While extremely handy for reheating a take away, or for making popcorn, we’ve always been a bit dubious about a microwave’s role in our kitchens.
Surely all those micro waves they use zap all the nutrients and good stuff out of food? Well, actually, microwaving might not be that bad at all. In fact it might retain more of the nutrients in your food than other cooking methods. Who knew?!
Some nutrients break down when exposed to heat – and since microwave cooking times are usually faster than traditional ones, the food (and nutrients) are exposed to heat for a shorter period. That means less nutrients are destroyed.
If you boil, say, vegetables, the amount of water and cooking time used often mean some nutrients are leaches from the food. So unless you’re making a sauce or something with that cooking liquid, all that goodness is lost. If you steam food in a microwave you just need a small amount of water and the speedy cooking time means the good stuff sticks around.
Rather than being a goodness-killing machine, the humble microwave could actually be the best option.
According to Harvard Medical School, the cooking method that best retains nutrients “is one that cooks quickly, heats food for the shortest amount of time, and uses as little liquid as possible”. The microwave scores a solid three out of three there.
So we'll be steaming our veg and cooking spuds in them from now on, then. We still haven’t managed to cook eggs in one without having the them explode on every second try, but we live in hope…