We know it, you know it: not everything goes in the microwave. So let’s continue our re-heating adventure and look at the the Top 10 Foods You Should NEVER Microwave (part 2).
There is a lot of mixed information out there regarding the best way to cook broccoli. Do you steam it on the stove? Steam it in the microwave? Do you bake it? Fry it? BBQ it? A lot of how you cook a food will come down to taste and the moment. Maybe one day you’re using the BBQ for something and figure – “hey, why not throw that broccoli on there too?!” Nothing wrong with that! That being said, if you were thinking about just haphazardly throwing your broccoli into the microwave to cook, you may want to think again. Broccoli in the microwave is not necessarily good for you. Actually, broccoli cooked a certain way in the microwave is not good for you and it is very important to know this distinction. Broccoli cooked in water in the microwave is what is not good. So, do not steam your broccoli in the microwave. Just use the stove top! When the broccoli is steamed in the microwave it loses almost all of its good nutrients and you certainly do not want that if you are going to be eating broccoli! Many of us who eat broccoli are not necessarily doing so because it tastes so darn delicious, but because it is also providing some hard core nutrients to our bodies. So, it stands to reason that if we are cooking out all of those nutrients then the whole point of eating the broccoli vanishes with the telltale beep beep beep of the microwave. Whether broccoli steamed in the microwave, that then loses its nutritional value, is actually bad for you is still up for debate. Though the broccoli will not be as good for you, it may not actually be bad for you. So, at the end of the day the thing to take away is that cooking broccoli in the microwave is not the optimal way to cook broccoli. There are better ways.
A good quiche is a thing of sheer beauty. You have the flaky crust and the fluffy eggy insides. It stands to reason that if microwaving puff pastry is bad and microwaving eggs is bad then microwaving a left over piece of quiche would also be bad, no? Well, it is. If you microwave a piece of quiche then you risk the center becoming either way too runny or way too hard. Furthermore, the dough that is meant to be flaky and sort of melt in your mouth kind of ends up being more like cardboard. The other thing to note is that sometimes there are lots of vegetables in quiche and if those veggies are sitting in a warm egg and cheese mixture, as they are in quiche, then they are surrounded by liquid. If veggies are cooked in the microwave while being surrounded by liquid then they lose most of their nutritional value. So, if you want a subpar piece of quiche then all you have to do it microwave it! If you want an epic left over piece of quiche then the trick is to reheat it in the oven at a low heat. This kind of thing is not hard to do at home. It can, however, be hard when you are a customer in a small café. If you see them throw the quiche you ordered in the microwave then tell them no way! Get your money back! It can also be hard not to reheat your quiche in the microwave at work or school. Oftentimes there are no ovens or even toaster ovens in those types of public places and in those cases you may have no other choice but to risk it or simply opt to eating it cold. The point is quiche was not meant for the microwave. It was meant for the oven and that is just the way it is.
If you want a ninja star then you can cut one out of a tortilla and microwave it. The microwaved tortilla shaped star will harden and bam, you have made yourself your very own ninja throwing star. While this is a slight exaggeration it is also deadly serious. Microwaving tortillas or soft taco shells seriously affects the item. It hardens them! You will certainly not be able to use the tortilla to its full pliable potential if you microwave it. Some people have found a way around this and it really is pretty clever. If you are going to heat a tortilla in the microwave then all you have to do is wrap it in a dishtowel. You do have to be careful when you do this and you also have to know that this is not a proven method. It is also must be noted that this is not actually approved by like, the microwave makers, or anything like that, but it does seem to be effective. Wrapping the tortilla will maintain moisture so when you go to use it, it’s not super-duper hard!
7. Wooden Toothpicks or Kabab Sticks
Things that you should NEVER microwave are not only limited to food items. Obviously we know not to microwave metal. This becomes very clear the minute any metal object is actually in the microwave; it sparks and the immediate reaction is to stop the microwave and remove the metal object. What some of us may forget about are the little toothpicks we sometimes use in food. Like, say, to hold a sandwich together or the long wooden stick that holds a kabab together. The reasoning behind this is that anything that comes to a fine point like that may actually cause a spark, which in turn, could cause a fire. Furthermore, the sticks in question are actually made of wood and well… wood actually does catch fire! So, though we are saying not to microwave toothpicks and kabab sticks because they come to a point it is also because they are made of wood. However, it is important to note that the plastic sticks that are used for the same function could also easily cause sparks because of the point. Sparks in a microwave are not good because they can totally ruin your microwave and can even start a fire – something that nobody wants to happen. Buying a new microwave is not at the top of anyones list of things to do, especially when it’s because of something as silly as leaving a toothpick in a sandwich!
