How to Steam Vegetables Without a Steamer

Everyone knows that vegetables are healthy, but not everyone knows how to cook them for the most health benefits. Research supports steaming as a healthy cooking method (sauteeing and microwaving can also be healthy). By steaming your vegetables, especially fibrous ones like kale, cabbage, and other mustard greens, you can improve nutrient bioavailability by breaking down the cell walls of plant cells. This allows the body to better absorb their nutrients while also preventing excessive leaching of nutrients into boiling water. Despite the benefits of steaming, many people don’t have a steamer or are too lazy to steam their veggies. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix.

Instead of throwing out the fibrous stems of your vegetables, use them as a base to steam the non-stem parts. To do this, submerge the stems in boiling water and then add the leaves or other foliage on top. For example, if you are steaming broccoli or kale, simply cut the stems in sizable chunks and add them to some boiling water and then add your greens and put on a lid that prevents the steam from escaping. After 2-4 minutes of steaming, your veggies should be ready. You may need to wait a bit after adding the stems before adding the foliage because the stems are thicker and take more time to cook, or you can just let them cook for a bit after you remove the greens.

Enjoy your steamed greens and the many healthy nutrients they contain such as magnesium, calcium, folate, phytochemicals, and many other beneficial vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

Sources:

Influence of Boiling, Steaming and Frying of Selected Leafy Vegetables on the In Vitro Anti-inflammation Associated Biological Activities https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29547518

Domestic cooking methods affect the nutritional quality of red cabbage. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24837935

nutrition facts for vegetables  – http://whfoods.org/

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