HOW TO STEAM VEGETABLES

Not only is steaming vegetables simple to do, but it comes with benefits: more nutrients are retained; soggy, waterlogged greens are a thing of the past; and there is no need for draining.

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It’s not necessary to invest in an electric or tiered stove-top steamer; a moulded silicone basket or a folding metal one will do the job just as well, save you money and be less bulky to store.

First, place your steamer basket into a saucepan and fill the pan with cold water until it almost reaches up to the floor of the basket. Too much water and you will be boiling the bottom layer of veg; too little and you risk boiling the water away, burning the vegetables and the pan. Prepare your chosen vegetable and place in the basket. Put the pan lid on, ensuring that it fits tightly to prevent the steam from escaping. Bring the water to the boil, then turn down the heat sufficiently to maintain the steam.

Most packaged vegetables from supermarkets state the number of minutes required for steaming in the cooking instructions. Alternatively, cook until stalks (or the densest part of the veg) are soft enough for your liking; test softness with the top of a blunt knife. When the vegetables are cooked use a cloth to lift the steamer basket out. Tip the boiling water away, return the basket of veg to the pan and replace the lid to keep hot until needed.

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