You may have heard us recommend that one of the best ways to cook your vegetables is by steaming them. Steaming retains your vegetable’s taste, texture, and, most importantly, nutritional content while cooking. It also usually keeps the vegetables crisper and is less likely to lead to overcooking.
Steaming your vegetables is very easy, especially if you have a steaming pot or basket. If you don’t have either of these, a pot and colander that will fit inside it will work just as well.
Begin by filling a large pot with water and place the steamer pot, basket, or colander inside it. There should be enough water so that it almost reaches the bottom of the pot, basket, or colander. Once the water comes to a boil, add the vegetables and cover with a loose-fitting lid, which will allow some of the steam to escape.
Cooking times will vary with each vegetable. It is best to test them as they cook, until they reach your desired consistency. Most vegetables will be tender, but not mushy, when they are done. Here is a list of average steaming times for common vegetables:
Asparagus: 4 to 6 minutes for thin spears
Broccoli Florets: 5 minutes
Brussels Sprouts: 10 minutes
Carrots: 6 to 8 minutes for 1/4″ thick slices
Cauliflower: 6 minutes
Green Beans: 5 minutes
Kale: 4 minutes
Peas: 3 minutes
Spinach: 4 minutes
Winter Squash: 15 to 20 minutes for 2″ pieces
Zucchini: 6 to 7 minutes