Yes, you read correctly. Feel free to join my mocking friends who think I’m cray-cray and my Hubby that calls my a hippie, but this is one of those decisions I’ve made with no regrets! A year ago in March I wrote about how we almost ditched our microwave. Well, about a week or two after my Hubby tried saving it from the basement, I removed it again, armed this time with a back-up plan: The toaster oven. The Hubby was adamant that we not “heat up the whole house” by warming “one slice of pizza in the oven”, so I made sure that request was met. While it took a couple weeks to get used to, and there were a few times that I had to stop and think, “how do I do this without a microwave??”, I have been SO glad we did it and I truly don’t miss it at all! I decided a follow-up post was a good idea, both to share how it’s going and to provide tips for going without. But first, you might be wondering why we’d do such a crazy thing in the first place, so here’s an explanation about that…
WHY I got rid of our microwave
Shortly after I started using Young Living essential oils, I listened to (the first part) of a webinar from an upline distributor about allergies. I never got through the whole class recording, but what I heard, coupled with what little bit of knowledge I had about microwave use, was enough to make me want to get it out of our kitchen. I had already heard that using a microwave alters the nutrient value of our food…and let’s face it, the state of our food these days is already not great. You only need to Google “why not to use a microwave” to find oodles of articles stating various reasons NOT to use a microwave. Here are some of those reasons:
- Nutrients are lost when food is cooked in the microwave.
- Microwave foods tend to be packaged in microwaveable containers, and at the high temps of microwave cooking, the carcinogenic toxins in those containers can leak into food.
- The body cannot digest/metabolize microwaved food as well.
- Microwaved food can lead to cancer.
- Food doesn’t taste as good cooked or reheated in the microwave.
- I was also worried about the potential radiation from just standing near the microwave.
And the list goes on! You can find more information in these articles, or just Google “why not to use a microwave”.
In addition to the health benefits, what I LOVE about not having a microwave
- I said this before, but food tastes better warmed up in the oven or on the stovetop!
- It doesn’t take that much longer to warm or cook a lot of foods with the stove/oven than in the microwave, and getting in the mindset of planning for that extra time comes within a few weeks of ditching the microwave.
- We gained counter space by getting rid of the microwave AND the toaster, and replacing both with a toaster oven!
Some tips to make the transition to no microwave easier
It took me probably just a couple weeks to adjust to not having a microwave. I had to learn to allow an extra 5-10 minutes to cook veggies for my daycare kids for lunch, and find a new way to melt butter and chocolate. After that, I occasionally had a moment where I had to stop and think, “Now, how do I do THAT without a microwave?”. Once the answer hit me I felt pretty silly for not thinking of it, but we get so reliant on our microwaves that it’s no wonder we don’t know an alternate way! If your kids only learn how to use the microwave for cooking, they’re losing a lot of valuable skills as well (hmmm…another reason!). Here are some tips for making the transition to no microwave easier.
Use alternate appliances and kitchen tools
I was fortunate to have most of what I needed already, but we did purchase a toaster oven (replaced the microwave and toaster) for reheating foods. Some that I use and suggest are…
- Toaster oven – For reheating things that you might heat in the oven…less energy required to heat the toaster oven and doubles as a toaster.
- Sauce pans – Great for reheating on the stove-top (think taco meat, spaghetti or pasta dishes, sauces, soups). Also great for melting butter, coconut oil, or heating jars of hot fudge (I may know from experience! Keep reading…).
- Double boiler – For melting chocolate (less likely to scald it)
- Crock Pot – Small ones are great for heating soups, sauces and small dishes. Larger ones are great for making meals without using the oven. They slow-cook, so just allow for that time, but usually you can fix it and forget it!
- Glass containers – I love glass (with or without a microwave), both because I can see what’s inside and because I know it’s safer than plastic. Glass containers can easily take leftovers from the fridge right to your oven or toaster oven!
- I mentioned this earlier, but I had a jar of hot fudge and wasn’t sure how to warm it without the microwave. Well, my brain finally turned on, and I got a sauce pan, put a little water in the bottom, and put the jar in the sauce pan. Within a few minutes I had hot hot fudge!
- Our coffee pot turns off after an hour or so, so if I don’t get it drank in time and need to heat it up, I put the coffee in a small sauce pan to warm it.
- Melting butter or coconut oil for a recipe has been my most frustrating thing, but truly, a few minutes in a sauce pan and done. And apparently they make a butter warmer! (Of course they do!)
- Reheating pizza is something I’ve always done in the oven on stoneware. Pizza in the microwave doesn’t crisp up and is just yucky. Same goes for anything fried or that I want to crisp a little. I usually reheat at 350 for 10-15 minutes.
- Popcorn is much healthier when not drowning in processed “butter” and with chemicals from the bag leaching in. I love my Whirly Pop!
Jillee has lots of other great tips here, including how to thaw food without a microwave (see, a year later and I’ve forgotten that I used to do that, too!). One year later and I don’t miss it! Are you going to join me and ditch your microwave??