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Does Microwaving Food Destroy its Nutritional Value?
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peter
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:45 am    Post subject: Does Microwaving Food Destroy its Nutritional Value? Reply with quote

Due to my new working pattern I find I have to rely on microwaved meals much more than I previously ever have had to, and while I know the pasta, noodles etc I eat are perfectly nutritious in themselves (with chicken, veg etc added) I do worry that maybe the cooking process is much more destructive of the vitamins and supplementary food components than traditional cooking methods. Anybody know anything about this?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Does the microwave kill nutrients?

Some nutrients break down when they're exposed to heat, whether it is from a microwave or a regular oven. Vitamin C is perhaps the clearest example. But because microwave cooking times are shorter, cooking with a microwave does a better job of preserving vitamin C and other nutrients that break down when heated.

As far as vegetables go, cooking them in water robs them of some of their nutritional value because the nutrients leach out into the cooking water. For example, boiled broccoli loses glucosinolate, the sulfur-containing compound that may give the vegetable its cancer-fighting properties (as well as the taste that many find distinctive and some find disgusting). Is steaming vegetables - even microwave steaming - better? In some respects, yes. For example, steamed broccoli holds on to more glucosinolate than boiled or fried broccoli.

The cooking method that best retains nutrients is one that cooks quickly, heats food for the shortest amount of time, and uses as little liquid as possible. Microwaving meets those criteria. Using the microwave with a small amount of water essentially steams food from the inside out. That keeps in more vitamins and minerals than almost any other cooking method and shows microwave food can indeed be healthy.

But let's not get too lost in the details. Vegetables, pretty much any way you prepare them, are good for you, and most of us don't eat enough of them. And is the microwave oven good or bad? The microwave is a marvel of engineering, a miracle of convenience - and sometimes nutritionally advantageous to boot.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gratitude WF - that's good to know: I damn near live in the thing! Laughing
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use mine mostly to re-heat tea. Very Happy I also cook rice in it, and bake potatoes. That's about it.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use it mainly to reheat leftovers. I cook large quantities to save money, and freeze a lot of stuff for later.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't even have one. Wether or not it kills or preserves nutrients, it adds nothing in terms of flavor.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surely there must be something that is better cooked in a microwave than by any other method? Laughing

How about hot crab; I've always said white crab is the one thing you simply can't improve upon by adding any other flavours to it - maybe it could be heated without destroying it's subtle flavour by this method [never mind the fact that any food/drinks flavour is highly temperature dependant anyway; try warm white wine if you don't believe me Wink ].
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
Surely there must be something that is better cooked in a microwave than by any other method? Laughing


If Auguste Escoffier could do without a microwave, there is no reason why we shouldn't.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dunno about "better" but certainly baking a potato in a microwave is a lot more convenient than doing so in the oven. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Av, Av, Av!

At the absolute most I'll give a potato one minute each side before (wrapping it in foil, oiling and salting it, then) putting it in the oven (fan 180 for 45 mins). The skin should be crisp and savory, the flesh smooth and unctuous ....... It's a thing of beauty, not a convenience food!

C'mon........

(Apologies for being a prick; can't help it - it's in my nature! Wink )
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have 45 mins to bake a potato. Laughing

3-5 mins in the microwave and done. Cut and butter and salt. I rarely eat the skin anyway, unless I've covered teh potato in gravy.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fully understand that Av! Hence the existence of this thread. Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From a nutrition perspective, much is lost by not eating the potato skin...and we did start out discussing nutrition, even if our culinary tendencies are always liable to surface.

Aesthetically, a nuked potato doesn't have an interesting skin; I can see why it doesn't a-peel.

An oven-finished potato, even if parcooked in a microwave, has that oiled, seasoned, and roasted skin that peter rightly names "a thing of beauty."

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, the GF is always complaining about me leaving the skin... Laughing I eat for pleasure, not for nutrition. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Microwaved corn on the cob is pretty damn good. Leave the husk on, and it steams right in the husk. Not as good as grilled cob, but very fresh and natural tasting. Try it!
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is that a simple matter of placing a cob with its outer leaves in place in a microwave and turning it on for a few minutes Z? No pre-boiling or anything added (oil or butter etc) before cooking?
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly. Don't do anything to it whatsoever, and it will steam the corn from the inside. Simply shuck and eat (well, butter and salt added to taste once it's done). I cook about 4 ears in 10 minutes, maybe less.
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find it easier to shuck the corn when it's cold. Just then wrap it in wax paper (not plastic wrap). 2 min per ear, +/- to taste.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point, you do have to be careful not to burn yourself. Either wait a few minutes, or use rubber gloves.
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds really good; my main experience with corn is from a tin but I imagine that's a different animal all together! Sarge once said his favourite meal was fried chicken, corn and mashed potatoes .......And I'm guessing this was what he meant by 🌽.
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