Many natural health professionals advocate using your microwave less and cooking foods by traditional methods more.  Scientists believe microwaving food changes the food’s chemistry, creating harmful molecules, and destroying the food’s nutritional content.  In addition, cooking food in microwave-specific bags (think popcorn) or containers (think soups, mac and cheese), can add harmful chemicals and additives in the food. Some studies show foods are cooked or reheated unevenly in a microwave, and harmful bacteria can survive the process.

I confess sometimes it is just SO easy and fast to pop something in the microwave, right?!  However, for the past few years, I’ve tried to use traditional cooking methods more.  I haven’t done research, but I do wonder about using any type of wave to cook or heat my food.

Think about re-discovering your stove top and oven again! It adds satisfaction to your meal preparation when you revert back to our grandmothers’ way of cooking.  Food looks fresher, tastes better, and will retain its nutrients when it’s cooked traditionally.  And, isn’t that why we eat to begin with – to supply our body with nutrition so we can function?

Sometimes, cooking more healthfully just requires a little extra pre-planning.  If your health and well-being is at stake, it could be time well spent!  You don’t have to toss your microwave (although many health advocates have done so!).  Simply think about cooking traditionally more and microwaving less.  Some ideas to consider:

  • If you haven’t planned ahead by defrosting foods in the refrigerator, you can defrost meats and fish in a sink full of cold water fairly quickly and safely.
  • Try steaming or lightly stir-fry or sauté vegetables on the stove top. Use a good quality oil, like olive, avocado or coconut to add good fats and a delicious taste.  Your food will shine with good nutrition!
  • Invest in a teapot for heating up water for tea, hot chocolate, and warm drinks.
  • Have a pop-up popcorn treat, and make it on the stove top with good oil and shake the pan while the corn pops! Add melted butter and dive in!
  • Heat leftovers in a small sauce pan or in the oven. It will take a bit more time, but will taste better and retain its nutrition.
  • Speaking of leftovers, store them in glass containers vs. plastic.
  • And…. if you do use the microwave, heat food in glass rather than plastic, to prevent cooking the plastic into your food!

I know with our busy lives and obligations, this may seem like you will be adding ONE MORE THING to your to-do list.  However, building in some time to your meal preparation and cooking foods more traditionally may provide a needed break for you to step away from your day as you step up to the stove!  And, if you are preparing food in a way that maximizes its nutrition, you will be doing yourself a good favor!  You may just feel like a proper chef!

To Your Vitality!

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