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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 January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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