Microwaves have a bad reputation. They’re blamed for uneven cooking, zapping the nutrients from your food and even making it radioactive! But they’re definitely not as bad as all that.
Frequent microwave users (and parents who’ve just sent their kids off to uni) will be pleased to hear that it is in fact entirely possible to cook nutritious and delicious food with this appliance. You just need to know a few tips and tricks.
Who said microwave food was bad for your diet?
Before you shake your head in despair, hear us out! Yes, microwaving eggs can have explosive results, but it can be done. Microwaved poached eggs are great for those that find the stove top cooking method challenging. Just half fill a bowl or mug with boiling water, crack the egg in and microwave on high power. In just one minute your egg should be poached to perfection, but you may have to experiment with cooking times as appliances vary.
Myth: microwaving makes vegetables lose all their nutrients. Fact: actually all cooking methods reduce the nutrients in veggies as cells are broken down. One of the best ways to keep food nutritious is steaming. You can use your microwave to steam vegetables in a sealable bag or a covered bowl with some hot water in the bottom. Set the cooking timer and there’s much less chance of overcooking than leaving the vegetables boiling away on the hob.
If your bread has gone stale all is not lost. There are a couple of appliances you can use to refresh stale rolls, bagels or loaves. The toaster is one of them and (as you’ve probably guessed considering the subject of this post) the microwave is another. Wrap stale bread slices in damp, though not dripping wet, pieces of kitchen towel. Microwave on high for twenty seconds or so. Voila, job done. Try this trick and you’ll soon be declaring that it’s the best thing since… well, sliced bread.
Here’s how to cook these tasty snacks the right way.
The traditional method of melting chocolate is fiddly, involving a pot suspended over simmering water. The microwave method is a much quicker. Some people shy away from it as over-cooking chocolate can cause horrible, hard lumps that are impossible to stir away, but moderation is key here. Break chocolate in a bowl and microwave in short bursts on a medium heat, stirring every 20 seconds or so until melted. Beware; take extra care with white chocolate as it burns easily.
Ah, leftover pizza. It’s delicious hot or cold, but if you prefer yours reheated your microwave may not have given the best results in the past. Microwaved pizza base tends to go chewy at first, then harden once it cools. Cranking up the oven feels like overkill just for a couple of slices of cheesy dough, but is there any other option? Yes! Next time you’re enjoying this Italian classic, microwave with a cup of water and place the pizza on baking paper to help keep the crust crispy. Bene!
We’ve all dithered when cooking microwave popcorn. Do you take the bag out early and risk having lots of un-popped kernels or leave it in a little longer at the peril of burnt popcorn? Save yourself some inner turmoil and some money with homemade popcorn! A paper bag folded at the top a couple of times or a microwaveable bowl covered with a plate both work wonders and let you transfer cooked popcorn kernels out at intervals to avoid overcooking.
Is your microwave still ruining food even after religiously following our advice? It’s quite possible that it could need some maintenance to get it running well again. Try cleaning your microwave with our top tips or head over to our site to fix up issues like cracked turntables or blown bulbs with our replacement microwave parts.