“Eat your veggies” seems a common refrain of childhood, and that battle over veggies continues as an adult, with many of us carrying the fight over by struggling to include enough vegetables in our daily diet. This does not have to be so, and I submit that the biggest culprit is the way we prepare them.
Looking at the steamed green beans with their vivid color and presentation right from the cooking pot makes me want to grab a few right now. Takes minutes to make, is bursting with flavor and texture, and chock full of vitamins and minerals. Avoid the boiling method as cooking in water for long time easily destroys the vitamins, significantly reducing the nutritional value.
It was around 2000/2001 that I bought my stainless steel steamer basket, tried it once, and have never looked back. And my intake of veggies has exponentially increased.
Steaming green beans is easy: I add not more than 1/8th inch water in the cooking pot, add the steamer, veggies to the steamer, and close. When I see steam coming out I turn off the heat, close the steam valve, and wait. (Note that I use a fancy pot as I really am into cooking. You can do just as well with any cooking pot that you have, as I used to when I started out.) About 5 minutes later I take the steamer of veggies out, and run under cold water to arrest the cooking process and keep the green beans vivid and firm. La voila! You get the green beans that you see in the picture above.
You can steam almost any veggie that you want to. How long you steam depends on veggie and size. I have steamed broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, asparagus, artichokes, zucchini, green beans (also known as French beans and string beans), potatoes, and leafy greens. Potatoes take the longest and leafy greens the least amount of time.
Steaming is an easy cook method for even those who say “I cannot cook”. All you need to get started is a steamer basket, which is readily available at a reasonable price. I got mine for less than nine dollars at Bed Bath and Beyond. I actually bought a steamer basket for a friend today, and I’m predicting another future steaming convert in the very near future.