Uses of microwave beyond reheating
Peels veggie skins
Some root vegetables and squashes, like sweet potatoes and pumpkins, can to tough to peel. Stick the vegetables in your microwave for 2-3 minutes to make the skin more pliable for peeling.
Heat garlic for 15 seconds. The moisture in the garlic steams and eases the bond between the skin and cloves, making it much easier to peel.
It takes 45 minutes to roast garlic in the oven but less than 8 minutes in the microwave. Slice off the top of the head to reveal all the cloves. Place the head in a small, deep dish, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Spoon 2 tablespoons of water into the bottom of the dish, cover it with plastic wrap, and cook at medium power for 7 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes before unwrapping.
Disinfects plastic cutting boards
Wash the board well, rub it with the cut side of a lemon/lime, and heat for 45 seconds.
According to USDA, dish sponges can be home to some of the most dangerous disease causing bacteria. Sticking the damp sponge in the microwave for 1 minute can destroy general household germs.
In a microwave safe bowl heat 3-4 tablespoons of vinegar for two minutes. The acidic steam created will make it easier to wipe away grease and stains.
Gets more juice from citrus fruits
A lemon or lime taken straight from the refrigerator is harder to juice than one left at room temperature or warmed slightly. To get the most juice, microwave citrus fruits for 20 seconds before squeezing.
Toasts nuts, bread crumbs and coconut
The microwave toasts them in a quarter of the time it takes in a conventional oven. Spread them out on a plate and heat on high for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every minute. Keep in mind that they will continue to toast for about a minute after removal.
De-clumps brown sugar
Place the dried-out or hard brown sugar in a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with a slice of fresh bread or a damp paper towel. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave it in 15-second intervals until the sugar is moist and easy to scoop. Shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds.
Revives stale bread
Wrap the loaf in moist paper towels and zap it in the microwave for 20-second increments. The moisture from the towel will soak into the break to make it fresh again, but not enough to make it soggy.
Smoothes crystallized honey
Remove the lid and heat the crystallized jar of honey in the microwave for 30-45 second increments until it returns to its original smooth texture. However, do not microwave plastic bottles of honey.
Speeds bread making
Yeast dough can take hours to rise at room temperature. When in rush, use your microwave to proof yeast dough in about 15 minutes. Place an 8 oz cup of water in the back of the microwave. Put the dough in a microwave safe bowl in the center of the microwave and heat on the lowest power for 3 minutes. Let it sit in the microwave for 3 minutes. Heat the dough for 3 minutes more and let it sit for 6 minutes. Your dough will have doubled in size and be ready for baking.