A Bamboo Steamer

How to Steam Vegetables

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A Bamboo Steamer

Welcome to “How To” on Eating In Bed!  I know it’s hard to learn how to cook with no explanation for the method you’re using is, so this section of the site is dedicated to making delicious food accessible, fun, and to introduce you to the proper execution of cooking techniques!

 

Steaming is widely held as the best cooking method for retaining the health benefits of various vegetables (an exception being broccoli which is healthiest when microwaved.  Weird right?)  It’s also very easy to do with the right tools.  A few months back I purchased a rice cooker with a steamer basket, and it has proved to be an amazing $25 investment.  Before that I would bring a big pot with a little water to a boil and then place my veggies in a metal colander then top it with a lid.  If that’s all you have it’s all you have, but if you can expend the $25 I highly recommend the rice cooker option.  It’s a multi-tasker that cooks rice, quinoa, barley, and it allows you to easily steam veggies or fish.

When cooking you’re basically substituting the natural water in your vegetables that contains all the nutrients with something else.  In frying it’s oil, in braising it’s a sauce, and so on, but with steaming it pulls those nutrients out less and they’re recycled in the steaming liquid.  So why doesn’t everyone steam everything?  Because steaming is also held as the most bland tasting cooking method.  Since you’re not really hitting your vegetables with heavy spices or oils they retain much of their raw flavor they just get a softer texture.  This is viewed as both a good and bad thing, but it can be just a good thing and it isn’t hard to add flavors to your steaming liquid.  One of my favorites is a mixture of apple cider vinegar, low sodium chicken broth, and water.  Your vegetables get a slight savory tang added to them without adding any negatives.

For the sake of this article I’m going to assume you’re using a rice cooker with a steaming basket.

How to Make Savory Steamed Vegetables

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Bag of Stir Fry Vegetable Mix (from the salad section)
  • 1 Tbsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Mashed Roasted Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Onion Flakes or Powder
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock/Broth (set aside 1 cup)
  • 2 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce

Recipe

  1. Combine all the ingredients (except the veggies) in the bottom part of your rice cooker
  2. Only use 1 cup of Chicken Broth at this time
  3. Turn on your rice cooker and put on the lid until it gets steamy
  4. Add your vegetables to the steaming rack and cover again
  5. Cook 10-15 minutes until the veggies are starting to wilt (ADD THE EXTRA CUP OF BROTH IF YOUR LIQUID GETS LOW!!)
  6. Try one out, if they’re too crunchy cook for an additional 5 Mins
  7. Remove from steaming rack and serve

They’ll primarily taste the same as the original vegetable they were, but they will also have subtle layers of flavor now.  The garlic and Worcestershire will permeate the vegetables and add hints of bold flavor while the vinegar and pepper will add some kick.  Another great steaming idea is lemon and dill steamed tilapia, but as we all know in the world of food, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination!  So get off your computer and in the kitchen be sure to tell us what creations you come up with!

 

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