One cooking tool I find essential as a vegan family, is my vegetable steamer, yet I still find that not that many people use them, it seems. Here in Canada, if I go to the local national store to try and replace mine, I tend to find there might be one or maybe two options to choose from… Maybe people simply don’t know about them? Maybe they are having an identity crisis?
With a lot of family meal celebrations looming, I thought this might be a timely post to share:
Here is my current steamer:
I will add a pic of it in use with actual vegetables shorty!
I am not affiliated with any specific brand btw. Current one is Hamilton Beach, but I have had a variety of brands before, and most work well/the same I find. 🙂
I have had about 4 or 5 over the last 10 years, I would estimate… They don’t have a huge long lifespan, I find (or maybe I am hammering it/overusing?!), but on the other hand: they are not all that expensive: I have paid between $30-$60 on mine, I think… And these are usually 2-3 tiers with digital timer, rice steamer, etc.
So here is why I heart my Vegetable Steamer so very much:
Vegetable Steamers are great because:
- Family meals: If you get one that has more than one tier, then you can fit in a full Sunday Lunch set of vegetables in them! This is such a time-saver!
- Steaming saves Nutrients! My favourite thing about the steamer is that you are STEAMING not boiling away nutrients and goodness! The flavour seems to stay in..
- Not really noisy! Steam does rise out of the top vents, but nothing like the old pressure cooker nonsense – it is a quiet hiss and that is all…
- Easy to clean – major win in my book: I hate having to carefully wash out sandwich makers or sharp blades in blenders, etc., and end up simply not using them for that reason, so a quick rinse of the bottom base (where the water goes) and then basic quick wash of the dishes/tiers and we are done… not hard at all.
- Pretty Quick cook time: 20-30 mins total for 5 different types of vegetables for a family is not bad!
- You can also steam rice!
- You are in control – you can test softness of veg (carefully of course, minding the steam), and stop it at any time (again: thinking back and comparing to the old pressure cooker my parents had, that you just had to take your chances with – set the timer and hope for the best!).
- Leaky veggie colours: Avoid leaky veg, such as red cabbage on the top tier, as the steam will leak down to the lower tier, dying your lovely orange carrots with splatters of purple! (True story!).
- Leave on keep warm setting at end
- Careful removing lid: Obviously a lot of hot steam will escape at first, so stay back as you do this.
- Harder veg on bottom, softer on top (but not leaky colours)
- Pop in Spuds: Add some potatoes with or without skin into the top tier – and remove once semi-cooked to then roast/add to your air fryer!
So if you regularly cook for more than one, I would definitely recommend getting yourself one of these, if you can. The ease of cooking multiple vegetables at one go, and the fact of them being steamed and keeping those wonderful nutrients and flavour is worth it, in my most humble opinion! And even if you mainly cook for yourself: You could steam a whole heap of veggies on Sunday or Monday, and then you can add them to other meals throughout the week, thus ensuring you are getting a good selection of veg daily! 🙂
So yes, one of my favourite tools for cooking is the steamer. I recently wrote about another tool I more recently purchased: the Air Fryer – which is also fun and quick and easy (and also easy to clean). You can read the post here:
Both tools could be life-savers at large family gatherings/larger meals like Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.
So again: I am not affiliated with either of these tools in any way, nor do I get paid to promote… I am simply sharing what works well for me and my family, and maybe you will find it useful also. 🙂
Next up in the tools category might be a Tofu Press: I have not yet purchased one, as I believe I am the Hulk and can squeeze out excess water with my bare hands (well, with a cloth too!)… but I have often considered buying one of those little gadgets to see if it saves time, or makes the tofu any better… We are still in a pandemic at the time of writing this, so an order might be a while to arrive…
OK – happy cooking, all! 🙂