The ultimate guide on how to steam vegetables?
Steaming vegetables is the best way of cooking veggies. This technique of cooking vegetables ensure that the nutrient content is retained and also that the vegetables have a nice texture and color. Steamed vegetables are a wonderful addition to your dinner menu. You could serve them with just about anything. You could also prepare a vegetable platter on which to serve your meat. So you will then have the best of both world the veggies and meat. Delicious , isn’t it? Steaming vegetables is actually a simple technique. You may use any of the three techniques to steam the vegetables the steamer technique and the microwave technique.
• For the microwave technique, place your vegetables in a microwave proof bowl. Sprinkle just a little water over it say about 2-3 tbsp. Cover with a lid with a vent and microwave for about 6-7 minutes. This is all the time you need to steam the vegetables.
• In the steamer technique, you could use a bamboo steamer or a stainless steel steamer. Place water in the bottom part of the steamer. Bring to a rapid boil, now cover the steamer and place the vegetables in it neatly. Let steam till the vegetables are nicely steamed. Check by piercing with a knife. It is done if the knife slides in easily (however do remember to ensure that it is not overcooked). In case you do not have the traditional steamer, you could even make one with a vessel of water in which you would bring the water to a boil and a colander in which you can place the veggies. Cover with a lid and here you have your own steamer all ready to get started.
• Using the pressure cooker technique for steaming is also a great idea. Fast and easy. For the pressure cooker technique , place water in the cooker and place the veggies in a separate vessel over the water. Cover and let steam. You are done in 4-5 minutes time.
Steaming is very simple however, there are a few tips which would ensure best results. Here are my top 5 tips for a happy steaming session:
1) Every vegetable is different and so the time taken by each for steaming is also different. Ensure that you either steam the vegetables separately to ensure that they are all well done or else place the ones with the same time requirement together.
2) Cut the vegetables into equal sizes to ensure that they are all done evenly. For serving straight away it would be best to chop them into bite sized pieces.
3) Chop the vegetables as close to the steaming process as possible to ensure that the vegetables are fresh or else they end up losing the moisture content.
4) Steaming vegetables to me is all about practice. Once you do it a few times you know exactly how much time each of the vegetables would take.
5) Adding salt to the water for steaming is a good idea. This speeds up the steaming process and also helps retain the nutritional content of the vegetables.However, if you prefer to eliminate sodium totally you may skip the salt.
You may season the steamed vegetables with salt, pepper, olive oil or the dressing of your choice. I also like to sauté my steamed vegetables with a little butter (just a dash) and season them with salt and pepper. It makes for a wonderful accompaniment with my pan fried fish or the grilled chicken. You can steam just about any vegetables from potatoes, carrots, broccoli, asparagus to green beans or anything that you can think of. Savor every bite of this tasty healthy delight. Just right for you even while on a diet.
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