How I Learned to Steam Vegetables and Save Time in the Kitchen

Ok, so steam vegetables may not be the sexiest topic, but vegetables are a vital part of health and wellness. You will not find a better source for the body’s requirement for vitamins and minerals than fruits and vegetables.

Vegetables not only offer a rich source of nutrients, but they come in a variety of colors and flavors. It doesn’t matter how you buy your vegetables—fresh, frozen, or canned—it only matters that you buy and eat them every day.

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Vegetable Recommendations

Steamed fruits and vegetables.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recommend that everyone should consume a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables per day. This is important to help fight against chronic disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity.

If you are over the age of 40 it is never too late to start eating healthy and starting with your veggies.

How Vegetables Help Your Body

sliced tomato on white ceramic plate
Photo by cottonbro studio on

Vegetables are important and they help your body by providing long-lasting health benefits. Eating more vegetables will help you reduce chronic illness and disease by providing much-needed nutrients.

A little-known fact: most vegetables are low in fat and calories and contain no cholesterol.

The vitamins and minerals in vegetables help maintain healthy blood pressure, reduce LDL (bad cholesterol), lower the risk of heart disease, and help keep your eyes and skin healthy as well as teeth and gums.

What are The Benefits of Steaming Vegetables?

Vegetable being rinsed.

As everyone knows that when you prepare steamed food, it will allow the meal to preserve the color, texture, and taste of the vegetable fiber and it will allow the food to preserve the vitamins and minerals that it holds. It is great when steamed veggies keep their fresh snap as opposed to being wet and soft.

Here are just few added benefits for steaming vegetables:

Nutritional Advantages

Incorporating steamed vegetables into your diet helps maximize the nutritional value of vegetables, ensuring you receive their full range of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial compounds. By preserving their nutrients and promoting a diverse vegetable intake, steaming can support overall health and well-being.

Weight Management

Steaming vegetables helps retain their natural flavors without the need for added fats or oils. This means you can enjoy a larger volume of vegetables with fewer calories compared to methods like boiling, frying or sautéing. Incorporating steamed vegetables into your meals can help you feel satisfied while keeping your calorie intake in check, which is beneficial for weight management.

Heart Health

Steaming vegetables doesn’t require the use of added fats or oils, which helps keep their saturated fat content low. Diets high in saturated fats can contribute to high cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. By steaming vegetables without added fats, you can enjoy their natural flavors and nutrients while minimizing the intake of harmful saturated fats.

Many vegetables are rich in antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and various phytochemicals. Antioxidants help protect the body against oxidative stress and inflammation, which are linked to the development of heart disease. Steaming vegetables helps preserve these valuable antioxidants, ensuring you receive their heart-protective benefits.

Time Saver

Steaming vegetables is generally a quick cooking method. It requires minimal preparation and cooking time compared to some other methods. Additionally, steaming vegetables requires less energy compared to boiling or frying, making it a time friendly option.

7-minute meditation

Downside to Steaming Vegetables

While steaming vegetables is generally considered a healthy cooking method that helps retain nutrients, there are a few potential downsides to consider:

  1. Overcooking: If vegetables are steamed for too long, they can become mushy and lose their texture and flavor. It’s important to monitor as you cook and avoid overcooking to maintain the desired taste and texture.
  2. Decreased palatability for some people: While steamed vegetables can be delicious and flavorful, some people may find them less appealing compared to vegetables prepared using other cooking methods. Steaming alone does not add any additional flavors or enhance the natural sweetness of vegetables, so it may be necessary to season or serve them with sauces, dressings, or spices to make them more enjoyable for some individuals.
  3. Longer cooking time for certain vegetables: Compared to quick-cooking methods like sautéing or stir-frying, steaming can take longer to cook certain vegetables, especially denser ones like root vegetables or winter squashes. This can be a downside if you’re looking for a fast and efficient cooking method.

Despite these potential downsides, steaming vegetables remains a popular and nutritious cooking method that helps retain many of the natural flavors and nutrients of the vegetables. It’s important to consider personal preferences, cooking goals, and the specific vegetables being cooked when deciding on the best way to prepare your vegetables.

Is Steaming Vegetables Healthier Than Boiling?

Did you know vegetables will lose some of their nutrients during transportation? So, try and buy your vegetables from places such as farmers’ markets when possible.

