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Steaming, advantages and practical advice. Which foods can be steamed and valid alternatives to the steamer.
Steam cooking technique
Thatsteam poweredit is a cooking technique that uses special kitchen appliances such as an electric steamer, a thermomixer, a multifunction food processor or simple pots with a basket.
Traditionally, for steam cooking, in ancient Asia, a bamboo basket was used. Some rudimentary kitchen tools, dedicated tosteaming technique, were found in China and date back more than 5,000 years. The origins of steaming, however, seem to be even older: steaming utensils have been found in Arizona dating back more than 10,000 years! These findings make us understand that we are talking about a very ancient cooking technique.
Theresteamingis considered acooking methodhealthy and suitable for the most diverse foods.
Steam cooking, how it's done
To steam cook we need a pot with basket or other dedicated kitchen utensils such as:
- thermomix or handyman robot
- electric steamer
- bamboo basket
- microwave with special container
- steam oven
The steam oven is the most expensive choice. The thermomix or food processor is also very expensive. The cheapest method involves steaming in the microwave, while for pots with a basket and steamer the price depends on the product chosen. If you want to steam with the steamer and you don't know how to choose it, read the article dedicated tochoice of steamerwhere we show you (as an example) some models offered on the market.
Steam cooking without steamer
If you are interested insteam cookingusing a pot with basket, read the article:pots for steam cooking.
On the contrary, if you don't intend to buy other cooking pots, you can visit the page dedicated to steaming in the microwave:steam in the microwave.
Steam cooking with the thermomix
Food processors like thethermomixallow you to elaborate the ingredients and finish the preparation of the meal using thesteaming. To cook with steam with the thermomix you need an instrument called "varoma" produced by Vorwerk itself, the house that produces the thermomix. Foods to be steamed in the Thermomix must be placed in the basket (varoma) which is capped by the appropriate.
The mechanism of steaming the thermomix it offers nothing more special than what a simple electric steamer or a pot with basket offers.
Steam cooking, advantages and benefits
We have shown you the means you need forsteaming food, now we will talk about theadvantagesof this cooking method.
Steamed foods have the advantage of being "more nutritious" because they are not immersed in boiling water so they tend to maintain their nutritional properties without dispersing any active ingredient in the aqueous solvent.
Steaming, what to cook
The foods that can be steamed are the most diverse.
Among other advantages: steam cooking does not require the use of oil. This seasoning, in fact, can be "added raw" without altering its chemical nature due to the heat.
According to data released by the USDA, thesteamingit would return foods richer in micronutrients, especially when it comes to minerals and thermolabile vitamins. In particular, data released by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), see a higher concentration of folic acid, phenolic compounds and vitamin C in steamed foods.
- Steamed vegetables lose only 15% of folic acid while boiled vegetables lose 35%.
- Steamed vegetables lose only 15% of vitamin B while boiled vegetables lose 25%.
There steaming retains more than 42% glucosinolate compounds. Preserves phenolic compounds (those with antioxidant properties) and many micronutrients that would otherwise be dispersed in the aqueous phase in direct contact with food.
- All vegetables can be steamed.
- All vegetables can be steamed.
- Any type of meat can be steamed.
- Fish is perfect for steaming.
- Crustaceans can also be steamed.
- Mussels and shellfish are suitable for steam cooking.
Basically, any food can be steamed! Better to keep in mind a few tricks as explained in the article "Steam cooking".
In our food and wine culture, steam cooking is not very rooted while in other countries it is even used to prepare desserts, bread and very complex dishes.
In the photo above, a Chinese dish consisting of steamed asparagus, shrimp and egg. Steamed egg is a typical Chinese dish, chicken broth is often used to flavor.