The microwave oven is a great invention that has helped immensely with modern-day lifestyles. The microwave provides you with an option for quick reheating when you are busy doing a million things. Microwave ovens use electromagnetic radiation to heat foods up quickly, efficiently, and evenly compared to other slower methods of heating and cooking.
Many people fear using the microwave because of the radiation they use to heat up food. However, the FDA has set and enforces standards of performance for microwave products to make sure the radiation does not pose an issue to your health. Any illnesses or injuries that were reported to the FDA that allegedly involved a microwave were related to kitchen accidents, such as splattering of food and burns from touching hot surfaces, not to radiation.
Do you know that you can use your microwave for more than just reheating?
Here are 5 meals or snacks you can cook in your microwave! Remember to always use a microwave safe bowl, no aluminum or metal!!
- Oatmeal. Combine oatmeal, milk or water, raisins, apple and cinnamon. Cook on high for 2 minutes and let it stand for 1 minute. Enjoy!
- Nuts and Seeds. In a microwave safe dish, spread your nuts or seeds evenly in a single, flat layer (a tablespoon to ½ cup works best). Coat the nuts or seeds with a thin layer of olive oil spray, this will speed up the process and help with browning. Microwave on high for one minute. Stir and microwave for another minute. If they need to be cooked for longer, add one minute and keep checking. Nuts and seeds will burn quickly!
- Sweet Potato. Prick the sweet potato with a fork all over. Microwave on high until it is tender all the way through, roughly 12-15 minutes. If you have a smaller sweet potato it might cook for a shorter time. Tip: I wrap my sweet potato in a damp paper towel so it doesn’t burn, but it isn’t necessary.
- Scrambled Eggs. Crack eggs into a glass bowl and scramble the yolks and whites. If you’re cooking two eggs, cook one minute then stir, then thirty seconds longer. When your eggs are cooked to your liking, stir once again and plate them! Tip: You may have to adjust the cooking times based on your microwave and if you’re cooking multiple eggs.
- Homemade Microwave Popcorn. Using a paper bag (yes, a brown bag), put ½ cup of popcorn kernels in the bag. Fold the top of the bag over twice. Lay the bag seal side down and microwave for 2 minutes or until there are 1-2 seconds between pops. You can also use a microwave safe bowl with a lid that has vents. If you want more flavor, season with onion and garlic, lime salt, chili powder or Italian seasoning. This is the perfect snack!
Most water-soluble nutrients, such as vitamin C, are heat sensitive and are lost during cooking. The longer the food takes to cook, the more nutrients that are lost. Since microwave cooking is faster there are fewer nutrients lost during the process. Therefore, you’ll be eating foods that have retained more nutrients vs. cooking in the oven or on the stovetop.
Your Turn to Take Action: What’s your favorite meal to cook in the microwave? Let me know in the comments below.