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Their association with ready-made meals has given microwaves a bad name. But with the right know-how you can use them to cook healthy recipes from scratch, in much less time than with conventional ovens.

Using a microwave can also be more energy efficient because the speed of cooking means you are saving on electricity and gas. Test out the theory with some of our mighty microwave meals below.

The effect of microwaves on food was discovered by accident during research at the end of World War II. Engineer Dr Percy Spencer noticed the chocolate bar in his pocket had melted while he was testing a component called a magnetron tube, which produced microwaves. And that was the beginning of the first microwave oven.