When I was growing up I remember my grandmother and more latterly my mother warning over the evils of reheating certain foods.
Rice was always a big one. To reheat rice was apparently the most dangerous game of culinary Russian roulette known to man. Get it wrong and rice went from being a key supporting element on an Indian plate, to a weapon that could fell a buffalo.
I’m still not entirely sure of the veracity of this, but like anything that is ingrained in early years, it is a warning I find hard to shake.
But what of foods that really should not be reheated? The gradual introduction of microwave ovens in the 1970’s leading to their absolute prevalence today means that reheating has never been quicker and easier. But is it always a good idea? It would seem not.
Some foods not to reheat in a microwave oven
This comes with a genuine health and safety warning. Boiled eggs reheated in a microwave are prone to explode. Whilst this can make a fun school science lab experiment, it’s not ideal for the kitchen. If microwaved the hard boiled eggs become mini pressure cookers – or bombs – that can combust in the oven, in your hand or on a plate, or, worst of all, in your mouth!
One of the great benefits of steak, apart from the magnificent taste, is its protein content. Subjecting steak to a microwave seriously affects the protein content and can lead to digestive issues too. Not only that but it is likely to result in an overcooked steak which many (although not this writer) see as a cardinal sin.
Microwaving celery? Surely that’s like cooking lettuce, who does that? In its basic salad form, that is of course true, but celery actually features regularly in soups, stews, chillis and other cooked dishes. It lurks in far more places than you might realise!
The problem is that celery is quite high in nitrate and when microwaved, that nitrate is seriously amplified. And excess nitrate has been shown to have connections with cancer and can be damaging to the health of women in pregnancy.
Another food that crops up in many dishes. But unlike celery, you might be tempted on occasion to warm up whole mushrooms in a microwave. Don’t!
Mushrooms should always be kept refrigerated and eaten shortly after slicing. They do not respond well to room temperature as it invites fairly rapid bacterial growth. In a microwave this can be accelerated and the protein composition changes which can lead to nasty digestive issues.
And finally, was my grandma right with all her dire warnings?
It would seem so! Pre-cooked rice contains the bacteria Bacillus cereus which can cause very nasty food poisoning. But don’t panic about that, once rice is cooked the bacteria is destroyed. The problem arises once it is left to cool to room temperature she spores re-form and they are tremendously heat resistant.
The worst results can be massively debilitating food poisoning and dehydration. So if you are preparing rice with a meal, the best thing you can do is eat it with that meal!
So these are a few foods not to reheat. Bear them in mind when you are just about to slam something in the microwave for a quick blast.
Connect here with WatchFit Expert Joey Bull