Steaming vegetables is generally considered a healthier cooking method compared to boiling. Here’s why:

  1. Nutrient retention: Steaming helps retain the nutrients in vegetables better than boiling. When you boil vegetables, some of the water-soluble vitamins and minerals can be lost in the boiling water. Steaming, on the other hand, minimizes nutrient loss because the vegetables are not submerged in water. The steam gently cooks the vegetables, preserving more of their vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  2. Less exposure to high heat: Steaming involves cooking vegetables with the heat of steam, which is gentler compared to boiling them in boiling water. High heat can degrade certain nutrients, especially heat-sensitive vitamins like vitamin C and B vitamins. By using steam, you can cook vegetables without subjecting them to the direct heat of boiling water, resulting in better nutrient preservation.
  3. Retention of texture and color: Steaming helps vegetables maintain their texture, color, and overall appeal. Boiling can sometimes cause vegetables to become mushy and lose their vibrant colors. Steaming allows vegetables to retain their crispness, tenderness, and natural pigments, making them visually appealing and enjoyable to eat.
  4. Reduced need for added fats: When boiling vegetables, people often add salt or fats such as butter or oil to enhance the flavor. Steaming on the other hand, doesn’t require the addition of these ingredients. It allows you to cook vegetables with minimal or no added fats, making it a healthier option for those watching their fat or calorie intake.
  5. Versatility: Steaming is a versatile cooking method that can be used for a wide variety of vegetables, from leafy greens and delicate vegetables to firmer root vegetables. It’s a gentle cooking process that can help vegetables retain their natural flavors and nutrients while enhancing their taste and texture.

What Vegetables Should Not be Steamed?

Mushrooms on wood kitchen cutting board
Photo by Pixabay on

While steaming is a versatile cooking method for many vegetables, there are a few vegetables that may not be well-suited for steaming due to their texture or flavor profile. Here are just a few:

  1. Root vegetables: Dense root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, beets, and turnips are not commonly steamed on their own because they can take a long time to cook. However, you can pre-cut them into smaller pieces to reduce cooking time and steam them alongside other vegetables.
  2. Winter squash: Varieties of winter squash, such as butternut squash, acorn squash, and spaghetti squash, have a firm and starchy texture. Steaming alone may not be the most efficient way to cook them as it can take longer. It’s often recommended to roast or bake these types of squash for better flavor and texture.
  3. Cabbage: While cabbage can be steamed, it can release a strong odor when cooked this way. Some people find the smell unpleasant. It’s worth noting that cabbage can also be enjoyed raw, stir-fried, sautéed, or used in soups and stews.
  4. Mushrooms: Mushrooms can become watery and lose their texture when steamed. They tend to absorb moisture easily, so steaming can result in a soggy texture. It’s generally preferred to sauté or grill mushrooms to bring out their flavors and retain their texture.
  5. Leafy greens: Tender leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and lettuce, can wilt quickly when steamed, resulting in a mushy texture. These greens are more commonly enjoyed raw in salads or sautéed briefly to preserve their crispness and nutritional value.

While these vegetables may not be best suited for steaming as standalone ingredients, they can still be included in mixed vegetable medleys or used in dishes where their texture changes may not be a concern. It’s always a good idea to experiment with different cooking methods to find the one that best suits your taste preferences and desired outcome for each specific vegetable.

How Long Should You Steam Vegetables?

Steamed vegetables being served

The steaming time for vegetables can vary depending on the type of vegetable, its size, and your desired level of tenderness. Here are some general guidelines for steaming common vegetables:

  1. Broccoli: Small florets typically take around 5-7 minutes to steam until they are crisp-tender. Larger florets may require 8-10 minutes.
  2. Cauliflower: Similar to broccoli, small cauliflower florets will steam in about 5-7 minutes, while larger ones may need 8-10 minutes.
  3. Carrots: Sliced or baby carrots usually steam in 8-10 minutes, depending on their thickness. Test their tenderness with a fork to ensure they are cooked to your preference.
  4. Green beans: Fresh green beans usually steam in 5-7 minutes. If you prefer them on the crisp side, aim for the shorter end of the cooking time.
  5. Asparagus: Thin asparagus spears typically take around 4-6 minutes to steam, while thicker ones may require 6-8 minutes. Cook until they are tender but still have some bite.
  6. Brussels sprouts: Small Brussels sprouts can steam in 8-10 minutes, while larger ones may need 10-12 minutes. Cook them until they are fork-tender.
  7. Zucchini or summer squash: Sliced zucchini or summer squash generally steam in 4-6 minutes, depending on the thickness. Cook until they are just tender.

