5 good reasons to steam (and how to steam)

Steaming food is a perfect technique for those who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, constipation, who want to lose weight, or simply decided to improve their diet and be healthier.

In addition to all the benefits of keeping nutrients in food, preventing them from being lost in the cooking water, it is also very practical and can be cooked at the same time, cereals such as rice or quinoa, vegetables, legumes, meat, fish or chicken.

So, 5 good reasons for steaming are:

  1. Help to lose weight , as it is not necessary to use olive oil, butter or oil to cook, reducing the number of calories in the meal, besides increasing the feeling of satiety, due to the amount of fibers;
  2. Regulate intestinal transit , as steam maintains the quality of the fibers in food, helping to treat constipation;
  3. Lower cholesterol , because it does not use any type of fat in the preparation of food, avoiding the accumulation of bad cholesterol in the blood and decreasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases;
  4. Control blood pressure , as it is not necessary to use salt and other sodium-rich condiments, such as Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce to flavor foods, since the steam keeps all the flavor of the food;
  5. Increase the quality of life  because it creates healthy eating habits, allowing you to prepare any food in a healthy way, such as vegetables, meat, fish, chicken, eggs, and even rice, preventing diseases related to poor diet.

Steam cooking is a great way to encourage the intake of vegetables and fruits, by adults and children, and can even be done in a normal pan. See also  How to cook food to maintain nutrients .

How to steam

With a special basket for common pot:  place a grid on the bottom of a pot with about 2 cm of water, preventing food from being in direct contact with water. Then, cover the pan and place it on the fire for as long as necessary for each type of food, as shown in the table.

Steam cookware : there are special steam cookware, such as Tramontina or Mondial, which allow you to place one layer on top of the other to cook several foods at the same time.

Electric steam cooker: just add the food in the proper container, respect its way of use, and connect the pan to the electric current. 

In the microwave: use a special container that can be taken to the microwave and cover with a cling film, making small holes so that the steam can escape.

With bamboo basket: place the basket inside the wok, add the food to the basket, put about 2 cm of water in the wok, enough to cover the bottom of the pot. 

Food must be properly cooked when it is tender. This way it is possible to cook several foods at the same time, making the most of its properties. 

To make food even more tasty and nutritious, aromatic herbs or spices can be added to the water such as oregano, cumin or thyme, for example.

Time table for steaming some food

FoodsAmountPreparation time in the steam cookerMicrowave preparation time
Asparagus450 grams12 to 15 minutes6 to 8 minutes
Broccoli225 grams8 to 11 minutes5 minutes
Carrot225 grams10 to 12 minutes8 minutes
Sliced ​​potato225 grams10 to 12 minutes6 minutes
Cauliflower1 head13 to 16 minutes6 to 8 minutes
This615 to 25 minutes2 minutes
Fish500 grams9 to 13 minutes5 to 8 minutes
Steak (red meat)220 grams8 to 10 minutes——————-
Chicken (white meat)500 grams12 to 15 minutes8 to 10 minutes

To facilitate the cooking of food and reduce the preparation time, it is recommended to cut them into small pieces.

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