a room alone with a platter of cookies and I’ll tear into them like a velociraptor, but for the most part I try to become better educated on nutrition and make healthier food choices. Fortunately for me, I already have a leg up with my AGA simply by the way it cooks food.

ruth-lahmayer-chipps

Ruth Lahmayer Chipps, MS, RD is a media spokesperson, writer, culinary consultant and registered dietitian, Ruth has made over 150 national media appearances, including CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, The New York Times, USA Today, Glamour, Health Magazine, Shape Magazine and Today’s Dietitian, among other widely-recognized publications.

Allow me to explain with the help of fellow AGA owner and leading health and nutrition expert, nationally-recognized registered dietitian, Ruth Lahmayer Chipps, MS, RD.

AGA Preserves Nutrients. 

“Nutrition goals from health organizations recommend five to seven servings from fruits and vegetables per day. As people strive to eat more produce, it’s critical that they also consider the method of cooking used in order to maximize their nutritional benefit,” Ruth explains.

The way you cook your food directly impacts the nutrition content you consume. You can start with a lovely bunch of raw, nutrient-packed vegetables and easily destroy their healthfulness with high, direct heat.  Fry your vegetables in high heat, and you’ll risk losing important fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K.  Direct heat also can destroy vital omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA.

Therefore, to maximize your nutritional intake, eating foods raw, boiled or steamed is always best. Some studies suggest, however, that cooking certain foods like tomatoes, carrots and spinach allows healthful antioxidants to become more available to the body than in their raw state.

Using cast iron radiant heat, the AGA delivers the most ideal cooking method to gently steam and quick-boil food to retain nutrients and moisture. Carrots are a good example—the AGA keeps their true flavor, nutrition content and vibrant orange color as they are cooked to softness—not mush.


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Steamed carrots – simply boil carrots in a small amount of water, toss with only enough oil or butter to coat and sprinkle on parsley for a fresh, sweet flavor. Look at this fantastic coloration!

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Carrot bruschetta – Heat shredded carrot with oil in a pan on the boiling plate with garlic, chili and cumin seeds for a few minutes. Stir in coriander after cooling.


AGA Reduces Salt, Sugar and Oil Intake. 

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Ruth uses a cream AGA Total Control for cast iron cooking in her own kitchen and would not have it any other way.

Otherwise known as the “troublesome trio”, these culprits are known to negatively impact health, especially with excessive consumption. Unfortunately, these are the same components that tend to bring flavor to foods we enjoy.

“A big problem in the kitchen is often the over-usage of oils while cooking, which can add hundreds of calories to our meals. For example, one tablespoon of olive oil has about 119 calories!” Ruth explains.

For those of us raised on conventional ranges, we expect to have to use butter or oil, salty seasonings and sugar to flavor food to be tasty.  Why? Convection ranges employ direct heating elements and a fan to circulate heat, a harsh cooking environment that can dry out food and compromise flavor. Most of us don’t know there is a vastly different way to experience food until they eat AGA food.

Simply by cooking with an AGA alone, you can reduce your “troublesome trio” intake by 1/3 or more.  This is because the cast iron AGA uses radiant heat to cook food gently and consistently, preserving the natural moisture and flavor of food. That means you can taste food for how it is intended to taste by nature, rather than masking it with loads of butter and seasonings.

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Ruth is busy developing new recipes for Kitchen Icons, chef-inspired appliance and kitchen design/build company, and has noticed the AGA difference herself.

“I have been amazed at the intense flavor that is derived from foods cooked in the AGA.”

For overall healthy cooking, she shares this philosophy, “When considering your next nutrition-packed meal, think about this general rule: Keep cooking time, temperature, and the amount of liquid and fat to a minimum. Boost flavor with culinary herbs like fresh basil, rosemary, thyme and marjoram—and don’t forget the garlic!”

To learn more about Ruth, visit her web site livinghealthykitchen.com to watch her efforts to make kitchens healthier.

On my next post, I’ll share 10 healthy meal examples of this practice in action. Here’s to your health!

