Saturday, May 14, 2016

The 14 Hidden Secrets You Can Do With Your Microwave That No One Has Told You Before

It's great for movie night popcorn and left over preparation, but your microwave has a lot more to offer if you let it!

1. You can easily peel garlic

Microwaving garlic cloves draws the moisture out to just under the skin which makes it super easy to pop off after 20-30 seconds. 
Bonus tip: You can use this tip for peeling other produce as well, just add about 30 more seconds for bigger items like tomatoes or peaches. 

2. It quickly hydrates dried beans

Buying dried beans is much more cost-effective than their canned counterparts but preparing them for use can be a chore. 
Instead of soaking for hours, toss them in a bowl of water with a dash of baking soda, microwave for 10 minutes and they'll be ready for any recipe. 

3. It can self-clean (sort of)

While microwaves can't yet wipe the food splatter down, they can make it significantly easier on you. 
Mix the juice of half a lemon and 1/2 C of water in a microwave-safe container and microwave for 3 minutes. Let is sit 5 minutes more and then wipe down easily. 
Add a bonus deodorizing agent (2T baking soda) to your solution if you've zapped a few too many garlic dishes. 

4. You'll really never throw out honey

Don't throw out the only food that never spoils because of some pesky crystals! Just microwave at 50% power for about 2 minutes (make sure to remove the lid!) to restore it to it's liquid-gold consistency. 

5. It'll help you squeeze out some extra juice

Make sure to get all the juice from your citrus by warming it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds before squeezing. 

6. You can speed up the rising process

Dough can take hours to rise properly at room temperature, but to speed up the process cover your bowl of dough, place a glass of water in the back of the microwave and heat on low power for 3 minutes. Let rise for 3 minutes, heat 3 more and let rise for 6. It will have doubled in bulk and significantly cut down your waiting time. 

7. And soften your brown sugar

 Remove hardened lumps in your brown sugar fast by adding a damp piece of paper towel and microwaving for 20-30 seconds until it has softened again. 

8. Even disinfect your sponges

 You know that gross smell sponges get that immediately spreads to your hands and your "clean" dishes? Zap it with your microwave! Simply soak your sponge in water with soap/vinegar/lemon juice (whatever you have on hand) and microwave for 1 minute. 
You may want to remove it with an oven mitt -- it'll be hot! 

9. It can nix onion-induced tears

 Onions are a pain to chop, it's just that simple. Instead of holding back tears, cut off the ends of your onion, pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds and chop freely! 

10. You can prepare potato chips

 There are actually two options here: make your own chips or de-stale your store-bought ones. 
1. Make your own: Slice your potato as thin as possible (1/8 inch) and let soak in cold water as you cut the rest. Rinse your slices and pat dry before laying on a plate over paper towel. Season as desired and microwave for 3 minutes on each side. 
2. Refresh them: Lay your chips out on a paper towel and microwave for 15 seconds to restore their lost crunch!

11. It'll even clean your socks in a pinch

If you're desperate for a fresh pair of socks, throw them in a bowl of soapy water, microwave for 10 minutes and then hang out to dry. They'll be deodorized and disinfected enough for another day before you get around to the laundry. 

12. Use it to refresh your stale bread

 While you should definitely remove your stale bread from its plastic bag, you can bring hard bread back to sandwich glory in your microwave. 
Wrap the slice in damp paper towel and microwave in 10-second increments until it's as good as new. 

13. Or dry your own herbs

 Don't let your fresh herbs go unused; as they start to wilt, pop them in the microwave on a paper towel for a minute or two, crumble into a spice jar and use in many recipes to come. 

14. It'll poach an egg, no problem

Simply crack your egg into a microwave-safe cup or bowl, add 1/3 C of water and cover with a microwave-safe plate. Microwave for 45-60 seconds, turn your egg gently, and cook for 20 second bursts until it's done to your liking. 

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