Archives for: February 2008, 20
I spent the holiday weekend with my parents, helping with chores around the house and taking them to the dentist. I picked up a copy of "Women's Health" magazine in the dentist's office, and read a clever article about vegetables. It was a take off on the upcoming NCAA Basketball Tournament. They chose 16 vegetables and set them against each other to find the champion. Their winner was a Type O/Hunter avoid, so I'm not going to honor it with any post tournament hype. However, some of the recipes for the runners up sounded delicious. I asked about making a copy of the article, and the dentist insisted I take the magazine with me.
Last night we tried a recipe called Rutabaga with Nothing-but-Net-meg Butter. Here is how I prepared it.
Peel 1 rutabaga and chop into half inch chunks. Place in microwave dish with Â¼ cup water and cover. Cook on high for 5 minutes, or until they are just starting to get soft. Put the rutabaga in a small skillet with 2 tsp ghee, 2 tsp honey, and 1/8 tsp nutmeg. Cook until the rutabaga is starting to brown on the edges.
My daughter and I both thought it was wonderful. Yes, I know that nutmeg bad for Type O/Hunters, but it is good for Type A/Teachers. I do not to stress over spices used in small amounts.
The recipe reminds me that I never wrote a follow up blog about microwaves. I spent several days googling and here is what I learned.
In spite of the slang phrase "nuke it" there is nothing nuclear or radioactive about a microwave oven. Nor do microwave ovens cook with x-rays. Food is cooked with radio waves. If you are going to stretch the definition and say that the food is "radiated", then you would have to say the same thing about food that is kept warm by heat lamps on a buffet line.
Though there are thousands of websites that talk about pros and cons, there are really only two lines of thought. All of the websites just quote each other. Here are the two positions.
Pro - Microwaves preserve more of the vitamins and minerals in food because the food's exposure to heat and water is shorter than with conventional cooking methods.
Con - Microwaves kill 98% of the nutrition in our food. There might be changes in molecular structure
Any kind of cooking destroys vitamins and changes molecular structure. This includes heat from a stove or oven. Vitamins are even destroyed by exposure to air. The real question is - do radio waves destroy more vitamins than other methods of preparing food?
It appears that fewer vitamins are destroyed by microwaves than by conventional methods. Vegetables can be cooked with less water than by boiling and less time than by steaming. Leftovers are not exposed to over-cooking or drying out. If there is a legitimate scientific study that compares food cooked on a stove with food cooked in a microwave and shows the microwave destroying more nutrients, I couldn't find it.
I do have reservations about the plastic containers and wraps that are used in microwaves. If the plastic got hot enough, some of the plastic could mix with the food. So I use glass containers or paper towels in my microwave oven.