Steaming vegetables is something everyone does from time to time. For many people, it is simply a different way of preparing food, just like you can fry, stir-fry, cook, or grill. However, there are still some questions about steaming vegetables: is it healthier?
In this article we look at the technique of steaming, what health benefits it can have, and which vegetables are the best to steam.
The technique of steaming vegetables
When steaming food, you cook the food using the hot air that is released when water is boiled. This is different from cooking food in water because it involves submerging them. When steaming vegetables, the food does not come into contact with the water, only with its steam. When you steam vegetable overstock or a stew, the vegetable can take on the flavor of the dish below without being seasoned itself.
To steam properly, you need a steamer. If you don’t have one, a deep pan with a heat-resistant colander and a lid will also suffice for steaming. Below is a step-by-step plan for steaming food:
- Place enough water or stock in the pan, but make sure the water doesn’t touch the colander.
- Then bring the water to a boil. When the water is boiling, you can place the food in the cooking area. Close the pan with a lid. You can now steam your vegetables.
- As soon as steam comes out from under the lid, you can lower the heat a bit.
- How long to steam vegetables depends on the normal cooking time. When broccoli usually cooks for 5 minutes, you can add about 3 to 5 minutes when steaming. Note: if you have a special steamer that works with high pressure, the food is often ready faster!
Is steaming vegetables healthier?
When cooking vegetables, vitamins sometimes evaporate. These are water-soluble vitamins that, as you’ve probably expected, dissolve when they come into contact with water. As a result, your vegetables retain a lot fewer vitamins than they actually would have.
When you steam, almost all nutrients are preserved. Research has shown that even most water-soluble vitamins remain intact. Steaming vegetables also help to eat healthier because you do not need extra ingredients, such as salt or oil to cook the vegetables.
However, the taste can be very neutral after steaming the vegetables, so it is useful if you season the vegetables with some pepper or a spice mix afterward.
Which vegetables can you steam?
In addition to steaming vegetables, you can also steam various other foods. For example, you can steam couscous, but also chicken and shellfish if you let them cool completely. Finally, there are also several bread and dough recipes that you can steam, such as a bao!