Steaming has always been one of the healthiest ways to cook – not to mention the easiest. Bamboo steamers in particular, have been around for thousands of years as a mainstay of Asian cooking, and are still as popular today because they provide one of the most organic ways to steam food.
Weight loss Benefits of Steaming Food
Did you know that you could shave off close to 120 calories off a bowl of veggies when you steam them, versus the calories you get when you bake them? A bowl of baked chicken has at least 60 calories, but steamed they only amount to 37.1 calories! Here’s why steaming can make you lose more weight than other cooking methods:
- Cooking with Steam Conserves Nutrients
When you steam your food, it retains most of its mineral and vitamin content better. Vegetables’ antioxidant properties are also preserved to make your meal the healthiest version it could be.
- You Use No Oil
Since you use no oil to steam your food, you’ll improve your cholesterol levels even more. You can also appreciate the natural flavor of food more with no added butter or oil to alter food’s original taste.
- You’ll Get to Eat More Healthy Vegetables and Proteins
Bamboo steamer recipes will encourage you to try more vegetables, fish, and chicken dishes which are known to be as filling but won’t pack on the pounds. There's more color and variety, not to mention convenient portion control, that can help make healthy eating easier than you think!
Bamboo steamers are no brainer kitchen tools that can make cooking a snap.
Here are the most common ways to use a bamboo steamer to cook vegetables and protein:
1. Use a skillet and boil up to 3 inches of water in it, with low heat.
2. Place parchment paper in the bottom steamer, and put your choice of protein in. Salmon or chicken can cook within 12 or 15 minutes – just season with salt and pepper, herbs or drizzle with olive oil.
3. Cover the bottom steamer with the top one to steam your veggies. (Also place parchment paper at the bottom of the top steamer before putting the sliced veggies in). They can be done in around 8 minutes.
4. Cover the topmost steamer with the bamboo steamer lid.
Pro Tips for Using Your Bamboo Steamer Even Better
- Cooking professionals advise that when you place your steamer in hot water, avoid letting the bottom part touch the sides of the skillet so that it doesn’t burn.
- You can substitute Napa cabbage or iceberg lettuce to line your steamer.
- For more unique flavors, you can put tea leaves in the boiling water to add a new twist to your steamed dishes. Other flavored water alternatives are sake, vegetable broth, wine, or beer. - Do not use clean your bamboo steamer in the dishwasher – its best cleaned with hot water and mild soap. Let dry before storing.