These are just rough estimates, and you may need to adjust the cooking time based on the size and freshness of the vegetables, as well as your personal preference for doneness. It’s always a good idea to check the vegetables periodically with a fork or taste test them to ensure they reach your desired level of tenderness.

How Do You Steam Vegetables?

The Best Vegetable Steamer

Cuisinart Digital Glass Steamer

Are you searching for a healthy cookware appliance for you and your family to provide you with the ability to cook and maintain your vegetable’s nutrients? Then congrats, you are in the right place! One of the most fitting devices for you is the Cuisinart Digital Glass Steamer.  

Very Easy and Consistent

This steamer encourages food to cook easily and consistently. The 5-liter glass boiling container is big enough to be used for vegetables, fish, chicken, rice, and more in family-size servings. And the 1-liter recirculation pump of the clipper lifts off easily for overflowing.

Safe Cooking

As you know, today’s most important phenomenon is safe cooking, and this great glass steamer from Cuisinart makes it fast and simple.

This powerful steam system and glass lid with stainless steel rim 5L has a dishwasher-safe glass pot. Also, it has 5 preprogrammed food settings like seafood, poultry, grains, vegetables, and manual.

Very Quick and Responsive

Moreover, it has a 60-minute countdown timer, LCD control panel, audible alert, and start/stop, pauses, and reheat buttons. The 1L removable water tank and stainless-steel steaming tray flip are designed to hold different types of food.


  • Fresh Digital Glass
  • Powerful steam system
  • 5-liter glass cooking pot
  • Family-size portions
  • Stainless steel rim
  • 5L dishwasher-safe glass pot
  • 5 preprogrammed food settings


  • 60-minute countdown timer
  • LCD control panel
  • Audible alert and start
  • 1L removable water tank
  • Pause and reheat buttons
  • Quick and easy


  • Short time warranty product
  • May not be able to steam various foods

Tip For Steaming Vegetables

Veggies  being washed

Here are some tips I have found to help you achieve the best results when steaming vegetables:

  1. Prepare the vegetables: Be sure to wash the vegetables thoroughly under cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Trim and cut them into smaller sizes to ensure even cooking. You can leave smaller vegetables, like green beans or peas, whole.
  2. Use the right amount of water: When using a steamer basket, make sure the water level is below the bottom of the basket. You want to create steam, not submerge the vegetables in water. Too much water can result in soggy vegetables. Or you can simply use the Cuisinart Digital Glass Steamer.
  3. Don’t overcrowd the steamer: Avoid overcrowding the steamer basket or steaming container. Give the vegetables enough space to allow steam to circulate around them. If the vegetables are tightly packed, they may not cook evenly.
  4. Add flavor while steaming: Steaming itself doesn’t add much flavor to the vegetables. Consider adding some herbs, spices, or aromatics like garlic or ginger to the steaming water or in the steamer basket. As the steam rises, it will infuse the vegetables with subtle flavors.
  5. Be mindful of cooking time: Keep an eye on the vegetables while they steam and check for doneness regularly. Overcooking can lead to mushy vegetables, while undercooking may result in a raw or tough texture. Cooking times can vary depending on the vegetable and personal preference, so adjust accordingly.
  6. Use a timer: To ensure you don’t overcook the vegetables, set a timer based on the recommended cooking time for the specific vegetable you’re steaming. This helps prevent forgetting about them and ending up with overcooked results.
  7. Season after steaming: While you can add some herbs or spices during steaming for subtle flavor, consider seasoning the vegetables with your favorite seasoning after steaming. This allows you to control the amount of seasoning and ensures the vegetables don’t become too salty during the steaming process.
  8. Serve immediately: Steamed vegetables are best enjoyed immediately after cooking. They tend to lose their texture and flavor if they sit for too long. Serve them hot as a side dish, or use them in salads, stir-fries, or other recipes.

Remember, these tips can help you get started, but feel free to experiment and adjust based on your preferences and the specific vegetables you’re cooking. Enjoy your steamed vegetables!

Check out this delicious steamed vegetables recipe by Candy Tha Glam Cook

Key Takeaways

  1. You now know steaming vegetables offer more benefits as compared to cooking with alternative methods.
  2. Steaming vegetables requires no oil and steaming will provide you and your family with a fully nutritious and balanced meal overall.
  3. Not all vegetables are best steamed.
  4. Use my tips to steam vegetables and begin enjoying a delicious meal tonight.

Go to the comment section and let us know your thoughts.

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Earnest Robinson Jr Coach and Author
Earnest Robinson Jr


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