Kitchen stuff should be either durable or compostable, if you want to consider the health planet when stocking up.
Fortunately, bamboo products are among the few kitchen tools that are both hardy and biodegradable. Treated right, bamboo can last a long time. It is sturdy and resists water and heat damage. But in the end, it's also a natural product that can be counted on to return to the earth. Bamboo's also quick-growing, reaching maturity in four to six years, instead of the 20 or 30 years it can take for a tree to reach harvest. The eco-implications are obvious.
Here are a few bamboo products to consider for your kitchen:
The IMUSA Bamboo Steamer is a classic way to steam cook and retain flavor, vitamins and nutrients in your veggies. Bamboo steamers also work well for seafood and dim sum. The woven bottom allows steam to pass through, while the multiple layers allow cooks to separate and steam a variety of foods simultaneously. Available at Macys.com for $30.00
New for spring 2014 in the IMUSA line, is this Bamboo Mortar & Pestle, which can crush fresh herbs and spices. Think meat rubs and focaccia toppings. The set feature orange silicone accents that create a better grip and non-slip bottom. Handy and attractive, this little kitchen helper will be available soon at Target.com for $17.99
IMUSA's Bamboo Tostonera makes perfectly pressed Tostones, crispy fried plantains, with just the right thickness and shape. Tostones, if you don't know them, are popular in Hispanic cuisine as a side dish or appetizer. Available at Macys.com for $9.99
We adore the nifty double-utility of this CORE Bamboo Bread Box. It keeps your bread out of sight, and when you open it, the door doubles as a bread board. Buy it directly from CORE Bamboo online, or look for it at select retailers. Made from 100% organically grown bamboo, this bread box measures 15" x 8" x 8". Buy it at Core Bamboo for $66.
Core Bamboo bamboozled us again with this Sandwich Board Set that’s tre’ cute. Because the boards store upright on the rack, it’s a space saver, but provides ample cheese/cutting/fruit board space for serving. It’s perfect for appetizers or hors d’oeuvres, but we might even use it for sandwiches. $30 retail at Core Bamboo.
These To-Go Ware RePEaT Bamboo Utensil Sets, each with a fork, knife, spoon and chopsticks, aren’t really for your kitchen, but you can keep them there when they’re not in your or your kids’ lunch bags. These lightweight, washable and lasting utensils will save you from disposables for a long time. Reviewers who’ve bought them love them, and say they’re habit forming. The set is wrapped in a fabric made from recycled PET plastic (hence the funky RePEaT name) that keeps it neat and clean. Buy it at ReUseIt.com for $12.95.