In addition to being fast and easy, this method yields delicious results.
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Arctic Char and Green Beans with Basil Vinaigrette
Credit: Con Poulos

Today, the spotlight is on healthy cooking and a timeless method that often gets overlooked but shouldn't: steaming. It's a healthy, delicious, and easy way to cook vegetables, meat, and even eggs using water vapors (rather than fat) and dry heat. It's also quick, making this technique a weeknight dinner win=win. Read on for more reasons to start steaming.

Steaming Is Quick

Who says healthy food has to take a long time to prepare? Put those excuses aside, steaming cooks food quickly while keeping it light, making it a win win.

Steaming Doesn't Require Expensive Equipment

Classic steaming uses a steamer insert set inside a pot; a lid is placed on top to build steam and let it surround and cook the food. This tool is approachable, inexpensive, and widely available, but steaming doesn't always need to happen in a steamer basket: It can also occur when you add liquid and food into packets like in our Salmon and Zucchini Baked in Parchment or Steamed Moroccan Chicken and Vegetables cooked in foil packets.

Steaming Helps Avoids Hidden Calories

Whether you are a fan of good fats or not, sometimes it's nice to eat a lighter meal and choose how much fat you want to add. With steaming, you don't need to add any at all. Once it's done, you can decide what flavors and fat you want to add to your finished dish. Opt for a healthy oil like the walnut oil in our Steamed Vegetable Salad with Walnut Oil or a decadent sauce like creamy tahini drizzled over our Steamed Broccoli and Squash with Tahini Sauce.

Steaming Prevents Food from Drying Out

Healthy food has a reputation of being dry and boring, but that's not the case when it comes to steaming. Steam is a moist cooking method; water vapors cook food while helping it retain moisture, keeping each bite tender and juicy, and that means you have a little wiggle room on cooking times. Beyond vegetables, it's really great with leaner meat like fish and chicken breasts. Try our Steamed Cod with Ginger and Scallions and Steamed Chinese Chicken to see for yourself.

Steaming Retains Nutrients and Color

If you are going to eat your vegetables, you might as well get the most from them. Steaming retains more nutrients than other cooking methods such as boiling, roasting, or pan searing, and it keeps those vegetable colors bright putting the most vibrant rainbow of colors on your plate.

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