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More on the Microwave…

by Willow on October 17th, 2010

My post on using the microwave a month or so ago was a pretty quick and sweeping one…  And I got a little pushback for it from some readers.  I hear all of you, trust me.  I hear the concerns about the radiation and the loss of nutrients.  And I hear, too, that many of you see the microwave as indicative of a loss of cooking skills and taking pleasure in the preparation of food.  On the other hand, so many of us have so little time to get a healthy meal on the table — and I would rather that folks steamed some broccoli in the microwave to add to pasta with some fresh chopped tomatoes than ordered Chinese take-out.

With that said, I am not a proponent of cooking EVERYTHING in the microwave.  Consider it just one more tool, not your primary cooking implement.  Everything in moderation, people…  Anyway, for those more interested in the topic, I’m keeping my eyes open and have found a few more things I wanted to share with you.  Check out these links – and please do let me know what you think!

Do you ever find yourself wondering exactly what the microwave does?  Mark Bittman wrote a good piece in the NY Times a while ago explaining how the whole process WORKS.

Real Simple magazine is in on the need to give people options for this box: 14 Who Knew? Uses for Your Microwave. The latest issue (October 2010) also has a whole article called “The Power of the Microwave”, with 23 more uses, plus a breakdown on microwave safe containers and some descriptions of all those buttons, (Reheat? Defrost? How many of you, like me, just use the ‘Quick Minutes’???)

How about 12 Home Hacks for Your Microwave?  Thank you to The Kitchn for the reminder about disinfecting sponges…

And two more items from The Kitchn: Mac n Cheese! And a poached egg!  In fact they have a great round up of recipes and cooking techniques in general HERE.  Be sure to read through the comments, too, for totally unique ideas from the community.

Popcorn from the cob! Totally amazing – just take a dried popcorn cob (there are particular varietals that are dried for this) throw it in a bowl (or a paper bag) in the microwave.   2 to 3  minutes later, you have popcorn.  Gotta love it.

Self Magazine has jumped on the bandwagon, too, this month: Cook Healthy in Under 5 Minutes.

One of the concerns that many hold is that the microwave really ‘zaps’ nutrients (hee-hee, sorry, couldn’t resist the pun…  :-)) Both Body & Soul (now called Whole Living) and Eating Well magazines have discussed the belief in columns.  One thing to think about is that pretty much ALL cooking causes nutrient losses: it’s heat and the time spent cooking that affect the nutrients, not necessarily the cooking method.  And because the microwave actually cooks so quickly, the less time food is exposed to heat, so it can be surmised that minimal losses in nutrients is the result.  Just some thoughts…

Hope this is helpful – I’d love to hear more feedback!

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