The Microwave is My Friend

I like using the microwave to heat and de-frost food because it’s fast and convenient, but I haven’t actually used it to cook a dish. I have however tried 3 desserts using the microwave, but that will be for a different blog post.

I also avoid frying food. Especially deep-frying. I find that I’m sensitive to oily food and will feel sick if I eat too much of it (which isn’t that much). I don’t try to be THAT healthy, but my body just makes me.

So, besides WHFoods, I also like to read Science Daily for more info on healthy food and cooking.

Here are some very interesting and informative articles:

Antioxidant Levels In Cooked Vegetables Vary With Cooking Method — Healthier To Griddle-Cook Or Microwave

This article shows that these methods make the highest loss of antioxidant for:

  • Cauliflower – don’t boil and microwave
  • Peas – don’t boil
  • Zucchini – don’t boil and fry

Green beans, beets, garlic – keep their antioxidant levels after most cooking treatments (boiling, pressure-cooking, baking, microwaving, griddling and frying).

Vegetables that increase their antioxidant levels after all cooking methods – Green beans (except after boiling), celery and carrots.

Artichoke – the only vegetable that kept its high antioxidant level during all cooking methods.

Griddle and microwave cooking helped maintain the highest levels of antioxidants, produced the lowest losses while “pressure-cooking and boiling [led] to the greatest losses”.

Culinary Shocker: Cooking Can Preserve, Boost Nutrient Content Of Vegetables

Boiling and steaming maintains the antioxidant compounds of vegetables.

Frying causes a significantly higher loss of antioxidants in comparison to the water-based cooking methods.

Now, I’m glad I don’t like frying and fried food, but my family loves french fries. Glad to find out that Microwave Pre-Cooking Of French Fries Reduces Cancer Chemicals

The discovery of acrylamide – a possible carcinogenic in humans — has led to much research being done to investigate the benefits of alternative cooking methods. Acrylamide forms during processes such as frying, baking and roasting where high-temperature and low-moisture conditions exist.

Although numerous studies have been conducted to explore the possibilities of reducing acrylamide levels in French fries, a team of researchers from Turkey has shown that by reducing the frying time and hence the acrylamide formation by microwave pre-cooking of potato strips prior to frying.

The researches showed that microwave application prior to frying resulted in a marked reduction of the acrylamide level in the surface region. When the potato strips were subjected to frying after a microwave pre-cooking step, acrylamide content in the whole potato strip was reduced by 36%, 41% and 60% for frying at 150, 170 and 190oC respectively.

“Microwaving French fries before cooking takes little time and in fact, microwave pre-cooked samples fried to the same degree of cooking appeared to have a more acceptable colour, probably due to the more gentle heat treatment they experienced during frying,” says lead author Koray Palazoglu, of the University of Mersin, Turkey.

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