Steaming Veggies


There are lotsa' ways for cooking things but for the lowfat cook steaming is probably the best for veggies.
This gentle cooking method seals in nutrients and flavor by using the steam from a pot of boiling water. The vegetables never touch the water-instead they're suspended by a steamer basket which holds the vegetables above the boiling water.
Vitamins and minerals are less likely to leach out with this method and the colors stay pretty and bright adding to the eye appeal.
There are many types of steamers made from different materials. I have a bamboo steamer plus one of those little collapsible steamer baskets that you just put inside a pot. I've also improvised using a metal colander.
I like the bamboo steamer because water won't condense on the wood and drip on the veggies. Using a tall pot with a dome shaped lid will accomplish the same thing.
Virtually any vegetable can be steamed.
Select the freshest, best quality veggies you can get. You can't create a great dish from inferior ingredients. This is especially true of steaming; it's a method that really brings out a vegetable's fullest flavor.
Preparation of the veggies is minimal. Primarily just washing and cutting to uniform sizes. The more uniform the sizes of the veggie pieces the more uniform the cooking will be.
I steamed broccoli florets for this article and they are not all that uniform. I just did the best I could and then placed the smaller ones on top furthest from the heat source. I peeled the stems and cooked them separately for another dish.
Leafy vegetables such as whole spinach and bok choy leaves, or even small cabbage leaves are easier if you roll them up from stem to tip and stand them on the ends and steam them in that position.
If you can boil water, then you can steam vegetables-that's the beauty of this technique.
* Measure the water.
If you have a steel steamer, look at its legs. Chances are, they're not more than an inch long, and you won't want any more in the pot. So figure a half-inch to one inch of water in the pot-it shouldn't boil through the screen of the steamer.
* Bring the water to a boil.
Turn the stove burner to high, and put the covered pot on the stove. After the water boils, place the vegetables in the steamer and place the steamer in the pot.
Reduce the heat until the water's at a low boil-there should be bubbles rising from the bottom of the pot. Ideally the water will not entirely evaporate during the steaming process.
* Timings for each vegetable:The general rule on steaming times is to cook vegetables until they're crisp.
You want to avoid overcooking them, as their color, flavor, and nutritional value are reduced after a certain point.
Take them out when they're almost done. (You can taste test, cause calories don't count when you're cookin'.) As they sit for a minute or two on the serving plate, they'll finish cooking and will arrive on your plate at the peak of perfection.
Steamed Broccoli
1 pound broccoli florets lemon juice to taste I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray
Arrange florets in steaming rack with smaller pieces at the top of the rack. Place over boiling water; cover and steam 15 minutes.
Sprinkle with lemon juice to taste and spray with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray before serving.




1.0 servings


Saturday, February 13, 2010 - 9:17pm



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