Although this practice may be considered trendy for the time being, this particular way of cooking has been around for more than 8.000 years. In ancient China, vessels known as yan steamers were used to cook rice, and the oldest one was found in Banpo, the prehistoric excavation site near the Yangzi River.
Chefs all around the world still use this technique, and there are several other reasons why it still remains popular. If you love healthy and nutritious cuisine, then you are in for a treat!
Steam cooking - Flickr - Nicole Abalde
1. Cook food faster
As lack of time is probably the most common excuse for avoiding home cooked meals, let’s start with this one! Steam can help you prepare an exquisite feast in no time!
The water inside of the steamer simply conducts heat much better than air does. Since water is a key food ingredient, it allows energy to transfer faster than usual.
Blanching a handful of asparagus, for example, takes you only 60 seconds.
2. Cook clean food
A frying pan isn’t doing any good for your regular calorie intake, but at least you get to burn some of them while scrubbing everything clean after lunch.
With a steam cooker, you don’t have to! There is No smoke, No oil stains, and No sticky messes leeching on to every inch of the pan that forces you to scratch it clean with your fingernails when all sponging attempts have failed.
Cleaning a steam cooker is easy as soaking it in warm water! Before you place it in the dish washer, the only thing that you have to do is clean up the residue with a dish cloth. Just make sure to leave enough space around it so the water gets through.
3. Cook almost anything
Everything from poultry, beef, lamb, and even fish, can be cooked with a steamer. The meat is cooked by steaming, and will preserve its volume, moisture, and deliciousness.
When it comes to veggies, those can easily be steamed as well! Be advised that some denser types of vegetables need a few extra minutes to reach its full delicious potential.
Broccoli is one of the quickest veggies to prepare. It is dipped and ready to prepare in less than 40 seconds!
A simple way to tell if your meal is done is by slipping a thin kitchen knife into the thickest part of the meal. If it slides in with no trouble, your entrée is ready to serve.
Veggies - Flickr - Reg Natarajan & Yoppy
4. Cooking With No Oil
By now, you should understand about the good, the bad, and the ugly types of oil. Skip the bad oils if you want to avoid toxins and prevent cancer. The best part of the steam cooker is that you practically don’t need any oil at all!
With no oil and no fat included, all your meals will get significantly lighter and nourishing. This is why nutritionists often recommend steaming food in health oriented diets.
You can feel free to add a little bit of olive oil in some dishes, just for the taste of it. Try mixing it with steamed carrots and some oregano! It is a perfect side dish for any meal, and it’s full of vitamins and minerals.
5. No Over Cooked Meals
Remember those misadventures in cooking when you remove the pan lid just to witness the sizzling dark matter of what was supposed to be your nutritious meal? Steam cooker owners don’t have to!
Burning food in the streamer takes real effort, but be advised to still read and follow all of the instructions you get with your particular product.
In fact, the food cooked will mostly be as moist, soft, and consistent as it can be.
6. Meals Taste Better
In addition to the previous reason mentioned, all your meals will taste better. This is something that you will have to try out for yourself, but here are a few suggestions that will open up your appetite.
You can try and add garlic to your meals, especially if you are preparing beef. Be careful because the steam will make this delectable and strong note even more intense.
You can do the same with lemon, or ginger. Sprinkling parsley or dill on your vegetables once they are done cooking, is another flavor packed tip!
7. Meals are Easy to Digest
If you care about your digestive tract, you are most likely eating sweet potatoes, green beans, and avocados. These veggies are really easy to digest. However, with a little help from steam, you can even make those fibers go down easier than ever.
As much as spinach, broccoli, and onions are good for you, you should know that your bowels maybe aren’t as thankful as you think they are. Most of these vegetables are high in insoluble fibers, which can be a reason for those numerous hours you spend in the bathroom. They also might be the cause of your experience with repeated stomachaches.
It’s better to be safe than sorry, so steam up those veggies!
Asian steam cooking - Flickr - Faungg & See-ming Lee
8. Conserve Vitamins, Nutrients and Minerals
If you are looking for an easy way to preserve vitamins and nutrients in your meals, look no further and embrace the art of steaming!
When you boil food, most of minerals get extracted by the water. Let’s not even start on how much frying foods are bad for you! You can say goodbye to all those vitamins that you are trying to consume!
When steaming veggies and meat, all of those nourishing ingredients are safely conserved for your convenience and healthy consumption.
9. All professionals love it
It is a well known fact that professional chefs prefer serving steamed food. They also do it at home, and when they cook for their families.
Steam and pressure cookers save time, nutritious ingredients, keep everything clean and delicious, and makes them a perfect tool when you don’t have the time or energy to commit to cooking.
A famous, award winning, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver wouldn’t lie to you, and he is all about healthy foods. In fact, one of his recipes is going to be our reason number ten!