Healthy Microwave Cooking
Microwave ovens have been with us for many years now, and even celebrity chefs are now including microwaves in their cooking. Yet you can still come across warnings on some internet sites that microwave cooking is somehow unnatural and unhealthy. Perhaps it’s that the microwave is seen as a form of nuclear radiation that had detrimental effects. But microwaved food is safe and healthy to eat. Cooking with microwaves causes the same sort of chemical changes in food that would occur during any other form of heating. In fact when cooking certain foods such as white fish, the flavours and goodness are preserved better than if cooked in a conventional oven.
Microwaves are a form of low frequency electromagnetic energy, and have less energy even than light, which is another form of electromagnetic energy. Microwave ovens heat food by rapidly vibrating water molecules within the food. No microwaves are “left” in the food or running around within the microwave. As soon as the microwave is switched off, the electromagnetic energy immediately ceases. Also no toxins are created as a result of this form of heating. In fact the majority of research suggests microwave cooking is not only just as nutritious as other methods but also has some benefits.
One of the most convenient things about microwave cooking is the reduction in cooking time. Because you are able to heat food much more rapidly, some research point to a higher retention of vitamins within the food. Vitamins B and C are soluble in water, and when vegetables are boiled, their B and C vitamins are thrown away with the water they were boiled in.
In fact one of the largest issues with microwaves is people using non-“microwave-safe” containers in the microwave oven, causing the plastic to melt at high temperatures. This is not a fault of the microwave; you simply only use microwave safe containers, cups and plates.
I hope you are reassured! Here is a microwave recipe that is quick, tasty and nutritious. Have it as a lunch or supper:
Artichoke, Tuna and Basil Baked Potato
- 4 medium-sized baking potatoes, scrubbed
- 2 5- to 6-ounce cans chunk light tuna drained
- 3/4 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 6-ounce jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped.
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 plum tomato, finely chopped
- Chives, chopped, as a garnish
Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork. Microwave on a Medium setting, turning once, until soft. This should take about 20 minutes. While the spuds are cooking, combine the tuna, yogurt, basil, artichoke hearts and pepper in a large bowl. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, carefully cut off the top third and then scoop out the insides and add to the bowl with the tuna.
Next, put the potato shells in a microwave-safe dish. Mash the potato and tuna mixture together with a potato masher. Divide the tuna mixture among the potato shells and then top with the grated cheese. Microwave on High until the filling is hot and the cheese has melted, about 2 to 4 minutes. To serve, top each potato with the tomato and garnish with chopped chives. Serve with some shredded carrot and salad.