The humble microwave often cops it for being the “cheat’s way” of cooking, but it’s actually one of the best ways to retain nutrients and reduce fat when cooking.
When making dinner it might seem like the cheat’s way out if you use a microwave.
But it has been revealed that it is actually healthier to microwave some foods than cook them any other way.
This week, new research by Spanish scientists revealed that microwaving mushrooms allows them to retain more nutrients when compared to frying or boiling.
Microwaving the mushrooms helps retain levels of essential amino acids and vitamins, which keep blood cells healthy and help to metabolise fats and proteins.
Here is a roundup of other foods that are actually healthier to pop in the microwave than in a pan or oven.
Most people plunge their broccoli in a pot of boiling water to cook, but it is actually healthier to bung it in the microwave.
Jennipher Marshall-Jenkinson, chairman of the Microwave Technologies Association, says a few sprigs that have been washed and placed in an ovenproof dish with a lid on top, can turn out delicious.
“All vegetables cook very well in the microwave oven — and retain more of their nutrients and vitamin C than by any other cooking method, because they are only cooked in the water on their surface after washing,” she said.
“Therefore there is not as much steam, which causes the nutrients to evaporate.”
Like broccoli, carrots are also a great food to put in the microwave in order to retain their goodness.
Jennipher added that again this is because the way they are cooked in the microwave, means less nutrients are steamed away.
“Peel and cut into even sizes, wash well, place them in an ovenproof dish, cover with a well fitting lid and cook for a few minutes on high power,” she said.
“They cook in their own moisture, so no additional water needs to be added.”
It is the superfood that gym bunnies love thanks to its high levels of iron.
Daniel O’Shaughnessy, also known as the Naked Nutirionist, says kale is much healthier when microwaved.
“Some nutrients break down when they’re exposed to heat, whether it is from a microwave or a regular oven,” he said.
“Because the cooking time in a microwave is quick, some nutrients may be preserved. Good examples of these are vitamin C foods such as kale and brussels sprouts.”
Most people use their frying pan or grill when rustling up a morning’s bacon sandwich.
But Daniel added that in some ways it is healthier to cook the meat in the microwave.“Heating bacon in the microwave actually causes less nitrosamine to be formed,” he said.
“These are harmful carcinogenic compounds that form when nutrites in foods are heated excessively.”
Similar to bacon, it can also be healthier to cook chicken in the microwave rather than using a frying pan or wok.
“The same as bacon, this is also the case for chicken when compared to frying,” Daniel said.
“When frying, heterocyclic amines — another harmful compound — can form if it is cooked at too high a heat.”