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A Quick Guide to Steaming Vegetables

Vegetables can be steamed, boiled, broiled and barbequed but steaming is one of the easiest methods to bring out vegetables full flavor and bright intense color. When vegetables are steamed all the nutrients remain in the vegetables making this a healthier alternative to other cooking methods.

Steamed vegetables can be drizzled with a light sauce of butter or olive oil which complements the tender nature of the steamed vegetables. They can also be sprinkled with lemon juice or balsamic vinegar for a tangy twist on steamed vegetables. To really show off steamed vegetables first drizzle with olive oil then top with fresh grated parmesan cheese.

To steam vegetables place about one inch of water in the bottom of a sauce pan and load in the steamer. Place a single layer of vegetables in the steamer and sprinkle with salt at the beginning of cooking. Steam the vegetables until they are slightly tender but not mushy or crisp.

Testing for doneness is easy. Simply take a bite of one of the vegetables, if it is still crisp give the vegetables a few more minutes.

When selecting vegetables for steaming look for young tender vegetables such as baby artichokes, asparagus, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, green beans, potatoes and snap peas. Then follow the simple steps above and you will have tasty fresh steamed vegetables.

Shauna Hanus