If you’re looking for a post on the scientific reasons to get rid of your microwave…this isn’t it! Do a search on the internet and you’ll find tons of studies supporting both sides of microwave safety debate but in the end it all comes down to a personal decision you make for you and your family.
For us, the choice to kick our microwave to the curb finally came down to wanting to eliminate the temptation of “fast-foods” at home. Sure, we’re more than a little worried about what microwaves might be doing to our foods but mostly we eat better when we don’t have a microwave in the house. We’ve been without a microwave for almost two years now and here are my best hints on how to get rid of your microwave without driving you or your family crazy!
1. Just Do It!
Before we finally bit the bullet, my husband and I talked about trashing the microwave for years but new excuses to keep it were always popping up. When our kids entered the equation, we realized that we were relying on the microwave for quick meals instead preparing in advance or improving our time-management skills.
Eventually, I got fed up, unplugged the microwave and put it in the garage. I told myself that if after a non-microwave week, I was still stressed out and the kids were still hungry, I would bring it back into the house and admit defeat. To my surprise, it took months for a situation to present itself where I found myself longing for my microwave (Thanksgiving leftovers!)
We were using it simply because it was there. Take away the microwave and you take away the temptation for things like microwavable popcorn (air-popped is so much better!), microwavable meals (Yikes, sodium city!), and quick nachos. Sure, we still eat nachos (Do you think I’m crazy!?) but now we smother them with veggies and beans and pop them in the oven to bake. A dollop of yogurt and salsa and it’s pure nacho heaven!
2. Listen to the Boy Scouts!
Be prepared! Or if you’re like me, be prepared to not be prepared!
In a perfect world, meals would be planned out every week (check out my Printable Meal Planner), there would be no sudden surprises to interfere with them and mothers would always be in the mood to cook. That, however, is not the world my family lives in! Some weeks I just don’t get around to planning out our meals or our CSA box (check out Skarsgard Farms if you live in the Alburquerque/El Paso area and want in on some awesome organic fruits and veggies!) runs out of a particular produce item I needed. Heck, some days the idea of cooking the complex meal I had planned makes me want to throw a temper tantrum to rival my 2 year old!
In the past, when we needed dinner quick, we might have thrown a couple burritos in the microwave or maybe even a boxed dinner but now that those aren’t really options we rely on an emergency list of healthier options that still come together quickly (like frozen veggies and Quorn chicken or Raw Walnut Tacos and Cashew Cheese.)
3. Necessary Accessories
As I mentioned above, the only time I truly miss my microwave is to heat up leftovers, boil water quickly, or reheat coffee. While not 100% necessary, there are a few kitchen accessories I’ve found quite helpful in making the transition into a microwave-free home.
We have a Lodge 10″ cast-iron griddle that sits permanently on our stove top that we use every. single. day. Without fail. Whether it’s leftovers or grilled cheese, that thing is invaluable to our quick lunches!
As for heating water quickly, we’ve fallen madly in love with our utiliTEA Variable Temp Electric Kettle. Gets water boiling quickly and with the different tea settings, we’re no longer burning our green tea!
I recently gave up drinking coffee at home (Holy withdrawal, Batman!) but before I did, I was always letting my coffee get cold. (Any mother of young kids will sympathize!) Jim bought me a Desktop Heated Coffee Warmer as kind of a joke but it totally worked!
Just recently we finally purchased a Cuisinart Toaster Oven and honestly, I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. In theory, it’ll help us cut back on firing up the stove (last thing you want to do when it’s triple digits outside!) and because it’s so small, allow us to cook/reheat food even quicker. I’ll let you know the outcome once I have a little more time with it.
4. Back In College (Kind of.)
Who knew cold food tasted good? College students, that’s who! I remember just grabbing whatever out of the fridge to eat cold as I ran to my next class. Granted, more often than not, I was munching on snack foods full of sodium and preservatives (Hello Freshman 30!) but there’s a whole slew of foods that taste just as good straight out of the fridge!
Obviously, pizza tastes great cold but so do a lot of pastas and soups. The Quorn chicken we ate for dinner last night tastes just as good the next day cut up in a salad. If you don’t have the microwave to tempt you, you make do and figure out alternative ways of eating quickly.
5. You Won’t Know Until You Try
Who knows? Maybe you’ll put the microwave in the garage and a week later decide you desperately need it back. And that’s totally ok! But maybe, after all these years of wishing you could get rid of your microwave, you’ll find you don’t really miss it at all. You won’t know until you try and I hope these five hints help!
What are your reasons for wanting to get rid of your microwave?
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