BROWSE THE AGA CAST IRON COLLECTION >>

How to Slow Cook in Your AGA like a Crockpot

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If there’s one more thing an AGA can do best, it’s slow-cooked food, really easily.  The gentle, consistent heat of the AGA simmering oven offers ideal conditions to slow cook casseroles, cakes or roasts at an even temperature with little moisture loss for succulent results every time.

As a matter of fact, the temperature of the AGA simmering oven is equivalent to the low setting of a conventional crockpot. That means you can convert any crockpot recipe to the AGA slow-cooking method. And here’s how.


BASIC AGA SLOW COOKING PRINCIPLES:

STEP ONE: Food must be heated first before it will cook in the simmering oven.  Start the cooking process with either of these two methods:

  1. Bring to a boil on the boiling plate to make sure the food and cooking dish are hot all the way through, or,
  2. Place the dish in the Roasting Oven for 15 – 30 minutes, until bubbling hot.

STEP TWO: Cover food with a lid or foil to prevent a crust from forming on the surface, then transfer to the simmering oven to finish slow cooking for the designated time.


New to AGA slow cooking? Give this recipe a try!

Southwestern Risotto
Southwestern Risotto

Southwestern Risotto

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio or other short-grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander (optional)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn
  • 3/4 cup chopped bottled roasted red bell peppers

Instructions

  1. Begin by preheating the AGA large cast iron dish on the boiling plate. Meanwhile, heat the broth and water in a stockpot on the simmering plate.
  2. Sauté the rice, coriander, onion and garlic in the oil until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the hot broth and water, and bring the dish back to a simmer.
  4. Using oven mitts, place the lid on the dish and transfer to the lower rack of the simmering oven.
  5. Check after 20 to 30 minutes, not stirring, but monitoring the absorption of liquid. Leave in the oven until the rice is tender and creamy but still somewhat firm.
  6. Once the rice is cooked, remove the cast iron dish and add the finishing touches. Stir in the cheese, hot sauce, corn and red bell peppers. Fini!
https://www.agamarvel.com/slow-cook-aga-like-crockpot/

 BROWSE THE AGA CAST IRON COLLECTION >>

Ralph Lauren Kitchen for the Holidays with Red AGA Range

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A claret AGA Total Control cast iron range adds a pop of holiday color to the 2016 Ralph Lauren Christmas window display. (We think Mrs. Claus would approve.) Photo credit: Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren Kitchen in “The Season of Style” Christmas window display includes a holiday red AGA cast iron range

Every year in the heart of the New York City shopping district, the department stores of Fifth Avenue unveil magnificent window displays to eager spectators, a city custom that dates back to the 19th century and often takes months to plan and implement.

“Window tourism is, after all, a time-honored New York holiday tradition,” says Matthew Schneier of the New York Times. “Typically five million visitors come to the city between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve alone.”

Luxury designer label Ralph Lauren was no exception to this year’s festivities. Under clandestine cover, the creative team concepted three new window displays, a carefully protected secret until the big reveal in November. This year’s theme for the Ralph Lauren Home collection incorporates a claret AGA Total Control cast iron range, a festive complement to their inviting cabin kitchen.

“I’m about longevity, I’m about timeless,” Mr. Lauren describes his style.

The holiday window display is featured at the Ralph Lauren flagship store on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 55th Street, adjacent to the famed Polo Bar, a clubhouse of sorts for an array of celebrities followed by the flashbulbs of paparazzi on a weekly basis.

The display will remain open until the first week of January.

If you venture out to see this window display, snap a photo and share it on Facebook or Instagram. Be sure to tag AGA Ranges, and tell us what you think!

A Day in Dita Von Teese’s AGA Kitchen

Glamorous Dita Von Teese is timeless in her craft, from her signature red lips to her Golden-era Hollywood style. With a steadfast artistic vision and an eye for showmanship, it seems only natural the starlet was attracted to the vintage good looks of an AGA cast iron range, the new focal point of her kitchen.

