This post goes out to cooks who want to save time preparing meals, use a few less dishes, and avoid heating up the house using the oven or stovetop. Whether reheating leftovers or cooking foods and recipes, it is time to open your microwaves!

Tips

  • Reheat recipes to 165°F or until steaming hot

  • Be aware that microwaves…
    • Do not brown foods very well
    • Give a different texture to cooked foods compared to other cooking methods
  • Stir foods to distribute heat and avoid "cold" spots in foods
    • Cold spots are not fun to bite into, but may also be spots where bacteria live
  • Use glass or ceramic dishes
    • Plastic dishware may melt or leech plastic compounds into foods during cooking
    • Metal is unsafe to use in a microwave and may spark fires

These are some foods I have been cooking lately in the microwave:

  1. Oatmeal

Careful, overcooking turns oatmeal into paste (unless you prefer it that way).

  1. Vegetables

Whether fresh or frozen, add desired amount of veggies and a little water to the bottom of a microwave-safe container. Cover and microwave until cooked. Frozen mixed veggies and broccoli have worked well for me.

  1. Scrambled eggs

In a small coffee mug, whisk an egg. Microwave about 30 seconds. Remove and scramble with a fork. If egg is not fully cooked, return to microwave for 15 seconds and scramble again. Repeat cooking until eggs are dry. Use a clean fork eat time you scramble, since the last fork may still have raw egg on it.

For other information:

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Oatmeal (serves 1)

No need to dirty a pot. Microwave this oatmeal recipe as part of a quick breakfast. Watch that oatmeal does not spill over sides of container during cooking.

1/2 cup old-fashion oatmeal
1 cup water
1 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Add oatmeal to a microwave-safe container. Top with water.
2. Microwave uncovered about 2 minutes or until water is absorbed and oats are cooked. (Your cook time may be more or less depending on your microwave wattage.)
3. Stir in peanut butter and cocoa powder until smooth. If mixture is dry, add more water as needed.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 260 calories, 12g fat, 70mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 10g protein

Today's post was written by Caitlin Huth. Caitlin Huth, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator serving DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties. She teaches nutrition- and food-based lessons around heart health, food safety, diabetes, and others. In all classes, she encourages trying new foods, gaining confidence in healthy eating, and getting back into our kitchens.