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20 Uses for Microwave That Will Surprise You For Sure

20 Uses for Microwave That Will Surprise You For Sure

Someone who is using the microwave to heat only food and water, is under-utilizing the microwave. Read on for some incredible ways to use the Microwave that will not just surprise you, but will also allow you to get the maximum utility out of it.

1. Making the Perfect Poached Egg

Pour boiling water into a microwave safe bowl and add a pinch of white vinegar to it. Crack the egg into a bowl and lightly pierce the yolk with a toothpick. Cover the bowl with cling film and microwave it on full power for 30 seconds. Remove the bowl, turn the egg gently, and then microwave again for another 20 seconds. You eggs will be perfectly poached.

2. Soaking Lentils and Beans

Do you often forget to soak lentils and beans overnight ? Microwave, comes to the rescue in these situations. Soak the beans or lentils into a bowl full of water. Add a pinch of bicarbonate soda to it. Ensure that the beans or lentils are fully covered in water, Microwave the bowl at full power for 10 minutes, and then leave them inside for another 40 minutes. Your lentils or beans will be soaked perfectly by then.

3. Re-hydrating Stale Bread

Cover the loaf or slice of bread in a water soaked kitchen towel, and put it in the microwave for 10 seconds. Repeat the procedure as necessary until you find the bread properly hydrated.

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4. Inducing Crunch in Potato Chips

For the potato chips that have lost their crunch, place them in the microwave on a kitchen towel for 30 seconds. Repeat the procedure as necessary until the towel absorbs the moisture from the wafers and the chips crunchiness is restored.

5. Toasting Nuts and Spices

In order to bring out the beautiful aroma of nuts, spices and seeds, one could zap them in a microwave in bursts of 15 seconds. Repeat the procedure until the aroma from the nuts and spices engulfs your kitchen. Your nuts should be perfectly toasted by then.

6. Disinfecting Sponges

Do you throw away dirty kitchen sponges after a couple of uses ? You need not do that. Instead, put the dirty sponge into a bowl filled with water and a dash of vinegar or lemon juice and zap the bowl at high power for around a minute in the microwave. This will clean the sponge and disinfect it thoroughly

7. Disinfecting Cutting Boards

Similar to the kitchen sponges, the cutting boards can also be disinfected in the microwave. Wash the cutting board well, and scrub a slice of lemon on the side that is cut. Microwave the board for a minute and the board will be fully disinfected. You could use the same procedure to disinfect children’s and dog toys.

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8. Using it as a Proofer

This is a tip for all those people who bake bread at home. The microwave works as an excellent proofer – A contraption that remains warm and moist for yeast breads to rise. Bring to boil a cup of water for 2-3 minutes. Once the water starts boiling, stash your dough along with the cup of boiling water in the microwave, and leave it there until the yeast does its thing.

9. Cooking Potatoes

Potatoes can be cooked in a microwave rather quickly. First prick the potatoes on all sides using a fork. Then put as many potatoes as will fit in your microwaveable bowl, and cook them at high voltage for 2 minutes. Remove the bowl and turn the potatoes over, Cook them again for a further 2 minutes. Your potatoes should be cooked and ready.

10. Cooking Fish

Fist can be cooked quite perfectly in the microwave. Wrap the fish in a microwaveable plastic and add some seasoning – salt, pepper and lime. Microwave the wrapped fish for around 2 minutes. The cooking time depends on the strength of the microwave and the thickness of the fillet. Watch the fish closely, to prevent it from getting over cooked.

11. Cooking Bacon

Wrap the slices of bacon in kitchen towels and microwave them for 2-3 minutes. The Kitchen towel soaks the moisture from the bacon and makes the slices crisply cooked

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12. Steaming Vegetables

Similar to fish and potatoes, vegetables can also be cooked in the microwave. Prick them with forks and cook them in the microwave for 3-4 minutes as required. Steaming vegetables in the microwave minimizes nutrient losses, and is faster than steaming the vegetables inside a cooker or a steamer.

13. Recrystallizing Honey

If honey solidifies inside the jar, then use a microwave to soften it. Uncover the jar, and microwave it for 30 seconds to 1 minute. This will liquefy honey and bring it back to a good consistency.

14. Peeling Garlic

Do you find it hard to peel cloves of garlic ? If yes, then microwave the garlic cloves on top of a kitchen tissue for around 10 seconds. The tissue will absorb the moisture and allow you to peel the garlic effortlessly

15. Chopping Onions

Do you get teary eyed, every time you chop an onion? Place the onion in the microwave for 30 seconds before you start chopping it. Microwaving the onion, takes the sting out of the onion juice. Hence you will not get teary eyed, even if onion juice enters your eyes.

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16. Squeezing Lemons

Are you in the habit of squeezing every little drop of juice from a lemon before throwing it away ? Putting the lemon in a microwave for 1 minute, makes it very juicy. This allows you to squeeze the lemon easily until you reach the last drop.

17. Removing Postage Stamps

If you are a collector of stamps, then you would rather not cause damage to the stamp when tearing it out of the envelope. To avoid causing any damage, sprinkle a couple of drops of water on the postage stamp and microwave it. The stamp gets peeled easily off the envelope.

18. Warming Hair Oil and Other Beauty Products

In winter the hair oil hardens inside the bottle, and it becomes difficult to remove oil. In this case, microwave the bottle for 20 seconds. This liquefies the oil within the bottle, which can then be poured out quite easily. Similarly, if hot wax cools down before you are done waxing your leg, then microwave the jar for 20 seconds. It is an easy and a non-messy technique to reheat wax.

19. Heating Medical Aids

In order to effectively get a hot water compress, do you use hot running water? You could get a hot water compress by soaking a hand towel in water, and then microwave it for 1 minute. In no time, will you have a soothing hot compress. Similarly, if you use heated gel packs to alleviate head aches, then again you can heat and reheat the gel packs inside the microwave.

20. Identifying Microwave-safe Containers

A microwave can itself be used to test if the container is microwave safe or not. Fill a cup that you already know to be microwave-safe with water. Place the cup of water on or in the container (do not pour the water into the container) and microwave both of them for one minute until the water starts boiling. If the containeryou are testing is cool to touch then it is microwave safe, if it is warm or hot, then you shouldn’t use it in the microwave.

Featured photo credit: Stefan via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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