How to Steam Vegetables

Steaming vegetables is probably the healthiest way to cook them.  They retain more vitamins because they are not cooked in harsh boiling water or sauteed in any grease. They cook food more gently and do not boil out all the nutrients. If you pay close attention to the cooking times, you will
have brightly colored vegetables that are softened but still a little crunchy, definitely not mushy.

Target and other stores carry the Black and Decker steamer, which is a great, inexpensive little machine. We have gone through 2 of them in 22 years, only because a family member ran this electrical device (our first one) through the dishwasher!  Otherwise, they just keep working.

If you don’t have a vegetable steamer, you can always use a deep saucepan with an insert that has holes in the bottom—a vegetable steamer without the electrical plug.

Put 2-3 inches of water in the bottom, and bring it to a boil.
When the water is boiling, put vegetables in the top compartment and use the following times for steaming:

Carrots:  small—10 minutes; large/thick—12 minutes
Potatoes, cut up: 10-12 minutes
Broccoli:  8 minutes
Brussel Sprouts, cut in half: 8 minutes
Cauliflower: 8 minutes
Fennel, cut up: 8 minutes
Onions: 8 minutes
Bok Choy:  7 minutes
Celery:  8 minutes
Potatoes, cut up:  10-12 minutes
Cabbage:  6 minutes
Corn: 6 minutes
Greens:  6 minutes
Zucchini: 6 minutes
Spinach:  5 minutes

The idea here is this: the harder, denser vegetables cook longer. The lighter, less dense vegetables take much less time.  Greens take very little time, just enough to soften them.

If you want to cook different vegetables at the same time, just start with the longest veggys and keep putting them in when there are the right number of minutes left for that vegetable.

If you intend to saute them later with herbs and other seasonings, cut down the cooking time by 2 minutes so they don’t end up overcooked.



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