Here, she chronicles her experiences with food and drink – and how home-cooked AGA meals have changed her life. See how the style icon is making the most of her new Tudor style AGA kitchen.

Excerpt from New York Magazine’s Grub Street

“I love cooking and recently redid my kitchen in a Snow White fairy tale–Art Deco–meets–Tudor style, and it might just be the most glamorous room in the house, so I like to spend a lot of time in there. When I remodeled my kitchen, I bought a British-racing-green cast-iron Aga stove, with copper accents. It’s a real showpiece when people walk into my kitchen. I’d been fantasizing about it for a long time — it’s what Julia Child used.

I read my manual a lot, and it includes a recipe for the famous slow-cooked porridge, which has been life-changing. I mixed the steel-cut oats with water and salt in my heart-shaped cast-iron pan, and popped that in the low-temperature oven to cook overnight. Even my boyfriend, who doesn’t like oatmeal, is completely astonished that it doesn’t have butter and cream in it.

I come home and take the porridge out of the oven and make my favorite extra-smoky Mariages Frères Lapsang Souchong tea. I’ve got so many friends addicted to this that now I have to leave space in my luggage for it when I go to Paris. The porridge is divine as usual, like a creamy soufflé with chewy baked browned edges. I pour some maple syrup on it and again marvel at how this can come out so deliciously with just water, oatmeal, and salt! I really need more witnesses to how amazing this porridge is.

I love hosting themed potluck dinners at my house. I decided to make a cheese fondue served with vegetables and bread to dip, and Champagne. It was a huge hit. I read that the first person to drop something into the fondue has to host the next fondue party. I’ve long wanted to host a “Fundue Fondue” party, with fondues of all different kinds, and everyone wearing amazing wigs — like how Ellen von Unwerth used to host wig parties in Paris. Perhaps next time. But potlucks are great, because people love thinking of a dish to bring and bragging about it. And also, you don’t have to do much work, except for the cleanup.

I’ve always loved cooking and entertaining. I like making things that are beautiful — things that people go “Ooh and ahh” over. It’s one of the reasons I chose the fondue. I said to my boyfriend, “What am I going to make? Everyone expects me to make something exciting!” I like the wow factor, but I don’t like to make complicated meals. Simple things that are impressive. One of the reasons is that I travel so much for work, and I eat out a lot, and I always miss making my own, simple, unfussy food at home. I find it to be very therapeutic.”

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AGA Marvel surprises New Jersey family with a full suite of high-end kitchen appliances on NBC’s George to the Rescue

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Donna Myhre, shown here with the show’s designer Tyler Wisler, beams after seeing the dramatic improvements to her home.

Four years ago, doctors delivered news that would forever change Donna Myhre’s life: first, a shocking diagnosis with ALS, a degenerative neuromuscular disease that gradually impairs motor skills and speech. And then there was more. The sixth-grade math teacher was also pregnant with her first child.

As she welcomed motherhood facing considerable challenges, Donna continued teaching and inspiring her students, and her benevolent efforts did not go unnoticed in the community.  Two school colleagues approached George Oliphant, host of NBC’s George to the Rescue, in hopes he would take on the renovation project to make Donna’s life at home easier and more enjoyable. Deeply moved by Donna’s story, George surprised her family and announced his next project was their home.

What the family did not know is that George and his rescue team decided to tackle bonus renovations, including her 3-year-old daughter’s bedroom and the aging kitchen.

The show’s designer, Tyler Wisler, called on AGA Marvel in search of top-of-the-line appliances that packed a punch on performance, features and good looks, but could slide in a standard 30″ range footprint. The luxury appliance manufacturer joined “Team Myhracle” in earnest, donating a full suite of products, including the company’s newest 30″ professional range, to help transform her kitchen into a welcome place for her family to gather and enjoy good meals for years to come.

“It takes a village, and this is the village that helped rescue her house,” said George, the show’s host. “We knew we were at the right house since day one.”

