There wouldn’t be many kitchens these days that function without a microwave, from reheating food to defrosting meat, these magical little ovens have become a staple in most kitchens around the world. But, are you getting enough out of your microwave?
Here are our 7 helpful tips for getting the most out of your microwave, things that you might not have even known your microwave was capable of!
1. Make Citrus Fruits Juicy.
If you’ve ever felt that the lemon, lime, or orange you’ve been juicing just isn’t giving you enough juice you might be right. The best way to get maximum juice from citrus fruits is to place the whole fruit in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.
Then roll it around between your hands or on the benchtop before you cut it and squeeze it. Warming the fruit makes it easier to squeeze so you’ll get more juice out of it.
2. Mug Cakes!
There’s a whole world of mug cake recipes out there just waiting for you to try them! Perfect for a quick pick me up or when you really feel like cake or dessert but you only need a single serve.
Our favorites are this chocolate mug cake and this apple mug cake. Try them – they’re divine!
3. Make Your Own Heat Pack
Did you know you can make your own heat pack for any little niggles or sore spots you might have? If you’re in need of some gentle warmth, grab a cotton sock and some uncooked rice, wheat or dried beans.
Fill the sock up with whichever filling you have on hand (most people probably have some rice handy), then microwave it for 1-3 minutes, depending on size and the power of your microwave. Make sure you keep an eye on it while it heats as overheating poses a fire risk.
4. Dry Your Own Herbs
If your garden is overflowing with herbs, or you just bought too much at the supermarket, don’t let it go to waste – turn them into dried herbs instead. Simply wash and dry the herbs and lay them on a sheet of paper towel inside your microwave.
Then cover them with another sheet of paper towel. Microwave on high for 2 minutes or until the herbs crumble easily. Store your homemade dried herbs in an airtight container for up to a month.
5. Soak Your Dried Fruit, Fast
If you’ve just started making a fruit cake or Christmas cake and then realized that you haven’t yet soaked your dried fruit, don’t worry! You won’t have to soak it overnight if you use your microwave to help you.
Simply place your dried fruit and liquid (rum/brandy/water/orange juice) into a large, microwave safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and heat on high for 2 minutes. The heat from the microwave will help the liquid to rehydrate your fruit in no time. Leave it to cool before adding your “soaked” fruit to the recipe.
6. Rehydrate Dried Lentils And Beans
Similar to the dried fruit scenario, if you’ve forgotten to soak your dried beans or lentils overnight for a recipe, use your microwave as a handy shortcut.
Simply add 1 cup of dried legumes to a microwave safe bowl and cover with cold water. Add ½ a teaspoon of bicarbonate soda (also known as bicarb soda or baking soda), and microwave on high for 10 minutes.
They’ll need about 1 hour of standing time to get them to the right “overnight soaked” texture, but at least it’s a lot quicker than waiting overnight!
7. Clean Your Microwave
Yes, you can actually use the magic powers of your microwave to help to clean it! There are a few simple ways to do this, for more options click here, but the easiest way is to simply add a few slices of lemon to a small bowl of water. Put this in your dirty microwave and heat on high for 2-5 minutes.
This will create a lovely, lemony steam which will leave moisture dripping from every surface of the interior of your microwave. Then just use a microfiber cloth to wipe over all the surfaces leaving them looking fresh and clean.
So, don’t just use your microwave to defrost meat or reheat your dinner! There are so many uses for this clever kitchen appliance so make sure you are getting the most out of yours.