Don’t Downgrade Your Food: Quick Alternatives to Microwaving

Balancing work, family and a social life can be so much of a juggling act that quality time in the kitchen is often the first ball to drop. While it’s tempting to toss organic leftovers in the microwave to shave 30 minutes off your day, what’s the point of destroying all the nutrition in the premium food you spent your hard earned money on? 

What Happens When You Use a Microwave Oven

While many think of it as harmless, microwaving food is a pretty destructive process. Using electromagnetic energy, water molecules in food vibrate until they are ripped apart, leaving their chemical components all hot and bothered from this radioactive process. Sure, warm food is pleasant on the tongue, but your body won’t get much benefit from the lackluster nutritional content. There’s a reason people call it “nuking” – water, vitamins and minerals are demolished and all that’s left behind are empty calories. Not to mention all the toxins released when food is microwaved in plastic… no thanks!

A few simple shifts in your routine can give you the best of both worlds – here’s how to heat up food in a quick yet natural fashion while keeping it wholesome.

Healthy Alternatives

Now that all the bad news is out of the way, let’s focus on some speedy, easy and convenient ways to heat up food without compromising your health.

Convection toaster ovens

Not quite as fast as a microwave but quicker than a normal toaster oven. Food tastes so much better when heated in a real oven. Plus, they’re more affordable, take up less space and use less energy – a perfect example of when less equals more! Line an oven sheet with foil or pop your food in an oven safe glass container or ceramic dish and heat until warm!


Seems obvious, but not everyone thinks to reheat meals in a pot or pan. You can place food directly on the cookware or wrap it in foil first and add a little water. Steamers also work great and produce a similar, evenly heated result. Even popcorn can be made on the stove, and it’s so much healthier when you can control the amount of salt and oil you put on it.

Double boiling

This tactic works great on liquids like sauces and is also a way to gently and evenly heat food without direct heat. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan, then place a glass container in it with the food inside. It shouldn’t take too long to get to your desired temperature.

Pressure cookers

Well-known for their ability to cook foods like rice 2-3 times faster than the stovetop method, they’re also a great way to heat up soups and vegetables in less than 10 minutes, while retaining their moisture.

If you don’t have any of the appliances above, a planet-friendly way to obtain them is via friends or second-hand shops. So many people purchase these items and hardly use them, so offer to give them a well-deserved new home! Likewise, don’t just toss your microwave. Recycle it at an e-waste facility or call a pick-up service.

Image: eflon