Steaming is one of the healthiest ways to steam vegetables. This natural method is very easy and takes just a few minutes. Although there are steamers sold for steaming vegetables and other foods, you don’t actually need any special equipment to steam vegetables. Here’s how to steam vegetables:
Ingredients and supplies:
Vegetables (See instructions)
Steaming rack, colander, or steamer
- Boil the water. First make sure that your colander or steaming rack will fit into the bottom of the pot you have chosen. Then pour an inch or two of water into your large pot. Make sure that you have not used enough water that it will cover the bottom of your colander or steaming rack once it is placed in the bottom of the pot. Place on high heat, bringing the water to a boil. Keep the pot on high heat during the entire steaming process; the hot steam from the boiling water is what will steam your vegetables.
- Prepare to steam the vegetables. In the bottom of your pot, place a steaming rack, colander, or balls of aluminum foil. Your vegetables will rest on this as they are steaming. Make sure that the water level is below whatever device you are using to hold the vegetables, because you don’t want them to be submerged in the water.
- Prepare the vegetables. Many different vegetables can be steamed, including broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, green beans, zucchini, squash, carrots, and potatoes. Before you steam them, trim them and cut into chunks. Try to make all of the pieces the same size, or they may not cook evenly. Steam a cup or two of vegetables at a time; if you try to steam more, the steam will not reach all of the vegetables in the pot, and will cook them unevenly.
- Steam the vegetables. Carefully place your vegetables on the steaming rack in the pot of boiling water. Watch them carefully; most vegetables only need one to three minutes. Since they cook so fast, it is easy to overcook them. If you are steaming potatoes begin them well before the other vegetables; they take 15 to 30 minutes. Carefully poke the vegetables with a fork or knife to see if they are done. When done, remove from the water by lifting out the wire rack or using a slotted spoon.
- Serve immediately. Serve your steamed vegetables while still hot. If you let them sit too long before serving them, they will become mushy. You may wish to season them with salt, pepper, or a little butter before serving, although people prefer the natural taste of the vegetables by themselves. Olive oil or lemon juice can also be added to your steamed vegetables.
Steamed vegetables are a delicious and nutritious side for any meal. Steamed vegetables retain their color, making them an interesting accompaniment for any meal, including chicken, fish, or red meat. Steamed vegetables are also delicious with a fondue cheese sauce. They can be a great way to get your children to eat their vegetables, and steamed vegetables retain more of their nutritional value than many other cooking methods.