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An essential part of eating healthy is making enough food to have leftovers. It’s the easiest way to minimize the amount of time you spend in the kitchen. Cook once, eat twice – or three times – depending on how many people you have in your family and how much food you can make at once.

I have written before about how I don’t own a microwave and the question I get in response to that is – how do you heat up leftovers?

Last week I made two large batches of soup in the crock pot. I had a lot planned for the week so it was perfect to have a nice amount of leftovers. After getting home at 5:15pm from taking my daughter to one of her activities with two tired children, having some food already made for dinner is a life saver. I poured two quarts of soup in a sauce pan, set it to medium and dinner was ready in 15 minutes.

Two Easy Ways to Re-Heat Food (That really doesn’t take THAT long)

Stove Top

Heating food on the stove top is easy and doesn’t take very long. It’s also possible to use only one pot to minimize cleaning. Foods that are ideal for stop top heating include soups, stews, rice,stir fry, o any other skillet type meals.

Toaster Oven

Shallow tempered glass food storage containers like these work perfectly for heating food in a toaster oven. I often use this method for heating vegetables and meats for a fast lunch or dinner. It usually takes 10 minutes or less.

Three Things to Avoid When Heating Food

Don’t Use a Microwave

Microwaves heat food by causing water molecules in it to resonate at very high frequencies and eventually turn to steam which heats your food. While this can rapidly heat your food it also causes a change in your food’s chemical structure. Read more about why Microwaving food is not ideal here.

Avoid Plastic Containers

When using a microwave it is common to heat things in plastic containers. This is a bad idea because of the toxins that are found in plastics. BPA is a well known toxin in plastic and recent news exposed other substances that may even be worse. Heating plastic may make these chemicals leach into your food at higher levels so its best to avoid this. Obviously if you are using an regular oven, plastic containers are not an option anyway.

Avoid Aluminum

Using aluminum foil or aluminum cookware is not a healthy choice. Heat causes aluminum to leach into foods at unsafe levels. Aluminum toxicity has been linked to a number of problems such as Alzheimer’s disease, weakening the bones, and more.

Do you use any of these three things to avoid? What challenges would you have if you gave them up? and Why? Please share in the comments below.

Original Content provided by Hip Foodie Mom