Over 90% of homes in the United States own and use a microwave oven on a regular basis. Despite this, some people are starting to question the safety of microwave cooked and heated foods. Scientists have proven that the nutritional composition of microwaved foods is diminished and cancer causing by-products are created. The regular use of microwave ovens has been linked to a myriad of health problems, including cancer, immune system deficiencies, and memory loss.
Despite the mounting evidence that microwave ovens are not good for us, most people still depend on their microwave for basic cooking tasks. Defrosting food, cooking vegetables and reheating leftovers are commonly done in microwaves daily in many homes. They are such a time-saving convenience that it seems almost impossible to prepare food without a microwave.
The best way to get rid of your microwave is to unplug it so that it is not available for use. I stopped using my microwave about three months ago. I left it unplugged, in my kitchen, for the first several weeks in case I found a task that I absolutely couldn’t do without using my microwave. There never was such a task and my microwave soon made its way to the garage, freeing up much needed counter space in my kitchen.
What about leftovers?
Reheating foods on the stove top or in the oven does not take much longer than it does in the microwave. A small pot on the stove is perfect for reheating coffee or leftover soup. A small casserole dish is convenient for reheating leftovers in the oven. The foods heat more evenly than they do in the microwave and they taste better. Leftover pizza heated in the oven is infinitely better tasting than microwave heated pizza. The crust stays crispy and the cheese stays gooey, not rubbery.
Vegetables, the old-fashioned way.
Heating vegetables at dinner time is another task that is quickly accomplished by using a small pot on the stove. It takes no more than five minutes to heat a pot of frozen vegetables on the stove top. A lid will speed up the cooking time even more.
Planning ahead for dinner will give you adequate time to defrost any meat that you will be serving. Meats can be taken out in the morning or the night before and defrosted in the refrigerator or in a bowl of cold water if you are more pressed for time. Things like hamburger or ground turkey don’t need to be thawed all the way before cooking. A partially thawed chunk of ground beef will take just a couple extra minutes of cooking time. As long as the meat is mostly thawed, anything can be put in the oven to finish thawing and begin cooking. Be sure to adjust your cooking time and plan for an extra fifteen minutes or so. Use a meat thermometer to be sure your meat is cooked to the proper temperature.
But, I love hot chocolate and popcorn!
A teapot and an air popcorn popper are two appliances that you may want to add to your kitchen once you get rid of your microwave oven. Many people heat a cup of water for tea or hot chocolate in the microwave. Tea pots heat water almost as quickly as a microwave and give a cheery whistle to let you know your water is done. Microwave popcorn has become a staple in many homes. But, it can easily be replaced with air-popped corn. Air poppers use inexpensive, plain popcorn kernels. These kernels are much cheaper and healthier than microwave popcorn. A two pound bag of popcorn kernels costs around $1 and lasts for a month or more, depending on how much popcorn you eat. This plain popcorn is truly a healthy, low-calorie snack, but you can add your own butter or seasonings if you enjoy a little more flavor.
Can you live without a microwave? Take the two week, microwave-free challenge. Unplug your microwave for two weeks, form new food preparation habits and enjoy better health and better tasting food!