Sure, the microwave oven is the go-to for heating up leftovers, frozen foods or a quickie baked potato, but that’s just the beginning. There are many other ways the microwave can come in handy both for food prep and for housework.
Microwaves can do more than just reheat leftovers.
For Quick Snacks
Toast nuts. Simply place a small selection of your favorite nuts in a single layer on a microwave safe dish. Heat for one minute, and then stir. Heat for another minute and stir again. Depending on the nut, this can take from 3 to 7 minutes. When they are crunchy and smell warm and toasty, they are ready for salads, snacks or your morning oatmeal.
Popcorn. Did you know that you can use the microwave to pop regular old popcorn? No need to pay for expensive packaged microwave popping corn and you can avoid all the funky preservatives that come with that. Just get some paper bags, like the kind you can use for packing school lunches. Pour in ¼ cup of corn, and then close the bag, folding it over several times. Place it in the microwave on high for about 2-3 minutes, until most of the kernals have popped. Then, you can sprinkle it with your favorite toppings, or spritz it with butter flavoring, to save extra calories. You can also try making popcorn in a microwave-safe bowl, with a plate slightly askew on top of the bowl. Experiment till you get it right.
Scrambled eggs. This is a neat way to scramble eggs and have just one bowl for clean up. Spray a small glass dish with cooking spray. Beat two eggs into the bowl, add a tablespoon of milk or water, a little salt or pepper, and if you like, a little shredded cheese. Cook at half heat for 1:30 to 2 minutes. Stir and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute until the eggs are set. Enjoy.
Sterilize sponges. If you dish sponge smells like last night’s dinner, you don’t have to throw it out. Just pour white vinegar or lemon juice in a bowl of water, soak the sponge, and then put in the microwave on high for one minute. The heat, combined with the vinegar or lemon, will deodorize and disinfect the sponge.
Clean the cutting board. You can use the same approach to sterilize a cutting board, especially if you are concerned about it touching raw chicken or meat. Wash the cutting board; rub it with a lemon and put it in the microwave for another minute.
Soften hard sweeteners. How you even been in the middle of baking when you found that the brown sugar on the shelf had hardened? No worries. Just splash a little water into the brown sugar bag and heat it up for about 20 seconds. It will be soft again and ready for use. Same with honey that has gotten hard. Remove the lid and place the jar on medium heat for about 30 seconds until it becomes liqued and ready to pour.
Pain relief. Use the microwave to warm up a gel or herb-filled heating pad. Great to use for soothing sore aches and pains and sore muscles.
When you are ready for a new microwave oven, be sure to shop at DeWhitt, Portland’s Appliance Experts, so you can be sure you get the right model for your home. No pressure sales, always low prices and expert customer service so you can be sure all your questions are answered by people who know.