My mother, for a very long time, made it a habit to boil our vegetables, and as a young kid I really didn’t care. Either way you cook it, by boiling or steaming, it was still going to be nasty to me. But as I got older and started caring more about my body and how it develops, I realized that steaming the vegetables is more healthy and beneficial.
A little known fact is that once the temperature rises to one-hundred degrees Fahrenheit, the enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and other important ingredients are “killed” and you are left with very little. Whether you realize it or not, these precious ingredients have been known to cure many ailments, from small sicknesses like a cold, to weightier health problems such as arthritis. Also, the antioxidants contained in many common veggies build up the immune system so it is easier to fight off sicknesses and germs. So it is crucial not to underestimate the necessity of these vitamins, mineral and antioxidants.
So to prevent the loss of the valuable nutrients, my family has begun to incorporate a stainless steel colander in our cooking. Usually, it accompanies a stainless steel pot and we put the vegetables in the stainless steel colander. Pouring just one or two tablespoons of water over the frozen vegetables, allows for it to cook better. However, some may mistakenly fill the pot with water all the way past the colander, which then defeats the purpose of steaming the vegetables. So then, we make sure we only fill the pot half-way or even one-forth of the way. Doing so ensures the vegetables will be steamed to perfection without killing the valuable minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and other nutritious substances. The steaming process usually takes only 3 minutes. Once the water in the pot is boiling, turn it off and keep the top on the pot so the steam can cook it the rest of the way.
A mistake I have made all too often is thinking that since I’m steaming the vegetables, nothing will go wrong. Quite to my surprise, the vegetables loose their nutrients when they are steamed too long. Therefore some key points to keep in mind are the colors of the vegetables can be your gauge for deciphering when to stop steaming the veggies. Take for instance broccoli. Broccoli is naturally a dark green vegetable. When eaten raw it is very crunchy. However, if you are to steam the broccoli, don’t let the color start to fade away. When the dark green pigmentation begins to the leave the broccoli, which is a sign of the nutrients being killed, so please keep that in mind. (It took a month or so before I got the hang of steaming veggies correctly. Don’t get discouraged.)