10 Things You Didn’t Know Your Microwave Could Do For You

Today microwave is a regular domiciliary device—as common it has become, so is the under-utilization of this little genie in a box. The purpose many of us buy a microwave is to expedite the
re-heating process, or pop the corns. If we go a step further, it may include defrosting peas or baking a pizza maybe!

Though ironically, the invention of this machine is associated with popping of the corn and melting of candy, it’s sad to state that its use is now limited to the same. Did you know how a microwave functions? Well here’s some gyan on this—It agitates the moisture and molecular network of the food and this further instigates heat to spread in it, resulting in cooking!!

Well, don’t worry, we won’t bore you with Science. Let’s keep that at bay and forget about the electromagnetic fields and discover “things you didn’t know microwaving could do for you”.

Image Courtesy - Electrolux

There is always a debate on whether microwave cooking is nutritious or un-healthy. So, here’s the deal, cooking food does initiates the food to lose some nutritional content, but if we get to compare the two modes of cooking, to our surprise microwave cooking takes the lead, the food has more vitamins and minerals locked in it.

Microwave in 1959 - Image Courtesy - Flickr Creative Commons

Caution: all the tips require use of microwave safe containers/ dish.

1. Make nutritious veggies

The only prerequisite is to add a little water, to make steam environment for the veggies to cook, cover it tightly, this will ensure the nutrition is safely locked in.



2. Retain more than 70% of folic acid in Spinach
after you have washed clean the spinach, put it in microwave safe bowl, add wee bit of water, pinch of sugar and cook it for five minutes on high or 100% power, remove water if any, to puree it, and you have folic acid packed spinach for palak- paneer….etc. Also steaming broccoli helps it to retain its cancer fighting chemical called sulforaphane than the directly microwaved or fried ones.



3. Seal carotenoids in carrots and tomatoes

With microwaving tomatoes and carrots we enable the healthy carotenoids readily available for the body to absorb.



4. Biotin digestible Eggs

Normally the biotin in eggs are not easily retainable and digestible in body, but if the eggs are cooked in microwave with steaming procedure a double boiler/ poached technique, it makes the difficult biotin more easy to digest.



5. Peeling onions without sobbing

Chop/ trim the ends of onions and heat them on high for 30-40 seconds and bingo! Be ready for a tearless onion chopping experience.



6. De-crystallize your old jar of honey

(depending on the quantity) Reheat the crystallized honey jar at 50% power and run in micro-wave mode for 90sec-120sec. You will find the amber glaze smiling at you.



7. Re-heat bread or chapatis

Wet a kitchen towel and wring it a bit; place the pre-cooked chapatis together in it, wrap the wet towel around and microwave for 30 sec. Their moisture will not be lost and you can serve piping hot chapatis like straight from the hob. Placing your sandwich or bread in wet towel before microwaving for 20-30 sec will help retain its moisture too.



8. Set curd in winters-in 3-4 hours

Microwave 200-250ml of milk at 20% power for
12-15 minutes and let it sit in the microwave undisturbed for 3-4 hours to set. Now no more wrapping in layers or looking for warm spots in the kitchen to set curd.



9. Dry herbs- Your recipe requires powdered dried methi and you have none? Just place 100 gms of fenugreek (methi) or even mint (pudina) in a plate and microwave for 1-2 minutes on high or 100% power, leave it for 5minutes to stand and once cool, powder and store in airtight containers for future use too. Now you have mint/pudina or fenugreek/methi leaves instantly.



10. Prevent  fungus to grow in lentils/ grains and pulses

Microwave a cup of lentil/ grain for 2-3 minutes at 100% or high power in a microwave safe dish, when it cools store in airtight containers to prevent moisture or breeding of fungus. (Don’t go overboard by placing an entire kilo; with experience I concluded the best way is dividing and using a cup or cup and half measure at a time.)



Sky is the limit, go on and experiment on the microwave. If there is something interesting you have used your microwave for, we are interested to hear that. Just post that in the comment section below!

The market is flooded with many variants to choose from, IFB, Samsung, LG, Godrej, Kenstar, Bajaj, Onida, Electrolux, Whirlpool—one can choose from various sizes, starting from 17lt to 32lt ideal for an Indian Family. They are armed with multi stage cooking options, variable power level for cooking, child lock, auto cook menus. They come with ceramic coating and steel finish. There are an array of options to choose from. The new gen microwaves have automatic sensors which sense the humidity in microwave and automatically deduce the cooking time required, in order to avoid over cooking. One thing to consider before buying a microwave is to check the power, which is ideally between 600 watts to 1500 watts, for a larger family choose the one with high wattage as it will speed up the cooking process, lower the watt- slower the cooking process. Larger ovens can go up to 1650 watts. So think wisely, choose aptly. The price range for a microwave is between 7000 INR (16-17lt) to 45,000 (32lt) INR.

Cook, defrost or steam—just a friendly word of caution “avoid plastic containers, they may infuse toxins in the food”.

Comments

  1. Good read...:)...so steam management is the key I guess... Will surely try

    ReplyDelete
  2. Humm! Interesting article! So microwave cooking is not really harmful..just some precautions have to be taken.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It is really nifty to have a microwave on hand. It is very easy to learn how to use it, plus safety is hardly an issue. You can get your food prepared much faster with a microwave www.bestmicrowavesguides.com

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