Watch the behind-the-scenes video of the Myhre family’s emotional welcome home below.  The full episode airs in New Jersey, New York and the nation’s top markets on October 22, 2016. Check your local listings for details. Be sure to check back for the post-show recap, complete with before and after photos!

To learn more about ALS, visit alsa.org.

Will an AGA Cast Iron Range work in a Kitchen Island?

Lifestyle & Design – An AGA Range in a Kitchen Island

Many of you are hard at working designing your dream kitchen with our beloved AGA cast iron range as the perfect cooking solution for your home.  After spending countless hours determining the fit and function of your kitchen design, those of you interested in having a kitchen island are now wondering, will an AGA cast iron range work in a kitchen island design?

Traditional AGA in an island

Photo Credit: Bart Edson SFGate.com

Thankfully, whether you have a traditional AGA cooker or you are purchasing from one of the new generation of AGA cast iron ranges, the AGA works splendidly in an island setting.   As you can see here, this refined rustic estate home showcases a traditional AGA cooker in Claret within its kitchen island design.

The island is structured around the AGA allowing it to be slightly pronounced representing the main focal point of the large, open space.  While the traditional AGA cooker required ceiling ventilation, the new generation of AGA cast iron ranges, such as the AGA Total Control and the AGA Dual Control electric model, only require in-room venting.  Meaning a rangehood is not required making this a perfect solution for any kitchen island setting.

There are many resources out there to assist you in designing and planning your dream kitchen.  Magazine and online articles give insightful tips, such as HGTV.   One of the many resources AGA provides designers and architects are 2D and 3D drawings of our ranges to assist designers.  Our drawings give an accurate layout and representation of our ranges.  Click here for the full list of drawings for all AGA cast iron ranges.

To see more photos of this Refined Rustic Estate Home for sale in Wine Country, click here to visit their site.

Why An AGA is Right for You

The Worlds Best Cooking ExperienceThere are many reasons why people decided a while ago an AGA was not right for them. Whether it be their home, their cooking style or the fact they did not want their stove on all the time, many made up their mind and chose another appliance.  Some of the following customer constraints prevented them from purchasing an AGA:

  • It’s on all the time
  • Too hot in the kitchen
  • Too big for my kitchen
  • Too expensive to run
  • Too much heat for my well-insulated home
  • I do not cook during the week
  • We only cook quick meals
  • Cannot have a flue in the kitchen

Thankfully, AGA listened to those who felt this way and created an entirely new generation of AGA cast iron ranges which addresses each of the above constraints exemplifying why an AGA is right for you – why an AGA is right for any home!

A variety of AGA cast iron ranges are available giving customers a choice of models to suit their individual needs.  Thankfully the market for the AGA cast iron range has broadened as many constraints against owning an AGA have been overcome.  For instance, the AGA Total Control and AGA City24 give you the flexibility to operate each oven and hotplate separate and independent from each other.  The ovens on the AGA Dual Control models operate simultaneously while the electric hotplates operate separate from the ovens and independent of each other.  Dual Control ovens can be turned on, off or turned down to save energy.  Regardless of which cast iron model you choose, each AGA range comes fully assembled and do not require a flue.

For more information, please visit www.aga-ranges.com.

AGA Making Waves at the Coastal Virginia Home & Garden Show

Chef’s from all over coastal Virginia gathered around the AGA Total Control wowing the crowds with their culinary creations

Joyce Crowder was elated to share the news that her kitchen would be the main showcase kitchen at the 2016 Coastal Virginia Home & Garden Show.  This year the Coastal Virginia Magazine sponsored the Culinary Corner where Crowder Custom Cabinets provided the kitchen showcasing the 3-oven AGA Total Control in the latest color, Aqua.

This years emcee was Chef Patrick Evans, the Food Editor of Coastal Virginia Magazine.  Well known chef’s from various restaurants along the coastal region of Virginia enjoyed cooking up their favorite culinary creations using the AGA Total Control.

Hover over the images below for fun snippets highlighting each Chef and the delicious foods created on the AGA Total Control.

