Steam Your Food for Healthy Meals
Many methods of cooking can seriously affect the nutrients of otherwise healthy foods. For example, broccoli loses over 90% percent of its valuable nutrients when cooked in the microwave and over 80% when boiled. Besides meals being healthier when steamed, your food maintains its fresh color and actually tastes better!
A good steamer is the best and most nutritious way to cook food from vegetables and rice to fish, chicken and other meats. Other benefits to steamers are that they don’t use lots of energy and are quick and easy to clean up. Well rated steamers can easily be bought for under $40.
Don’t confuse rice cookers with steamers. You can actually cook several layers of food with steamer baskets, where rice cookers usually handle only one layer.
Begin by seasoning your foods or marinating them before steaming. The lower levels of a good steamer will cook your veggies or other items more rapidly, whereas the upper levels take longer and are perfect for larger food items, such as meats or larger whole vegetables.
How to Choose and Use a Steamer
- Choose a steamer which doesn’t let the steam escape. To get the job done perfectly, the steam should remain within the pot.
- Always use fresh ingredients if possibleIf you are steaming in one layer, make sure that you cook foods of the same size at the same time.
- Use as little water as possible (look at instructions for the steamer for guidance) and don’t let it touch the food for perfect steaming.
- Allow enough space between the food items in the steamer so the steam can circulate to do its job.
- Although the instructions for the steamer will recommend cooking times, use your own judgment on how you like your food cooked.
- Steaming a variety of foods at the same time in the steamer makes meal cleanup easy.
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