Steaming – what can be cooked this way and for how long?

Steaming is a convenient and healthy way of cooking. It allows to keep more nutrients in food than boiling in water. You can cook by steaming almost everything, and you don't have to limit yourself to vegetables only. What can be cooked this way and for how long?

Potatoes will need about 20-25 minutes in the steam cooker, if you chop them in smaller pieces: slice or dice. The whole, young jacket potatoes require about 40 minutes to become soft.

Courgette is ready after 5-7 minutes. You should cook caouliflower or string beans a bit longer. Those vegetables are ready after about 20-25 minutes of cooking.

Broccoli is ready faster than cauliflower. If you divide it into small florets, it is ready after 15 minutes.

You can also cook spinach by steaming. For fresh kind of spinach you will need about 10 minutes, and you should turn the leaves upside-down in the middle of the cooking time.

Fresh carrot needs 10 minutes, if you slice it. If you want to cook carrot without chopping it, you will need about 20 minutes, depending on its size.

When you use steaming, remember that the food cannot have any contanct with water and it should be placed at least 2.5cm above it.

Remember to put fish and meat at the bottom not to let the juice fall on other kinds of food.

The lid has to be well-fitted, so that the steam does not evaporate from the pot.

The water should not boil too much, it should only buzz.

You should watch if the water is still in the pot. It's an easy way to burn the pot and ruin the steamed food. If you notice that there's not enough water, pour some boiling water to the pot. Do not add cold water, because that's how you lower the temperature of the steam.

You should not add salt to the food before steaming, because it's easy to use too much of it. It's much better to add salt on the plate after the food is steamed.

Steaming is one of the healthiest ways of preparing your favourite meals. It's nothing new – for example in China they have used this kind of cooking for over 3,000 years.