During nutrition school, we were taught all the latest controversy on everything from diets to GMOs to kitchen gadgets. And the microwave was top on the list as one of the most controversial kitchen tools to date. Some studies suggest using a microwave completely depletes the nutritional value while others suggest that there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
Regardless of the "nutritional" debate with a microwave, I decided to give up my microwave for a slightly different reason. Unlike many health enthusiast of my kind, I gave up my microwave mainly because I didn't feel like buying one. Yep, no Earth shattering research could get to me as much as my bank account could. You see, my new apartment didn't include a microwave and I didn't feel like wasting the cash.
So I traded in my organic microwavable meals and was forced to get back into the kitchen.
Here's what I learned:
1. Leftovers taste way better on the stovetop or oven.
Sure, heating up leftovers in two minutes is a lot easier than 10-15 in the stovetop, but appreciating the leftovers and taking time to re-experience the aroma and senses that come with taking the time to heat it up is well worth the wait. Re-heating your leftovers on the stove helps you experience your cooking twice.
2. I appreciate my food way more.
You see, it became easy for me to disconnect from food with a microwave. I no longer saw cooking as nourishment and instead started seeing it as convenience. I no longer appreciated my food, but instead expected it. I now appreciate the time and love it takes to cook real food.
3. Stovetop popcorn is amazing and fun to make!
Have you made stovetop popcorn yet? If not, you should definitely add it to your bucket list! You know all the popping you hear in the microwave? Yeah, you get to witness it right in front of your eyes on the stove. It's super fun and you can dress you popcorn up anyway you wish. Butter? Cheese? Salt? Spices? Yes, please!
4. I found other healthier ways to be lazy.
Since I don't have a microwave, I found other healthy and awesome ways to be lazy with my food choices. I am the queen of avocado toast, sardines sandwiches (yeah, never thought I would hear myself say that) and frittatas. Swapping microwavable meals for making healthy and fast meals was actually quite easy. I realized that it didn't actually take a lot of time to cook healthy foods and I found other clever hacks to be just as time efficient. And after about a month, I didn't miss the microwave at all.
5. Fresh food tastes better.
When I had a microwave, picking up and organic frozen dinner seemed like an easy and healthy choice. After about two weeks of not having a microwave, I realized that I didn't miss the frozen meals — healthy or not. Real food started to taste really good. And anytime I made a homemade version of a microwaveable meal, mine always turned out better.
6. I actually saved money.
Microwaveable meals add up. I would spend up to $6-7 on a simple dish. Instead, I learned to prep my pantry better. I made sure to have healthy snacks in case I was raging with hunger. Some of those stockings include: nuts, seeds, nut butters, hummus, organic boxed or canned soup, frozen gluten-free and a few pre-made organic frozen stir-fries for the nights I REALLY don't feel like cooking anything that will take longer than 10 minutes.