Get Steamy in the Kitchen!


Picture1Get steamy in the kitchen!

  • Steaming veggies until they’re tender-crisp helps keep their fresh taste, nutrients, colour, and crunch.
  • Steaming takes very little time so you can get veggies to your table in a snap.
  • If you don’t have a steaming basket, cook veggies in a small amount of water in a pot. Cover and cook for just a couple of minutes. Drain and enjoy!

Here's a Yummly collection of recipes using steamed vegetables to inspire you.

Below is a quick video on how to steam vegetables.


If you plan to steam several types of vegetables together, either:

1. Combine vegetables with like cooking times, like carrots and parsnips or broccoli and cauliflower; or

2. Stagger when the vegetables go into the steamer, putting tougher ones in first and adding tender ones later.

To Steam Vegetables

Step 1 – Prep the vegetables: Cut up vegetables to be all the same size so that they cook at the same rate. Some vegetables, like green beans and spinach, can be steamed whole.

Step 2 – Prep the pot or steamer: If you own an electric steamer, follow the operating instructions that came with it. If not, use a metal steamer basket inside a pot with a lid, or a bamboo steamer basket with its own lid on top of a pot, or in a pinch just suspend a metal colander inside a pot. Put about 1 inch of water in the bottom of the pot. Cover the saucepan with a tightfitting lid. Bring the water to a boil.

Step 3 – Steam the vegetables: Remove the pot’s lid and then put vegetables into the steamer basket in the pot. Put the lid back on. Reduce the heat so the water will simmer but won’t all boil off.

The vegetables are finished steaming when they are brightly coloured and have the texture you prefer; it usually only takes a few minutes depending on the tenderness of the vegetables to begin with. Try not to overcook them or they will become mushy.

Serve steamed vegetables as soon as possible so they don’t get soft. It’s a good idea to prepare steamed vegetables as the last step before serving a meal.

For more detailed instructions on four different steaming methods, check out this WikiHow link. Vegetables can also be steamed quickly in the microwave and there are instructions at that link.

The above content is adapted from Dietitians of Canada materials and the Root Cellars Rock Preparing Local Vegetables Food Skills Workshop