Healthy Steaming Cooking Method

Steaming is one of the best cooking methods for retaining flavor and nutrients in foods. Simply steamed and flavored with fresh herbs, lemon and olive oil can be very satisfying and delicious, especially when the vegetables themselves have so much taste. It is also a way to cook that can be done in one pot on the stove so there is very little mess and clean up required.

A healthy way of steaming allows you to cook your vegetables to preserve their nutrients, bring out their color and enhance their flavor. Cooking them

al dente, crisp inside and tender outside, is an ideal way to maximize their nutritional value. Steaming for a minimal amount of time does this. Commonly vegetables are steamed for much too long causing them to lose their flavor, color, and nutrients. Be sure to note the time we have for steaming in our recipes. Also, because temperatures vary on stoves watch to make sure they are still brightly colored and still a little crisp in the center when you remove them from the heat.

How To Steam

In steaming you want to make sure the water is at a rapid boil before adding your vegetables to the steamer basket. This is so the heat is consistent throughout cooking time. Steaming cooks the vegetables with the even moist heat of the vapors. Once your water at a rapid boil, turn your heat to a moderate temperature and place your vegetables in the steamer basket. You want to make sure the steamer has a tight fitting lid. If you are steaming more than one vegetable at a time, place the vegetables in the steamer basket in layers.

There are two ways of doing this

One way is to place all the vegetables in the steamer basket at once putting the denser vegetables that need more heat on the bottom, such as carrots. Layer, putting the lighter vegetables on top such as greens.

Another way to steam more than one vegetable

Place the denser vegetables that take longer in the steamer basket and cook with the lid on for 2-4 minutes. Then add another layer of vegetables that take a little less time to cook. And continue to steam. This can be done in several layers ending up with all of your vegetables done to perfection at the end of cooking time. Our Steamed Vegetable Medley is a good example of steaming more than one vegetable, timing it so all comes out done at the same time. This will give you an idea of how to do it. You can try this with a variety of vegetables, whatever you have on hand for a quick and easy meal.

This can also be done with vegetables and fish

Try steaming a variety of vegetables with a nice piece of salmon or other fish on top. You can make a simple dressing and drizzle it over everything when done. It is a perfect way to make a simple, clean, healthy meal in one pot in a very short amount of time. You may want to try our Steamed Salmon with Asparagus. This is another example of steaming your whole meal in the same pot separately. Remember that steam can be deceiving. It is still very hot and can burn you easily, so it is important to remember to open the lid on your steamer facing away from your body. This will prevent the steam from burning your face or arms as you lift the lid. Summer is a good time of the year to steam our World's Healthiest Foods for quick, easy, and healthy meals.

This page was updated on: 2004-03-09 01:21:00
© 2002 The George Mateljan Foundation