Three years ago, I got rid of my microwave. I did it to keep my family healthy and to see if I could live without it. And honestly, I haven’t missed it at all. In fact, it’s made me get back to basics with food and cooking. I want to give my family simple foods that are as close to the real ingredients as possible.
5 Reasons to Get Rid of Your Microwave
1. Retain the nutrients in your food. Nuking your food in the microwave can kill the nutrients in your food. Microwaves heat food by causing water molecules to resonate at high frequencies. While this heats up the food, it also creates hot spots in the food and changes the chemical structure of it.1 Think about why we’re not supposed to microwave breast milk to re-heat it.
2. Buy fewer packaged foods. Cooking your food in the oven or stove top usually means you’re less likely to buy packaged or heavily processed foods. Microwaves seem convenient but it doesn’t take much more time to make Homemade Mac ‘n Cheese than it does to cook something in a microwave that’s out of the box.
3. Prevent toxins from leeching into your food. Many microwavable containers are plastic that leech dangerous chemicals into your food. These chemicals are known carcinogens.1 Even in you switched to glass containers to heat up food, many pre-packaged foods like microwave popcorn still have toxins lined in the bag.
4. Teach kids how real food is made. Enjoy the process of cooking and get your kids cooking too. Rather than popping something in the microwave to cook, show your kids how to cook homemade meals from scratch. Lifelong skills such as batch cooking, reading recipes and trying new foods, herbs and spices will help teach kids to become better eaters.
5. Save counter space. Ditch your microwave to save space on your counter. Enjoy a clutter-free kitchen that puts more focus on real food cooking techniques.
5 Ways to Cook or Reheat Foods Without a Microwave
No microwave? No problem! Here are a few tips to cooking and reheating foods without it:
1. Stove top – excellent for most meals with a cast iron skillet or stock pot. The trick to reheating foods without drying it out (such as pasta with marinara sauce) is to add to a pot with a couple of tablespoons of water over low-medium heat for a few minutes.
2. Oven – perfect for getting foods to be crispy like pizza or a quick reheat. It does use more energy than the other methods, so I recommend saving the oven for reheating larger portions, such as a full family meal.
3. Toaster oven – great for reheating anything that can be done in a conventional oven (keep foods crispy) but with less energy. The only downside is some foods like a whole pie of pizza may not fit in a toaster oven.
4. Instant Pot – this electric pressure cooker is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. You don’t kneed a microwave to defrost meat or others foods now. Just put it into the Instant Pot. I can make a frozen whole chicken in just about 40 minutes in the Instant Pot – no defrosting needed. I’ve even reheated leftovers in the Instant Pot, which helps food to retain its moisture. Check out my top 50 gluten-free and Paleo Instant Pot recipes.
5. Crock pot – while not a speedy solution to reheating foods, crock pots are excellent for convenience. Just put all ingredients of your one-pot dish in a crock pot in the morning, and by dinner everything is done.
What’s your favorite way to reheat foods without a microwave?
Photo credit: Bigstockphotos.com / Rostislav_Sedlacek
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