At MC&L we always strive to bring you tips that will help you not only be clean, lean and strong but also to help you in your kitchen, so this weeks tip is all about steaming. It was brought about as one of our members said she can’t steam veg as she doesn’t have the room to buy a steamer – wrong! You don’t need to buy one. Try making one out of a metal colander a pot and a pot lid. I’ve been using that for years and it works great for me. You can also buy small foldaway steaming baskets like the one pictured for about £10. Like the metal colander you place on top of a pot of boiling water, but make sure the water is just in the bottom of the pot not touching the veg otherwise they’ll boil not steam. If using either of these make sure to use enough water so that it doesn’t boil dry. Bring the water up to a boil and then simmer until your veggies are cooked.
Another way I steam veg is in my wok, I’ll do a steamed veggie stir-fry, a few tablespoons of water in the bottom, add your veg and away you go. Remember to put the veggies that take the longest to cook in first. Last week I made: 1 courgette chopped in rounds, some sugarsnaps, a clove of crushed garlic and some broccoli – nothing else and it was totally delish!! I also put a lid on it for a bit as well so stir-fry steaming. (Oh stir-fry steaming I wonder if that’s actually a recognised cooking method?!?!? If it’s not it should be!)
You can also buy bamboo steamers pretty inexpensively at Chinese supermarkets. I’ve not used one of these before but I always think they look so good and you can steam so much in them like the MC&L salmon and cabbage lasagne.
So why steam?
Most of us will know that steaming is a super healthy way to cook your veggies as it locks in much more nutrients than boiling, grilling, or sautéing. Steaming also preserves more minerals and antioxidants meaning that steaming vegetables does a better job in boosting immune functions, regulating natural systems of the body, facilitating detoxification and improving digestion than fried, grilled or boiled vegetables. I’ve also recently read that steamed veggies are easier to digest and as they are more easily digested by our systems, the nutrients they contain are more easily absorbed by our bodies, causing fewer indigestion problems. Now I’m not sure if that’s true or not as I read it on the net but it kind of makes sense so I thought I’d share it as its another feather in the cap of steaming.
More health… Steaming uses no fats, I also don’t add any salt or other flavouring as I want the veggies to speak for themselves, I do, however, often drizzle oil on after, I love olive oil with black pepper, a tiny squeeze of lemon juice and some grated lemon zest over any green veg. Remember that olive oil is an unsaturated fat that does not contain bad cholesterol unless it’s heated up so enjoy some organic extra virgin olive oil on your veggies.
What to steam?
Steaming is a perfect way to cook spinach, brussel sprouts, broccoli, baby-corn, peas, courgettes, asparagus, carrots, cauliflower, beans, sweet potato, bok choy, Chinese cabbage and other green leafy vegetables.
So come on guys steaming is easy and healthy so get yourself cooking this super healthy way.
Lots of Love