Cook healthy family food and avoid excess fat without giving up flavour.
Steamingis simply cooking food in an enclosed environment infused with steam. The most convenient way to steam is by using an electric steamer. Steaming cooks and seals in flavour, eliminating the need for added fats during preparation. It also preserves nutrients better than any other cooking method except microwaving(believe it or not!). It's perfect for fish because it doesn't dry out the delicate flesh. Cod and salmon steam particularly well.
Vegetables such as carrots, asparagus and green beans, chicken breasts, fish fillets and pears, or apples for dessert.
A 3/4- to 1-inch fish fillet takes between 6 and 15 minutes to electric steam, depending on the meatiness of the fish; vegetables and fruit (like asparagus, a family serving of green beans or two pears cut up) take from 7-15 minutes depending on the size of the cavity ; a chicken breast fillet, about 20 minutes.
Don't bother salting foods during steaming, as it just washes off. If you are going to use salt or pepper- do it when it’s cooked.
A twist of lemon adds gorgeous flavour to steaming.
In machines that have a steam generating kettle, this can be infused with herbs to flavour the whole dish. For example, tarragon chicken.
Steam some fresh fish fillets with a few garlic cloves, a small amount of grated ginger, onion and Basil leaves. After squeezing some fresh lemon juice over the fish, place in the steamer basket. Delicious!
For a healthier way to cook more elaborate meals in the oven, consider investing in a steam oven. Steam ovens boil water from an inbuilt reservoir to create a cloud of steam within the oven chamber. This moist heating method is the reason why steam cooking offers so many significant benefits.
- Foods cooked in steam ovenretain more of their flavour, texture and colour (this is especially true of vegetables)
- Less vitamins, minerals and nutrients are lost than with dry-heat cooking. This often means it isn't necessary to add salt or oil
- The moist nature of steam heat means that the food doesn't dry out
- Different types of food can share the oven without transfer of flavour (as they are not just fan assisted)
- Steam ovensare relatively easy to keep clean and avoid the problem of baked-in spillage associated with traditional conventional ovens
- Steam ovensare very forgiving to your recipe should you leave it unassisted longer than recommended