Microwave is the energy used to cook food. The microwaves go through the molecules and cells of your food and cause the water molecules in the food to vibrate which generates the heat. Anyone using the microwave to simply warm water or food is actually under-utilizing it. Below are some of the amazing ways to use the microwave in order to get the maximum utility out of it.
1. Making the Perfect Poached Egg
I would say that the traditional recipe for making a poached egg makes the process much harder than it actually is. Making a poached egg using the microwave is much easier than you think. In the modern world, thanks to the egg poacher cups, you can crack several eggs into a microwave egg cooker and have cooked eggs in less than 45 seconds.
2. Soaking Lentils and Beans
If you ever forget to soak lentils and beans overnight, the microwave can come to your rescue. Cooking beans or lentils using a microwave actually cuts the cooking time by half. You just need to cover them so that they do not get dry and hard. Soak the lentils or beans into a bowl full of water and then add bicarbonate soda to it. Microwave the beans on high power for 10 minutes, until you notice the water boiling. After the 10 minutes, you will reduce the power level to 50% and cook the beans or lentils for another 15 minutes, and then let the beans for another 5 minutes with the lid on and they will be ready to serve.
3. Inducing Crunch in Potato Chips
In most cases, potato chips lose their crunch and in order to regain this, you can use a microwave. You will need to place the potato chips in the microwave on a kitchen towel for 30 seconds. The towel will absorb the moisture and the crunchiness will be restored. Apart from inducing crunch in potato chips, you could use the microwave to soften sweet potatoes.
4. Toasting Nuts, Bread Crumbs, and Spices
Nuts, spices, and seeds have some sweet and beautiful aroma. You could use the microwave to toast them in a burst of 15 seconds. The microwave toasts nuts, bread crumbs and spices in a half of the time needed to toast them usual oven. You have to spread the nuts or spices out on a plate and then heat on high power for 3 minutes.
5. Disinfecting Cutting Boards and Sponges
We are all aware that heat and boiling water kill most germs. You could use the microwave to disinfect your kitchen sponges and cutting boards. After washing your cutting board, you can scrub a slice of lemon on the sides and then microwave your cutting board for a minute and it will be disinfected. The same procedure could be used to disinfect toys. In order to disinfect your dirty sponges, put them into a bowl full of water and then add some vinegar or lemon juice and microwave at high power for a minute. Your kitchen sponges will be clean and disinfected.
6. Cooking Potatoes
The microwave can come in handy in cooking all kinds of potatoes- whether mashed, boiled or roast potatoes. For mashed potatoes, place a few spuds in a microwave dish, cover and microwave at full power for 10 minutes. This actually helps the potatoes steam from fluids inside and gives them a soft texture. You can use the microwave to prepare fried chips as well. Scrub your potatoes and then chop them into thumb-sized chunks. Add some oil on top along with salt, pepper, and your favorite seasoning. Microwave in the bowl for ten minutes and your fried chips will be ready.
7. Cooking Fish
Fish can be cooked quite perfectly and easily using the microwave. You just need to wrap the fish using food wraps and add your favorite seasoning, some salt, pepper or lime. Then you will have to microwave the wrapped fish for approximately 4 minutes. However, the cooking time depends on the power and strength of your microwave and the size of the fish.
8. Cooking Bacon
You can cook bacon in the microwave using things you already have in your kitchen. Cooking bacon in a microwave requires a plate and paper towels. Cooking bacon in a microwave takes less time and it is possible to get the bacon crispy. You will wrap the slices of bacon in kitchen towels and microwave them for 3 minutes. The Kitchen towels help by soaking the moisture from the bacon and making the slices crisply cooked.
9. Steaming or cooking Vegetables
Steaming or cooking vegetables in a microwave follows a similar procedure as cooking fish or potatoes. The benefits of cooking or steaming vegetables in the microwave are that it minimizes nutrient losses, and the process is much faster than steaming vegetables inside a cooker- it takes approximately 3 minutes to cook. All vegetables can also be steamed or cooked in the microwave without adding water. Place the vegetables into a dish and cover tightly with plastic food wraps and then cook on high power. The timing often varies, but for soft vegetables such as spinach and mushrooms, it only takes around 30 seconds.
10. Squeezing more juice from Citrus Fruits
Placing citrus fruits such as lemons in a microwave makes them very juicy and allows for easy squeezing until the last drop. I must admit that a lemon taken straight from the refrigerator is harder to squeeze. In order to get the most from your lemons, warm them in the microwave for around 20 seconds.
11. Warming Hair Oil and Other Beauty Products
Sometimes, especially during cold weather, hair oil and other beauty products harden or freeze inside the bottle. To solve this, you can microwave the products in the bottles for 20 seconds. In this case, microwave the bottle containing the oil for around 20 seconds. The heat liquefies the oil inside the bottle making it easy to now apply on your body.
In conclusion, we can cook an entire meal in just under ten minutes using the microwave. I mean from braised fish or beef, green beans to mashed potatoes. You can use the microwave for any recipe that requires steaming, braising and poaching. All we need to remember is to always stir the liquid in the foods for proper heat distribution.