We all know the typical use for our microwaves, and that is to cook food quickly. However, if you ever watch any cooking shows, the microwave has caught a bad reputation. To cook fresh, you never see chefs like Gordon Ramsey or Bobby Flay go near a microwave. Though, the average American couldn’t live without one (me included). But if you are one of those people that have gravitated away from the microwave in lieu of healthy, fresh, organic cooking, your microwave may be collecting dust. In this article I will list some uncommon uses for your microwave, allowing you to dust it off and revive this once coveted appliance.
Let’s start off with sponges. Sponges tend to collect bacteria and hence odors. Instead of tossing them out, soak the sponges in some white vinegar or lemon juice then toss them in the microwave for 1 minute. The acidity of the vinegar or lemon juice refreshes the sponge while the heat from the microwave kills the bacteria. This disinfecting technique also works on cutting boards.
A word on toasting; if you want to toast pine nuts, almonds, bread crumbs, garlic, or coconut, consider skipping the oven and head for the microwave. Both your microwave and oven cook with dry heat; only, your microwave does the job in half the time.
Got hard brown sugar? Try adding just a few drops of water into the bag of brown sugar. Then, nuke the brown sugar (bag and all) for about 10 to 20 seconds. Doing this should bring the brown sugar back to its crumbly self.
Microwaving your honey can loosen it up as well. When honey gets old it crystallizes. But 30 seconds in the microwave should turn that honey back into its golden gooey goodness again.
If fresh fruits are your passion then juicing is something you’re probably familiar with. And did you know that room temperature fruits yield more juice than cold fruits? Simply put the fruit in the microwave long enough to get it to room temperature, and get the most out of each squeeze.
If you have dough you need to proof, such a process could take an hour or longer, kin to watching paint dry. Cut that proof time significantly by using your microwave. With dough in a bowl, cover it, put in microwave, place a cup of water in the back of the microwave (or at least some distance from your dough bowl), set the microwave on its lowest possible power setting, nuke it for 3 minutes, let set for 3 minutes, nuke for 3 minutes, and set for 6 minutes. By now your dough should have doubled in size. Continue the process as often as necessary.
The last thing I’m going to cover is how to use your microwave to make your own applesauce. Use 1 apple skinned and diced. Add ¼ cup of water, 2 tsp of sugar, and ½ tsp of cinnamon. Cover the mixture and nuke on high for about 8 to 10 minutes. It’s necessary to cook the concoction so the apple softens enough to smoosh. When time is up, mash it all up, cool for about 30 minutes to an hour, and you got homemade applesauce.
Hopefully, by dusting off the ol’ microwave, you’ve relearned the convenience that it offers. So, whether you’re using it to proof, cook, revive, or disinfect, remember that saved time equals saved money.
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