Changes in lifestyle, greater nutritional and health awareness have contributed to increasing the demands placed on food producers. Devices to facilitate the preparation of healthy dishes have become popular. Cooking is becoming more and more popular, but not traditional in water, but steamed. But how to do it correctly? Discover the secrets of cooking in a steamer and 5 recipes for delicious dishes.
The rules of steaming
Steaming is a culinary treatment similar to traditional cooking. The main difference is that steaming is done without contact with liquids, only using steam at a temperature of about 100 ° C. Raw materials are placed on individual floors of the steam cooker after filling the lower container with water. The whole should be covered tightly with the cover, connected to the power supply and set the proper working time of the device.
Steaming is a universal method of heat treatment of food products. It’s possible to cook everything in your steamboat – vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, seafood, eggs, cereals, pasta and rice. It should be remembered that dry products are steamed much longer than traditionally. To prepare porridge, rice and pasta, a special container with water is recommended, which is heated by steam, which shortens the time of preparation of products. However, the preparation of dry legumes – beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils in this way is very time-consuming and inefficient, so these raw materials are best cooked traditionally in water.
When cooking with steam, it is important to use fresh, undamaged and high quality products. The meat is worth choosing lean species – poultry, beef, veal. If the preparation of a dish requires the cutting of raw materials, the pieces should be of similar size. Do not put frozen meat or fish into the steamer. It is different in the case of vegetables, on which there is little glaze and there is no need for their earlier defrosting. It is worth remembering that frozen vegetables will boil longer than fresh ones.
The products are worth seasoning, preferably with aromatic mixtures of natural spices or fresh herbs. It is worth to do it a few hours before cooking, so that they can pass their aroma and taste. It is worth giving up the addition of salt to dishes prepared by steam, because the couple extracts its taste. If we want to use salt, it’s better to do it on the plate after cooking. To the water, which is poured into the bottom container of the steamer, you can add different spices, so that the resulting steam has a unique aroma that gives the taste and juiciness to the prepared raw materials. Instead of water, you can also pour home broth.
It is very important to properly arrange the products in the dish. The most important thing is that individual products do not touch each other, which will allow free flow of water vapor. At the bottom, above the container with water, we arrange the raw materials that require the longest heat treatment, such as meat, fish, as well as hard root vegetables – potatoes, beets. On the next floors, we prepare products that require less time. However, when a recipe requires the simultaneous cooking of several types of vegetables, those with a shorter cooking time should be cut into larger pieces. The time needed to prepare individual components should be counted from the moment of boiling water. If the water evaporates, it should be topped up. You can prepare an aromatic and valuable sauce or soup from the water after cooking.
The advantages of steam cooking
Steam cooking is becoming more and more popular due to its beneficial effects on health, ease of cooking and considerable time savings. Steamed raw materials are not subjected to very high temperatures, which allows the preservation of more minerals and vitamins. The vitamins particularly sensitive to high temperatures include folates and vitamin C, the amount of which when steamed reduces by an average of 20-40% depending on the raw material, while in the case of cooking in water these losses are over 50%. During steaming, there are also much lower losses of calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium than in traditional cooking in water.
Dishes from the steamer retain a certain taste, beautiful color, and are of high quality. Steamed dishes are low-calorie, because there is no need to add fat to them. Meals are easy to digest and do not burden the digestive system. For this reason, steam cooking is especially recommended for people who are struggling with stomach, intestinal, liver and gall bladder diseases. When steamed, no unhealthy chemical compounds arise, as opposed to frying or baking, which is why it is indicated for everyone, regardless of age, gender and health.