Having a healthy diet is nothing but exhausting, at least that was what I used to believe. Having to cook every day, eating greasy cafeteria food, and having junk food as snacks were my daily routine. This was before I found a food hack that changed my health game. Before I found out that you can cook delicious vegetables in a mere few minutes, in a microwave!
If you’re someone who has a busy routine, who rarely finds time for themselves, who often skips meals because they can’t find anything in the kitchen, who reaches out to local takeout places when hungry, then you’re in dire need of this article.
I was like you just a couple of months ago, but my life took a 360 degrees turn the moment I cooked my first batch of microwaved veggies. Let’s be honest, they were no pizzas, but they were edible and cured my hunger. That’s when I realized that maybe if I gave this technique a fair shot, I could truly have something.
So I tried microwaving different types of veggies. From broccoli to cauliflower, I microwaved them all till I reached perfection. And today I’m here to share everything I learned from my little adventure. I assure you these recipes will change your life. They won’t just save you hours spent on cooking, but will also make you healthier.
Is Microwaving Frozen Vegetables Unhealthy?
No, not at all. Microwaving veggies is one of the healthiest ways to cook them. Frozen vegetables have many nutrients, and microwaving helps retain the maximum of them. While microwaving, we have more control over time and temperature compared to a stovetop or an oven.
After picking vegetables from fields, frozen vegetables are packed immediately. These packaged vegetables go straight into the freezer, and many sources suggest that when taken out of the freezer, these vegetables still contain the same amount of nutrients as before freezing.
Microwaving requires lesser time, which is why it is a great choice. Combined with a splash of steam, the veggies cook beautifully without barely losing any nutritional value. Sauteing, steaming, boiling, and frying require a long time with exposure to high heat. Unlike microwave, that does the same job with much less time. This ensures that your veggies retain all the nutrients.
How to Cook the Perfect Microwaved Veggies that don’t get soggy?
If you don’t do it properly, chances are that microwaving your veggies will make them soggy. But this isn’t a problem you can’t fix. Cooking veggies with lesser water will do the job. You’re also going to have to make sure that you drain all the water once your veggies are cooked.
After adding your veggies to a microwave-safe bowl, add 2 tablespoons of water, and cover it with a microwave-safe lid. You can adjust the amount of water according to how many vegetables you’re putting in and what type of vegetables they are.
For example, if you’re putting more veggies, more water is required and if you’re microwaving dense veggies like potatoes and other root vegetables, add more water. This is because root vegetables have lesser water content compared to other vegetables.
Now microwave the veggies for a few minutes. Your exact perfect timing may differ from mine based on your microwave power setting and branding. This is why experimenting is the key here. Figure out which time works with your microwave the best.
Take out the vegetables and take a look at them. If they seem done, drain the water out immediately. The veggies will keep cooking if you let them stay in the warm water, and might even get soggy. Draining the water out will help the veggies get a crispy texture.
They’re now ready to serve!
You can season your veggies according to your taste. You can use a bit of salt, pepper, and lemon juice for a tangy taste. You can use melted butter and garlic powder for a punch of flavor.
Some people even prefer a sprinkle of vinegar and soy sauce on their veggies. This part is customizable. But if your seasoning is perfect, little errors in the cooking time might even go unnoticed.
Which Frozen Vegetables Can Be Microwaved?
You can microwave all veggies, but some vegetables are far more compatible with microwaving. The following are some of them:
Frozen carrots are the perfect source of vitamins, especially vitamin A and vitamin C. Apart from those, they also contain Calcium, Iron, Biotin, Vitamin K1, Potassium, and Vitamin B6. If you want to make your carrots tender in a microwave, the perfect time is 3 minutes.
Just place the carrots in a microwave-safe bowl, add some water, and cover the bowl with a lid. Microwave for 2 minutes. Take them out, stir them around, and put them back for another 1 minute. Take the bowl out, drain the excess water, and your carrots are ready to season and serve!
Corn is a great source of protein and carbs. Its high fiber content makes it a food people reach for weight loss. You can reheat frozen corn in the microwave for 4 to 5 minutes to make them tender.
Place the corn in a microwave-safe bowl, add a tablespoon of water, and cover it with a lid. Let them heat in the microwave for 4-5 minutes. The key is to take the corn out of the microwave at 1-minute intervals and stir it around. This will ensure even heating and cooking.
This might be the easiest frozen veggie to cook in a microwave. It contains nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and potassium. This makes it one of the easiest and healthiest vegetables you can microwave. It’ll take only 4 minutes of your time!
Cauliflower can be cooked the same way as broccoli. With a splash of water and 4 mins in a microwave.
Peas make a perfect side to many dishes. From steaks to curries, they can light up any dish. Not just that, peas are extremely healthy, containing nutrients like vitamins C and E, zinc, and other antioxidants. In a microwave, peas will take around 3 minutes to get tender.
Spinach is a source of iron and vitamins. Amongst leafy vegetables, spinach is a perfect choice to cook in a microwave. It only takes a minute or two to cook to perfection.
Asparagus is the perfect side dish for proteins such as salmon and chicken breasts. Just lay your frozen asparagus on a damp paper towel, in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave them for 3-4 minutes and voila, it’s done!
This vegetable is a must-have in your diet. Plus, it’s also easy to cook in a microwave. Simply steam it in the microwave for 1 minute, in a microwave-safe bowl. And later season it with salt and pepper.
Frozen zucchini is a great veggie to microwave. Put it in the microwave for 4 minutes, and you’re done!
Tips to Microwave Vegetables
When microwaving your veggies, keep the following things in mind to get the best results:
- Don’t add too much water. This will make your veggies soggy.
- Use a microwave-safe dish
- Keep a lid on your dish, it will speed up the process
- Check the tenderness after 1-2 minutes and decide how much more you want it to cook
- Don’t overheat them
- Drain the water out immediately after taking them out of the microwave to prevent overcooking
- If you want your veg to be crunchy, don’t add any water
Now that you know all of this, you’re ready to cook your vegetables in a microwave. Just by following the recipe mentioned above and following all the tips, you’ll get the most delicious microwaved veggies.
You can cook a wide range of veggies in the microwave. These include carrots, corn, broccoli, peas, cauliflower, spinach, asparagus, green beans, and zucchini. So what’re you waiting for? Get cooking right now!
Hopefully, this helped you answer your questions!