AGA making waves at the Coastal Virginia Home & Garden Show gives a HIGH-5 to all the culinary talent who cooked their dishes on the AGA Total Control 3-oven cast iron range such as,

Chef Andrea DiCarlo with La Bella Italia, Ghent

Chef Caruso with La Bella Italia, Redmill

Chef Josh Stivers with Point at Phoebus

Chef Mike Farrell with Still Worldly Eclectic Tapas

Chef Troy Camacho with Casual Gourmet Victoria

Chef Chad Martin with Circa 1918

Chef Edward Storey with Supper Southern Morsels

Chef Scott Home with Granny’s Kitchen

Emcee Chef Patrick Evans-Hylton the Food Editor with Coastal Virginia Magazine

Colorful Retro Kitchens

colorful aga cast iron range in retro rennovations

Photo Credit: Retro Rennovations at retrorennovations.com

Just when we thought the fun had died down, we were excited to see a recent article by Retro Renovation, about colorful retro kitchens, showcasing our AGA colorful ranges at KBIS!  Kate and Pam did a fun job tying our booth suites into fun retro-styled highlights which exemplify how well our products work no matter the look you are trying to achieve.

Whether you are going for retro or modern, country or eclectic, the AGA cast iron range works in each!  With over 15 colors available, those of your looking to create colorful retro kitchens are in luck!

Here is a snippet of what was said about our colorful retro kitchens:

So when we spotted the colorful AGA stoves booth, it was a breath of fresh air with big smiling lollipop sprinkles on top. Color, color and more color — plus, they even had a retro inspired kitchen setup. Oh happy day!

Read more: AGA colorful ranges and a retro kitchen at KBIS – Retro Renovation

 

 

5 Spring Kitchen Trends Inspired by New York Fashion Week

Often our homes are a curation of what we adore about fashion, and thanks to the immediacy and instant dialogue of social sharing, the worlds of fashion and home decor can now harmonize. This week, our eyes are on New York as big names in fashion swath models in luxurious fabrics, tailored just so, and their artfully designed pieces hit the runway in a myriad of colors, patterns and textures. That’s right, it’s New York Fashion Week… seven spectacular days of creative minds showing us their vision for Spring 2016.

Immerse yourself in these 5 Spring Kitchen Trends, where kitchen decor meets haute couture, and discover how iconic AGA kitchen collections are pace for pace with emerging fashion trends.

Spring Kitchen Trend #1: Lace Ladies and Vintage Style AGA Legacy Ranges

Lace is timeless, whether in shades of ivory, white or black, and AGA Legacy Dual Fuel Ranges emulate this finely tuned vintage look that seems to transcend eras.  It’s what we call our AGA Designer Ranges, available in 36″ and 44″ options and five porcelain enamel colors.lace-ladies

Spring Kitchen Trend #2: California Dreaming in Rose, Aqua and Pistachio

Breezy pastels remind us of seaside retreats, warm weather and casual Cali chic. Take a cue from the West Coast with AGA Cast Iron Ranges in rose, aqua and pistachio. Pictured here: AGA City24 Cast Iron Range with gas and electric cooktop options.

california-dreaming

Spring Kitchen Trend #3: Shine On with Sleek AGA Professional Ranges

Silvery and sequined, these models are dressed to impress, reminiscent of the sleek, sophisticated and NEW AGA Professional Ranges in 30″, 36″ and 48″ sizes.

shine-on

Spring Kitchen Trend #4: Shoulder Off & AGA Induction Tops

The catwalk saw clean lines paired with classic colors like black and white, a close cousin in appearance to our AGA Hotcupboard with its minimalist induction top.

shoulder-off

Spring Kitchen Trend #5: Citrus City with AGA City24 in Lemon

Nothing says spring like bright citrusy yellows, daffodils and tulips, a color that rejuvenates the spirit and is refreshing and happy to the eye. Like a burst of sunshine, the AGA City24 Dual Fuel Module in lemon can take a kitchen from dreary to cheery.

citrus-city

Like what you see here?  Get inspired with more fabulous kitchen design ideas: