Perhaps one of the more controversial topics of our time: The Microwave
I'm sure you've see the headlines warning against the extremely convenient tool we all have in our kitchens--the microwave.
The claim? Microwaving removes the nutrients from our food and is generally harmful to your health.
Some sources present convincing evidence that microwaving does reduce food's nutritional value.
Other sources indicate that microwaving foods such as vegetables actually retains nutrients (especially vitamin C) better than steaming.
Use Glass Containers in the Microwave
Studies since the 1990's have shown that toxic chemicals, cancer-causing chemicals can leach out of your plastic/paper/melamine containers into your food. BPA was one of the worst contaminants and it is largely avoided these days. However, we all know that there's some other compound that's now being used in these products that will probably be proven harmful in the coming years.
As a rule of thumb-- if you are cooking in the microwave. Use Glass.
Store a Glass Container At Work
Keep a glass container at work for reheating purposes. This way your lunch-bag isn't quite as heavy. Go ahead and tote your lunch in plastic, and switch it to a glass plate or bowl at work for reheating.
One of the most common uses of our microwave used to be defrosting meat. Now, we plan ahead and take meat out of the freezer in advance to avoid defrosting in the microwave. If you do choose to thaw your meat in the microwave, make sure you cook it immediately afterwards and never re-freeze the meat after thawing in the microwave.
We cook in bulk and freeze soups, stews, chili and other leftovers in individual sized containers in our deep freeze. This allows us to have a rotation of lunch meals throughout the week. We take out a container the night before and place it in the refrigerator. By lunch the next day, the meal can be easily removed from the plastic container and placed on a glass plate or bowl for reheating.
Use The Toaster
For defrosting breads, use your toaster! Newer toaster models even have a defrost setting on them. If yours doesn't, simply set the toaster to the lowest setting and toast away. You'll find your bread defrosts beautifully in the toaster.
When the kids run out of bread, they know to grab a new loaf from the freezer and to just pop it in the toaster. When they are being lazy, they will often just make a grilled cheese sandwich using the toaster. Pop the bread in and grab it while it's still hot, sandwiching the cheese in the middle. They think they are pretty clever, and they are 🙂
The oven does take longer than the microwave to reheat food. However, we strongly believe that foods reheated in the oven just taste so much better.
If you have a convection oven, which reheats food even quicker. All the better!
Utilize Your Stove-top
For soups & stews, heat them on the stove-top instead of in the microwave. Again, we will argue that food tastes better this way. Yes-- you'll have an additional dish or two but give it a try and see if you agree that your food just tastes better.
What other tips do you have on avoiding the over-use of microwaves?
Comment below and tell us!