The best vegetables to steam are those you’re going to eat. Okay, we can get a little more detailed than that!
Steaming vegetables is the lowest calorie and highest nutrition way that you can prepare your food. In other cooking methods, like frying or baking, you’re going to be putting oil in the pan to stop your food from sticking–oil adds a lot of calories to an otherwise low calorie meal! And cooking them in these ways leeches the nutrients out of your food. Steaming keeps these nutrients in, and does it without adding unnecessary calories.
You can steam most vegetables, but they’re all going to have different cooking times. This is something that is very important to keep in mind when you go to prepare your food. There are electric appliance options these days that have multiple tiered baskets that allow you to cook different foods for different periods of time, and these devices will be extremely handy if you plan on cooking multiple foods at once. Also, always keep in mind that you want them to be able the same size. When preparing your items wash them and make sure they’re approximately the same size so that they will all get a good even cooking.
The most popular vegetables to steam are probably green ones. Asparagus, broccoli, green beans, and peas come immediately to mind. Another great green suggestion is brussel sprouts. A lot of people have bad feelings about them, but it’s because they’ve been eating them overcooked! A properly prepared sprout will have a nutty flavor that may surprise you. When cooking a green food item, a good tip is to watch them while they cook. You’ll see how they start turning a brighter shade, eventually this week peak, and then it will start getting dark and becoming mushy (overcooked). Once you’ve done this a few times you’ll get a better instinctual feel for when this peak time is, until them, stick to cooking times and watch them as they go.
New potatoes are a great food item to put in a steamer! Potatoes have higher calorie counts, so they really benefit from the lack of added calories. Depending on your potatoes size, cutting it up into fourths is a good way to go for cooking size.
Other great ideas include red peppers cut into strips, eggplant cut into strips, sliced zucchini or yellow squash, carrots, cauliflower, bok choy, and mushrooms.