T Nation

Microaving Frozen Veggies


Hey, I just wondered how any of you microave your frozen veggies.

I've been boiling mine, but I know you lose a lot of nutrients to the water that way.

I tried before and they came out tasting bad, or more like having a bad texture.

Do you add water? How long do you nuke them?

Is microaving better than boiling?


Just keep boiling my friend....


I like to stir fry mine. Cook them over a hot stove and leave them on just long enough that they aren't cold on the inside. Cooking them this way also keeps the veggies crunchy. If you cook them too long they start to get soggy.


I like to use the microwave to thaw them about 3/4 of the way, then finish them with a light saute. Tossed with a little olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, sometimes a little parmesan (really tasty with broccoli & cauliflower).


Why would you boil over microwave?

It's faster and certainly no less healthy or nutritious.


Well, I just tried microaving them again, and this time it came out much better.

I added a little bit of water and nuked for about a 1 min. 20 sec.

Last time I didn't use water and gave up, went back to boiling, tried steaming with a combination of a pot with water and a strainer above it. That didn't work out great.

I might stick with microaving now that I figgured out that I should add some water.

They were still a little crisp too.


Oh yah--you gotta add the water!


Well, with fresh veggies i steam them by placing a very little bit of water in a microwaveable container. Throw them in there for a while(i belive 4-5 minutes? if not more..) and they come out great!

So with frozen you wouldnt need alot of water at all i wouldnt think. But just make sure the container/bowl is covered with a plastic cover or plastic wrap.


Here are some tips about microwave cooking:

-The microwaves generally only penetrate 2 inches into the food, so make sure food pieces are not too thick. Uniformly sized pieces are best.

-Foods cook faster at the edge of the dish than in the middle, so put denser foods on the outside for even cooking. Place tender portions of vegetables, such as the flower portion of broccoli, towards the center.

-Consider standing time when cooking vegetables. Food will continue to cook for a short period after you remove it from the microwave.

-Generally, microwave cooking produces a high-quality vegatable, but there are some that come out better using conventional methods.

-Microwaves do retain water soluble vitamins and minerals a lot better than boiling, although I know that spinach is an exception in regards to its vitamin C content (if a small amount of water is used in boiling).


Don't use plastic wrap in a microwave! Plasticizers migrate into the food.

In fact, avoid using:
-metal or dishes with metal trim
-mugs with the handles glued to them
-dyed paper products
-brown paper bags and newpaper
-foam trays
-single-use plastic containers (like cottage cheese tubs)

Really, only containers marked microwave safe should be used in order to prevent indirect food additives.

Also, just a note: Higher fat foods have the highest levels of migration when in direct contact with plastic wrap.


Good info, thanks!

I've also heard not to use plastic wrap while microaving but to use a paper towel instead. I forgot why, but I think it had something to do with possibly causing cancer some how (doesn't everything)???

Edit: just saw angelbutt's post about not using plastic.


I recall reading (I think it was an article by Mauro Di Pasquale who referred to a study presented in the "Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture") a while ago that micro waving destroys the lion's share of antioxidants in fruit and vegetables. Anyway, I use a steam boiler (I hope I got the lingo right), one of those you usually prepare potatoes with.

Hope I didn't ruin your little Tupperware Party guys... :wink:


Regarding the plastic issue:


Really, heating things much in any way will destroy a lot of things like antioxidants that are highly chemically reactive already. That's why I try to cook my frozen vegetables (I refuse to say veggies) to a lukewarm temp instead of steaming hot. Usually via stir fry where the meat is cooked first.



Well, i heated some frozen vegetables today. Just buy some microwaveable containers. Worked great.


Definitely true, but it is said that this applies to a significantly different degree depending on the method of preparation. Too bad I can't remember the specific source, but I think it was something along the lines of micro waving>boiling in water>steaming with regard to the destruction of antioxidants. Only cooking to a lukewarm temperature seems to be one of the best alternatives in any case.

By the way, seconded on the "veggies" issue.


See this is the kind of misinformation that goes on on a regular basis. Totally false. Microwaving produces a high-quality vegetable? What? Dan and Michael 2507 are right on with this one. Steaming and stir-frying are the best options to lightly cook the veggies


Where are you getting your info from? I got mine from textbooks written on food science and professors of nutrition.

Maybe we have different definitions of quality. Mine pertains to mostly to nutrition, then sensory characteristics. It is fact that microwaves retain vitamins and minerals better than conventional methods for most vegetables. In any case, if you know how to use a microwave properly, vegetables can come out tasting great, too.