Okay, this next one may seem rather obvious, but then again, maybe it isn’t so obvious so we will go over it here. Do not microwave nothing. Microwaving nothing is simply not good for the microwave. Like any other machine, the microwave has a specific way of working. It has a function, and its function is to use microwaves to reheat things. If there is nothing to reheat then it seems the microwave may end up absorbing the rays and harming itself. Kind of sounds like the microwave turning against itself and doing itself in. So, whether the microwave is turned on with nothing inside it on purpose or you accidentally pushed the start button when you didn’t mean to, it is important to note that an empty microwave that is running can actually do some serious damage to your appliance. And no one wants that, especially your microwave
Like other fruits and vegetables beets have a lot of nutrients. When they are reheated they lose their nutritional value. The good thing in all this is that once you cook beets they are often better cold. How many of you can turn down a good beet salad? If you are thinking – gross – then you have not had the experience of a truly, expertly executed beet salad. Whether you are planning to cook the beets to have them cold in a salad or not, it is important to note they are not good when reheated. If you want the vibrant beet color, flavor, and nutritional benefits then cold is your best bet! If you have them hot and like them that way then only cook up what you think you will be able to eat in that one sitting! So, you are not only reheating less to keep that nutrient count up, but also practicing portion control! Why not?! A little bit of portion control never hurt anyone… right?
Bagels are delicious. Sesame seed bagels, poppy seed bagels, cinnamon raison bagels… and the list goes on. There is an equally long list that dictates the numerous ways we can prepare bagels. Obviously, at the top of said figurative list, there is toasting. You can also have a very good bagel that has had nothing done to it. A fresh bagel, just as is. Or some people like to cut a bagel in half, butter the inside that was newly exposed and fry them in a pan. If you are feeling really adventurous you could even crack an egg in the middle. With all the ways you can prep a bagel, the one thing you never, ever do is microwave it. Any microwaving will compromise the bagel. If you have done this before then you surely know what this means. A microwaved bagel gets hard. Like a sponge out of water. It is no longer bready, chewy and soft. A microwaved bagel becomes rough very quickly. This even applies to bagels that are frozen which are thawed in the microwave and then toasted. The toasting action does not undo the fact that the bagel’s been in the microwave. It just doesn’t. So, never microwave a bagel, ever. This has nothing to do with any health related issues or anything. It is solely because of the bagel. Every bagel deserves to be eaten and enjoyed and you will not enjoy the microwaved bagel to its full potential. So, for the sake of bagels everywhere – keep them away from the microwave.
Next up on our list of Foods You Should NEVER Microwave is chicken. Now, learning that we should never reheat chicken in the microwave may be heart wrenching for some because so many people eat chicken regularly. What to do if you make lots of chicken for a big family gathering and end up having a lot left over. Eating it cold may not be a solution everyone enjoys when it comes to chicken. But there are some basic rules you can follow when you want to reheat left over chicken. First of all, only reheat what you will be able to eat at that moment, avoid a second round of left-overs. Essentially, reheating and then reheating again for a third time is a very hard no. The ‘three times a charm’ rule does not apply here. The other thing to think about when you are reheating your chicken is to actually reheat it until it is all the way hot and not half way just to warm. For some reason it seems if you reheat the chicken to hot it is better than merely being slightly warmed. Got it? Though we may want to have chicken again and again and again, a triple reheat is not the best idea and having slightly warmed chicken is also a no go. So enjoy it hot for a second time and that’s all there is to it!
Botulism is a bacteria that, when under low-oxygen conditions, can yield dangerous toxins. When this is foodborne, meaning a human can get the toxin from food – as the name would suggest, it can be very serious, sometimes even fatal. Now, what does botulism have to do with potatoes? More specifically, what does botulism have to do with re-heating potatoes in the microwave? Well, as you may have guessed, in the act of re-heating a potato you could essentially be poisoning yourself with very bad toxins. When a potato cools all the way down to room temperature, and is then re-heated, toxins can sometimes form. Some online sources suggest not letting your left over potatoes comes to room temperature at all, but rather, putting them in a plastic or glass container right away and storing the left over potatoes in the fridge immediately. By doing that, then the left over potatoes will cool quicker. Maybe then they will be safer to microwave? If not there is always the oven or the stove top for re-heating potatoes! Another way to enjoy left over potatoes is cold! No harm in eating a cooked potato cold!
Mushrooms are already a troublesome food to begin with. If you eat the wrong one, you get sick. If you really eat the wrong one…well, things could get a little strange. Mushrooms are not all good for us and mushrooms are not all safe for us. Some of us out there love a good mushroom; that is not surprising, mushrooms are awesome! They are wonderful for so many reasons… That is, when you have the right ones! Now, imagine this: even when you have the right ones you can still harm yourself. That’s right. Reheating mushrooms is not a good idea. Apparently, that goes for the stove top and oven as well. When it comes to mushrooms the microwave is not the only big bad menace! Any re-heating can mean a future bellyache. So, what do we do if we have left over mushrooms and we do not want to throw them away because they are just so yummy? First, do not reheat them? Clear? Well, maybe you can…. But you’re taking the gamble of not feeling so great afterwards and who wants to take that risk? Feeling great vs. potentially feeling horrible… it should be an easy choice, no? So, eat your left over mushrooms! Just eat them cold!