Steaming vegetables is a quick and easy way to prepare vegetables. Most veggies turn a vibrant color when they are steamed, making them a beautiful addition to any dinner table. Many types of vegetables lose some of their nutritional value during the cooking process. Steaming is a great method to use on veggies because it helps prevent some of this loss.

A lot of people avoid steaming vegetables because they believe steamed vegetables are bland (so not true!) or that a lot of fancy equipment is needed for this method (definitely not true!). Let’s take a look at how to steam vegetables and then we’ll share some super tasty steamed veggie recipes!

How to Steam Vegetables

Method #1 – With a steamer basket

While you don’t need special equipment to steam vegetables if you plan to serve steamed veggies frequently a steamer basket might be worth purchasing. They are very affordable and don’t take up much storage space in the kitchen.

1. Cut veggies into similar-size pieces.

2. Place your steamer basket into a pot and fill with water until it’s just below the basket. If the water starts coming up through the holes in the steamer basket, dump some of the water out.

3. Heat the water on your stove. Once water starts to boil, add your vegetables to the steamer basket. Cover pot with a lid and reduce heat to medium.

4. Steam until the vegetables are tender, but not mushy.


Method #2 – With a strainer or colander

To steam vegetables with a strainer or colander, follow the same steps as you would with a steamer basket. The most important thing about this method is to make sure that your strainer or colander can withstand heat.

1. Cut veggies into similar-size pieces.

2. Place your strainer or colander into a pot and fill with water until the water line is just below it. If the water starts coming up through the holes, dump some of the water out.

3. Heat the water on your stove. Once water starts to boil, add your vegetables to the strainer or colander. Cover pot with a lid and reduce heat to medium.

4. Steam until the vegetables are tender, but not mushy.

Method #3 – In the microwave

This method only requires a microwave, microwave-safe dish, and some cling wrap. You’ll want to be careful as you remove the cling wrap so that you don’t burn yourself on escaping steam. 

1. Cut veggies into similar-size pieces.

2. Place veggies in a microwave-safe container. Add a tablespoon of water.

3. Cover container with cling-wrap. Leave a gap on one corner to allow the steam to escape.

4. Microwave veggies for three minutes. Remove and stir.

5. Recover and return to microwave. Microwave at one-minute intervals until the veggies are cooked to your desired tenderness.

Method #4 – In the oven

You can even steam vegetables in the oven if you want! For this method, you can either use a roasting pan and rack or a baking dish and a baking rack. Either will work fine.

1. Pre-heat your oven to 200°F.

2. Cut veggies into similar-size pieces.

3. Bring water to boil on your stove and place about half an inch in your roasting pan or baking dish.

4. Place a single layer of your veggies on a rack and place the rack on top of your roasting pan/baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil.

5. Place in in the oven and steam veggies until they reach your desired tenderness.

Regardless of the method you use, here are some helpful tips to follow when steaming vegetables:

Tip #1 –  Cut vegetables into similar-size pieces to help the vegetables to cook uniformly.

Tip #2 – The amount of time it will take for your vegetables to steam depends on the type of vegetable you are making. Denser vegetables like turnips and potatoes will take longer, while tender vegetables like spinach will only take a couple of minutes. The trick to perfectly steaming your vegetables is to check on them frequently to prevent them from over-cooking and getting mushy. Most vegetables take under ten minutes to steam so set a timer for around three minutes and check at one or two-minute intervals.

Tip #3 – If you want to steam different types of veggies together, start with the denser vegetables and give them a head start. Add the quicker-cooking vegetables after a few minutes and then everything will finish at the same time.

Tip #4 – Even after you stop steaming, the vegetables will continue to cook a bit. To prevent vegetables from getting too soft and mushy, remove them from the steam while they’re tender but still have a little crunch.

How to Serve Steamed Veggies

To serve steamed vegetables, all you really need to do is toss them in a bit of butter or olive oil, squeeze a little fresh lemon on top, and sprinkle with a bit of salt. If you’re looking for something a bit fancier, try one of these recipes!

Spicy Steamed Bok Choy by Anja’s Food 4 Thought
Vegetarian Nyonya Steamed Okra by Vegetarian-Home Cooking
Steamed Kale and Avocado Salad by Homemade Levity

 

What’s your preferred method for steaming vegetables? What’s your favorite vegetable to steam? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook!

 

 

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